How to Switch to Natural Deodorant

by Karen Kerk July 17, 2016

How to Switch to Natural Deodorant

Since I find myself saying this on a weekly basis (at least), I thought I should post it here so you can read all the gory details and share with your friends.

What’s Wrong with Anti-Perspirant?

Well, the biggest problem with anti-perspirant are the toxic ingredients. Ingredients that haven’t been fully tested on humans, synthetic fragrances, parabens (that mimic estrogen), etc. My second biggest beef with them is their purpose. ‘Anti-perspirant’ translates to ‘stop-sweating’. The ingredients within it actually clog your pores to stop you from sweating. Doesn’t that freak you out? (Just a little?) It STOPS you from sweating. Why should we stop our sweat? It’s our body’s natural reaction to heat, exercise, stress, etc. It allows our body to regulate it’s internal temperature. But no, we’ve been marketed to that sweat = gross, and gross = no friends, no job, no love life. Ever. So we fill our body with sometimes toxic and often untested ingredients, often on broken/shaved skin, day after day from puberty to menopause. Awesome.

Is Deodorant Different?

Deodorant helps mask the sweat smell, it doesn’t block your pores to prevent you from sweating. But most conventional deodorants are still filled with yucky ingredients. Sigh.

So where do we fit in? After years of asking, we finally came up with a recipe for a deodorant cream that we felt good about making. Bare Organics’ deodorant is made with 4 simple ingredients: arrowroot flour (yes, like in the arrowroot cookies), baking soda (yes, aluminum free), coconut oil and shea butter. For the scented varieties, we also add pure essential oils. The coconut oil and shea butter provide a smooth, creamy base to hold the powders. The arrowroot and baking soda act to 1) absorb some moisture from the sweat and 2) mask the odour more naturally.

How Can I Switch?

For most people, there is a transition period when switching to a natural deodorant. If you hit puberty at 10, and are suddenly thinking about what you paint your armpits with at age 30, you’ve been using something on your body for two decades. There is going to be a transition period.  Luckily, it passes fairly quickly for most. There’s usually a window of about a few days to about two weeks where some very unpleasant odours might waft from your body. Don’t worry, that’s not actually your own natural body odour, it’s the gross antiperspirant ingredients exiting your body. (It’s also a clever gimmick used by antiperspirant companies to make you think it’s you that smells, so hence you buy more and apply more and more antiperspirant, and the cycle continues every time you try to stop…).

Once you get the nastiness out of your body, a state of b.o. balance will return and you should go back to experiencing normal sweating and normal/minimal body odour.

To help with the transition period, we recommend the following:

  • Make a complete switch! No going back and forth between deodorant and antiperspirant. 
  • Try a mid-day armpit wash. If at home, this is easy. If at work or school, bring a soapy washcloth in a ziploc bag or container, and discreetly do a freshening up of the pits. Re-apply deodorant after this. Repeat as needed.

Voila! After two weeks, you should be able to make it through the whole day without re-applying or a pit wash

And ideally, you will not need to use deodorant each and every day. Remember, our philosophy is a less is more approach to natural skin care. I certainly don’t wear deodorant when I’m home, or even out and about. Only when I’m giving a presentation or teaching do I apply it. And my body thanks me for that!

Cautions

Although the ingredients are more natural in this product than in most deodorants or antiperspirants out there, some folks may still react to any of the ingredients. And armpits are super sensitive, so watch for irritation. This is why we urge you not to apply the deodorant on freshly shaved armpits (the baking soda can be abrasive). Wait at least a few hours to allow the broken skin to heal.

If you find the deodorant suddenly stops being effective for you, you may have just built up a tolerance and need to switch it up. It worked for Papa Bare when he switched scents. Some folks alternate between this and a crystal deodorant.

Come summer, the coconut and shea butter base of our deodorant cream softens in the heat. We will be starting shortly to add in a small amount of beeswax to keep the tubes more solid, but we haven't had a chance to set up the new equipment just yet. Hang tight for this fabulous new option!

Special Circumstances

For sure there are folks that don’t fit the mold. But we’ve seen it all! We’ve had people on prescription antiperspirants switch to our deodorant with no problem at all. Ditto nursing mamas. But we’ve also seen folks who are just really heavy sweaters and this isn’t enough for them. But for the vast majority, you can make it through.

I hope these tips bring you armpit happiness…

And don’t forget, I am always willing to hear your feedback and answer your questions,

~Mama Bare


Karen Kerk
Karen Kerk

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