I’m over a year into my natural deodorant journey and thought this was the best place to share the questions I’ve received and things I’ve learned throughout the process. Let me just emphasize that: it’s a process. The beginning is just the pits (I really wanted to work that in early) but I’m finally in a great place where my body is used to it, my mind is on board and I haven’t touched my Clinical Strength stuff in a year.
I’m not one of those people that doesn’t sweat. I was always a bit envious of my teammates through the years that hardly glistened by the end of a hard practice or could wear heather gray without it ending up solid black by the end of a workout. For this reason, I always wore Clinical Strength antiperspirant and vowed to never look back. I wasn’t a smelly or unhygienic person by any means but I was certainly prone to sweating and felt, for whatever reason, it was a bad thing.
When I was pregnant with Oshiolema, I became more aware of what products I was putting on my skin simply through researching “safe pregnancy” and things of that nature. I had stopped getting chemical relaxers in my hair three years before, I tossed all my retinol and acids but still reached for the Secret every day.
While I was breastfeeding, I noticed how much time he was spending tucked right under my armpit and that’s what it took for me to look into why people switch to natural deodorant.
The main reasons people toss their deodorants and antiperspirants are because of their toxic chemicals- especially aluminum. Aluminum is that magic little tool that blocks sweat glands and keeps you from being the sweaty human I once was. Traditional deodorants and anti-perspirants also contain parabens that have been found to increase cancer risk as well as create hormone imbalances. This was certainly enough for me to throw mine in the garbage for good.
I was extremely unprepared for what the next few weeks would look like for my poor little underarms. In efforts to help you avoid the same shock and awe, I’ll be frank: some weird stuff is going to happen. Here’s why.
Our body needs to detox. After years (about 18 years in my case) of wearing chemical laden deodorant, your body has some releasing to do. It’s going to push chemicals out through your underarms and you definitely want to let that happen. If you can lay low for a few days that’s wonderful but if not, don’t sweat. (HA! Funny because it’s punny…but also because you’ll definitely sweat.) If you’re uncomfortable about going without anything at all, you can use coconut oil along with a little bit of essential oil.
I went without anything at all and it was a combination of what I imagine a middle school boy locker room would smell like and my what my post-Bikram Yoga self sweats like. How lucky O was for those few days. During this process I still exfoliated my underarms and obviously washed them every day. (To be real, I washed them a few times a day because mama was fonkay.)
But! But but but. It does get better! After plenty of research, I settled on a Schmidt deodorant stick. I now know after going through many that the Charcoal + Magnesium one is my absolute favorite and many of you have told me the same thing. I always have one in the car just incase and one in the bathroom.
Allure magazine names this natural deodorant in ‘pure vanilla’ their number one superstar. Have any of you tried it? I’m so curious but if I’ve learned one thing along the way its that each and every one of our bodies are different. I had a friend who so kindly sent me a little pot of her favorite deodorant all the way from Canada because she was determined it’d change my life. Sadly, it didn’t. Neither did about 5 other deodorants I’ve given a fair shot. Once the dust settles and the detox phase ends, when your ph levels return to normal and all the strangeness is over, you’ll find “the one.” And no matter how many times people recommend the love of their life to you, you’re good! You’re set. And it’s delightful.
A parting note is to remember natural deodorant is NOT an antiperspirant. I still sweat a bit more than I’d like some days but then I remember there was a time I actually stopped sweating and how terrible that is for my body. We want our toxins to come out friends. We don’t want a product to trap toxins and chemicals in our underarms. If need be, do a good ol’ paper towel blot and reapplication in the bathroom when you’re out and a bout and carry on with your day!
Are any of you hooked on a certain natural deodorant now? If you’re still not convinced enough to switch from your regular antiperspirant, what’s holding you back?