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3 Tips for Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

I have been slowly making the switch to clean(er) beauty products. I will say, it is MUCH easier today than even 5 years ago when I started my blog but it’s still a struggle. One of the biggest hurdles? Finding an aluminum-free, natural deodorant that actually works to block odor. I’m excited to share that I’ve found a few options for you! In this post, I’ll share my favorite natural deodorants, why you may want to consider making the switch, and a must-have product to make the transition easier.

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Why I made the switch to natural deodorant

I was restocking Steve’s deodorant and I took a photo of his to be sure I was getting the exact one he liked. I looked at the tube and realized it was aluminum free. We had NO idea! What’s funny is I’m pretty sure I know when his brand switched to aluminum-free because he had a major pit rash a few years ago. We just thought it was a bad batch and threw it away. LOL.

I officially started my search for a clean deodorant in January 2021 and I was determined to find one for under $10. That pink tax is real. Steve’s deodorant is $10 for 2! You’d be hard-pressed to find a women’s clean deodorant for that price. Yes we could use men’s deodorant but we shouldn’t have to, right? So I went to Target and bought 6 different brands for under $10 and began testing.

I didn’t find any under $10 that I loved enough to replace my trusty Secret so I bumped up my price a bit. I wasn’t thrilled about that but I did end up finding a few I really enjoy. I’ll share them at the end of this post.

What’s in conventional deodorant that makes it so bad?

Let’s talk about those toxic ingredients that can be found in conventional deodorants, and the health concerns linked to these ingredients… Some of the worst offenders include fragrance (parfum), aluminum, phthalates, talc, BHT, and mineral oil. 

These ingredients have been linked to many health issues including hormonal imbalances, infertility, respiratory irritation, allergic reactions, cancer, and autoimmunity. Artificial fragrance is one of the first things to look out for, as it typically contains a cocktail of thousands of chemicals that have been linked to chronic health issues.

Research has shown that aluminum exposure has been linked to several chronic diseases and heavy metal toxicity. No thank you! Because antiperspirants are applied often and on the skin near breasts, some reports claim that the chemicals could be absorbed through your skin and cause estrogen-like hormonal effects. Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer have also been linked to aluminum compounds found in antiperspirants.

Exposing yourself to these chemicals on a daily basis could have serious health risks. Especially since we apply deodorant to such a sensitive area of your body. This is why it’s so important to use non-toxic deodorant and personal care products. Now, whenever I buy any product I look them up on Think Dirty or the Environmental Working Group. They’re very helpful!

Another reason to switch to natural deodorants? Antiperspirants might actually be making you smell worse

The buildup of sweat beneath the skin also comes with a buildup of the good bacteria that actually digests sweat, limiting the ability your body has to digest any bad bacteria, and making your sweat smell even worse. Also, the aluminum compounds can cause an acidic reaction to fabric, which is what makes those yellow sweat stains on your white t-shirts.

What to expect during the transition to natural deodorant?

1. Expect to Sweat

Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which is what stops you from sweating. You are supposed to sweat (and need to, for your health!). Aluminum blocks your pores and traps harmful toxins in your body! Sweating may sound/feel/look gross, but sweating is our bodies’ way of regulating temperature and releasing toxins, two very crucial jobs.

BTW, sweat isn’t what actually smells; it’s just a mixture of salt and water. What does create that dreaded body odor is when sweat comes into contact with the natural bacteria that lives on our skin. Changing this reaction is easily done with natural deodorant.

2. Expect to Detox

During the transition to using a natural deodorant, you may find that you get a reaction (itchy pits, or a rash). If you’ve been using conventional deodorant or antiperspirant for years, it can take 2-4 weeks to detox and release all of the aluminum in your pits that’s been preventing you from sweating. 

During this time, you might notice that you’re a little more stinky than usual. While sweat doesn’t actually stink, the bacteria on your skin that breaks down acids in your sweat is what produces the B.O.! You’ll be able to help your body along during this detox phase by applying this detox scrub to your pits.

Pacifica Underarm detox review

3. Stick it Out

My last tip for you while transitioning to natural deodorant is to stick it out! I promise that if you can get past the first few weeks of detox, you will not regret it! After you’ve gone through the detox period, the natural deodorant will begin to work and you will never look back! If your pits still get irritated, try to avoid applying deodorant right after shaving. A good idea is to shave at night and let your skin heal & breathe, then apply your deodorant in the morning.

The 3 best natural deodorants I’ve found:

After testing about 20 deodorants I’ve found 2 that I really REALLY like.

Native deodorant review
  1. Native $12 – this is the most affordable of the bunch. It comes in a solid stick and is sold where most deodorants are sold. They have many natural fragrances (my favorite is Lilac & White Tea).
  2. Megababe Beachy Pits – I’ve been using this one for the past month and LOVE it. It’s a solid white stick and smells so good!
Necessaire deodorant review

3. Necessaire $15 – If you are SUPER SENSITIVE you’ll probably love this one. It’s a clear roller ball that dries fast. It has 5% AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and Niacinamide to combat odor, treat discoloration and minimize bumps. Some people are sensitive to baking soda and this doesn’t have it. It also makes you smell like NOTHING. It’s pure magic. Bonus points for the chic packaging. I will say that this stopped working for me in the peak of Summer. I was just sweating too much for my liking. I feel like this is a good fall/ winter/ spring deodorant. That may seem funny but I actually love how this one dries down to smell and feel like i’m wearing no deodorant at all. That’s why I’ll continue to put up with the fact that it isn’t the best Summer deodorant.

Honorable mentions:

Obviously what works for me may not work for you.. If that’s the case try these.

  1. Kopari $14- This one is great! It smells like coconut and uses coconut oil to be naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial while it hydrates and soothes sensitive underarms. Sage oil works to soothe sensitive and irritated skin. It feels the wettest after application (which is why it didn’t make it to my top list but I do really like this one!).
  2. Lume $15-$19- This comes in a few application options- I bought the cream/ gel and then switched to the solid stick. It works so well! This one is designed for any external use… so not just your armpits, it can also go under breasts, tummy folds, and anywhere you have odor but wish you didn’t. I suggest the Peony Rose scent- Stay away from the Tangerine and Unscented… they smell like throw-up (gross, I know). The only thing I don’t love about Lume is the price. It’s the most expensive depending on where you buy it but if you’ve tried my other suggestions and want to keep testing this one is definitely worth a try!

Good luck making the switch! Let me know below if you have any questions!



If you liked this post check out my tips on detoxing your scalp!

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