Ahhh, the deodorant controversy. It seems the jury is still out on conventional antiperspirant & deodorant. Does the active ingredient – mainly an aluminum-based compound – contribute to common illnesses such as breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and kidney disease? Some studies insist on a correlation while others do not.
That being said, I have chosen to go the natural route in this area. Studies and statistics aside, it simply doesn’t seem logical to me to use a product which causes aluminum to physically block my sweat glands from doing what they were made to do.
Most natural deodorants utilize plant-based derivatives to neutralize odors. Common ingredients include arrowroot powder, coconut oil, and shea butter. Simple baking soda is also often seen on these labels.
If you have considered switching to natural deodorant but have some concerns, or if you have already made the switch but aren’t pleased with the results, then this post is for you! Before you read further, I encourage you to check out how your current deodorant stacks up here. This is a great resource for all personal care products.
Before you turn back to the conventional stuff, be sure you’re implementing these four easy steps to get the most out of your natural deodorant:
- Do An Armpit Cleanse – Yes, this exists. The paradox with conventional antiperspirant & deodorant is that the more you use, the more you need, and the more you need, the more you use. The aluminum compound actually clogs your sweat glands which may cause increased sweat and odor when this product is suddenly removed from the daily routine. It may be uncomfortable, but I encourage you to push through this phase. Don’t use any product under your arms for two weeks. Once your sweat glands can breathe again, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lack of stink. Most people find that the best time to do this is the fall, winter, or spring, not the dog days of summer…just saying.
- Start With A Clean Slate – After an armpit cleanse is a good time to start using a natural deodorant. Before applying, be sure the skin under your arms in clean. Natural deodorants tend to be thicker, so applying them on top of sweat residue (e.g. – salt) can be irritating for those of us with sensitive skin. Clean skin will also enable the product to have maximum effect.
- Apply the Right Amount – No amount of natural deodorant will stop you from sweating. This is why you’ll never see a legitimate natural company market their product as an “antiperspirant.” There is nothing occurring in nature that will stop your sweat glands from sweating. Dealing with odor as a deodorant, however, is another thing altogether. Remember this when applying your natural deodorant. You are not trying to lock in the sweat with a physical barrier, therefore two or three swipes should do the trick! Applying too much may have the opposite effect.
- Rotate Brands (& Scents) – The best natural deodorants utilize essential oils in order to provide fragrance. Our bodies may assimilate to these oils over time. This is why I recommend rotating between scents and/or brands after each stick. I do both. I enjoy trying all different types, but my three favorites are Primal Pit Paste, Schmidt’s, and Native.
There’s a time and place for extra protection through conventional deodorants – weddings, travel, and the like. However, it is not necessary (or wise) to manually block our sweat glands on a daily basis.
Interested in moving towards a safer personal care routine but not sure where to start? I suggest beginning with deodorant, body lotion, and lip care. These tend not only to be easier switches, but also useful ones as these three items sit for long periods of time on sensitive or porous areas. Visit my business page to learn more.
So why don’t you give something natural a try? Your body will thank you!