I made the switch to natural deodorant and here’s what happened.
No one wants to smell, it’s kind of a given isn’t it? And the fear for me started in secondary school in the ICT room that is burnt into my memory. So stuffy you could feel your shirt starting to stick to your back within the first few minutes of being in there. We would frantically try and fan ourselves in the vain attempt of trying to create even the smallest amount of breeze. Here, in this mostly windowless room with huge old fashioned desktops, is where we would spend two hours, after PE at the end of a long day. Lets just say I wasn’t the only one to have a sneaky little sniff, to make sure the smell in the room wasn’t coming from me!
Even now thinking about that room makes me sweat and since then I’ve always made sure I wore antiperspirant, ALWAYS. Not even allowing the slightest whiff to build up. Even on holidays and at the gym I have been paranoid to the point of reapplying, probably unnecessarily.
So as you can imagine the thought of swapping to a nautural deodorant was rather stressful. Even more so as I had even religiously used the same brand of deodorant for years, unwilling to switch incase a new one didn’t work as well. But I decided to take the plunge is here is the honest truth on how I have found it.
First things first, let’s talk about the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are what stop your armpits from excessively sweating, and deodorants are what keep your body odour in check. The former uses aluminium compounds to plug your ducts and actually stop you from sweating. While the latter uses ingredients (e.g., essential oils, minerals) to block body odor. They’re not mutually exclusive, and you don’t need one to use the other.
Antiperspirants can cause detriment because our bodies are supposed to sweat — it’s a natural release, and it helps keep our temperature regulated. But from a teen we are so used to not feeling sweat it becomes an unnatural feeling.
Your body will be used to having it’s sweat glands blocked and will almost go through a detox period from a few days to a few weeks when you switch. My experience was that it lasted a few weeks. It’s just your bodies way of regaining it’s ability to perspire normally. Knowing that will help, but it will still feel and smell weird.
One day during the second week, by midday I smell worse than I think I have ever smelled. I’m not sure if I am reacting to one of the ingredients in the newest deodorant I am trying and the musky scent is doing nothing to cover it up. After researching a little more it could well be that it was just part of the process, however I haven’t used that particular brand since. You will also become aware of scents that work well with your body and scents that definitely don’t.
During one particular day where I’m stressed rushing to a meeting on a tube, wearing too many layers, I feel a trickle down my side and realise it is a lonely sweat drip. Completely grossed out at this, as soon as I locate some public toilets, I’m making a quick dash for an emergency armpit wipe and to reapply my deodorant. After a good sniff I’m reassured that I don’t smell at all. But the feeling of sweat is such a new sensation.
It’s during the second week that I realise my right armpit smells terrible, while my left smells fresh as a daisy. This is a trend that has continued, although less so now. If there is an armpit that’s going to smell, it’s that one. You have been warned! Who knew armpits were like curling your hair, with one side always better than the other.
A month into my transition and I discovered my armpits like charcoal style deodorants. After initially disregarding the pots where you scoop some out and apply under your arm where it melts to glide on the skin, this is now my favourite type. My armpits start to feel softer and less irritated than they have done in a long time and I’m pleased the pots are plastic free.
I’ve now made the switch to wearing natural deodorant every day. I wear it to the gym, even braving spin classes. On hot sweaty days out with the kids and yes my armpits do sometimes feel a little more damp than they used to, but the sweat drips have gone and so has the smell.
I like knowing that by making the switch to natural deodorant I am now applying something natural to my body every single day. I’ve come to realise that your natural body odour will always peek out, it just depends how much. Natural deodorant can work, even if it does mean you revert to being a teen for a while, sticking you nose into your armpit or down your top just to check how things are going on down there.
But a little bit of stank is ok for me with the potential health upsides. Let’s just hope my right armpit is through the worst! And until then carrying a little pot with me is no big deal.
The One I currently use is; Activated Charcoal Natural Deodorant by Native Unearthed. At £7.99 for a pot initially it seems expensive. However I have now been using this for a couple of months and I’ve used maybe 1/8th of the pot. You apply a small pea sized amount which I get out by using the back of my finger nail. It melts on contact with the skin so you can rub it in, then dries instantly.
Bicarbonate of Soda – Neutrilises Odour
Arrow Root – Absorbs Moisture
Shea Butter – Moisturises & Soothes
Coconut Oil – Nourishes skin
Pure Lavender Essential Oil – Antibacterial
Activated Charcoal – Extra Odour protection
I also rate The Natural Deoderant Co who do a whole range of natural deodorants, including ones for sensitive underarms and for those times when you are more active. They also have the option to trial first with a little tester pot for £2 to see how you get on.
For comparison their fresh range contains;
Sodium bicarbonate stops odour-causing bacteria in their tracks Magnesium oxide absorbs wetness and provides extra antibacterial protection Coconut oil and shea butter nourish underarm skin
Have you tried or made the switch to natural deodorant? I would love to know!