What You Need to Know About Natural Deodorant
It’s hard to discern fact from fiction today. Watching the news and scrolling through your social media feed, you’ve seen it all. Coffee is good for you. Coffee is bad for you, avoid it. Eat a high protein, low carb diet. Avoid eating too much meat; it’ll cause heart problems. You may even be wondering about natural deodorant. Is it just a fad, or is there actually a reason you should switch to natural deodorant and other natural products? Read on to find out what science says about natural deodorant.
Sweating is Good for You!
Your body was designed to sweat. It’s what nature intended. Your body releases sweat when you exercise or just when your core temperature reaches an unhealthy level. The sweat acts as a regulator to control your temperature and bring it back down to a healthy, safe level. In other words, sweat prevents overheating.
Sweat also helps to eliminate toxins from your body. Remember – your skin is an organ. And like many other organs, one of the purposes of your skin is to eliminate toxic substances. For example, mercury, cadmium and trace metals are eliminated when you sweat. BPA and phthalates may also be released through your sweat glands.
Finally, sweating helps rid your body of bacteria and even viruses – on the surface! When you sweat, your body releases a chemical called dermcidin. This compound is natural to your body, and it acts as an antimicrobial to your skin. It kills bacteria and germs that live on your body and may help prevent infection, too.
In short, sweat is good for you! So what’s that got to do with natural deodorant? Well, a lot of things! But first let’s take a look at the difference between two commonly confused products: antiperspirant and deodorant.
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
Before you make the switch to natural deodorant, you need to know the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. And that difference is actually quite simple. Deodorant allows you to sweat. Antiperspirant does not.
Your first instinct is to keep yourself from sweating. After all, you want to smell good, right? Well, as it turns out, using antiperspirant can actually have the opposite effect. Sure, your armpits will smell perfumed during the day. But over the long term, as you continue to disallow your body to sweat, your body odor may actually become worse.
See, it’s not your sweat that smells bad. Sweat is just a combination of salt, water, and the toxins you’re releasing from your body. Most sweat is odorless – little more than salt water.
What causes body odor is when your sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin. How do you stop it? Allow yourself to sweat. By letting your body rid your skin of these bacterium, you’ll stop the “stink cycle.” Skip the antiperspirant, switch to natural deodorant, and let your body do what it was designed to do.
Other Causes of Body Odor
You now know that body odor isn’t caused by sweat. It’s caused by the sweat from your pores reaching the bacteria on your skin. Eliminating that bacteria with sweat is the easiest way to get rid of body odor for good.
But there are other causes of body odor. Hormones are a huge contributing factor to your natural scent. In women, dips in estrogen can cause more sweat, and will cause you to smell differently. In adolescents, hormones play a role in body odor, too. Fluctuations in hormone levels may frustrate teens, as they find their natural smell is changing.
Your diet also affects the way you smell. Spicy foods and spices with strong flavors like curries can contribute greatly to the way your body smells when you sweat. So can high-sulfur foods like broccoli and cauliflower, processed foods and even red meat.
Drinking alcohol can make a notable difference in your body odor. When you drink, your body recognizes the alcohol as a toxin. It breaks it down as acetic acid, but only about 90% of it leaves your body this way. The rest exits through your urine and – you guessed it – your sweat.
Finally, cigarettes and tobacco products make you smell differently. When you smoke, of course, the smell of smoke will linger on your skin. But even chewing tobacco can cause your sweat to smell. Just another reason to quit using tobacco!
As you can see, bacteria aren’t the only factors that influence the way you smell. Consider making a few lifestyle changes to help eliminate body odor.
The Dangers of Antiperspirant
You want to know about natural deodorant and how making the switch can actually improve your overall health. We’ll get to that in a minute, I promise! Before we do, I feel that it’s very important to tell you about the dangers of antiperspirant, and the dangers of chemical deodorants.
The dangers of antiperspirant go far beyond simply an inability to regulate body temperature and kill bacteria. Antiperspirants contain harmful ingredients which, when absorbed into the skin, can cause brain degeneration, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even breast cancer.
Let’s look at five of the most harmful ingredients in your typical deodorant or antiperspirant.
Aluminum is the most prominent ingredient in most antiperspirants. And it’s the ingredient in antiperspirants which is most likely linked to the diseases mentioned. The aluminum is absorbed into your skin through your pores, and that effect may further be increased if you nick yourself while shaving.
Parabens are also found in your antiperspirant. Parabens are a preservative, but when they enter your body they act just as estrogen does. Parabens have been shown to contribute to both breast and prostate cancers.
- Propylene Glycol
Also included in your favorite chemical antiperspirant is Propylene Glycol. This chemical is extremely harmful, affecting your heart, your liver and your central nervous system. Many antiperspirants and deodorants contain as much as 50% Propylene Glycol, but studies show the chemical is harmful at levels as low as 2%.
Triclosan is currently being evaluated by the FDA in the United States. In both the United States and Canada, the chemical is regulated, with maximum amounts of the ingredient permitted in products. This is because triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and exposure to the chemical can result in uncontrolled cell growth, a weakened immune system and thyroid problems.
Additionally, triclosan doesn’t break down in the environment. Instead, it enters the waterways, where it causes harm to wildlife. Furthermore, it enters back into drinking water. Triclosan has been proven to cause respiratory distress in the children who then drink that water.
- DEA and TEA
No, that’s not the tea you drink. TEA and DEA are chemicals that are known to cause cancer. In fact, they’ve been banned in Europe because of this known effect. TEA and DEA, in addition to being known carcinogens, have negative effects on your liver and kidneys.
- Artificial Colors and Fragrances
What does it mean when your antiperspirant lists “fragrance” or “color” as an ingredient? It means that your deodorant contains benzyl alcohol, camphor, acetone, ethanol, methylene chloride and a host of other ingredients. These chemicals can cause kidney damage, respiratory failure, loss of muscle control, dizziness and more. Suddenly, your blue or green deodorant doesn’t seem worth it or as pretty.
What’s in My Natural Deodorant?
Alright, so you want to know about natural deodorant. Does it work? How can something that’s chemical-free eliminate body odor?
First of all, natural deodorant does work. We’ll look at what people are saying about natural deodorant in just a minute. First, let’s look at the ingredients commonly found in natural deodorant, and how they help eliminate body odor without toxic chemicals.
- Coconut oil is a powerful ingredient, for a number of reasons. First, it has antimicrobial properties to help eliminate the bacteria on your skin. Secondly, it deeply moisturizes your skin, healing cracks and replenishing skin.
- Sodium bicarbonate baking soda naturally neutralizes the bacteria that cause body odor. It also kills fungus, and naturally, gently exfoliates for softer skin.
- Natural emulsifiers are a welcome change from disodium EDTA, the emulsifier in other deodorants. Disodium EDTA is absorbed quickly into the skin and may be both toxic and carcinogenic. Emulsifiers in your natural deodorant may include vegetable-based alcohols and candelilla wax.
- Corn starch is a natural odor absorption agent. It works with baking soda to ensure you stay odor free all day, naturally.
- Essential oils are found in many natural deodorants. These oils are naturally derived, and they provide the fragrance to scented chemical-free products. Additionally, many essential oils provide other benefits, such as coriander, a natural fungicide.
What Others Are Saying About Natural Deodorant
By now, you get the point about natural deodorant. It’s safer to use and less likely to cause cancer, liver and kidney or other health problems. Natural deodorant is better for the environment. And natural deodorant allows you to sweat, unlike antiperspirants. So it’s better for your health.
But does it work?
Yes! There are hundreds of reviews about natural deodorant. And while some people recognized that it took a few days to get used to it, all were ultimately happy they’d made the switch.
People switch to natural deodorant for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that chemical deodorants cause sensitive skin to feel irritated. Natural deodorant customers were thrilled that, after a few days of using natural deodorant, the redness and bumps on their underarms had all but disappeared.
Some people were concerned about natural deodorant before switching, wondering if the products were strong enough to hold up as they worked out. Even the most active people said that natural deodorant did just fine! And while they sweat a bit more than they had with an antiperspirant, there was really no other marked difference.
Christy L. from Ontario had this to say about Purelygreat deodorant:
I’ve been a runner for a long time, and always used antiperspirant. I found that my sweat, mixed with the synthetic materials in my workout gear, made me smell… badly. I took the plunge and switched to natural deodorant and I couldn’t be happier! I still sweat, but feel (and smell) great after even long runs!
Natural deodorant isn’t just for women, either. David O. from Raleigh, North Carolina said:
I work in roofing, and it’s not unusual for me to stand in the heat all day. I tried Purely Great deodorant and was very pleased with how it controlled my body odor. I love the Spice for Men scent. And so does my wife!
Before You Switch: What You Need to Know About Natural Deodorant
Are you now thinking about making the switch to natural deodorant? Great! You’ll love how you feel as your rid your body of toxins, allow your body temperature to self-regulate and kill the bacteria on your skin. But there are a few things you need to know about natural deodorant before you try it.
First of all, you may sweat more… at first. If you’ve previously been using an antiperspirant, your pores may be clogged by aluminum. As your sweat glands open and are cleansed, you may notice that you sweat a bit more. The fluids which had been blocked from release by the chemicals can now escape your body.
Secondly, remember that as this sweat is released, so will harmful toxins which had been stored in your system. This may cause your sweat to smell different for the first few days. In rare cases, you may feel mildly sensitive, irritated or itchy.
Third, always be sure to check the ingredients in the deodorant you purchase. Purelygreat was designed to be as gentle to your skin as possible. But in some cases, you may find yourself slightly irritated by, for example, baking soda. Always test the product on a small area of your skin before you apply it all over.
That’s it! The transition from chemical to natural deodorant is simple and painless. Before long, you’ll notice smoother, softer and odor-free skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Deodorant
Making the switch to natural deodorant doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming. But I understand that you may have a few questions.
Will natural deodorant stain my clothes?
No! Purelygreat is a water-based product and won’t stain your clothes. For best results, avoid over-applying. Remember: a little deodorant goes a long way.
I’m a teenager. Can I use natural deodorant?
Yes! Natural deodorant contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients and is safe to use by anyone or any age. No matter how old you are, it’s a good idea to apply a small amount of product to your skin to test before you use a full application.
I’m used to wearing scented deodorants. Won’t my armpits stink?
Chemical deodorants rely on unsafe aluminum and harsh chemicals to mask odors and stop natural sweating. Conversely, natural deodorant works to kill the bacteria that causes body odor. However, if you’d prefer a scented product, Purelygreat carries a line of naturally scented products for both men and women. Choose from scents like citrus, floral and even patchouli.
Final Notes About Natural Deodorant
First, a few months ago, I posted about how to detox your armpits. When you’re ready to switch to natural deodorant, detox is a good idea. Head on over to this post for the full instructions. By eliminating the toxins from your body and your armpits, you’ll make the transition period from chemical to natural deodorant easier and quicker.
Secondly, your natural deodorant is different from your old deodorant or antiperspirant. In fact, even the application is different. For best results, dip your index and middle fingers into the cream, then spread on your armpits. There are no special applicators needed, and you’ll only need about a dime-sized amount.
Next, you’ll want to stay fresh all day. Apply your natural deodorant just after your bath or shower. However, to avoid irritation, it’s better not to apply directly after shaving.
Speaking of the way it feels, your natural deodorant might feel a little different than your old deodorant. But it shouldn’t feel sticky. If that’s the case, you may have applied too much deodorant. Simply take a wet washcloth to remove the excess deodorant.
Finally, as you reach the bottom of your jar of deodorant, you may notice that it’s beginning to get slightly more dry. That’s okay! There are no chemical preservatives in your deodorant. If you notice your deodorant drying, just add a few drops of water and stir it up.