Don’t Sweat It — How to Make the Switch to Natural Deodorant

Using deodorant has been second nature to us since puberty, with most of us using the same brands for years. If you think about it, you probably choose your deodorant based on scent vs ingredients. You also may have noticed the growing negative stigma around deodorant… this is because about two years ago, there was a lot of talk about research linking antiperspirant // deodorant chemicals to cancer + Alzheimers on account of increased estrogen levels from aluminum in the products. This definitely gave everyone a scare [we use deodorant every single day…], BUT there’s actually not conclusive research to prove these claims. The only good thing about making everyone go on an *anti-deodorant spree* was that it opened up the natural deodorant conversation + market.

We don’t recommend making the switch to natural based merely on the above claims — but, it can be a good idea to generally decrease the number of chemicals you’re putting on + in your body! This post will take you through the why + how to switch to natural deodorant if that’s something you want to try —

Traditional antiperspirants + deodorants are filled with chemicals such as aluminum + parabens. They work by closing your pores to prevent sweat, but this can actually be really bad for the skin as sweating is natural [it’s your body’s way of naturally releasing toxins]! Sweat doesn’t actually smell, as it’s just water + salt. By closing your pores to prevent sweat, bacteria can build up underneath the skin, both good + bad. A build-up of bad bacteria mixed with sweat it is what actually causes B.O. Aluminum can also cause an acidic reaction to some fabrics, which is shown by the sweat stains in some of your clothes. So, even though it can’t be proved your deodorant can increase your risk of diseases, it is known some of the ingredients are bad for your health in general.

I switched to using a natural deodorant about a month ago. The brand I started with was Love, Beauty, + Planet which I found at Target. It’s recommended to go *au naturale* for a few days before making the switch, but if you’re like me, that wasn’t possible — so, I switched without any prep. At first, my underarms got really itchy // red // extra smelly, but I was determined to make the switch, so I read more about natural deodorant *side-effects*. I found out your body can go into a deodorant detox when you make the switch, causing irritation + extra sweat // smells. What.

After researching what exactly this detoxing period meant [your body // skin is getting used to not having the chemicals, as well as your pores being allowed to finally open // breathe], I decided to try a clay mask. like this one [it was really weird to experience at first] + continued to use my deodorant. After another few days of irritation, I decided to try a different brand, but in the meantime, I used a moisturizer with lavender + tea tree essential oils to help calm the itchiness + irritation. I applied the deodorant + then the oil // moisturizer mixture morning + night for a few days + my skin felt a little bit better as a result.

After switching to a new brand, Tom’s [purchased at Rite Aid], my irritation started to go away but after a week it still wasn’t 100% comfortable. I also started to notice my skin was getting darker. This is normal, on account of the baking soda found in most natural products — the discoloration will go away after switching to a different brand // type of deo. I still kept using this brand until I stumbled upon Native at Target + decided to give it a try. It’s been about 1-2 weeks since I’ve made the switch to Native ++ the irritation is gone + my skin is back to its normal color, as well as normal sweating // smell.

Natural deodorants have a reputation for *not working*. While this can be true [do your research on brands // reviews] for some people // skin types, additional sweat or smell coming after your switch might just be because your body is still in the detox stage // needs to get used to the natural ingredients.

As mentioned in my story, it can take a while to find a brand or formula that works for you. If you’re making the switch to natural, give it a week or two for your body to get used to the change before ruling it out. There are also a lot of DIY deodorant recipes out there, so if you’re serious about making the switch, don’t get discouraged if things are 100% in the beginning!

Have you switched to using natural beauty products? Let us know your favorite brands in the comments!

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  • Jordan

    I just started making the switch as well. I’m using Kopari Coconut Oil deodorant and it’s amazing!!!! The only side effect I’m having is more sweat, but they sent me a little guide and said after Week 4 I should be totally adjusted! I swear by it!

    • Ashleigh

      Yes!!! I’ve hesrd of this brand ++ really want to try it. It definitely is a BIG adjustment, but now, a month+ in, I’m so so happy I made the switch!

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