Switching to a natural deodorant is one of the best choices you can make for your body. But making the switch can bring a few new challenges. Here are 5 tips for successfully switching to a natural deodorant plus a recipe for a DIY armpit detox mask.
This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, I may make a commission. Thank you for your support.
My beauty and skin care routine is pretty simple. I laugh a lot because my husband thinks it takes me so long to get ready, but he’d really die if I was actually high maintenance.
Give me deodorant, mascara, and chapstick and I’m ready to go. Being low maintenance also makes traveling easier and lighter, so that’s always a plus!
But lately I’ve been looking at my beauty and skin care routines and judging them a little more harshly. I’ve been on a mainstream green route for over 13 years now and one area that nagged me a few years ago was my deodorant of choice.
I’ll be honest with you here… I have stinky pits. There, I said it. It’s out in the open for the world to know, but promise you won’t judge me too harshly, ok?!
I’ve had to wear clinical strength deodorant for as long as I can remember. Over the past couple of years I’ve tried to switch to a natural deodorant, unsuccessfully.
I just couldn’t get used to the sweating and the smell. Did you know that conventional deodorants actually keep your body and sweat glands from naturally sweating?!
Why should I switch to a natural deodorant?
After reading some not-so-great side effects that conventional antiperspirants could cause, I decided it was absolutely time to switch and I wasn’t turning back.
Now, I’m no scientist, no medical expert, and definitely not a deodorant expert, but I do know that some of the things that they say about deodorants with aluminum are just downright scary including links to breast cancer and immune system issues.
True or not, I’ve decided that I’d rather keep aluminum out of my armpit, thank you very much.
The switch to a natural deodorant also coincided with my oldest daughter’s age. I can’t remember how old I was when I started wearing deodorant, but I know that I started having talks with my 9 year old about starting a deodorant routine.
I decided I wanted to her to start off with a natural deodorant. I don’t want her putting chemicals on her body at such a young age!
Another reason I decided to finally make the transition to a natural deodorant is the location. The placement of deodorant on our bodies also became a big thing for me and as a skin cancer survivor, I definitely know all about lymph nodes.
Our underarm skin is very thin and there are lymph nodes so close in that area that it only makes sense that you want less chemicals and more natural substances in those areas.
What natural deodorant should I choose?
As I mentioned I’ve tried a couple of times before and been super unsuccessful at those attempts. I think it’s partly because I really wasn’t prepared for the transition and partly because I hadn’t found the right products that worked for my body.
There are so many natural deodorants available now, with tons of reviews from customers swearing by them and others saying “No, run away if you don’t want stinky pits for life!”
I really suggest that you try a few different brands to see what works best for you. I know that can get pricey, but it really seems like certain brands work better for certain people. I’ve found great success with Native, which you can find on Amazon and even in stores like Target and Walmart now.
No matter which type of natural deodorant you choose, you’ll want to give it at least a week before trying another type or brand to help your body get accustomed to it. If you have sensitive skin or find that your armpits are very sensitive to the natural deodorants, look for sensitive products that do not contain baking soda.
What should I expect when transitioning to a natural deodorant?
Honestly, when you transition to a natural deodorant, you should expect some stink, sweat, and a need for patience. Really, that’s why I was unsuccessful at switching before, but sticking with the switch for at least 1-2 weeks is where you’ll find that success.
Now that I’ve totally transitioned to a natural deodorant, there is a bit of difference in how I use deodorant regularly. I’ve found that using natural deodorant once in the morning is enough for a regular day.
However, if I’m super active or it’s a really warm day, I need to reapply in the mid-afternoon. This hasn’t been an inconvenience, really, just a bit different to adjust to, but totally worth the payoff of using a natural deodorant.
Now, this isn’t to say that switching to an aluminum-free deodorant is hard, it’s absolutely not. But you do have to retrain your body and most importantly your mind when using a natural deodorant. That’s why I’m sharing with you below, 5 tips to help your transition be a successful one!
5 Tips for Successfully Transitioning to a Natural Deodorant
Tip 1: Be prepared.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, be prepared for stink and sweat. It’s what your armpits are supposed to do, people! It’s natural.
Tip 2: Detox your arm pits with this DIY Armpit Detox Mask.
I feel like the first few days of switching were the worst as my body kind of freaked out [or maybe my mind made my body freak out].
After doing some digging, I realized that my old deodorant was actually clogging up my pores and sweat glands, making my body not sweat, and ultimately hurting more than it helped. My armpits needed a good old fashion underarm detox and yours will too!
This mask isn’t something you need to do all the time. Now that I’ve been regularly using a natural deodorant for about 5 months, I’ve only been doing the clay mask every 3-4 weeks.
But in the beginning I did feel like I needed it more. Then there were some occasions where I just put a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a rag and wiped my underarm area for an extra cleanse.
I feel like this mask gets rid of any build-up or impurities left behind and just makes my skin feel so much cleaner and it couldn’t be any easier since it’s just TWO ingredients.
For this DIY armpit mask, you’ll need:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bentonite Clay Powder – I use the NOW brand from Amazon
- Glass bowl
The mask is super easy to apply once you mix the two together into a paste, just rub on your underarm area. I let it dry, which is pretty quick, just about 5 minutes and wipe off with a warm wet towel.
Tip 3: Try different natural deodorants.
I touched on this a bit above, but I think it’s important to note that just like some skincare products and brands work for some people, some don’t. The same is true for natural deodorants. I’m so glad that I tried again and again and finally found a product that works for my body.
Tip 4: Shave regularly.
Another thing I’ve learned about my body after switching to a natural deodorant is that I have much less stink if I shave regularly. I don’t know the science behind my observation, I just know that I shave my armpits a lot more regularly now!
And I switched my shaving cream to NOW’s Nutri-Shave, a natural shaving cream. It goes on almost like a lotion and is super hydrating and nourishing unlike so many regular shaving creams.
Tip 5: Let your body adjust and learn the new normal.
Lastly, when you decide to switch to a natural deodorant, just know things are going to be a little different, especially in the beginning. With traditional deodorants, our bodies weren’t used to sweating, weren’t used to breathing through the pores in our armpits. We’ve been clogging them up for years!
Embrace the sweat, embrace the stink [but it’s only for a couple of days, I promise] and let your body do what it does naturally.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bentonite Clay Powder
- Small glass bowl
- In a small glass bowl, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay powder. I start with about 2 tablespoons each and add more if necessary.
- Mix together until a paste forms.
- Rub onto underarm area using a brush or your fingers.
- Let the mask dry on your armpit, usually just takes a few minutes.
- Wipe off gently with a warm, wet towel.
- Repeat monthly or as needed.
I hope these tips help you transition to a natural deodorant successfully!
Or have you already switched? I’d love to hear what made your journey successful!
This post was originally published in March 2019. It was last updated May 2023.