Natural Deodorant: Should You Make the Switch?
Today, natural products are becoming increasingly popular – and nearly every household item has a natural counterpart. From natural beauty products to natural cleaning solutions, companies are responding to people’s desire to live naturally.
Choosing an all-natural lifestyle means switching up the products you use every day. And if you’re wondering whether natural products are truly worth it, here’s one that might be: natural deodorant.
Natural deodorant isn’t the same as regular deodorant. It’s so much more than regular deodorant with a skillfully revised ingredients list. It’s actually an entirely different product.
Unlike the deodorants you’ve been using for years, natural deodorant is made from ingredients you can recognize and pronounce, like baking soda and charcoal. And there are plenty of benefits to switching to a natural formula. If you’re wondering what natural deodorant is and if it’s right for you, here’s what you need to know.
Natural Deodorant is Aluminum Free
One of the main factors driving people to choose natural deodorant centers around one ingredient: aluminum.
Traditional antiperspirants and deodorants feature aluminum as a prominent ingredient. That’s because these products rely on aluminum-based compounds to block your sweat ducts and prevent sweating. And aluminum is effective, which is why it’s so popular.
But many deodorant users are concerned about aluminum’s effect on their overall health. A flood of research studies suggests that aluminum-based antiperspirants may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Though many experts dispute the claim, the concern hasn’t gone away.
This is part of the reason people are turning to the countless natural (and aluminum-free) alternatives available today.
You May Sweat More with Natural Deodorant
Nobody said switching to natural deodorant was easy! Anti-perspirant is popular because it works, and it works well.
So, if you’re looking to switch to something more natural, be prepared to sweat. An increase in sweat is usually the number one factor that prevents people from avoiding natural deodorant. But it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
A sweat-wicking undershirt and a little bit of determination can go a long way. You’ll get used to the increase in your sweat levels after a week or so. If going natural is important to you, stick with it! It may be a surprising change, but it’s just something to get used to.
Natural Deodorant is Environmentally Friendly
If preserving the planet matters to you, natural deodorant is a smart, eco-friendly choice. Many natural deodorant brands take pride in using only environmentally, and ethically sourced ingredients. Even more importantly, a lot of the available brands package their products in recyclable or biodegradable containers. Some even do away with the packaging altogether!
T’eo, an all-natural antiperspirant available at your local Lush store, completely does away with the packaging altogether. The Lush offering comes in at $10.95 per 3.1 0z piece. You can find similar options online, giving you plenty of ways to positively impact the environment when choosing your new deodorant.
Adjusting to Natural Deodorant Takes Time
Switching your deodorant may seem as simple as stopping one product and starting another. However, weaning your body off of traditional deodorant and adjusting to the natural alternative is a process.
As mentioned earlier, traditional deodorant uses aluminum compounds to block your sweat ducts. So, when you stop using these products, your body notices and responds. The switch to natural deodorant initiates a detox period, where your body purges itself of the chemicals and the backed up sweat.
Those making the switch should expect a couple of days of increased sweat and, unfortunately, increased smelliness. The initial smelliness is enough to turn most people off of natural deodorant altogether. After all, nobody enjoys sticking up their shared spaces.
However, the smelliness won’t last long. Stick it out for a week, and you’ll never have to experience it again.
Natural Deodorants Aren’t Tested on Animals
Environmentally friendly consumers typically shy away from brands and products that incorporate animal testing in their manufacturing process. It’s far from ethically sound, but many popular under-arm protectors utilize animal testing to analyze skin irritation.
Thankfully, most natural deodorant products take pride in their “cruelty-free” production process. Some of them are even vegan! Schmidt’s, a popular natural deodorant manufacturer, offers countless certified vegan and cruelty free options. Many of which are available for just $7.97 at your local Walmart.
Natural Deodorant May Cause Irritation
A potential issue with natural deodorant is the possibility of underarm irritation. Your underarm skin is sensitive, which is why many large, traditional deodorant manufacturers spend so much time and money perfecting their formula.
Many of the unsavory ingredients in antiperspirants are included in an effort to prevent your underarms from experiencing irritation. In natural deodorant, most if not all of those ingredients are left out. As such, you may experience rashes, itching, and redness.
Bend Soap recommends that you wash diligently and rub your underarms with salve, vinegar, or clay. Or, you could always try their Apricot Jasmine Natural Deodorant which, at just $6.95 per stick, is specially formulated for those with sensitive skin.
Natural Deodorant Contains Ingredients You Can Pronounce
Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate Propylene Glycol, and different aluminums. That’s what you can expect to find in your average stick of Old Spice deodorant. And the list doesn’t exactly warm the cockles of someone who’s concerned with what’s being absorbed into their body.
Compare that ingredient list to an incredibly popular natural choice: Sam’s Natural Deodorant Stick. This unscented stick retails for $9.95 and boasts an ingredient list that’s much more comforting. Sam’s Deodorant includes coconut oil, candelilla wax, arrowroot powder, MCT oil, shea butter, and aloe vera leaf extract, among other things.
When you can recognize – and actually pronounce – the ingredients in your deodorant, you know exactly what your body is absorbing. And you don’t have to worry about anything unsavory, chemical, or potentially harmful.
Natural deodorant may not be for everyone, though there are some very clear benefits to making the switch. Are you considering transitioning to natural deodorant? Have you already made the switch? There are plenty of reasons natural deodorants are becoming popular. Give it a try for yourself!
Juj Winn / Getty Images