About a year ago I started exploring natural deodorant options to limit the amount of chemicals I’m putting on my skin. I had read about how traditional deodorant/anti-perspirant combos could interfere with hormones and decided it was worth it to try something new. I wish I had continued my research a little further, because then I would’ve also seen that there are steps to take to make the transition easier. Instead, I went cold turkey on my Secret deodorant and swapped it for a natural brand with some not-so-successful results. A year and multiple brands later, I can say I am very happy I made the switch. So don’t let the bad bits I start off with discourage you–read on, this story has a happy ending, I promise!
What’s Wrong with Regular Deodorant?
Most traditional deodorants are a combination of deodorant and anti-perspirant: designed to stop you from sweating and mask odor. Problem one is that you should sweat. It’s a natural function of the body, and to limit it can prevent the proper elimination of waste. In addition to that, some of the ingredients are questionable.
- Parabens. These preservatives used in deodorant may interfere with estrogen production and regulation. Given how close the armpits are to estrogen-sensitive tissue in the breasts, this was a risk I didn’t want to take, even without conclusive evidence.
- Aluminum. There have been similar links to aluminum deodorant and breast cancer, although again, without conclusive evidence. While waiting for that research to come in, it seemed worthwhile for me to switch.
- Phthalates. It’s suggested that Phthalates may be an issue among pregnant women as it can impact fetal development. Research has linked phthalates to lower IQs and higher rates of asthma.
While most of these are anecdotal and lack conclusive evidence, there is still a risk factor that I felt better mitigating. So, what did I find as problems when I pursued the natural route?
Hesitations About Natural Deodorant
- Initial skin irritation. After years of conditioning your skin to expect aluminum and parabens under your arms, it can take awhile for your skin to detox. That detox presents itself in the form of skin irritation, which happened to me. Read on for ways to combat this!
- Continued skin irritation. Just because ingredients are natural doesn’t mean your skin will agree with them. My skin had irritation/rashes well beyond the initial transition phase when I tried love, beauty, planet. This may work for you, but something in the ingredient list did not agree with me.
- Not as strong/doesn’t last as long/you may smell. Some varieties of natural deodorant wear off quickly or don’t mask B.O. as strongly as you may be used to. I found this issue with Native, and living in a climate where it is often hot and humid combined with working in the fitness industry.. this was less than ideal.
- Pricier. In this case, I think of it as an example of you get what you pay for. If you want something made with quality ingredients, you should expect to pay a little more for it (and when it comes to things I put in and on my body, I am willing to pay that price). Also–keep scrolling and you’ll see a discount for my favorite brand!
While these hesitations sound like a lot, I still felt better about using a safer option. So, how do you make this transition smoother?
Ways to Ease the Transition
- Detox your pits. I didn’t try this myself, but I trust anything Laurie Christine King recommends. See her detox recipe here.
- Don’t apply deodorant right after shaving. Some people shower and shave at night then apply deodorant in the morning. This was something I tried when I had continued skin irritation that I called out above. Broken skin that has just been shaved tends to react more harshly to anything applied to it. Ultimately, this wasn’t the solution for me and I now use a brand that I can apply right after shaving.
- Try different brands. I tried love, beauty, planet, then Native before ultimately trying Primally Pure. I had heard great things, but I’m conditioned to convenience and free shipping, so it took awhile for me to accept heading to a website other than Amazon to purchase–but I am SO glad I did.
Why Primally Pure?
A few months ago I tried Primally Pure charcoal deodorant and haven’t looked back. I have had 0 skin irritation since trying it, and it lasts all day without wearing off. I also love that it doesn’t have a strong scent attached to it. When I used to use regular deodorant, I often felt like the fake scent coming from my deodorant was as overpowering as B.O. would’ve been. Rather than a scent that “masks” B.O. I find I just don’t smell at all, which is quite a feat when fitness-ing in North Carolina.
I wasn’t sure if I had found something that just worked for me, but since making the switch and sharing my experience, I’ve heard from multiple people who were compelled to try it and had the same experience. After seeing how well it’s worked for me and friends, I reached out to become an ambassador (my first time approaching a company vs the other way around) and now you can get a discount with code STODDS at checkout.
If you decide to make the switch, I hope you learn from my mistakes and have a much smoother, shorter journey!
Do you use natural deodorant? What brands have you found success with? If you haven’t made the switch why not? What questions do you have about making the switch?