As our society evolves, so do the products we put on (and in) our bodies. The trend of all-natural, chemical-free personal care products is widespread - from shampoos to shaving creams to deodorants. You might be wondering how to switch to natural deodorant, and if there's anything special you need to know.
While the transition from traditional to natural shampoos may be routine, switching to natural deodorant requires forethought and planning. Our body’s natural detoxification process, while essential, can be a stinky one. Keep reading for our advice on how to make a smooth transition to an all-natural deodorant without drawing too much attention or losing friends.
This post was originally published in August 2020, and was updated in June 2021.
If you're trying to answer the question of "should I switch natural deodorant?," there are a lot of reasons and many of them are quite personal for each of us.
Most people choose to switch to natural deodorant to remove the chemicals they're using on their skin, especially as the areas we apply deodorant (like our underarms) are very thin and those chemicals can be absorbed at higher rates.
Other people want to try natural deodorant for an alternative to "traditional" deodorants. If you struggle with excessive sweating, natural deodorant might be a good option to try.
In any case, determining why should you switch to natural deodorant is a very personal thing; your reasons are your own – we're just here to help you decide whether switching is the right choice!
As mentioned earlier, switching to a natural deodorant or antiperspirant product requires a plan. Since your body will no longer be absorbing or using chemicals to stop sweat or dissuade odor, it will naturally start to detoxify. The sweat glands in your armpits literally purge the buildup of bacteria, chemicals, and toxins that have been blocked by the traditional product you’ve most likely used since puberty.
This "detox" period typically lasts about a month. Your body needs about that much time to relearn how to sweat on its own terms. During this period, your body may take you on a rollercoaster ride - the ups and downs of sweat and funk. But if you're serious about switching, just stick with it; the funk is not permanent.
The best way to approach the natural deodorant adjustment period is to prepare your body - inside and out - for the task at hand.
As much as possible, substitute water for coffee when you are switching to natural deodorant. If that’s not feasible, drink as much water as you can to help flush out the toxins more rapidly. It will also keep you hydrated, which will prevent your body from producing even more sweat. (Our bodies automatically start to sweat when they become dehydrated.) If you have trouble remembering to take a sip, there are free apps you can download to help remind you to drink water.
Natural astringents, like apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, help to control bacteria that cause odor and reduce the size of pores to help limit sweat. For best results, apply apple cider vinegar at night and rinse off in the morning. (Be sure to avoid applying to freshly shaven armpits.) Witch hazel is gentle enough to use any time of day.
One of the best ways to defend against body odor is to use a soap or shower gelthat is specifically designed to fight against odor and bacteria. This will help cleanse your entire body while it's working through its detox phase. In keeping with your transition away from traditional products, be sure to use one that contains only natural ingredients.
Whether you have access to an actual steam room or not, taking hot baths or showers helps to encourage your body to sweat out the toxins by opening up the pores on your skin. Think of it as sweating in a controlled environment that you can follow-up with a full-body cleansing.
Natural astringents, like apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, help to control bacteria that cause odor.
Did you know that underarm hair traps moisture and keeps it from evaporating? This causes a buildup of sweat and allows naturally occurring bacteria to feed on the sweat, which causes body odor. While you're switching to natural deodorant, keep your armpits clean-shaven. This dissuades sweat from sticking around. Even after the detox period, consider keeping your underarm hair shaved or trimmed. This helps your natural deodorant make direct contact with your skin for better results.
You may be familiar with exfoliation products for your face that help draw out impurities. These same products can be used on your clean-shaven underarms to help during the transition to natural deodorant. Apply a clay or mud mask to your armpits once or twice a week for best results.
You may notice that your all-natural deodorant only lasts a couple of hours during your detox period. To freshen up during the day, pack a few all-natural antiperspirant or deodorant wipes to help control the funk. These specialty wipes are pretreated with the perfect amount of formula for a quick and easy application.
Combine baking soda and cornstarch for a dynamic duo that fights body odor. Both baking soda and cornstarch are absorbent in nature. They will soak up the smell produced by bacteria and sweat. To use, simply mix equal parts of each in a bowl, and gently pat the mixture onto your clean armpits.
By wearing a specially designed undershirt, you can prevent body odor and sweat from ever reaching your clothes. Ejis undershirts (buy from our shop or on Amazon) are treated with real silver to prevent odor-causing bacteria. Our sweat proof undershirts have a waterproof layer to stop sweat marks on your clothes.
Once you've made it through the natural deodorant adjustment period, check out these highly-rated, aluminum-free deodorants and antiperspirants. We also think you should continue wearing your Ejis undershirts to keep body odor at bay and boost your confidence while wearing what Mother Nature intended.
Want your clothes to work extra hard to manage sweat and odor? Learn about antimicrobial fabrics and textiles, which help manage odor, plus how they work.