Natural deodorant is one of my top recommendations for anyone. And I have no doubt that you’ve heard over and over how important it is to switch to natural products. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. It can be hard to know where to start in your search and what ingredients to look out for. Not to mention it’s hard to know if the more natural product will even work for you. Why not just stick to the product you already know and love? Even if it isn’t even remotely green.
That’s why I wanted to create this little series to cover different products and how to best switch them to natural. I’ll outline all sorts of tips and tricks (as well as my favorite brands) to take the guesswork out of the process. Natural skin care doesn’t have to be some big mystery and I want to help you to success. So let’s dive right in!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links keep this blog up and running, so thanks!
Why Make the Switch to Natural Deodorant
It’s easy for me to tell you that natural deodorant is important. But I want to outline a few major concerns with the current deodorant you’re using. I don’t want you making any skin care routine decisions without knowing the reasons for those decisions. Being informed is one of the more important things you can do in any situation.
The Science of Sweat
I’m going to keep this brief. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. We have eccrine glands all over which sweat when the temperature rises and helps lower your core temperature and cool you down (super awesome). But then the apocrine glands are found where there are dense areas of hair such as your armpits and groin. These glands are the ones that cause body odor. However its not the sweat that smells, its the bacteria living on the surface of our skin that causes all that stinky odor. Let me repeat that: your sweat doesn’t smell.
This bacteria is effected by a number of factors from stress, your medications, the food you eat, refined sugars in your diet, medical conditions, and the deodorant you use. Yes, the deodorant you choose can actually make you stink more. In fact researchers have found that the use of antiperspirants actually caused higher levels of Actinobacteria which is one of the culprits of the stinkiest pits. The aluminum found in antiperspirants would kill off more of the less odor-causing bacteria which would only create a better space for the stinky bacteria to thrive instead. Oh the irony.
Not So Green Ingredients
When I made the switch to natural, I was most concerned with the aluminum found in my antiperspirant. I was using a clinical strength antiperspirant at the time which uses aluminum to block your sweat glands. However all that does is keep all that lovely sweat in your body. To me, sweating is our body removing toxins from our system and for years I kept all those toxins locked up in my pits. Looking back, that doesn’t make any sense to me. Not to mention the danger of applying aluminum to our sensitive arm pits every day. A place where our lymph nodes can be found, a organ that plays an important part in our immune system.
Once I learned about aluminum and it’s connection to issues with breast cancer, (and took five seconds to think about how I apply my deodorant right next to my breasts), it was a no brainer for me to stop using it.
Tips and Tricks to Natural Deodorant
As someone who is exceptionally sweaty, I can tell you that switching to natural deodorant was a long process for me. However I’ve gathered a number of awesome tips and tricks to make the process easier and help regulate the bacteria in your armpits to have you smelling fresh. It’s going to take a bit of time to balance out your armpits after using antiperspirants for so long. But with the methods I outline below you’ll be detoxed in no time.
Masks aren’t only for your face people! Your pits need some love too! I love this mask because in the beginning I think it’s a bit overwhelming for your body to go from it’s usual products to something much lighter and more natural. Made from Benonite clay and Apple Cider Vinegar, it does a wonderful job of pulling the toxins out of your armpit with the clay and balancing things out with the vinegar. I recommend doing it once a month in the beginning but eventually slowing down to once every few months. It will become more necessary in the summer when sweating is a daily (hourly..every second) occurrence just to keep you feeling fresh. For the full recipe, check out this post.
Cover More Ground
Now this trick is as simple as it gets. For your old antiperspirant, you only had to use it right in the middle of your armpit to help yourself not sweat. But now that we’re not blocking things and are instead focused on balancing the bacteria to keep the stink at bay, we need to use a different method. Using your natural deodorant, you have to cover more ground and make sure you apply to all of the surface around your armpit, up your arm and down your torso. This will help balance out all the bacteria and keep you feeling fresh.
Apple Cider Vinegar is Your Friend
I’m a self proclaimed vinegar hater. I cannot stand the smell and you’ll never find me eating pickles. However apple cider vinegar is a wonderful product and despite it’s smell I use it regularly. It’s perfect to use in your armpits as a daily treatment (I use it before bed) because it does a wonderful job of balancing the pH of my skin and helping get rid of the bad bacteria making me stink. Yes, it will make you smell like vinegar when you use it. But the smell fades off rather quickly so don’t fret. I also add a drop or two of Tea Tree to add some extra power to this treatment.
How to: Apply some vinegar to a cotton pad and make sure to dilute it with water from your sink tap. Think 50/50 vinegar and water. Then take the cotton pad and swipe it in both pits, making sure to cover the full area. Don’t be stingy!
Use your Body Heat
Natural deodorant inherently has a different consistency than the deodorant you’re likely used to. In order to help it spread onto your armpit more smoothly, I recommend holding the deodorant stick against your skin for a few seconds before spreading it. This will help it melt due to your body temperature and make it easier to glide onto your pit (and the surrounding area).
Sensitive Skin May Struggle
Where are all my sensitive skin friends at?? Now keep in mind – this may be you but you just don’t know it yet. Most natural deodorants have baking soda in them and when you’re switching to natural you may struggle. When applying your brand new deodorant, you may find that one or both armpits start to get painful red sores. It absolutely sucks and you’ll probably want to give up immediately. But it’s just the baking soda that’s aggravating your pits and you’ll need a deodorant without it. Most brands have a line of “sensitive” natural deodorants that are formulated without the baking soda for this exact problem. Just make the switch and you’ll be fine!
Natural fix: In order to help those painful red sores go away, stop applying the baking soda full deodorat and apply some coconut oil to the spot. Coconut oil is calming and anti-bacterial so it will clear up the spot in no time.
My Favorite Brands of Natural Deodorant
There are so many brands out there and as someone who’s super stinky and super sweaty, I’ve tried so very many. I’ll admit, I haven’t found my perfect fit yet but I have a lot of awesome recommendations for you guys.
Native is the deodorant I’ve used most. I fell in love with the Bergamot Grapefruit scent and have used it consistently even though I definitely need a baking soda free deodorant. They have some of the most unique scents which really pulled me in. They often have seasonal scents too that are perfect for whatever season it is (last year they had a pineapple one -heart eye-). Not to mention their packaging is so gorgeous (these are things designers look for in products..). I’m going to try their sensitive formula soon.
This deodorant drew my attention because they boasted a unique formula that involved activated charcoal to help absorb your sweat. I enjoyed every second of using this deodorant up until I lost it on vacation -tears-. However I think I was a little too stinky for this deodorant so it didn’t always keep my smell at bay. They did have a cool deodorant paste that might be ideal for someone who wants to expand beyond the usual stick deodorant.
This is a brand of natural deodorant that can be found at your local Target store. I’ve not personally tried it, but it comes strongly recommended in the green beauty community. It’s also crazy affordable so it would be a good brand to try as an introduction to natural deodorant.
This is another brand of natural deodorant that can be found at your local Target store. I wanted to give you some local options that you wouldn’t have to go searching all over kingdom come to purchase. I’ve not tried this deodorant either but it’s a wonderful option to try when first switching to natural.
This is hands down my favorite deodorant brand. It’s the first one that hasn’t made my sensitive armpits raw and the jasmine tea scent smells so divine. I got the travel size multi pack so I can try all of the different scents (the coconut pineapple one is pretty nice too.) Not to mention.. who doesn’t love little baby version of things?
I hope this post helped answer some of the questions and concerns you have about natural deodorant. If you want some more help making the switch to natural products, check out my free Routine Refresh Guidebook here. If you ever have any question, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
- Dr. Mercola – [link]