HOW TO SWITCH TO NATURAL DEODORANT
Choosing a natural deodorant is a must if you’re going all-natural with your skincare! After all, who wants to slather alcohols, dyes, parabens, antiperspirants, and aluminium ingredients on their armpits, right?
However, attempting to switch, without really knowing what you’re in for, might leave you stinky, rashy, itchy, irritated and ultimately, well… Frustrated. In reality, the worst result would be if you actually went back to commercial deodorants! If you follow these simple tips below, you should be able to switch rather easily, and silky smooth, non-stinky, natural armpits can be in your future!
Step #1: Avoiding Toxins
We could write a whole page on each of these toxic substances and why they should be avoided. Many have been proven to play a role in causing cancers or other issues such as Alzheimer's. Most commercial deodorants have toxic ingredients in them including:
- Synthetic and artificial Dyes (hello bright red and neon blue colours!)
It’s important to note as well that many deodorants state that they are antiperspirants. Let’s clarify the terms:
- De-odor-ant: a product that decreases odour.
- Anti-perspir-ant: a product that prevents perspiration (sweat).
These are used to hide or mask body odour. While there are many “natural” deodorants on the market, they often have other toxic ingredients that you might want to avoid such as propylene glycol. Or, they just don’t have the right ingredients to help the body combat the bacteria or sweat. We tried a myriad of “natural deodorants” for years but always wound up stinky! Deodorants often work by:
- Killing bacteria that cause odor.
- Creating an environment where bacteria do not thrive.
- Absorbing sweat.
- Balancing the body’s pH.
Antiperspirants keep you from sweating. According to one site, “Antiperspirants work by clogging or closing pores with strong astringents such as aluminum salts to keep you from perspiring. Antiperspirants enter your body through the sweat pores and form a temporary plug that prevents the release of sweat. Without any sweat, bacteria have nothing to break down, so there is no odor.”
The use and safety of these antiperspirants and commercial deodorants have been the source of much research and concern. Many studies show the potential health risks associated with aluminum, such as Alzheimer’s. There are also concerns about breast cancers and other diseases from constant use of these ingredients.
Step #2: Choose Your Natural Deodorant
After testing our own recipe for one year, we finally created a soothing and pH balancing natural deodorant formula that really works. It combats body odour and absorbs sweat without any of the harsh chemicals you'll find in most deodorants.
Here are the ingredients we use at JUSTBLiSS Soap:
- Fractionated Coconut Oil & Coconut Oil: Chosen for their antibacterial properties, as well as high nutrient contents.
- Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is popular in natural deodorants, as it works as an odour blocker and eliminator, protecting against body odour even if you have very sensitive skin.
- Arrowroot Powder: Used to help absorb sweat. We don’t use “cornstarch” here at JUSTBLiSS Soap as it's hard to find this ingredient in a non-GMO form.
- Jojoba Oil: Acts as a natural, lightweight moisturizer for your skin. It works for the most sensitive body parts like the armpits.
- OliveM 1000: Derived naturally from Olive oil, OliveM 1000 offers moisturizing benefits, and acts as an thickener that offers superb skin-feel.
Cetyl alcohol: Softening properties which will compensate for the "waxy" base and ensure ease of application.
- Stearic acid: Helps the deodorant glide easily onto underarms and leaves a non-greasy feel to the product. It is also great for helping to absorb odour.
- Magnesium Oxide: It does not absorb into the skin. Instead, its main purpose in a natural deodorant is to counteract any odour-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin without impacting the dermis.
- Zinc Oxide and Zinc Ricinoleate: Both Zinc Oxide and Zinc Ricinoleate are antibacterial agents. It will neutralize acid production and destroy many of the bacteria that thrive in sweat and that are responsible for unpleasant underarm smells.
- Vitamin E: An antioxidant.
That’s it! We do not add Banking Soda in our natural deodorant as it can be harsh on the skin.
Step #3: Prepare for an Adjustment Period
We're all different and our bodies will all respond differently when switching from regular deodorant to natural deodorant. Our body's chemistry — across gender, race, diet, hormone ups and downs, health, and even medications — is different on a person-by-person basis.
Deodorant is particularly interesting as:
- What works initially, might stop working after a while (and need extra “attention” to work.)
- What doesn’t work right away, may work very well eventually.
- What works for one person, might not work for another.
If you are just switching to natural deodorant, your body may need 1-3 weeks to adjust. If you've been using antiperspirants your whole life, this might be a big change for your sweat glands. If you experience some irritation, don’t give up! Your body is simply going through the process of adjusting. Silky smooth, non-stinky, natural armpits can be in your future!
There are several reasons for this adjustment period:
- Your sweat glands are opening up and releasing toxins.
- Your body pH hasn’t adjusted to the sweat.
- You might develop an itch or rash from all the changes.
- If you produce more sweat, it might take a bit longer to adjust.
Step #4: Changing It Up and Detox
Since adjusting is different for everyone, here are some ideas to help ensure that you have an arsenal at your disposal for dealing with things as they come up – whatever that might be.
Give these ideas a try:
- Wash regularly: When you first start using the deodorant, be extra diligent about hygiene by washing each day, particularly at the end of each day to remove sweat and bacteria.
- Rub salve, vinegar, or clay: If a rash or raw area develops, be sure to wash. Rubbing a soothing salve or oil in the armpit can help. Or, rubbing a small amount of vinegar (lowering the ph of the armpit) can also help. A recipe including vinegar and bentonite clay is also soothing and helps to extract the toxins.
- Dry off and wait: Avoid applying right after showering and shaving. Instead, give your skin the chance to close its pores and adjust to room temperature. Then apply.
You may notice more irritation if you sweat more. Human sweat is slightly acidic with a pH of 4 to 6. This might cause a slight burning sensation when it mixes with alkaline baking soda. However, as the pH of your sweat changes, this will often disappear.
Cleaning Tips for Oil Residue on Clothing
As this is an oil-based product, residue on clothing can happen. Here are a few cleaning tips:
Certain Fabrics Are Worse than Others: Not all clothing materials are affected by the ingredients in natural deodorant. For example, rayon and polyester tend to hold oil onto clothing more than other fabrics. Cotton seemed to come clean by itself and not hold the oils in.
- Try Not to Over Apply Your Natural Deodorant: Residue varies with the amount of sweat, temperature, and amount of product used. We recommend applying only a small amount of natural deodorant to your underarms to prevent and avoid excess oils saturating the underarm area of your shirts.
- Most Spots Come Out in the Wash on Their Own: Most detergents will remove oils during the wash without any problem. I just use a high-quality laundry soap and I've hardly had any troubles. Spraying the armpit area of the shirt or blouse before washing works great with a spot cleaner.
"If keeping your body healthy and free from toxins and chemicals means a little extra cleaning every now and then, then it’s worth it!"
Armpit Detox Recipe & Instructions
An armpit detox can help speed up the adjustment period you experience when switching to a natural deodorant. It's a great way to help rid your underarms of the chemicals that they've been exposed to when using chemical-ridden deodorants. Read our “How to Detox Your Armpits and Prepare for Natural Deodorant” blog here for more details.
Ingredients you'll need:
- 1 Tablespoon of bentonite clay
- 1 Teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 Teaspoons of water
- And a bowl for mixing
- Combine all of the ingredients together in the mixing bowl until they make a smooth paste. Set the mixture aside.
Gently wash your underarms using an all natural soap and then dry the skin using a clean towel.
Using your fingers, apply an even layer of the paste mixture to your underarms and let sit for 5-20 minutes. Note that for some folks with really sensitive skin, you may experience temporary redness around your underarms as this will increase blood flow to the area.
After 5-20 minutes, wash off the mixture at the sink or in the shower using a warm, wet washcloth.
- Repeat daily or as needed until underarm odor goes away and applying the natural deodorant isn’t irritating to the skin.