How to transition from traditional to natural deodorant!
People are creatures of habit. From toothpaste to paper towels, when you find a brand you like, you often stick to it. The same goes with deodorant. Why make a change if the one you’ve been using since you can remember works well? The difference is there’s real evidence that traditional deodorants and antiperspirants may contain ingredients that are bad for your health. Here’s why you might consider making a switch to a natural product, and how to do so smoothly.
Product Ingredient No-Nos
Deodorants are created to make sweat smell better, while antiperspirants stop perspiration. Some of the more harmful ingredients in these products include aluminum, triclosan, phthalates and propylene glycol. “These ingredients can be endocrine disruptors, impacting overall hormone balance in men and women, along with links to health issues of the liver, kidney and brain,” says Dr. Taz Bhatia, integrative health expert and founder of CentreSpring- MD and Dr. Taz MD in Brookhaven.
Natural Deodorants At Work
Underarm body odor is caused by bacteria on the surface of the armpit. Instead of stopping sweat or masking body odor with chemicals, natural deodorants work to lower the bacterial load that is causing the smell in the first place. Bhatia suggests looking for natural deodorants with disinfectant properties, including coconut oil, tea tree oil, baking soda or cornstarch to absorb moisture, and essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary and sandalwood, for scent. “Natural deodorants allow the body to sweat and therefore detox more naturally, lowering overall chemical load and improving general detoxification,” she says.
The Transition Plan
Once a regular deodorant is stopped, the bacteria will overflow, and you will get stinky—stinkier than you normally would without any deodorizing product. So an armpit detox is a good way to speed up the process. “This is helpful to rebalance the armpit microbiome, which is usually suppressed with a typical deodorant,” Bhatia says. To do an underarm detox, use 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay (a natural, detoxifying clay) mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, which has cleansing properties, and 1 teaspoon of water. Apply the paste to your underarms for around 10 minutes daily for a week or more until your underarm odor subsides. If it is irritating at all, wash it off immediately.
Good Habits for B.O.
There is a link between body odor and gut health, so following best practices to support a healthy gut can also be helpful to reduce B.O. Bhatia suggests taking a probiotic and removing high-sugar and refined foods from your diet.
DR. TAZ MD
Kosasport Chemistry in Serene Clean ($16)
This clean deodorant uses an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) blend to foster its balanced pH under your arms and doesn’t contain potentially irritating baking soda. Apply it with its roller ball and enjoy the light scents of orange, lavender, vetiver and ylang essential oils.
A gel-to-powder waterless formula, this natural deodorant glides on smoothly and dries fast. It is made up of 100% naturally derived ingredients including corn starch, grapefruit peel oil and ginger root oil.
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.