Note: I first wrote this blog post as a contributor at Beauty Bets back in August of 2017, but I am republishing it here to help keep some of my favorite work together. Enjoy!
I feel like I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant for the past 3 or 4 years (or like…6/7 now!). I’d find or hear about a natural deo that sounded promising. I’d buy it. I’d start using it. I’d get super smelly, sore armpits, or a rash and switch back to my conventional deodorant for a few months. Repeat.
Are you stuck in this cycle, too? It seems we aren’t alone because I recently saw an online thread where many people were lamenting about the struggle to make the switch, with all of us having the same symptoms. That’s when someone suggested giving your armpits the same grace you give your face, and recognizing that after years of slathering them in toxic ingredients they’ll need the same detox process that your face needs when you switch to cleaner skincare or makeup….with the caveat that unlike your face your armpits might also smell pretty funky in the process.
But before we dive into the how, let’s talk about why you should switch to a natural deodorant. In a nutshell: sweating is a natural bodily process. It’s one of the ways our body removes waste. Not allowing this process to take place can result in disease and other health concerns. In our society (especially in the US) it’s not only considered “gross” to have body odor but even just perspiration, which means that most Americans wear a deodorant + antiperspirant combo — a combination that keeps you from smelling AND from releasing moisture! Of course, that doesn’t sound good for your health to begin with, but the other issue is that conventional brands are loaded with harmful ingredients in order to keep you dry and smelling fresh (the most common ones are aluminum, phthalates, triclosan, parabens, fragrances + more…so check your labels).
It’s in the interest of your health to switch to a natural deodorant ASAP! You might still get moisture under your arms, but this can be controlled by drying them throughout the day and wearing natural fabrics.
The switch can be a little rocky. If you’ve been wearing deodorant for years you’ll likely endure a period of 10-14 days where you smell a bit “ripe” and need to be proactive about controlling it. The steps outlined below are for a 1o-day armpit detox that will kind of guide you through this smelly period to get you to the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope it helps!
For ten days follow these simple Armpit Detox guidelines:
After this 10-Day Armpit Detox process, you should have managed to avoid the worst of rashes, stinging armpits, or smells and hopefully made a permanent transition to a healthy deodorant. But try not to stop the pit pampering there—exfoliate them, apply natural oils or moisturizers to them before bed. Keep up with an occasional bentonite clay mask. And of course, go deodorant free whenever you have the chance!
A slight rash or some discoloration could still occur while your armpits detox, but this process will hopefully help speed up the process while providing a very thorough detox that helps improve the condition of your precious little pits and prep them for a lifetime of safe, natural deodorant.
My top suggestion for a natural, safe deodorant is Primally Pure’s Charcoal Deodorant ($16.00). I find that I get absolutely no bad smell with the deodorant, and although I do sometimes still have moisture it’s not much and is easy to manage. When I order I usually get one large and one small stick (for travel!) and the duo lasts me around 4 months. I typically only apply deodorant once per day, so you might go through them faster depending on your frequency. You can take 10% off your entire purchase with my code HONEY10 at checkout.
How do I get it all done? Simple. I fill out The Daily Page, my secret weapon for aligning my work + wellness.
It is now available as a spiral-bound planner, notepad, instant digital download, or planner for the Goodnotes app.
My online course will teach you how to achieve optimum hydration and get organized using The Daily Page.