How and why switch to natural deodorants

The search for a natural, organic deodorant, that actually works, can be a smelly experience for some. Here are some tips to ease into the transition when making the switch.

A Thing of Legends?

I was always disappointed with friends or online product reviews that raved about the new natural deodorant, but left me smellin’ funky after just a few hours. I must have tried 6 different natural deodorants. None would live up to the hype. I was beginning to think that this, so-called “effective natural deodorant” was in fact, a myth! Why did I insist?

Why the Switch

With so much concern about aluminum, parabens, fragrances, (the list goes on…) that affect our health, I have taken on a more natural and organic approach to my beauty routine. Yes, there are studies to prove both sides of the debate on whether these ingredients cause cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal disruptions, etc. But why would I take my chances? I prefer to err on the side of caution. Especially when you have so many healthy options to choose from.

Ingredients To Avoid

  • Aluminum – it clogs our pores to prevent us from sweating. However, there have been links to neurotoxicity, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and more.
  • Parabens – Preservatives, widely used in cosmetics to increase efficiency as well as shelf life. Common parabens include methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, isopropyl and isobutylparaben. It seems to be in everything, so keep to a minimum the amount of products with this list of ingredients. It has been associated with cognitive impairment and  endocrine disruption in children and adolescents.
  • Propylene Glycol – can cause skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Fragrances – Can cause hormone disruption and endocrine system interference.
  • Triclosan – This chemical is supposed to prevent bacterial contamination, but can instead harm your immune system and disrupt hormone regulation. Read the report from the Mayo Clinic.

This seems like toxic overload, so here is what I tried.

How to Make the Switch


First: Detox

When I first switched to natural, all-organic deodorants, nothing would work. Body odor would sneak up on me before the day would end. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it turns out this is common. Some armpits need 1 – 3 weeks to get used to sweating again. No one wants body odor though! Not even for a day!

Switching to natural and organic deodorants

Good news is… you can speed up your detox process:

  • After showering, gently exfoliate with a bit of baking soda combined with apple cider vinegar to make a soft paste. Apply that every other day for a week. Rinse and then apply deodorant.
  • Lemon and baking soda: After showering, use lemon slices to scrub some baking soda on your armpits. I sometime let this air dry and forgo any deodorant at all and stay fresh the whole day. Otherwise, rinse and apply your deodorant.
  • You can also apply a natural toner like witch hazel to your armpits after your shower. Its astringent properties help fight odors and tightens pores to help reduce perspiration. Allow to dry before applying deodorant.

Second: Patience

I made the transition a year ago, but I had to have a lot of patience. I would initially give up very quickly. Going back to my chemical-laden deodorants at the first sign of sweaty pits. I finally stuck through it and what finally made the difference was detoxing. Now I sweat less and less. Either my body has adapted or the deodorants keep improving. Maybe it is a combination of both! Try and try again until you find the deodorant that works for you.


What To Expect

Some Sweat – Deodorants prevent body odor. That is their main function. But, natural deodorants are not antiperspirants (typically contain aluminum). You will have to get used to some sweating. Although, several deodorants do include sweat control ingredients like charcoal, baking soda, corn starch, rosemary, bamboo fibres or arrowroot. There are always new formulas being marketed. Just remember, sweating is a healthy and necessary process for our body to eliminate toxins. Sweat itself, does not smell, but can be controlled.

I am now using one deodorant that keeps me fresh for 36 hours. No Joke! Read my next post for my full review.


Credits: Photo in Feature Image is by Jernej Graj on Unsplash.

City Starlings opinions are its own and the advice provided are not to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

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