I first made the switch to natural deodorant a few years ago after learning of the potentially dangerous health effects of many of the ingredients in mainstream deodorant brands from things like allergies and skin conditions to a possible link with breast cancer…. Eek!
As any natural beauty crusader would be well aware of, making the switch from a chemical based product to a natural one often involves a journey of discovery about your own body you weren’t necessarily prepared for.
Whilst our body is almost always healthier thanks to us making the change, it also has to go through a process of detoxification and rebalancing it’s natural healthy composition that many find a little on the gross side.
In this article we will talk you through all of the pit-falls (pardon the pun!) and their solutions when making the switch to natural deodorant.
Pit-fall #1 OMG I am sweating so much!
If you are used to wearing an anti-perspirant deodorant you will also be used to clogging your sweat glands with aluminium to minimise the amount you sweat. The problem with this is that sweating is one of your body’s natural ways of detoxifying you, even the cleanest & greenest of us still have a need for natural detoxification systems in our body. When you make the switch to natural deodorant your body starts to sweat & detoxify again, and if you have been been using that nasty chemical deodorant for a long time it’s going to have a lot of detoxifying to do! This is the reason why you may experience a significant increase in sweating when you first start using your natural deodorant. But never fear, this will likely slow down to an acceptable level once your body feels it has excreted the majority of the toxic build up in your armpits. For some people it may be a matter of a week or two, for others it may be more. Be patient & remember this is a healthy response.
Pit-fall #2 I smell bad
Yuk. We get that this is enough to put you off making the switch to natural… but your body is going to love you if you can ride it out! You see, the initial surge in detoxification that happens when you first start using a natural deodorant can mean you are literally dumping toxins and all sorts of foul-smelling chemicals from the sweat glands in your armpits. Again be patient & remember this side-effect is actually helping you toward being healthier and will most likely calm down when your body gets back into its natural rhythm and balance. My personal favourite deodorants are cream deodorants, they gets me through the most intense situations.
Pit-fall #3 My armpits are red, bumpy & irritated
Hmmmm… this can be due to a few reasons:
+ you are applying the deodorant directly after shaving or exfoliating. Due to the high levels of essential oils in natural deodorants they can cause irritation to the small abrasions in the skin caused by shaving or exfoliating. We recommend shaving and exfoliating at night before bed and waiting to apply your natural deodorant until the following morning.
+ if you are still experiencing redness, itchiness and irritation it could also be that you have a sensitivity to sodium bicarbonate, one of the active ingredients in many natural deodorants. If this is you we recommend trying a sensitive skin deodorant like Early Spring from the Nourished Daily collection or the Barrier Booster from Black Chicken.
Pit-fall #4 My armpits are getting dark!
This is an extremely rare side-effect that we occasionally hear about when using natural deodorants that contain sodium bicarbonate & it usually happens in people with darker skin tones. It can initially be concerning but rest assured it is painless and reversible. Dip a lemon wedge in your sugar jar and gently rub it all over the affected area for a few minutes before showering. This will both exfoliate the darkened skin cells and act to brighten the new skin. If the discolouration continues despite this technique then you can stop using the deodorant and in time your armpits will return to their normal shade.
Pit-fall #5 My clothes are stained
Ok so this doesn’t happen often but if it does it can be annoying… especially if it happens to your favourite blouse! In most cases of staining from natural deodorant it is because too much is being used. Most natural deodorant is highly concentrated with natural clays and essential oils and as such you only need to use a very small amount. But if you are wearing clothing that is particularly tight under the arms you will still run the risk of marking. But don’t fear, most of the time these stains can be easily removed with washing with normal detergent. For more delicate fabrics you will need to consult your green dry-cleaner for advice.
Ready to make the switch??!! You can check out our favorite options of natural deodorant here.