When you make your own wellness & body care products, you have to test everything. Sometimes trials don't work out. Sometimes they do. Sometimes taking the leap is scary! Especially when it comes to natural deodorant. I mean, no one wants to smell bad, right? I also found out that there is a bunch of stuff no one talks about when transitioning from chemical to natural deodorant. I have found maybe three sources of information on switching, yet, so many people I've met say they've tried a natural deodorant and it didn't work for them.
So, here's the scoop!
First, every body is different. When you are switching to a natural deodorant, I highly recommend giving any that you try at least a month. If it's not working how you like after that, switch to another brand. But anything before that, you haven't really given it a decent shot. It is really better to switch cold-turkey instead of going back and forth between natural and traditional.
There are products that have baking soda and some that don't. Baking soda can cause irritation on some people's skin and others are fine with it.
You WILL detox. That means, you will probably be smelly for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the chemicals in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants literally block your body from sweating. That means your glands aren't able to do their jobs. When you stop blocking all those glands and pores, they will open and start expelling everything they've been holding in. This might create an increased odour for a few days. Don't worry, there are things you can do to help this process though!
Drink a lot of water – staying well-hydrated helps flush all your body systems
Eat well (or try to eat better)
Exercise & sweat
Dry brushing – can help by cleaning away dead skin cells and improve circulation
Wear natural fibres – synthetic fibres usually keep moisture in, natural wicks it away
Stay clean – bathe or shower at least daily, wash yourself with warm, soapy water when you notice a smell, dry well and re-apply deodorant
Look for natural soaps and deodorants that have bacteria and odour-fighting properties like tea tree, lemongrass & lavender
My personal experience was pretty painless. Except the "big brand" aluminum-free product that I tested out – that was horrible. I drink a lot of water and I've cut a large chunk of refined sugar out of my diet, so I think that helped my detox process. I had one day where I was a little smelly and one day where I did have to wash after work before I went to Yoga, but after that it's been smooth sailing. If you are worried, the detox seems to happen between days four and seven, so maybe time it so those days are on a weekend. Or while you're on holiday.
The deodorant I make is vegan, too, so tell all your friends! It also doesn't contain baking soda to reduce the chances of irritation. I find that the bentonite clay and arrowroot powder help absorb any moisture, so it keeps you pretty dry. The bentonite clay is also great at drawing out toxins, heavy metals and chemicals, so it's helpful in the detox process. I have created two scents, one that is a little floral and one that is a little woodsy, but the scent is quite minimal. The dilution ratio of the essential oils in the product is specifically for fighting bacteria not scent, so even those sensitive to scents should be fairly OK with these.