Last year when I decided to start swapping out my beauty products for non-toxic versions, one of the first things I swapped was my deodorant. I had read about the long-term health issues that have been linked to conventional deodorant, and for me it just wasn’t worth the risk, especially with so many natural options on the market.
I’ve never been picky about my deodorant, so I figured the transition would be as easy as running out of my current deodorant, and switching to a natural one.
I was wrong.
I was not prepared for the detox, transition phase, nor did I know where to start when it came to picking a natural deodorant. So now that I’ve gotten the trial and error out of the way for you, I wanted to share why I switched, some methods I used to make the transition easier, and some natural deodorant brands I love!
Why Switch to Natural Deodorant?
The problem with “normal” deodorant: Conventional deodorants are made with harmful chemicals like aluminum and parabens, and our skin is our largest organ that absorbs whatever we put on it. Many of these chemicals have already been banned in Canada and the European Union because they have been linked to developmental toxicity, hormone disruption, and increased risk for Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer.
Many deodorants are also antiperspirants, which stop your armpits from sweating. It seems like a win, but sweating is one of the ways our body naturally detoxes and keeps our body temperature in check.
Clogged pores and feeling overheated may seem like a small price to pay short-term, but the long-term effects of putting these chemicals on such a sensitive and absorbent part of your body just aren’t worth it when there are so many great alternatives on the market.
Also, you know those yellow stains you get on your white shirts? Those aren’t from your sweat, they’re from the aluminum in your deodorant. Just one more reason to say goodbye to your old deodorant.
How Do I Switch Without Smelling?
The biggest complaint I hear when it comes to switching to a natural deodorant (natural meaning, aluminum, paraben and toxin free) is that they don’t work as well as the deodorant we’re used to.
The reason that it initially seems this way is because our bodies have to detox when we stop using the aluminum-laden antiperspirants we’ve been putting on our pits since middle school.
When our bodies are going through this detox phase, it’s actually the bacteria under our arms that is changing and making us smell worse, not the new deodorant. It can take up to 30 days for our bodies to fully detox from aluminum, but we can speed this process up a bit (and make it less smelly) through a few different methods:
Masking: Y’all know I love a good mask, and armpit masks are not an exclusion. Mix a 1:1 ratio of bentonite clay & apple cider vinegar and put it on your armpits for 15 minutes once a week while your body is detoxing. This helps pull the toxins right out of your pits!
Cleansing: Much like we use toner to kill bacteria on our face, you can use a toner to kill bacteria in your pits. Apple cider vinegar and witch hazel are great options! Just apply them with a cotton ball or use a spray bottle to get rid of bacteria and neutralize B.O. before you put on your deodorant. You can also cleanse with a natural soap in the shower to get those pits squeaky clean!
Sweating: I know that’s what we’re using deodorant to avoid, but it’s a natural process that is actually so good for your body! When you’re detoxing, you’re literally sweating out the toxins that have built up over the years. I won’t lie, you’re going to be stinkier at first, but I promise it goes away once you get all those toxins out of your body. A hot bath, sitting in a sauna, or just good ole’ fashion exercise are great ways to get your sweat (+ your natural detox) on.
A few extra tips if you’re still feeling sweaty and/or sticky while you detox:
Stay hydrated! This is just another way to help your body naturally rid toxins.
Reduce your intake of foods that cause B.O. - sugar, coffee, alcohol, red meat, spicy foods and processed foods.
Apply arrowroot powder or cornstarch after your deodorant to help absorb some of the excess sweat your body will be producing during your detox.
What Natural Deodorant Should I Use?
I’ve tried *many* natural deodorants over the last year, and I’ve linked a few of my favorites below. The brand I’m currently using is typeA, which is a tube deodorant that goes on much smoother than any of the sticks I’ve tried. Many natural deodorants contain baking soda, which can be a little rough on sensitive skin. Since typeA is a cream, it contains very minimal amounts of baking soda, making it one of the best options for us sensitive gals.
My favorite scents I’ve tried are Ocean Mint from typeA and Wild Lavender from Botanik.
Everyone has a different preference, so find the packaging and scent that work best for you. I hope this gives you a good place to start!
Happy detoxing, loves!