Issues you may face when changing to natural deodorant
I wanted to write a post to share a little information and the experience I had when I changed over to natural deodorant, and what I did to fix it.
Not everyone reacts the same way to deodorant ingredients, either synthetic or natural. The reality is that chemical-free deodorants are not problem-free for everyone.
Conventional deodorants and anti-perspirants contain a variety of chemicals and additives. It takes something un-natural to block the body’s natural ability to sweat, and the chemical list in some deodorants is impressive:
- Phthalates – Endocrine disruptors often also found in plastic that can cause hormone imbalance and even infertility.
- Propylene glycol – Common name: Antifreeze. It is a hotly debated additive in personal care products but the Environmental Working Group reports that it carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.
- Formaldehyde - A known carcinogen.
- Parabens - Another hormone disruptor. Parabens have been found in biopsied tissue with breast cancer.
- Antibacterial Substances- I talked about these before but they are endocrine disruptors and can negatively affect the immune system.
Why is this a big deal? Ever gotten sick and had a lump in your neck or armpit? That is a lymph node and they are a major part of your immune system. Putting endocrine disruption chemicals directly on top of them is a great way to screw up your hormones and suppress immune function.
So it makes sense, right, if you find a lovely natural alternative to having fresh smelling pits.
But what can go wrong & what happened to me
You can experience itchiness, rash, dry skin or a temporary darkening of the skin under the arms. I myself experienced a rash a few days after starting use of a natural deodorant.
For me, it only happened under one armpit so I stopped using the butter balm for a couple of days and then went back to it. I still had the issue but I was determined. I let my skin settle down and applied it again a few days later. It took me about 2 weeks to come right and the rash disappeared, never to return.
Then, horror of horrors, I noticed that my underarm, just the one, looked brownish. Did I detox my underarm and get a faster result.. no.. I just kept looking under my arm each day and within 3 weeks it had totally gone, never to return.
So yes it happened to me, and now I am free of any issues. Here is some great advice to follow if you get the same problem and do not want to take the wait and see approach.
A great advantage to doing an armpit detox, besides that it helps speed up the natural deodorant adjustment period, is that it might help pull some of these chemicals out of the skin and tissue of the armpits. This can be especially helpful after years of conventional deodorant use.
Does it Work?
I tried it personally and had several friends, who hadn’t yet made the switch to natural deodorant, try it as well and then switch. Here are the results:
- We all noticed less odor, even without wearing any deo afterward
- Nobody who tried the detox noticed a rash when using the natural deodorant
- All but one person said they noticed less sweat
- Everyone said they would recommend it to a friend
Completely un-scientific trial but practically applicable and the results seem promising!
How to Detox Your Armpits Method 1
Don’t you love when something is so easy that it almost doesn’t need instructions?
You might already have the ingredients on hand. You’ll just need bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and water.
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons of water (to get right consistency)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until about the consistency of sour cream.
- Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. I suggest starting slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjust. If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
- This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly.
- Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
- Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.
How to Detox Your Arm Pits Method 2
Rebalancer Recipe: Mix together One tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 cup distilled or filtered water.
Mix that together in a small container (if you have a spray bottle, this would be absolutely awesome as a little spray).
How to Apply Your pH Rebalancer
Before you apply your homemade deodorant, dab on a small amount of your sweet, simple rebalancer, and rub it all over your armpit area. Hold those arms up there and let it dry completely. Then, once it’s dry, apply your deodorant.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to wait 30 minutes to an hour to apply deodorant for that matter, if you’ve shaved in the shower. Nothing says ouch like applying either of these things to nicked, irritated-with-a-blade skin.
Now, if you’ve let things build up until you have rawness, you might want to take a total break from your baking-soda-based deodorant for about a week, and apply this pH rebalancer two times a day. In fact, you may even find that THIS (the apple cider vinegar and water mixture) is the only deodorant you need at this point.
But, either way, spend some time allowing your pH to come back to a good baseline (you’ll know you’re there when the itching and redness is completely gone).
From then on, you can just use the rebalancer before you apply your deodorant, as outlined above.