Try an Armpit Detox Before Switching to Natural Deodorant
If you’re moving toward a more nontoxic way of living, changing out your antiperspirant or deodorant for a more natural product can be one of the more intimidating swaps.
Natural Deodorants & Armpit Detoxing
No one wants to be the source of BO in the room. Luckily, there are several different types of natural deodorant to choose from. But first, deep clean those pits.
Why you should switch to a natural deodorant.
Many conventional and top-brand deodorants contain ingredients that are linked to health and wellness issues. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease linked aluminum-based antiperspirants to a 60% increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Not only does the risk of Alzheimer’s increase, but the University of Reading in the UK found that many breast cancers are correlated with the “increase in the use of chemical cosmetics, including antiperspirant.” Research is ongoing in this area, as definitive proof of these claims is still in the works. But if reducing your risk of cancer or Alzheimer’s could be reduced by simply changing your deodorant, why not?
Prevention isn’t the only benefit of moving on to a more natural deodorant. There are also great ingredients in natural deodorants that could boost your feeling of wellness, helping you find that great balance and chi in your life.
For example, charcoal is one of the top ingredients in cosmetics, deodorant included. It can absorb around a thousand times its own weight in moisture, helping you achieve a less sweaty pit, and it can even help aid gastrointestinal issues.
Natural deodorants are also champs at soothing your skin. They contain plant-based moisturizers like shea butter, olive oil, and mineral-rich clay that help improve that delicate skin under your arms. Witch hazel, which shrinks pores and soothes irritated skin, is another common ingredient in natural deodorants.
Active ingredients in natural deodorants.
Many natural deodorants contain similar ingredients. So when you pick up your first natural deodorant and look at the ingredients label, you’ll probably see some of these ingredients:
- Natural oils: This forms the base of a deodorant stick. Coconut oil is one of the most common oils used.
- Powder or starch: This is for absorption and odor control. Baking soda or arrowroot absorb wetness and kill bacteria that causes odor. The powder is the most important ingredient, really! Without it—deodorant doesn’t work.
- Essential oils: Essential oils have two purposes: they have antibacterial properties, and they also add a lovely natural scent (think lemongrass and lavender).
- Wax: This is for texture. Beeswax or candelilla wax are common, and they add the waxy, glossy consistency you’re used to.
More than just a stick: Natural deodorant options.
Just like the antiperspirants you’re used to, natural deodorants come in different types. They go on differently and use different, plant-based ingredients. You may want to try several different kinds as you’re making the switch. Here are four common types of natural deodorants:
- Wipes: They’re not the most environmentally friendly, but single-use disposable wipes are convenient for on-the-go re-applications.
- Crystals: Crystal deodorants are made out of mineral salts. They are great for people with sensitive skin.
- Solids: This is the typical stick or roll-on variety that most people use. There are plenty of options online and in stores, giving you the ability to choose your favorite ingredients and natural scents.
- Scented vs Unscented: Most natural deodorants use essential oils for scent, but you can find them unscented if that works best for you. With natural personal care products, you’ll find this clearly marked on the package.
Armpit detox: Why it's the first step to going natural.
Many people find detoxing their pits before switching to a natural deodorant improves its effectiveness right away. Why? Those antiperspirants you’ve been using have been literally blocking the pores in your skin. Giving them a good cleaning will allow your new deodorant to do its job better. It removes that sticky buildup and cleans your pores.
There are two ways you can detox your underarms, and you can do them both! First—simply take a good, natural soap and scrub, scrub, scrub (many people recommend a soap with citrus or lavender). Spend some time cleaning out those pores and preparing them for a more natural remedy to odor.
The other method takes just three ingredients, and you probably have at least two of them at home already.
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons of water
Mix it all together in a glass bowl with a non-metal utensil. It should resemble the thickness of yogurt when you’re done. Spread it on your underarms and leave it for a few minutes until dry. Rinse it off thoroughly with warm water. Repeat the process each day for 3-5 days, increasing the time you leave it on each day. Make sure you use a light moisturizer afterward.
Don’t worry if your armpits turn red. That’s normal. But if you have any other reactions to the clay, wash it off immediately.
Expectations of natural deodorant.
A natural deodorant is going to act differently than the antiperspirant you’ve been using for years. Keep these things in mind when you switch. There is a difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. It’s all in the name, really: Deodorant helps prevent the stink, but not the sweat. You will feel more sweat under your arms, but the deodorant helps block body odor. An antiperspirant blocks your glands, preventing your body’s ability to sweat. (Doesn’t sound good, right?!) A deodorant fights the bacteria in your armpits that causes body odor.
This might take some getting used to. (Expect several weeks where you sweat more than normal and need to reapply more frequently.) But trust us—the switch is worth it.