When it comes to deodorant, I’ve never put much thought into what I was using. Never. The only decisions I thought I had to make when it came to my deodorant was what brand + scent I wanted. However as I dive deeper into this whole world of health and wellness, I discovered that what we are putting under are arms actually does matter. In fact it’s pretty scary once you start looking into it and realize what you are putting under your arms every.single.day.
Allison mentioned one day that she was going to be making the switch to natural deodorant, as soon as she mentioned it I jumped right on board. Once we were both committed, we thought it would be a good idea to share our experience here on The Middle Edit. However before we dive into what our experiences were like, I thought I would go into a little more detail about why making the switch to natural deodorant is a good idea….
Why Make The Switch
Upon looking into what is actually going on with what we put under our arms, I learned that there actually is a difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. Deodorant masks the odors our bodies give off while antiperspirants helps to keep the sweating under control. Which sounds ideal, but in reality, it’s unnatural. So in order to make our bodies do something unnatural, deodorants and antiperspirants are filled with chemicals. And those chemicals….they aren’t good for us. They can cause major health risks and hormone imbalances within our bodies. In an article from Wellness Mama, some of these chemicals are broken down and the dangers explained….
- Aluminum– some evidence links aluminum to cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Phthalates– Endocrine disruptors often also found in plastic that can cause hormone imbalance and even infertility (especially in med)
- 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… guess it kills the germs though.
- Parabens- Another hormone disruptor and 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
Kind of terrifying, right? Once I read that I was sold on making this switch forever.
So to be considered a natural deodorant, the product needs to be free of parabens, aluminum, phthalates and any other chemical known to irritate skin.
Making the Switch
If you google anything in regards to making the switch to natural deodorant, you are bound to come across some horror stories. In fact, when I went to purchase a brand off Amazon, I was completely deterred by the pictures people were posting of their armpits. There are a ton of stories of deodorants not working, of under arms turning a different color and even being burned when making the switch.
Turns out there is a little adjustment period when making the switch to natural deodorant. The article mentioned above from Wellness Mama provides some really good information on this and explains why you should do a Armpit Detox prior to (or even during) making the switch. Allison actually did this using the following recipe:
Armpit Mask Detox Recipe
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, apply to clean, dry, underarms and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with a warm washcloth. Repeat until armpits are no longer sensitive to natural deodorant.
To be honest though, neither of us experienced much of any issues…
We both wanted to try several brands, so that we had a good idea of what worked/what didn’t. Here are our experiences.
Our Switch to Natural Deodorant
Shannon’s Switch to Natural Deodorant Experience
As noted above, the horror stories can be a little intimidating when making the switch. Plus take into the fact that it’s 100+ degrees everyday here in Arizona at the moment, I go to the gym daily and I sweat a lot (like a lot), I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I certainly don’t want to smell bad, but I also don’t want to be putting those horrid chemicals into my body everyday.
The first brand I tried was Ursa Major. The smell is amazing and it has an even more amazing cooling effect when you put it on. I did notice that (if I really tried) I could smell myself and when layered on (2x a day) it burned a tad. However after a couple days and several sweaty gym sessions it did the trick. I would be more than happy to use this daily without fear of smelling bad.
The second brand I used was Kopari. I actually really LOVED this stuff. Again, it smells amazing and I did not experience any transitional period with it what so ever. So again, it’s a keeper.
Kind of uneventful, I know, but I’m happy about that. I would still like to use the armpit detox recipe above, just to try it out, but I’m incredibly happy I did not experience any major reactions to making the switch.
I have been consistently using clean deodorant since I made the switch last year. The Ursa Major was my go to for a long while, but as I started to notice my own smell (lol), I decided I better switch it up. To be honest, I was a little sad to leave the Ursa Major behind. I love the smell and cooling effect of it…but not enough to actually smell bad.
I still had the Kopari, so I just switched back to using that one. As I mentioned in the original post I LOVE this stuff. It smells delicious and aside from the times that I get a spray tan, or if I go to the gym in the AM and don’t put any additional on (is that gross?), I don’t really ever notice a smell. Plust I haven’t had anyone say anything, so that a good thing as well!
However, summer is officially here in Phoenix and we are hitting 105+ degrees every day, so this will be the true test of what it can withstand. I sweat pretty easily, basically the second I step outside, so I’ll be interested to see if Kopari can withstand it.
I’ve heard several people mention that the detox their armpits every so often just to keep things fresh. I have yet to do it again and haven’t really had any issues, so I’ll probably keep it that way.
To be honest, I feel like I’ve had a pretty easy go at this whole switching to natural deodorant thing. I know Allison has tried several brands, but I feel like I got pretty lucky finding the Kopari and that it actually works for me. But again, summer in Arizona is a different ball game, so we shall see what really happens.
Allison’s Switch to Natural Deodorant Experience
About a year ago, I wanted to make the switch to natural deodorant a shot. Tom’s was the first natural deodorant I made the switch to. I tried it for about 5 days and couldn’t even stand it, I STUNK! I definitely would not recommend that brand to anyone that has to wear deodorant. Back to the non-natural deodorant, I gave up!
Fast forward to a year later: the next two products, I used in conjunction with one another. The Primal Pit Paste Daily Detox Deodorant is great. It smells so good! A few times I forgot I had it on and wondered what that great smell was…DUH! This deodorant (and my underarms) smell better than any brand I’ve ever worn before, non-natural brands included. I’m shocked still! I have yet to smell any signs of body odor and trust me, if I don’t wear good deodorant I can tell and so can everyone around me. The only downfall of this particular scent (Charcoal Magnesium) is the charcoal color it leaves on my armpits so I’ve been using it mainly at night. Next time, I am going to grab a non-colored scent. They won me over, I’m a fan!
I’ve also been using the Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant which is another great option and one I would definitely recommend. This is a nice fresh smell. It is a little bit easier to find in normal grocery stores too and often less expensive so that’s a plus. Recently, I wore it all day at the beach and did not have body odor at all! I was pleasantly surprised.
Much like Shannon, my experience was nothing too crazy, thankfully! I’m glad I gave it another go because making the switch was super simple, but I would recommend doing the detox first.
I’ve also been consistently using natural deodorant since I made the switch last year. I have went through so many deodorant brands throughout that time frame. Something would work for a couple weeks or so but then it would stop working. I loved the Primal Paste Detox deodorant but it stopped working and gave me a weird smell after a couple hours. The Schmidt’s brand, I wore in Europe during our summertime trip and I walked around smelling like a musty-lime the entire time. I tossed that immediately when I got back and haven’t used it since.
I was about to give up natural deodorant all together but then I found out I was pregnant. After I found out, I felt guilty going back to the toxic deodorant so I tried to find something that worked. Primal Paste sent me a couple of their new products to test and I was pleasantly surprised. They have a new zinc formula that goes on so nicely. It has very little grain and glides on much easier! They have 2 options- jar or stick version. I’ve found that the Zinc Unscented Natural Jar Deodorant works best for me. For some reason, every time I get a deodorant with smells in them, it makes my arm pits smell even worse after time. This unscented deodorant does the job and doesn’t leave a weird smell when I sweat.
We are grateful that our switch to natural deodorant was easy and pain free. We know it’s not like this for everyone, so if you do decide to make the switch, just pay attention and listen to what your body is telling you! It will definitely be worth it in the long run!
Have you made the switch to natural deodorant yet?