Natural deodorants: should I or shouldn’t I?

Have you been thinking about switching to a natural deodorant but just don’t know where to start? After all, it’s something you probably use at least once a day and if you get it wrong, you’re stuck with unfortunate odours and uncomfortable armpits. Make this sometimes frustrating personal-care experience easier by understanding the change and following a few simple techniques to ease your transition to a more natural and organic routine.

The first thing to remember is that sweating is a healthy body function, it is the most efficient way your body has to remove toxins; when you use an antiperspirant, you’re clogging the pores of your underarms, preventing you from sweating at all in that region.

Switching to a natural deodorant means you may notice more dampness, which is normal, particularly the first few days when your body is trying to clear out the pores that have been blocked for so long.

Fortunately by switching, you can also avoid unsightly sweat stains and yellow discolouration on your clothes, since they’re caused by your odourless, colourless sweat reacting to the aluminium in antiperspirants. Body odour, on the other hand, is the result of your sweat interacting with natural bacteria on your skin, causing rapid multiplication and breaking your sweat down into acids, and this is what you’re trying to prevent.

Most natural deodorants contain baking soda, which is what fights the BO-causing bacteria without clogging your pores. It may cause irritation due to your natural pH balance being thrown off so if you have sensitive skin, you might prefer to try a baking soda-free natural deodorant.

Making the switch:It’s not uncommon for people to try switching from aluminium-based antiperspirant to natural deodorant without giving their underarms a break in between, then experiencing discomforting reactions like rashes or irritation. Sometimes it can be helpful to do a detox when experiencing these symptoms.

 Essentially this means going without deodorant for a few days to rid any chemical accumulation from the body and let your pores clear out to start functioning normally again. If you’re uncomfortable being around people without wearing deodorant, try to plan your detox for when you have some downtime at home. Any rash that occurs should then subside.As part of your ongoing routine, if you currently shave in the morning before applying deodorant, try to switch to shaving the night before.

This allows your skin to settle overnight and will help you to avoid irritation and rashes when applying your deodorant the following morning. If you are experiencing a rash after the detox period or without shaving, it can be due to a pH sensitivity.

If you are experiencing pH sensitivity, we recommend doing the following:  

  1. Moisten a towel with warm water and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Pat your underarms with it well. 
  3. Apply your deodorant.

Lastly remember that just as finding your preferred antiperspirant might have taken a few tries, finding the ideal natural deodorant can sometimes be the same. Consider your personal requirements and activity levels and remember that your best natural deodorant will prevent body odour while letting your underarms breathe.