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Interested in switching to a natural deodorant? I’m sharing my transition experience and some tips to help you find the perfect one!
About a year ago I decided to make the change from standard deodorants to aluminium-free and natural deodorants. At the time, I was pretty naïve about what was to come! I figured most natural deodorants would work in much the same fashion as chemical laden ones. Boy was I wrong!
The transition has certainly been anything but smooth! Having said that, through trial and error I have now found a few products that I love and I will never go back. But before we talk about what worked, let’s go all the way back to the beginning of my quest for the perfect natural deodorant…
So why did I decide to change in the first place?
I’d been reading a lot about the different chemicals found in our everyday deodorants and the effects applying aluminium under your arms could have. I’ll preface this by saying that currently there is no definitive research on the effect of aluminium in deodorants or evidence that it can be detrimental to our health.
Some experts, however, are worried that certain compounds in antiperspirant and deodorants could cause or contribute to developmental or reproductive issues, as well as cancer.
They highlight concerns with 5 main ingredients found in regular deodorants:
Given that there isn’t any conclusive evidence that has been found that correlates the use of regular deodorants to any issues or diseases, I merely made a personal decision to cut these chemicals out in a bid to live a healthier lifestyle.
And I’m sharing my story to help those who want to make the change too. If you don’t, that’s 100% ok by me!
A bumpy (and smelly) ride
The first few months of my natural deodorant quest were stinky. Very, very stinky! But having said that I had found that on a hot sweaty day I’d be stinky using normal deodorants so I can’t say this is specifically a “natural deodorant” problem!
Before I found the right products for me, B.O. was common place and progressively got worse during the day, even if I reapplied multiple times! The worst part was, this wasn’t even due to vigorous physical activity. I felt like one big, smelly mess!
As well as being stinky, I suffered through underarm rashes for many months during my transition! This led me to go back and forth between natural deodorants and regular deodorants for a while because I just couldn’t understand why it was happening. And the reason? Baking soda! Most natural deodorants contain baking soda, and some more than others. Some people never experience a rash at all. Others, like me, have big, red, angry pits that flare up regularly!
I would recommend discontinuing use immediately if you do find yourself getting a rash. I would also recommend only shaving your underarms at night and not applying any deodorant. Freshly shaved pits can be easily irritated and you can handle possibly smelling while you sleep I’m sure!
You’ll also find that most of the bigger names in natural deodorant tend to offer a “baking soda free” or “minimal baking soda” product which is worth trying if you are susceptible to rashes. I now tend to go for these products first given my experiences!
The other thing that worked for me when I was transitioning was an armpit detox product I found. Look, I was extremely sceptical that it would help one bit BUT I haven’t had a rash for months since I’ve used it and I’ve tried a bunch of different deodorants since (and not just one’s without baking soda LOL).
Sweat it out
One big change I noticed after switching to natural deodorants is that I sweat. There’s a belief that has been drummed into us that sweat is bad and we must use antiperspirants to prevent sweat. Your body actually needs to sweat. Sweating allows your body to regulate its temperature.
Having said that, getting used to sweating was an adjustment for me. I became very aware of the materials I was wearing and started to layer more in winter! Nothing worse than overheating and having two huge sweat patches under your arms!
Another thing I was surprised to learn was that sweat doesn’t actually cause body odour! The bacteria that builds up in our armpits does! Most natural deodorants contain baking soda or other ingredients that are used to kill odour rather than mask it! This makes such a difference. I had found that when I used regular deodorants I’d always smell like a nice mixture of B.O. and whatever fragrance their deodorant had at the end of the day!
Once I found the right natural deodorant for me, even after an intense workout all I could smell was the faint hint of deodorant – NO B.O.!! Whilst I might have struggled through a few months of trial and error on different products, in the end it was certainly worth it to be finally stink free!
3 tips for transitioning to natural deodorant:
1. Invest in a good product (and believe the hype)
If you have ever looked at some of the bigger names in the natural deodorant space you know you are looking at between $10-$20 for a product. Given that most of the normal deodorant brands are between the $3-$5 mark, this is a huge adjustment. But if you try to skimp here and buy a cheaper product just because it’s cheaper there is no guarantee it will be as effective. In fact, I did this when I started and it was a huge fail. On average, my favourite brands cost me about $15 and the product lasts around 3 months, with most days applying twice.
As for the hype – if a natural deodorant is popular, there is probably a reason for it. Trust the many brave souls that have walked this stinky path before you and try one of the cult favourites. I wish I had started there!
2. Keep it clean
It’s important to keep your underarms clean and to apply the deodorant to a clean pit. Wash thoroughly in the shower and dry properly before applying. Also let the deodorant dry before putting on clothing to avoid staining.
3. Give it time
Many companies warn of the armpit detox when moving to natural deodorants. There can be an adjustment period and this can include getting a little stinky. My general rule of thumb for any products I try is to use it for 3 weeks. Of course, if you are getting a rash, discontinue use immediately. Otherwise, give it a good go before moving on to make sure your body has had time to get used to it!
Cassie’s ultimate guide to natural deodorants
I am currently putting together a huge post that includes ALL the natural deodorants I’ve tried and my thoughts on them. Everyone’s individual experience is different but I know my journey was made a lot easier from people sharing their HONEST opinions on the products they’ve tried.