So You Want To Switch to Natural Deodorant
This blog has not been approved by your local health department and is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice.
In this article:
- Harmful Ingredients in Deodorants and Antiperspirants
- Making the Transition to a Natural Deodorant
- The Best Natural Deodorants
Are you thinking of making the switch to clean deodorant? Making the switch to a deodorant that’s free of harmful chemicals is one of the best things you can do for your health!
First, let’s talk perspiration. Perspiration is a natural bodily function that plays a very important role. It cools the body down, helping to regulate body temperature, and helps the body excrete toxins.
Many of us depend on antiperspirants to control perspiration, but a little perspiration is good for us. If you think about it, perspiration won’t hurt as much as some of the potential side effects associated with various aluminum compounds commonly found in antiperspirants. Many of these products are designed to close or clog our pores to prevent the release of perspiration.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything clogging my pores. Just the thought of it does not sound healthy. Using all-natural products can reduce the probability of suffering from complications caused by toxic chemicals.
Here are five ingredients to avoid in your deodorant:
- Triclosan is a synthetic antibacterial and odor-killing compound that is found in deodorants. Triclosan is registered with the EPA as a pesticide and is classified as a probable carcinogen. Triclosan disrupts thyroid function and is linked to cancer.
- Parabens are also known to disrupt hormone function and lead to reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. Parabens are also estrogenic and can disrupt hormones in your body, possibly contributing to early puberty in children and an increased risk of hormonal cancers.
- Propylene glycol is a petroleum-derived chemical that allows skincare products to be more easily absorbed into your skin. It is an inexpensive ingredient that creates a soft, creamier consistency to your deodorant and other skincare products. It is potentially toxic and linked to cancer, reproductive issues, developmental problems, neurotoxicity, and endocrine complications. It is also a common skin irritant and sensitizer that can cause allergic reactions and dermatitis.
- Phthalates are plasticizers that are added to deodorants and other skincare products to increase flexibility, dissolve other ingredients, and create a smooth consistency. They are probable carcinogens and hormone and endocrine disruptors that act like estrogen in your body and increase your risk of cell mutations, asthma, infertility, and cancers (specifically breast, ovarian, and prostate). Phthalates may also decrease sperm count and cause damage to lungs, kidneys, and liver. Phthalates are often listed as fragrance, DBP, and DEP in product ingredients.
- Aluminum inhibits perspiration by clogging your sweat glands and potentially trapping toxins within your body. These toxins may then accumulate in your lymph nodes, which can cause cell mutation over time. Aluminum in antiperspirants is a known genotoxin that causes genetic mutations.
Here’s something most people don’t talk about when it comes to switching to a non-toxic deodorant. If you’ve been using conventional aluminum-based antiperspirants until now, and you want to switch to something without aluminum or harmful ingredients, your underarms will most likely go through a “detoxing” period. Years of built-up bacteria and aluminum take a while to work through!
Your body will need some time to transition to your new deodorant, during which you may experience more odor. This is a normal process and shouldn’t last more than a couple of weeks, although it’s different for everyone. Set realistic expectations and remember It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Expect to sweat and have some BO during the detox period. Your pits have been clogged with aluminum for years, so be patient with them as you purge. It might not be fun during this period, but it is necessary.
Just push through this necessary period, do what you have to do to stay fresh, and don’t give up! Once you’ve gotten over this hump, you’ll feel much better, and most importantly, you’ll be doing something good for your health. To help you make the transition shorter and easier, drink plenty of water so you stay hydrated. And then, just know what is happening, why it is happening, and allow yourself to sweat it out. And remember, you really are what you eat. Be conscious of what you are putting in your body. The same way your diet affects your health, it also affects your smell. Always strive to fuel your body with clean and nutritious foods.
There are so many options out there these days, with different active ingredients, benefits, and scents. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to steer clear of natural deodorants that contain baking soda, as it can cause irritation and rashes. Try out a few products and a few brands and give it a few days each to see how your body reacts, and then stick with the product that works best for you. You will be happy that you did. Remember, each body has its own unique microbiome so that deodorant your friends or family swears by might do absolutely nothing for you, and that is okay. Don’t give up—there is a healthy alternative for you. I promise!
Once you free your pores and switch to a non-toxic deodorant, you can fight bacteria naturally. Using natural deodorant allows your body to sweat freely. It doesn’t trap any bacteria inside your body and keeps those toxins from building up. Everything that should get flushed gets out with natural sweat. The way our bodies were made to function.
When showering, do some type of gentle exfoliation, as the oils in natural deodorant can build up. Try the After Spa Exfoliating Bamboo Mitt for this.
I also recommend using a body wash with charcoal to keep your underarms (and everything else) clean. I love Renpure Detoxifying Charcoal Clarifying + Deep Cleanse Body Wash.
Then, dry your armpits well and apply one swipe of deodorant—not three—to your underarm. A lot of times when making the switch to clean deodorant, people use way more deodorant than they need to because they’re nervous about odor, but this can be counterproductive. Less is more.
Here are a few of my favorite clean deodorants:
- Think Magnesium Deodorant Charcoal & Sage: This effective magnesium-enriched deodorant glides easily onto skin while neutralizing odors for all-day protection. This one is a favorite because it gives you long-lasting freshness. It is also dermatologist-recommended, free of harmful chemicals, and Leaping Bunny Certified.
- Crystal Body Deodorant Natural Deodorant Lavender & White Tea: This is a gentle deodorant that works! It glides on smooth, conditions and moisturizes while combating odor, and is infused with lavender and white tea. It’s also hypoallergenic and Leaping Bunny Certified.
- NutriBiotic Deodorant Lavender: This formula contains witch hazel, grapefruit seed extract, and essential oils to fight odors and moisturize the skin.
- Aubrey Organics E Plus High C Natural Roll-On Deodorant Classic Scent: This deodorant contains antioxidant vitamins and herbal extracts that help keep you feeling (and smelling) fresh and clean.
- Zion Health Bold Clay Dry Deodorant Sweet Amber: This formula contains clay minerals and essential oils, which work to neutralize odor and naturally absorb wetness.
Even though it may take a little adjusting at first, you will be so happy you made the switch to natural deodorant. I know I am, and I wouldn’t go back!