The topic of switching to natural deodorant is one that many people have asked me about, and there are sooo many questions. Here is what you need to know:
- It's easy to switch to natural deodorant.
- Sweating is GOOD FOR US!
- It doesn't have to be awful, but there are some things you can do to make the switch easier.
I remember 20 years ago when my Mom was originally diagnosed with breast cancer, someone told me that it could be from her deodorant. I felt that it was true right then and there and told my Mom, make the switch. My Mom wasn't so sure so she spoke with my Grandmother.
My Grandmother picked up the phone and called the deodorant manufacturer to ask if this was possible and they assured her it was not. At the time I thought, a great idea, call the company that makes the product! They will tell us.
I was so naive. Fast forward to the information age and I am grateful to have so many other resources to go to in order to find out about the truth in our products.
There are tons of articles explaining the dangers of certain chemicals within antiperspirants and deodorants so I won't go into all of them, though for those of you who love to research here you go:
The long and short of it is, we sweat for a very important reason. We sweat to remove toxins from our body. If we wear antiperspirant and suppress the sweat, we are keeping those toxins inside.
The chemical most common in antiperspirants to repress sweat is aluminum, and there are many articles out there about the dangers of aluminum. In addition to the aluminum there are also many other chemicals that are placed into deodorant and antiperspirants to keep you smelling fresh; most of which are not good for you. Parabens are estrogen....
What is All Natural Deodorant?
Natural deodorants use ingredients you are probably familiar with to absorb odors, and you can pronounce them all. If you haven't made the switch to all-natural yet, here is a list of ingredients of concern that are probably hiding in your deodorant (thanks for the tips Made Safe!):
Not Natural Ingredients in Deodorant/ Antiperspirants
Natural Ingredients in Deodorant/ Antiperspirants
- Baking Soda
- Arrowroot Powder
- Coconut Oil
- Essential Oils
- Shea Butter
- Cocoa Butter
- Bamboo extract
- Magnesium hydroxide
Why Should I Switch to All Natural Deodorant?
The ingredients we place on our skin should be natural, not chemically created. The skin is our largest organ, and the absorption of what goes on our skin, goes into our body. Also, all of the reasons above were enough for me to make the switch. I prefer no estrogen-mimicking chemicals on my skin or aluminum to be absorbed into my bloodstream. This was an easy switch for me.
What Should I Expect When I Make the Deodorant Switch?
This is typically where the majority of my questions come from. Will I smell? I used a natural deodorant before and it didn't work for me so I switched back. Why don't you smell and you use natural deodorants?
When you make the switch to all-natural deodorants there will be a transition period. What does this mean? It means that all of the toxins you have trapped inside your body will start coming out. Yay for your health, but you may have some additional odor while you detox. Choose a quiet week at work to make the switch or just plan some extra showers while you transition.
Remember, sweating is healthy!
Tips for Transitioning To Natural Deodorant
Here are a few things that I recommend when making the switch to keep your body odor at a minimum...
- Shower at least once per day. It's not your sweat that smells, but the bacteria that breaks down the sweat.
- Bring along your deodorant to work or while on the go. If you notice that it is wearing off, you can excuse yourself to the restroom and wash your armpits with some gentle soap and water. Dry and reapply. Remember it's the bacteria that breaks down the sweat that smells, so removal is better than covering it up.
- Drink more water and leafy greens.
- Reduce processed foods, fried foods, and alcohol
- Add mint into your diet
Remember that sweating is a natural and healthy part of our body function. If you find yourself sweating more for the first week or two, this is normal. Your body needs to adjust and eliminate the toxins from your old antiperspirant.
Consider Packaging When Buying Natural Deodorant
4 The Greater Good is very happy to see some (though not nearly enough) companies are starting to offer natural deodorants that do not contain harmful ingredients. However, we want to remind you to look for a deodorant that comes in a compostable container. We all know about the problem with plastic so we can drive change by making better decisions when we make a purchase. When we purchase less plastic we force companies to rethink their packaging.
What all-natural deodorants do you recommend? Why?
I'm so happy to add this part because the drug stores are adding more and more natural deodorants to the store shelves regularly. My issue here is mainly plastic. Most of us will be using deodorant daily, and since it is natural, we don't need plastic to contain it. Now we can choose compostable containers. Here are a few we think you should try:
- Backyard Bees
- Meow Meow Tweet
- Freewheelin' Market
Not to worry, we'll be carrying these brands soon and you can throw your container directly into the compost when you are finished.
Which all-natural deodorant is Your Favorite?
We must admit after trying many different natural deodorants, we do have our favorites. Please keep in mind that different deodorants work differently for everyone; and each person has his/her own needs (some people are too sensitive for baking soda for example, while others swear by it.) However, we would be holding back if we didn't announce our personal favorite natural solid deodorant.
Our Favorite Natural Deodorant is Ethique brand Botanica. Here is why:
1) We noticed a significant duration difference between freshness and odor with Ethique solid deodorant. It lasted longer and was a very good deodorant.
2) Ethique deodorant bar is a solid deodorant. It looks similar to a bar of soap and you can hold it in your hand to apply directly. It comes in minimal packaging with a cardboard box and compostable sticker.
3) We admit we haven't tried all of the deodorants yet. We're going to keep trying and be sure to update this blog when we find a new favorite. So keep checking back. Another important point to note, we have unfairly not tried the deodorant creams; these deodorants are applied with your fingers or a small bamboo applicator. Although these are next on our list, the simplicity of a solid deodorant bar has always sounded more appealing to us.