When you’re making the switch from conventional products to natural beauty, body, and skincare, one of the most important transitions is the one from antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. (Sticking it out with natural shampoo is at the top of the list, too.) Changing these beauty habits — especially when your body has worked hard to “adapt” to all those chemicals — can be a challenging, sweaty, and even smelly process. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the work. And guess what? Fall is the best season to do it. Here’s why.
Why switch to a natural deodorant in the fall?
For starters, consider what an antiperspirant does. It’s anti … perspirant. So its entire goal is to keep you from sweating, which, let’s be honest, you probably do a lot more of in the summertime. That makes fall’s cooler temperatures a great time to let your body adjust to using a deodorant (which doesn’t stop sweat, just stink!). Bonus: Back to school season is a great time to start a new routine.
How does a deodorant detox work?
When you lather on an antiperspirant that prevents you from sweating, you’re causing a natural process to stop, typically by clogging sweat glands and pores. That means when your body tries to sweat, the sweat can build up under your skin, causing bumps, inflammation, and even attracting bacteria. Sound familiar? Using deodorant gradually unclogs those sweat glands — and sometimes that built-up sweat can be a little stinky.
My antiperspirant works fine. Why bother with natural deodorant?
Wellllllll…if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already interested in making the switch to natural products. But just in case, here’s why I think it’s important: Many of the ingredients in a typical antiperspirant (aluminum compounds, parabens, pthalates, propylene glycol, and talc) are concerning at best, with potential links to endocrine disruption and reproductive issues, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Worst of all, many of these ingredients can build up in your body over time, so the cumulative effect of daily use could be stronger than you might think.
How to do a deodorant detox in 4 steps
1. Be prepared to kiss a lot of frogs … er, try several brands. Some people are sensitive to the baking soda commonly used in natural deodorants, so if you have sensitive skin, read your ingredients lists and don’t write off natural deodorants before you’ve tried one without baking soda.
2. Exfoliate! Remember that clogged body sweat? It doesn’t always smell like roses. To help this process along, try dry brushing under your arms to exfoliate and help the process along. You can also use a toner like apple cider vinegar.
3. Dress smart. Think about it: synthetic fabrics like polyester trap in moisture (sweat). When you’re doing a deodorant detox, it’s best to stick with natural, breathable fibers like cotton, and maybe looser shirts than you might be used to, because you might sweat more than normal while your body adjusts.
4. Stick with it. Yes, it will take a while for your body to adjust. Yes, it might kind of suck. Yes, you might not react well to the first deodorant that you try. But our bodies are amazing at figuring out how to do what they’re supposed to do (just ask any mother), and your body will figure it out. And you will be shocked at how not-smelly your sweat really is, and how little you actually sweat, once your body isn’t being chemically manipulated.