Natural personal care is a hot topic in the beauty world, and one product that has built up a lot of hype in recent years is natural deodorant. While it’s easy to switch to a natural shampoo, face wash, or lip balm, the thing that calls the shots on our scent is a completely different story, because things could go (or... smell) bad very quickly.
It’s a little frightening to take the leap to natural deodorant when you’ve established loyalty to a sweat-blocking antiperspirant that you know keeps your body odor in check, but once you learn the not-so dirty details of what our body is really up to and how your current deodorant could be harming it, you’ll be wishing you’d made the switch sooner.
Now that we’re stuck inside, there’s no better time than now to switch to aluminum-free deodorant. While we’re practicing social distancing, we have time to ourselves to go through the deodorant detox process that most people fear. Since we can’t be around others, gone are the worries of lifting your arms in public when natural deodorant doesn’t seem to be working (spoiler alert: it is working). So now is the time to make a positive change in your personal care routine without the risk and worry of other people’s noses.
Keep reading to find out more about detoxing from your aluminum antiperspirant, and how it will benefit your body.
The Deodorant Detox Process
When you stop using aluminum-based antiperspirants, and start using a natural deodorant, your body needs to detox. The detox process can be a rough one, as you’ll have to go through a couple weeks of heightened odor. It isn’t sweat itself that causes this odor, but the bacteria that builds upon the sweat. When you use aluminum deodorants for years, it closes off your sweat glands and bacteria is trapped under your skin. So when you take away the aluminum, your body goes into overdrive to get all the bacteria out. That’s when the detox begins.
So, yes, you’re going to smell for a couple weeks, but since you’re confined to your home anyway, you don’t have to risk the embarrassment. That is, unless you live with your family or roommates, in which case, they’ll have to go for the ride with you, and just try to keep your arms down, and touch up your deodorant whenever things get pungent.
Detoxing only lasts about 2-4 weeks until your bacteria levels balance out and your natural deodorant begins working it’s odor-masking magic. From then on, it’s smooth sailing, and by the time you’re free from quarantine, you can make your way into the world smelling fresh without the toxins of aluminum antiperspirants.
If your scent is starting to bother you or those around you, here’s a few things you can do to reduce it:
Use a clay mask or exfoliant
Clay masks and exfoliants are deeply cleansing and work to remove impurities and dead skin cells so they’ll help pull out the built up deodorant and bacteria, open up sweat glands, and speed up the detox process. Not to mention it will help soften skin that may be irritated from constant aluminum deodorant usage.
There are clay masks and exfoliants specifically designed for armpits nowadays, but any face mask will work just fine.
Add Cleure’s Kaolin Clay Face Mask and Exfoliating Scrub to your cart along with your aluminum-free deodorant for a one stop shop for your detox.
Probiotics help restore balance amongst your internal bacteria, and considering that bacteria causes odor, probiotics can rid your underarms of bad bacteria while keeping in the good bacteria, and reduce the strong smell. Try a topical probiotic, a probiotic vitamin, or eating probiotic rich foods like kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, or other fermented foods.
Wear loose fitting clothing
Tight fitting clothes will trap in moisture which can be uncomfortable as your sweat increases, and you don’t want to keep trapping that moisture in. Loose fitting clothing will let your armpits breathe.
Avoid strong foods
Your body’s scent is often a reflection of your diet. Eating pungent and sulfurous foods like onions, garlic, broccoli, eggs, and red meat will be made clear when the sweat starts to flow. Try sticking to lots of fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, those vital probiotics, and lots of water.
Take a hot bath
A hot bath is not only relaxing, but it will help open your pores and encourage more sweat flow, speeding up the purging process. Plus, we all need some relaxation during these stressful times. So let off some steam and some sweat in the bath, and then, if you’re up for it, you can continue pampering yourself with an at-home facial.
The Benefits of Natural Deodorant
So you made it through quarantine and the detox process. Now comes the wealth of benefits from cutting out aluminum deodorant. As an alternative to aluminum, natural deodorants typically use mineral salts as the main ingredient, which, while they don't block sweat, control odor by creating a temporary layer atop the skin as opposed to plugging up the pores. This layer can still prevent bacteria from growing, but in a much safer and healthier way. The ingredients are cleaner, the risks associated with its usage are lower, and there’s a running list of various other added benefits.
You’ll cut out toxic ingredients
I’m sure you’ve heard that aluminum-based antiperspirants have been found to cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s after constant exposure. While none of those studies have been proven entirely, you should still be wary of rubbing metal in your pores, and be aware that it’s not just aluminum that’s a problem. Antiperspirants are bulked up with parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and propylene glycol which can all cause damage to your hormonal balance, internal organs, and could possibly be carcinogens.
Soothes your sensitive skin
After blocking sweat for so long, antiperspirants can wind up continuously clogging pores, causing irritation and bumps. So if your skin is sensitive, natural deodorant will help alleviate those issues.
No sweat stains
Think about how many white shirts you’ve had to get rid of because they start to form those embarrassing yellow sweat stains that force you to keep your arms glued to your sides all day. Well those stains aren’t actually from the sweat itself, but from the reaction between your sweat and aluminum, so no aluminum, no problem. Making the switch to an aluminum free deodorant will stop sweat stains in their track and save your white shirts from the donation bin.
Eventually your body adapts and you’ll end up sweating less
Using an antiperspirant for years and years changes the way your body reacts to sweat and bacteria. Sweating is our body’s natural way of trying to get rid of toxins, so consistently using toxic ingredients that don’t allow sweat to escape makes things worse, and actually causes an increase in bacteria, therefore, an even fouler odor, and increased sweat production to try and get those toxins out. Once you’ve gotten through your detox, this problem will cease.
Changing your deodorant can be difficult, but the health benefits make it worth the stress and the temporary stench. If you’ve tried switching to a natural, aluminum-free deodorant before, but couldn’t face battling the detox odor in public, make good use of this time spent at home to make a smart choice for you and your body’s health.