Over the past few years, it seems the narrative around natural deodorant has become increasingly mainstream. Everyone is becoming more and more aware of the dangers of antiperspirants, as most contain aluminum which can be a risk factor for breast cancer and also because our bodies are meant to perspire and by their nature antiperspirants inhibit that process, creating toxic buildup in our bodies which can mess with our hormones.
And while it seems there is a new natural deodorant product launched to market every day, it is still a very daunting switch to make. Let’s be real, no one wants wet underarms and certainly no one wants to smell like a teenage boy after football practice.
I’m not gonna sugarcoat it: that can be the case during the transition phase. Not guaranteed, and likely not as dramatic as you fear, but to a certain extent – yes. You’ll be a little wet and there will be some BO involved as your body detoxes and adjusts.
But it is absolutely worth it. Not just due to the dangers of antiperspirants (of which there are many) but with regular use, natural deodorants can actually help your body regulate your sweat production so that you perspire less! And when you do, it doesn’t smell nearly as bad. Yes please, sign me up!
That, my friends, is why now – during quarantine – is the perfect time to switch to natural deodorant. We aren’t going out, we don’t have any important work meetings, social gatherings, or date nights to attend, and everyone has basically accepted that appearances are at the bottom of the list for the time being. We may never (pray we never) have another case like this where we are at home for such an extended period of time – so take advantage!
The other day I asked for your questions on Instagram regarding making the switch and am answering them all below – 100% honestly.
What to Expect When Transitioning to Natural Deodorant
How long will it take?
Typically anywhere from 7 to 14 days but it can be less! It took me about 5 or 6 days.
How bad will I sweat/smell?
This really depends on the person, their hormonal system, how clogged up their pores are, how much they typically sweat, etc, but I won’t lie – you will sweat and you will stink. For me this phase lasted about 4 days and while it wasn’t unbearable by any means, it was definitely uncomfortable and made me self-conscious.
I’ve heard for some, natural deodorant with baking soda can be irritating or lead to a rash. What are some others?
That is true. Most natural deodorants contain baking soda to neutralize odor-causing bacteria and it can be irritating for some skin types. (This article provides more info and is really helpful.) Look for formulations with lower levels of baking soda or one without any at all.
Primally Pure makes my favorite natural deodorant and it has been specifically formulated with lower amounts of baking soda so that it will not cause irritation for the vast majority of people. However, if you want to go the no baking soda route, I’ve heard good things about the Kopari one and the Necessaire one (though I can’t personally vouch for either as I haven’t tried them).
What made you want to switch to natural deodorant?
After reading this book, I was committed to cleaning up my beauty and skincare practices and I figured deodorant was the best place to start. At the time I was using a clinical strength one and still sweating a ton so I was terrified, but once I knew how harmful the ingredients were, I couldn’t bring myself to use it anymore. I knew that my hormonal health (and thus my fertility) were on the line and that was the motivation I needed.
Spoiler alert: 3 months after switching to natural deodorant and clean beauty, I was pregnant after a miscarriage and over a year of trying to conceive – so yeah, I think it made a difference and was absolutely worth it. See also: “How I Balanced My Hormones Naturally in 3 Months”
How many different natural deodorants did you try before you found one you liked?
I tried three. One from CVS (I think it was Tom’s), Native, and one other I forget. Finally I tried Primally Pure (I had heard amazing things but the price kept me from ordering) and I have never looked back.
Finding the right natural deodorant *for you* can be a process, so don’t get discouraged! What one person swears by you may hate (me with Native even though I love their body wash!) Our bodies are all so different and so unique that we can’t expect there to be a one size fits all approach.
Did you do anything to detox during the switch and do you think it’s necessary?
I did a “pit detox” which I will explain below and I think it was very helpful so I do recommend! It is incredibly simple so it’s worth a try at the very least!
How to Do a Pit Detox to Aid in the Transition
Right before I made the switch, I found an article on doing “a pit detox” and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It sounds a bit crazy but the idea is to aid your body in detoxing in order to speed up the transition process – aka less days of stink and sweat. To pull the toxins out so that you don’t have to sweat them out.
Here’s what you do: take some sort of charcoal/clay/detox face mask and apply it to clean armpits. Let sit according to the instructions and then rinse.
Because armpits are naturally not as dry as the face, it didn’t harden like it normally does and I had to keep my arms lifted the entire time (which was kind of a workout) – I think about 10-15 minutes. Afterwards I hopped in the shower to rinse off and the next day I began my foray into natural deodorant.
If you feel it’s needed, you can do the detox every day during your transition, though I only did it once. I was talking with my friend Jacy the other night about how we should probably be incorporating this practice into our routines more often, maybe once every few months, because of the detox benefits! Excuses self to apply a face mask to her pits…
The Natural Deodorant I Recommend
As I mentioned above, what works for one person may not work for the next when it comes to finding the right natural deodorant. However, with that said, every single person that I’ve recommended Primally Pure to has come back raving – both men and women. I swear there is some sort of voodoo magic in the tubes! It is the one I will recommend over and over and over again.
Reasons I love the Primally Pure deodorant:
The texture: Unlike some natural deodorants that have a gel-like consistency, this one is more similar to the solid texture of traditional antiperspirants. However, it isn’t hard so it applies very softly (not sure how to explain it). The gel-like ones always left me feeling wet so it was as if I had already started sweating as soon as I applied – no thank you.
Clean, simple, and organic ingredient list: Their deodorant is made with only a handful of organic ingredients, all of which I can pronounce, and they are skin-loving ingredients at that! My armpits are softer than ever which I attribute to the tallow and coconut oil in the formula.
Pleasant scents: At this point I’ve tried most of the scent offerings – lemongrass, charcoal, blue tansy, lavender, and geranium (and I’ve given tea tree to a friend so I smelled that one too though I never actually used it). Every single one is lovely without being overwhelming. And in case you’re worried, though some of the formulations are slightly pigmented, they do not stain your clothing.
A little goes a long way: I mentioned above that initially I was deterred by the price of this deodorant. However, after using for years I can attest that I spend less on deodorant on an annual basis than I did back when I used drugstore antiperspirants. Each tube lasts me around 5-6 months because a little goes a long way – just two or three swipes is more than plenty! Therefore, I’m only buying about 2, maybe 3, a year. Contrast that to when I used to go through a bottle of the expensive clinical strength stuff each month!
The best part: After raving about Primally Pure deodorant for two+ years, I was overjoyed when they finally took notice and reached out to offer me a discount code to share with y’all! You can use the code “MK” at checkout to receive 10% off your first order.
I absolutely love sharing this product with anyone who will listen and hearing people’s stories of how it changed their idea of natural deodorant and became their go-to after so much trial and error with other brands – it makes me smile so big. The fact that I can offer you a small discount to give it a try is a pleasure and an honor! You can shop it HERE.
*This post is NOT sponsored – not sure if that needs to be said but just in case. I simply love Primally Pure’s product and think they do a fantastic job of educating in an easy-to-understand way. If you want to try a different brand instead, I fully support that! I am simply here to share what I personally love and can vouch for.