Switching To A Natural Deodorant

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I’ve been noticing an insurgence of people being more conscious of what goes into their beauty products, myself included. It started with a switch to cruelty-free products like shampoo and makeup, but I didn’t realize it would be SO HARD to find a cruelty-free antiperspirant, too.

My research pointed me to natural deodorant, and I wasn’t excited. You mean I have to actually sweat? I thought, remembering the terrible throes of puberty so long ago. However, once I did more research on how deodorants work (something I’m not too proud to admit I had never considered before) and what harmful ingredients are lurking in that stick I hesitantly started to come around.

In the spirit of November (aka NOT summer, so a good time to start this journey if you’re considering it), I figured it might be nice to do a virtual brain dump of my own experiences from the past couple months of making this transition. Of course, everyone’s mileage may very — I won’t lie to you and try to downplay this as something that isn’t a big change. Sweating feels weird and gross and wrong, but knowing that I’m doing my best to live a healthy and well-balanced life feels good and right.

There will be a detox: I didn’t know about this until after I started, so until I consulted Google I thought I was just some weird, sweaty anomaly. Turns out, this is a totally normal and healthy process for your body to go through. Because antiperspirant physically blocks pores from sweating, most of us have sweat glands that have been repressed for years. Once they’re able to get the pollutants out of your system as sweat glands are designed to do, they’re going to take advantage. Personally, I didn’t think this period was as the hyperbole of internet articles make it out to be, but I assume it’s a little different for everyone. Just rest assured that it’s totally normal to sweat a LOT and you won’t sweat this much forever!

There will be sweat: It’s been about twelve years since I started wearing antiperspirant every day, so the sensation of sweating has been a strange thing for me to get used to. Natural deodorant will keep you from smelling sweaty, but the moisture will still be there — icky, I know. The good news is, once your body gets used to having the ability to sweat you’ll start to perspire a lot less during day-to-day activities. I’ve also read that drinking plenty of water and cutting back on processed foods can help your body feel the need to sweat less, and I think that’s advice we could all stand to follow.

There (might) be blisters: I started out using Schmidt’s deodorant and I loved it — most people agree that theirs is some of the best out there. Unfortunately, Schmidt’s uses a baking soda-based formula and after a few weeks I started to get blisters. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but my skin is too sensitive for the harshness of their full-strength formula. I have heard good things about their sensitive skin version, but I’m liking the Charcoal Magnesium Detox from Primal Pit Paste for now!

You will be healthier: While this whole process can be a hard sell for a lot of people (it was for me — I HATE being sweaty), ultimately this is something that can have a huge impact on your health. While the studies are still conflicting on how dangerous aluminum is to have in your system, I’d rather not take the chance. Antiperspirant works because the aluminum is absorbed into your pores and those pores happen to be right over a cluster of lymph nodes which carry things all through your system. Additionally, just like your health class teacher tried to drive home, sweating is a good thing. It’s how our body regulates temperature and removes toxins, both of which I want to be able to do to the best of my ability. So while it can be a little uncomfortable, it’s worth it to know that I’m doing the best I can to be healthy!

Amanda McDowellComment