"I cannot count how many times people have told me, “Mary, natural deodorant just doesn’t work for me.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that your body goes through a detox phase when you swap out aluminum-laden antiperspirant for a natural deodorant. The truth is, your natural deodorant isn’t making you smell worse – the bacterial communities under your arms are changing and it doesn’t happen overnight! It can take up to 30 days for your body to fully detox from aluminum."
Mary Futher, founder of Kaia Naturals
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN SWITCHING TO NATURAL DEODORANT
A 2 to 4 week transition period can be expected when transitioning from antiperspirant to natural deodorant. Each stage of the detox may vary depending on your body chemistry.
Watch Mary explain to stages of detox in 28 seconds:
@madamesweat The transition is worth it! #naturaldeodorant #kaianaturals #thetakesumidetox #armpitdetox #bodyodor #aluminumfree ♬ original sound - Mary Futher | kaia naturals
Antiperspirant is classified as an over-the-counter drug in both Canada and the United States. If you have been using antiperspirant since you were a preteen, your body will definitely be dependent on it.
You may go a couple of days or even a week without noticing much difference between your antiperspirant and natural deodorant.
This is due to the fact that the aluminum compounds in antiperspirant form a gel-like plug and constrict your pores in the underarm. This prevents you from sweating and getting wet and takes time to clear out.
When you stop using antiperspirant you will experience a substantial increase in growth of odor-causing bacteria in the underarm area.
You may also feel additional moisture because your body is sweating, which is completely normal and natural.
A study conducted at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Lab found that there was an initial increase of smelly bacteria (Corynebacteria) in the underarms of antiperspirant users when they stopped using it. Deodorant users did not experience the same increase in odor-causing bacteria when they stopped using underarm products. They even had fewer species of bacteria in their armpits compared to armpits of participants who use no product at all. It is important to know that this increase of odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, it is just a part of the detox that happens when you discontinue use.
Bacteria levels may begin to subside. The culture of bacteria is able to re-balance and stop overproducing odor-causing bacteria. What this means is that you will likely notice excess odor starting to decrease.
Underarm moisture levels will also normalize. It will take some time to get used to sweating under your arms. Powder in natural deodorant can help absorb that moisture.
Natural fibres like cotton, bamboo and linen are your new best friends, as natural fibres are much more breathable and both sweat and bacteria will not remain trapped inside.
Your body should have fully adjusted to natural deodorant. It can take up to 30 days for your body to regulate itself, though for some people the detox stage is shorter or longer. You can now continue using natural deodorant every day to neutralize the smell of daily body odor.
For some people, the stages of detox may seem too scary to embark on, but it is so worth it when you realize you are making a healthier life choice every single day for the rest of your life. Thankfully, there are also a few things you can do to to help you get through the detox.
This two-step method is a proven method that will not only help you switch to natural deodorant, but will help you prevent odor-breakthrough throughout the day once you have switched.
- Begin by eliminating odor-causing bacteria in the shower with a natural antibacterial soap. Sweat + bacteria = odor. If you remove the extra bacteria that your body temporarily develops during the detox, it will significantly improve issues with feeling stinky.
- Follow with a baking soda-free charcoal deodorant that will continue to draw out impurities from the pores while neutralizing odor throughout the day.
- Carry a travel-sized deodorant with you on the go to freshen up throughout the day while you detox.
- Apply a natural starch powder, such as arrowroot powder or cornstarch, to the underarms after applying your deodorant. The starch will help absorb some of the excess moisture you may experience as your body flushes out all of the toxins trapped inside.
By MADAME SWEAT, from the little book of human discomforts
Have you made the switch to natural deodorant? Let us know in the comments how long you've been going strong, and which products work best for you.