Don’t sweat!  Changing up your beauty products can seem like a daunting task.  In fact, it took me years to finally realize the toxic health effects of conventional deodorant and antiperspirant and how it was affecting my body.  The decision to exclusively use natural deodorant required a bit of dedication during the transition period but has been well worth the change. Are you aware of all the pitfalls to using regular deodorant and antiperspirants?  Their effects can vary from skin irritation to systemic toxicity. What’s in yours?

Common Ingredients

  • Aluminum Compounds: These compounds plug the ducts within the sweat glands in order to stop the flow of perspiration. In addition, they also mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propryl, benzyl and butyl): Parabens have been deemed xenoestrogens, which are agents that mimic estrogen in the body.  They disrupt the body’s hormonal balance causing a multitude of effects.
  • Steareths: Endocrine disruptors that have developmental and reproductive toxicity.
  • Triclosan: The FDA has classified triclosan as a pesticide.  It is also a skin irritant and ends up killing both your good and bad bacteria.
  • Talc: If Talc contains asbestiform fibers, it is then considered to be a carcinogen.
  • Proplyene Glycol: This ingredient is considered a reproductive and fetal neurotoxin and has been linked to kidney and liver damage.

These infertility-causing ingredients and toxic chemicals have even been linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer.  To me, this alone was not worth the risk of using antiperspirant. Antiperspirant works specifically to clog the pores preventing the release of sweat from the sweat glands.  When the sweat builds up behind the gland, it can cause unwanted effects such as bumps and painful inflammation, as well as a build-up of the bad bacteria causing an even worse odor.

Sweating is normal

We are supposed to sweat.  It is a good thing – it is one of the ways that our bodies are able to expel toxins and regulate temperature.  By using antiperspirants, we are blocking our bodies natural ability to detox by clogging our pores with aluminum compounds.  Sweating is totally and completely 100% normal.  Believe it or not – sweat does not actually smell.  It is just a mix of water and salt.  The odor is produced when the sweat comes in contact with the natural bacteria on our skin.

How to make the switch:

My first suggestion would be to stop using all deodorants and antiperspirants for a few days.  This allows your body to expel any remaining toxins as your sweat glands begin to unclog.  This natural detoxification process will allow your body to reset.  As your body pushes the remains of the aluminum compounds out of your sweat glands, it is important to not apply anything else to the area since these compounds may already be irritating the skin as they exit.  Once you have detoxed most of the ingredients, you can begin your search for the best natural deodorant for you.  All-natural deodorants are not created equal. You will want to make sure to find one with a good balance of baking soda and essential oils.  Many “natural” brands still find a way to sneak toxic ingredients into their products.  There is no “one size fits all” for natural deodorant.  Our bodies are all different. Some people can get away with just a few dabs of tea tree oil while others will need a whole lot more.

Personally, I have tried a few different brands; everything from homemade recipes to a plethora of store bought brands.  The one I have found to work the best for me is Native, an online brand based out of San Francisco.  They come in a variety of scents, my personal favorites including Grapefruit and Eucalyptus & Mint.  After using it for the past year, I have noticed less irritation and inflammation in my underarms which allows me to have a cleaner shave that lasts longer. In addition, I no longer have yellow pit stains which were caused from the reaction of the acidic aluminum compounds with the fabric of my shirts.  They also have free shipping and returns on their products! Check them out here: https://refer.nativecos.com/x/71z7Up  You also will get a free mini deodorant with your purchase by using the link.  The mini size is perfect for travel and to throw in your purse.

Again, each person is different so you may have to shop around in order to find the best natural deodorant for you.  Give it at least a few weeks in order to see the benefits since it takes your body a little while to adjust. I can almost guarantee you will not be switching back anytime soon!