When it comes to natural deodorants, there is a great divide between those who swear by them and those who avoid them like a plague. For the latter, it’s perhaps the misconception that natural deodorants don’t actually work, leaving you smelly and all-around gross. (I’ve had a friend once tell me, “I really want to go the natural route, but I can’t go on a date like that!”)
But for those who do prefer going the natural route, what they’ll tell you is this: 1) natural deodorants don’t include controversial ingredients like aluminum or phthalates, both of which are chemicals that have been said to have adverse health effects, though, according to the American Cancer Society, there is “very little scientific evidence to support this claim”, 2) your body needs to sweat to regulate its temperature and get rid of toxins, 3) the majority of natural deodorants are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly and 4) you won’t have to worry about those yellow stains on your white shirts, which are caused by aluminum mixing with sweat.
Now, making the switch from conventional to a natural deodorant isn’t easy. You will experience some odour breakthrough as your body sweats more and begins to adjust to the new routine. But according to Mary Futher, founder of Kaia Naturals (the makers of the Takesumi Detox Charcoal Deodorant), this is totally normal. And though the transition is difficult, it’s worthwhile to stick with it.
“What most people don’t know is that underarms go through a detox phase (approximately four weeks long) when they transition from antiperspirant to natural deodorant,” Futher explains. “That’s because antiperspirants — which are loaded with harmful ingredients, including aluminum — block sweat glands, thereby trapping toxins within the body. When you make the change to natural deodorant, your underarms are finally free to breathe.”
Of course, there are some other tricks you can use to keep odour at bay. Washing regularly, obviously, is one (I’ve once been told clay soap is the key to making the switch to natural deodorant successful, and though I cannot back this claim up yet since I have yet to try, it may be worth a shot), as is drinking plenty of water because, you know, you’ll be sweating a lot more. Exfoliating is also said to help keep your natural deodorant working and dry brushing and massaging will help increase circulation. It is also advised to wear loose clothing made from natural materials (cotton, linen or bamboo for example) to smell fresher for longer.
If you really want to make some lifestyle changes, you can try a “cleaner” diet sans beef, pork, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods. Leafy greens are said to combat body odour and probiotics and apple cider vinegar (to help aid digestion) can also help. Exercise can also help speed up the process because you’ll be sweating even more. Finally, just be sure to apply your deodorant on clean, dry skin as often as necessary for best results.
Ready to make the switch? Check out some of the most popular natural deodorants below:
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