Is Natural Deodorant Worth the Hype?
Maybe you’ve heard the hype around natural deodorant and want to give it a try. Or maybe you tried it once but wound up turning back to your old products and want to try again. Either way, you probably want to know if it’s worth the hype before you jump into the natural deodorant market.
Natural deodorant boasts a lot of benefits. It is usually allergen free, whereas common deodorants may contain perfumes, gluten, or aluminum. And while regular under arm products may keep you dry, that’s not always a good thing. Our bodies naturally sweat. It helps us regulate our temperature and remove toxins. Antiperspirants interfere with these processes.
It’s also important to remember that deodorants and antiperspirants are wildly different. One block the odor of sweat while the other stops you from sweating altogether. Many people use both together as they do different things, but this can lead to clogged pores. This will just make your underarm odor worse over time.
Natural deodorants let you sweat. They just make you smell a little bit better when you do! There is one downside, unfortunately. If you switch to a natural deodorant, your body will go through a detox period. And, when it does, it isn’t going to be comfortable.
Some people deal with a mild rash during the detox period. Others find that they smell worse for a week or so before their bodies adjust. Either way, the problems don’t last forever. If you push yourself past the detox period and you will be happy you did. Most people find that, once they switch to a natural deodorant, they don’t want to go back!
What makes natural deodorant “natural”?
Most natural deodorants have two main ingredients: baking soda and essential oil. Baking soda helps keep you a little bit drier without inhibiting sweat entirely. And essential oils add subtle scent and some other minor benefits, some of which are useful in places other than your underarms. You definitely want a deodorant that has a good mix of the powder and oils.
It will also be full of non-toxic ingredients such as plant-based moisturizers like olive oil. Most are also paraben-free. Parabens are a common synthetic compound that preserves cosmetics but may agitate the skin. Instead, natural deodorants opt for ingredients like witch hazel.
Natural deodorant will not clog your pores. It will let you sweat while keeping you fresh. As it turns out, sweat by itself does not stink. The odor comes later after the sweat comes into contact with bacteria on our skin. Natural deodorants help control this bacteria instead of masking the smell or blocking sweat entirely.
Everyone’s body is different, so finding the perfect product for you may take some time. Grabbing the first trendy package you see probably won’t be the right fit. Just be patient and pay attention to how your body reacts to new products. There’s definitely one out there for you!
The transition to natural deodorant may not be an easy one. It usually takes between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on the products you used to use. If you’ve relied on antiperspirant since puberty, then it may be a week or so before you sweat normally again. It’s a sort of waiting period while your body unblocks the pores under your arm.
After a few weeks, you should notice a significant increase in moisture under your arms. And, most likely, you’re going to smell worse as your body finally flushes out toxins. Consider this the “detox period”. You may start feeling self-conscious and want to run back to your usual stick deodorant but try to push through. There is a light at the end of the stinky armpit tunnel!
By weeks 3 and 4 your body will begin to re-balance and stop overproducing odor-causing bacteria. So you will sweat – since natural products still let us sweat – it shouldn’t stink. At least, it won’t stink as badly.
And while sweating is natural, it’s not always ideal. Luckily, there are a few natural ways to help. Just remember to use them sparingly, since the point of natural deodorant is to let us live more naturally – sweat included.
Start with wearing moisture wicking materials like linen. You can also use a natural powder like cornstarch to help absorb excess moisture. Natural powders are a great aid during the detox period because, although they help with excess sweat, they won’t clog your pores. You might be tempted to grab your old antiperspirant when you’re headed to the gym, but stick with a natural powder! It will be worth it in the end.
Tips for Making it Work
- Push through because it will be worth it. Around the 2 week mark will be the worst part, but giving up will mean starting back at square one. Don’t give up, you’ve already come this far!
- Try transitioning in the winter. The summer is when we all sweat the most. So getting the detox period out of the way long before hot summer days is ideal. It is much easier to cover an armpit stain on clothing in the winter than it is in the summer. (hello jackets.)
- Reapply, reapply, reapply. You may be used to applying a couple of swipes of antiperspirant first thing in the morning and that’s that. But natural deodorants don’t work like that, especially in the beginning. You might have to swipe a little more on here and there throughout the day. But don’t worry! It won’t get cakey like your old deodorant.
- Take hot showers and baths, and encourage sweat. The more you get your body to sweat the quicker it will flush out toxins and unclog your pores. You can also use antibacterial natural soap while in the shower to keep the area clean and reduce odor later in the day. This won’t be as necessary after the detox period, however.
Overall, the switch to a more natural lifestyle is one everyone should consider making. And although the thought of being sweaty and smelly seems daunting at first, it’s not so bad. It’s only a month or so out of your life. Then you’re antiperspirant-free and healthier than ever.