Transitioning from regular deodorant to natural deodorant – what to expect

Posted by Vanessa N on

You’ve officially decided that you want to move away from using conventional deodorants and invest in natural alternatives, but don’t know how to make the transition. So, you research some natural options and start using right away. You may experience mixed results in the first few days or weeks after. Here’s what to expect.

But first, the positives of switching to natural deodorant

Let’s talk about the justice you would be serving your body if you switched to natural deodorant:

Sweating is natural + good for me

Perspiration is the body’s natural way of ridding itself of toxins, but may not always produce a pleasant scent depending on your body’s chemistry and deodorant tendencies. Natural deodorants are typically made without harmful aluminum salts, and toxins found in conventional deodorants, and are designed to keep you smelling fresh for hours. You’ll still sweat, but it will be twice as pleasant because your body will love the natural, good-for-you ingredients it’s being fed, like shea butter, organic beeswax, and a range of antibacterial and deodorizing essential oils.

My B.O. is almost nonexistent

Natural deodorant protects against rather than masks bad odor. Once your natural deodorant kicks in, it allows your skin and pores to breathe and rids the body of toxic buildup. This fosters the growth of healthy underarm bacteria that keeps foul B.O. at bay. Essential oil-based deodorants fight bacterial growth, which leads to a reduction in body odor. This is because certain essential oils, like Bergamot Oil and Elemi Oil, have natural deodorizing and skin-rejuvenating qualities.

I have less underarm irritation

The ingredients found in natural deodorant are soothing and gentle for your underarms. Common ingredients include mineral salts, like Potassium Alum, which function by forming a thin layer on the skin, rather than clogging underarm pores. The mineral salt layer actually prevents the growth of skin bacteria that make your sweat smell really bad. Alongside mineral salts, organic beeswax is thick-textured, moisturizing ingredient found in some natural deodorant sticks. Coconut oil is also common as a skin-healing ingredient added to deodorants. Lastly, essential oils not only fight bacteria but also give natural deodorant an aromatherapeutic kick to help you feel fresh, protected and energized.

No more yellow stains on clothing

Natural deodorant doesn’t contain any aluminum-based compounds, which are the main contributors to the embarrassing yellow stains that appear on clothing. Your sweat is not yellow, so the common misconception that sweat causes yellow stains on clothes is in fact, false. It is believed that the urea in sweat mixes with the aluminum components of conventional deodorant, thus resulting in yellow discoloration on light colored clothing.

Negatives of switching to natural deodorants

I might sweat a lot in the beginning, but it’s totally natural  

The outcome might not be satisfying at first, which means you may experience excessive sweating and odor. Don’t be alarmed if that happens! Cynthia Cobb, nurse practitioner and contributor to Medical News Today, adds that individuals who have used standard deodorants for years “are likely to have produced excess bad bacteria in the armpit, which increases odor and causes more sweating.” But, the process is completely natural and should not hold you back from continuing natural deodorant use. Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian explains that “many people who switch to natural formulations report an increase in sweating, then a normalizing of sweat levels after a few days or weeks.” Nazarian continues that it’s just your body’s way of “regaining the ability to perspire normally” after years of using store-bought deodorants.

It might feel different when applying

There’s a difference in the ingredients used in conventional vs. natural deodorant, so you may experience a different feeling when applying under your arms. Many natural deodorants contain beeswax, which can feel like you’re applying dry chapstick under your arms. The best approach is to swipe the deodorant stick slowly a few times under your arms and allow your body heat to soften the blend. Alternatively, you can slightly dampen your underarms for a smoother glide.

The texture may change due to temperature

Because it’s beeswax-based, the texture is softer in warmer weather but hardens in colder temperatures. Unlike conventional deodorant, there are no active chemical ingredients to control the texture of the deodorant. We suggest storing your natural deodorant in room temperature.

It may leave residue on clothing

Some natural options can leave residue on clothing, but that also goes for most conventional deodorants. The white marks or stains that appear on your clothes after the application comes from the aluminum salts in your conventional deodorant. HowStuffWorks journalist Laurie Dove says “when these active ingredients (which also happen to be quite acidic) bond with your sweat, they're prone to stain clothing.” Many regular deodorant companies create ‘invisible’ deodorants that fail the stain test, but wearing underarm-stained clothing over and over again can be problematic because according to the BBC “we’re constantly shedding skin cells, oozing skin oils and secreting sweat onto everything we’re wearing.” In many natural alternatives, thick-textured ingredients like beeswax are prone to leaving a small residue on your clothes. The best approach is to apply a thin layer or wait a few minutes after application to wear clothing.

You may experience an allergic reaction  

Baking soda is one of the primary active ingredients that fights body odor in natural deodorant. Some people may be allergic to baking soda, which can culminate in a nasty skin rash. It is possible to develop a rash because of baking soda’s high PH levels (8.3 to be exact) if used at high concentrations. However, a lower concentration of baking soda in natural deodorant will likely not cause any adverse reactions. Since your sweat is acidic and baking soda has a high Ph, there is a neutralization process that balances everything out. Some people might not experience an allergic reaction at first, but notice redness and irritation in the skin a few weeks or months after. This is probably because of the particular natural deodorant you’re using contains large amounts of baking soda, which may change your own PH levels and increase your chances of developing a skin rash after consecutive use.

Way of Will’s deodorants are all-natural and tailored to your needs

Deodorant Spray

Whether you’re the deodorant stick or spray type of person, Way of Will makes it enjoyable and easy to feel clean and odor-free. The 01 Natural Deodorant Spray is packed with the gentle and deodorizing qualities of Bergamot essential oil and Elemi essential oil, known for its skin rejuvenating properties. This deodorant does not contain any of the harsh, disease-causing aluminum compounds, but contains Potassium Alum, a natural mineral salt. It’s still an aluminum salt, but behaves differently and is deemed safe by the FDA. There is a small amount of Potassium Alum in Way of Will’s deodorants to help with fighting odor, and Dr. Mercola confirms that Potassium Alum is a mineral salt that is too large to be absorbed into the body.

Deodorant Stick

Way of Will’s deodorant sticks, like the 02 Lime and Black Spruce, are made a bit differently, using a natural blend of coconut oil, shea butter, and kaolin clay. These solid-textured ingredients with the inclusion of beeswax form the basis of the deodorant and are powerful in absorbing sweat and keeping underarms dry and comfortable. This deodorant includes a mix of three essential oils - Lime, Black Spruce, and Geranium - which are skin-protecting, anti-inflammatory, and deodorizing powerhouses.

The one thing you’ll notice is the solid and hard texture of the deodorants due to the natural ingredients. We recommend applying this deodorant after coming out of the shower for a damp surface or swiping under your arms a few times for your body heat to soften the mixture. The 02 Tea Tree and Pumpkin Seed is a team favorite, which includes Tea Tree essential oil for its antibacterial and deodorizing properties and Pumpkin Seed for its anti-inflammatory qualities.

We hope you find what’s best for you in our selection of natural deodorants! Please share with us your personal experience transitioning to natural deodorant in the comment section below, or if you still have any question about the transitioning process - we will be glad to help! And remember, don’t sweat it.

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