I Tried a Natural Deodorant for a Month and Here’s What Happened
Before I tell you about my amazing journey from switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, let’s break down what’s the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant.
A deodorant: An underarm product that keeps you smelling fresh. A differentiating factor is that it does not stop you from sweating. Sweat itself doesn’t smell, it’s just water and salt from your body. What’s causing your body to smell is the water and salt interacting with the bacteria on your skin. Deodorants can contain ingredients to prevent bacterial growth to keep you from smelling.
An antiperspirant: An underarm product that contains active ingredients to clog your sweat glands and prevent them from producing sweat (this is not natural!) It usually contains some sort of aluminum compound. Since this is temporary, washing your armpits will remove the product, but sometimes failing to fully clean can cause clogged pores in your underarm.
A natural deodorant: An underarm product that is free from synthetic fragrance (a common irritant or allergen), talcum powder (not proven as a cancer causing ingredient, but it is known as an irritant and allergen), and baking soda (another common irritant). This will work just like any other deodorant, but it is formulated with ingredients that won’t irritate your underarms. Majority, if not all, are vegan!
If you’ve been using an antiperspirant since you hit puberty, chances are that your body is now very much dependent on it. Meaning, if you were to quit using your antiperspirant for a day or two, you would stink like crazy! I have definitely experienced this.
I was tired of having such dark skin under my arms and clogged pores all the time, so I switched to a natural deodorant. After some research and stumbling onto the Kaia Naturals brand, I am now a fan of their Charcoal Deodorant in Lime Mint! I’ve been using their deodorant for 3 months continuously and I’ve noticed a MAJOR difference. My underarms are so much lighter and I don’t even stink anymore! The sweat is still there, but that’s normal. The deodorant keeps me smelling fresh and minty.
What you should know before switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant: Your body will go through a detox stage and it varies from person to person. My detox took 5 (smelly) weeks before my body began to sweat like normal and fully get rid of the toxins. I quit the antiperspirant completely as I was switching to the natural deodorant for 1 full month. On average, it takes about 4 weeks for your body to fully sweat out toxins and the bacteria and reset from using antiperspirants.
Stage 1: Your natural deodorant should probably work like how your old antiperspirant is. In the first week, you probably won’t notice a difference other than the scent or texture of your new natural deodorant. It’s likely there’s still antiperspirant plugging up your pores, preventing you from sweating or smelling, so you may think the natural deodorant isn’t making a difference.
Stage 2: At this point, all the antiperspirant from your underarms are gone and the bacteria is starting to form again. This is where you will stink and sweat the most (this is temporary). This stage lasted about 2 and a half weeks for me; I truly smelled so awful. Don’t fret or toss your deodorant! This is just your body sweating out the toxins that your antiperspirant left behind. What helped me combat it was reapplying my deodorant throughout the day to prevent myself from smelling.
Stage 3: The bacteria will begin to subside around this time, so you’ll begin to smell and sweat less. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t stop smelling around the middle of my 4th week or so, but I did sweat much less.
Stage 4: Your body should be fully acclimated to a natural deodorant by now. It took me about 5 weeks or so to make the switch, but it is so much better for my body!
Improve the condition of your pits!
Ever since I switched to a natural deodorant, my pits have significantly lightened, my pores are no longer constantly being clogged, and underarm waxing has become so much easier.
Natural deodorants don’t contain synthetic fragrance, talc, or baking soda, which are common ingredients that can irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction. Many of them are formulated with natural oils and can soothe the underarm skin.
Understand that sweating is normal
Natural deodorant won’t stop sweat, it’ll just stop the stink, which is okay! Your body needs to sweat to release toxins and keep you cool. The least we can do is to help our pits from smelling. Sweat is a sign of a healthy and balanced body.
A natural deodorant won’t leave stains like antiperspirants do
Those pesky yellow and white stains are gone from my shirts ever since I switched to a natural deodorant. Yay!
My recommend natural deodorants:
I haven’t used much, since I’ve only switched for about 3-4 months, but these are my favorites that have promising ingredients!
Kaia Naturals Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant – Lime Mint, Black Oak & Bourbon, Rose, Juicy Bamboo, Nordic Forst, Sakura Blossom ($10-22)
I’m using the scent in Lime Mint and this deodorant has been going strong! My first natural deodorant and it definitely won’t be my last. I love that it contains charcoal, an ingredient known to pull toxins from your body. Although it looks grey, it goes on clear! It’s also helped with the lightening of my pits.
Farmacy Freshen Up All-Natural Deodorant ($15)
Farmacy gifted me this product! I’ve been using this alongside with the Lime Mint one, mostly after my yoga classes. It works as promised and the size is perfect to toss into my gym bag. The kaolin clay really helps with absorbing excess sweat. This product is also vegan!
Biossance Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant ($14)
This has bamboo extract, similar to Kaia Naturals. It works just as well as the 2 deodorants as mentioned above. My only issue is the scent, a turn off for me but others might love! Aside from that, it does really well at absorbing sweat and keeping you from smelling. Certified vegan, as well.
Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant ($10 at Urban Outfitters, $8 at CVS, $5 at Target, also sold in Whole Foods)
I tried the Bergamot + Lime scent! This has a really refreshing smell, the only issue with this deodorant for me was that it wasn’t long lasting and I found myself applying it often. Yes, this is also vegan!
I hope you make the switch to a natural deodorant! Your body and underarms will thank you. Happy sweating!
Tip: I learned the hard way, but if you decide to switch to a natural deodorant, do it in the winter! You’ll definitely sweat less and smell less while your body is transitioning.
I am not sponsored by any of the brands nor am I affiliated with any of the brands listed above. I was gifted the Farmacy deodorant, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for reading & take care! – xoxo, Annie.