Making the transition from either deodorant or anti-perspirant to a natural deodorant can be daunting!
Store-bought deodorant is a cosmetic used to mask or neutralize body odour. The antiperspirant in the deodorant blocks your sweat glands to reduce perspiration, it contains aluminium which claims reduces sweating.
Commercial vs. Natural Deodorant
The difference in ingredients from commercial deodorant and a natural deodorant mean that first time users of a natural deodorants can feel that they stink, and that the natural deodorant is having no effect. What is really happening when you start using the natural deodorant, is the lack of aluminium and other products is allowing the pores to open and a partial detox starts to occur. Your body is attempting to flush out the clogging anti-perspirant, allowing the sweat to aid in the process. This combination of sweat and the residual anti-perspirant can create an unfamiliar (and perhaps unpleasant) aroma from your armpits.
Allowing your body to cleanse itself of aluminium and other products used in commercial deodorants, takes time.
It could take up to a month!
If your first thought is how am I going to fit a whole smelly month into my busy life, that was our immediate thought as well. Don’t stress, instead let us help you by talking through the process and ways to transition with less smell!
The Transition to Natural Deodorant:
- Stop using any other anti-perspirant and place your natural deodorant front and centre on your dresser or bathroom shelf.
- Wash! You can aim to skip ahead in a detox by washing well. Just use your bog-standard soap and water and try to clear those pores each day as your body cleans out your armpits. Exfoliating can also help you get a little more out of your armpit care routine.
- *Optional* do an armpit detox (see later in article)
- Come to terms with applying your natural deodorant (just half a 5 cent piece a day)
- Rock that natural deodorant rain or shine, exercise or couch day!
Detoxing is the term we use to describe the process your body goes through to cleanse itself of external and internal waste accumulated within and on the body. Aiding in this natural process makes it easier for your body to become more efficient. It can be helpful if you experience sensitivity when transitioning from a commercial deodorant to a natural one, due to the different ingredients.
To aid in detoxing we can use products that contain Diatomaceous Earth, Bentonite Clay, Activated Charcoal, Apple Cider Vinegar, Colloidal Silver and Coconut Oil, all of which help unblock your pores. Have a look at the ingredients of any natural face masks that you have at home, if it contains any of the above ingredients it will work just fine. Otherwise find the raw ingredients and follow a face mask recipe to make your own! (While you are there indulge yourself with a face mask as well!).
Most wholefood stores stock these ingredients, so just take in a few little jars and away you go. We suggest using a detoxifying mask on your armpits once every week or so throughout the first month of transition. However, if you do not wish to use a mask, try clarifying your pits with apple cider vinegar, lemon or witch hazel (substantially watered down).
We can also recommend making up a detoxifying spray in place of a mask:
Mix in a spray bottle:
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1 tsp of Jojoba oil
2 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Spray on the arm pits and leave for 10 minutes [if irritation occurs cease immediately]. Wash off thoroughly and dry armpits completely. Enjoy fresh armpits!
4 Weeks Later:
The transition from an anti-perspirant will take about 4 weeks, although detoxing may speed this up.
Week one – you may not notice any smell at all as your pores are still largely clogged.
Week two – you might experience increased moisture as your body flushes your pores. Naturally smell will increase a combination of anti-perspirant waste and sweat.
Week three – you should notice that bacteria levels and smell subside, the moisture levels evening out and your body normalising the new balance in your pits!
Week four – your armpits should have balanced out and be fully adjusted to your natural deodorant. *This process may take less time depending on your body’s processes.
There are so many myths associated with natural deodorants, like that they only work for women – false! Natural deodorant is not gender exclusive.
Or that you smell like patchouli or just plain old stink! As we have talked about previously there is a transition time that you may smell a little, however this too shall pass!
Last few tips to help you through the transition to natural deodorant:
- Wear natural fibres (wool, cotton, hemp) – they absorb smell better than synthetics.
- Carry some deodorant with you to touch up should you have the need.
- Take a hot bath to open you pores and encourage detox.
Enjoy your naturally fresh armpits!