“But I hate to sweat,” are words I’ve muttered on repeat when questioning whether it was time to make the leap to natural deodorant. While it feels like all of my friends have made the swap to a more natural lifestyle, I have clung to antiperspirants out of fear of being the smelliest girl at the party. Yes, there is a small period of adjustment when switching to natural deodorant, and research shows the awkward phase of detoxing is well worth it. When you dig deep into the science behind deodorant, an all-natural method has far more pros than cons.
Why Go Natural
Not to sound overdramatic, but I’m going through a holistic beauty awakening. While most of my skincare products are clean, I’ve been transitioning my routine to address my health and my Hashimoto’s disease. From acupuncture to the elimination diet, I’m trying it all!
Aluminum has also been potentially related to breast cancer, infertility and Alzheimer’s in recent studies. Now, there is much debate on these findings so take it with a grain of salt and notice I use the word “potentially,” but this still was enough to make me look into the chemicals I was blindly putting on my skin. Dr. Steven R. Gundry, MD, put aluminum-based deodorants on his list of “trojan horses” that can wreak havoc on the endocrine system. Lori Earley, the founder of Phoenix Rising Acupuncture (and also my acupuncturist), also recommended a ban on antiperspirants and advises her clients to use an app like Think Dirty to uncover what products have toxins.
I finally trashed the Secret antiperspirant I was holding ontol. When you think about though, our bodies are made to sweat to release toxins so why are we so fixated on preventing it?
The Natural Deodorant I’ll be Trying
There are plenty of great new natural deodorants I’ve had my eye on, and I even have a sample of Ursa Major that I picked up from my local clean beauty boutique, Lemon Laine. Nubian Heritage, a cruelty-free and socially conscious skincare brand, sent me a large mailer of their new aluminum-free 24-hour deodorant to try, so I figured I had no excuse but to take the leap.
That being said, this post is not sponsored by Nubian Heritage. I like to do research before recommending any new products to you on the blog, so I decided to start with Nubian Heritage since I have a large supply to test out. These deodorants are naturally fragrant and are made from non-GMO Propanediol derived from corn. The product is also baking-soda free and doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals, making my decision easier since I have sensitive skin. According to Hello Giggles, a large number of natural deodorant lines have baking soda that’s harmless but can cause irritation for sensitive skin.
Tips to Prepare for Natural Deodorant
As I prepare for my own journey to go au naturale, I did a bit of research to learn about how to ease my transition
Don’t Be Afraid to Sweat
The aluminum in our deodorants clogs pores, blocking sweat. It’s natural to sweat a lot more once you decide to make the switch to natural deodorant. In this period of time, your body is getting used to being aluminum-free. Just let your body do the work and relax. Sweating helps your body cool down and release toxins, so it’s time to welcome the change.
Prepare with an Underarm Mask
Using a clay mask once per week can help make the transition to natural deodorant an easier one. A mask can also remove dead and dry skin that trap odor. HelloGlow shares a lot of DIY masks you can make from scratch at home using natural ingredients here. If you are like me and would rather save time, this LAVANILA Underarm Detox Mask is mask specially formulated to detoxify by drawing out impurities from aluminum while working to shorten the transition time between switching to natural deodorant.
Buff away dry skin under your arms using an exfoliating body scrub. Use a sulfate and paraben-free body wash to continue the detox process. Last but not least, make sure to dry your underarm area thoroughly so you’re not holding moisture. Moisture can breed bacteria and odor, so dry those pits!
According to the skincare company Nubian Heritage, hydration is critical when transitioning to natural deodorant. Drinking 100 ounces of water daily is essential to flush your system of toxins and stay hydrated as you sweat more throughout the adjustment period.
Keep Your Clothing Light
Stick to light, natural fibers to keep your summertime attire easy and breezy. No matter what season you decide to detox, sweat will be expected so do your best to stay cool and comfortable.
Freshen Up with Apple Cider Vinegar
Spoiler alert: you might be a tad smelly in the beginning. A study conducted by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Lab found that there was an initial increase of smelly bacteria (Corynebacteria) in the underarms of antiperspirant users when they stopped using it. The odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, and it’s part of the detox process that will fade. Deal with the odor by dabbing a cotton pad soaked with apple cider vinegar and water to your underarms to neutralize the bacteria with healthy acid. It’s important to do a patch test first and dilute the apple cider vinegar with water so you don’t have a skin breakout.
The aluminum-free movement has gained in popularity over the last few years. Most of us have been using antiperspirants for most of our lives. I know I’ve been using an aluminum-based deodorant for at least 18 years! According to Kaia Naturals, your body can be dependent on aluminum and the compounds have clogged your pores. Allow for a 2-4 week transition before judging the results of your natural deodorant. Sometimes the best things in life take a little bit of patience.
Are you thinking of making the natural deodorant leap? I’d love to hear how you like it!