Every year, Americans spend a whopping $18 billion of deodorant!
Ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you that deodorant is a necessity. They probably even have a favorite deodorant brand.
The problem, though, is that a lot of people don’t know much (if anything) about what’s in their favorite deodorant.
Deodorants can contain a lot of questionable chemicals which, when you apply them on a daily basis, can cause a variety of health problems. As more information comes out about these potential risks, many people are switching to natural deodorant.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about using a natural deodorant and how you can find the best one for your needs.
Natural Deodorant vs Conventional Deodorant
First things first, let’s clarify some of the differences between conventional deodorants (the ones you can find on any drugstore shelf) and natural deodorants.
Conventional deodorants typically contain a variety of potentially harmful ingredients, including the following:
- Aluminum compounds: These act as an antiperspirant, but they’ve also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and can also throw off your body’s estrogen levels
- Parabens: These act as a preservative, but they can also act like estrogen in the body and unbalance hormone levels
- Steareths: These are additives that are potentially carcinogenic
- Triclosan: This is a pesticide used to kill bacteria; it also has the potential to be carcinogenic
- Propylene glycol: This acts as an antiperspirant but can also irritate the skin
- Fragrance: Artificial fragrances can act like estrogen in the body, and they may also cause headaches and migraines
- Artificial colors: These can be carcinogenic and can irritate the skin
Clearly, there are lots of reasons to avoid conventional deodorants. Natural deodorants (the good ones, at least) are free from these problematic ingredients.
If they don’t contain any of these ingredients, what kind of ingredients to natural deodorants contain?
Every formula is a bit different of course, but most natural deodorants contain a combination of the following ingredients:
- Natural oils like coconut oil or tallow: This is the base of the deodorant
- A powder or starch like baking soda or arrowroot: This helps to absorb wetness and kill off odor-causing bacteria
- Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or lemon: These add a natural, non-toxic scent and also have antibacterial properties
- A natural wax, such as beeswax: This helps the deodorant maintain its form and texture
These ingredients are a lot less scary, right? They’re all pronounceable and easy-to-recognize. Why wouldn’t you want to switch to natural deodorant?
Transitioning to Natural Deodorant
Many people complain when they first switch to natural deodorant. They find that they sweat more or don’t smell as good as they used to and claim that the product doesn’t work.
What they don’t account for, though, is the fact that it takes the body a little while to adjust to a new deodorant. Your body has to detox from the old, chemical-laden product you were using before, and this takes time.
If your workout clothes a bit sweatier than usual after making the switch, don’t immediately discount the deodorant. Here are some tips that will help you through the transition phase:
- Clean up your diet first: Before you make the switch, cut out sugar, processed foods, and pungent foods like garlic and onions.
- Support your detox organs: Give your liver and kidneys some love with Epsom salt baths, sauna sessions, and plenty of good old-fashioned water.
- Detox your underarms: You can try using a clay mask on your underarms to detox them directly and extract pore-clogging compounds.
- Switch to a natural soap: Using a natural soap can also help to detox your underarms more quickly.
- Minimize stress: The less stress you have in your life, the better you’ll feel during this transition.
- Get active: Don’t be afraid to sweat — by working out regularly, you can help your body to detoxify more quickly.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a much easier time transitioning to a natural deodorant. It can be a bit inconvenient, but isn’t your health worth it in the end?
How to Choose a Natural Deodorant
Okay, you’re prepared for the transition period and you’re ready to make the switch. How do you choose the right deodorant for your needs?
These guidelines will help you sift through all the different natural deodorants on the market and find the perfect product:
Read the Ingredients Label
Before you purchase any deodorant, flip it over and read the ingredient label and make sure it’s free from any of the problematic ingredients listed above. Steer clear of any products that don’t list their ingredients, just to be safe.
Consider Your Specific Needs
Think about your specific needs, too. For example, if you struggle with excessive hair growth, you might want to find a deodorant that also contains a hair inhibitor.
Read Online Reviews
Do your research and find out what people are saying about specific deodorant brands. Check third-party review sites to see which deodorants people like best and why they like them.
Avoid Baking Soda if You Have Sensitive Skin
Baking soda isn’t an inherently harmful ingredient. But, if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to stick to products that don’t contain any baking soda — look for ones that use arrowroot instead.
Finally, remember to be patient. It might take a couple of tries for you to find the right deodorant for your needs.
Remember, too, that you’ll need to give your body a week or so to detox. Don’t count a brand out until you’ve made it through the detox period.
Looking for More Skin Care Tips?
You now know how to keep yourself smelling sweet all day long. And, you also don’t have to worry about exposing yourself to harmful chemicals — it’s a win-win!
Switching to a natural deodorant is a great first step.
There are lots of other things you can do, too, to improve your skin health so that you look and feel your best.
Are you interested in learning about other skin care strategies? Start by checking out this article on solutions for common skin conditions.