We’ve gone into quite a bit of detail about why you should switch to a free-from deodorant (especially if you’re currently using an antiperspirant, but we realized recently that we haven’t said much about how that process can and should go.
We really do understand the hesitation to change your tried-and-true underarm solution: scent and sweat are sensitive matters, and, unfortunately, “natural” deodorants don’t always have the best reputation for being effective.
If you know you want to avoid the harmful chemicals found in many conventional deodorants, and you’re ready to stop plugging your sweat glands with the aluminum in antiperspirant, below you’ll find a less intense way to transition into free-from deodorant use.
Step 1: Read Labels
Not all of us want to spend time online reviewing products and researching ingredients (although, if you do, we highly recommend the EWG’s Skin Deep Database), so start with this: turn over your chosen free-from or natural deodorant, and make sure these ingredients aren’t on the label:
- propylene glycol
If you avoid these four main offenders, chances are you’ll be purchasing a clean product.
Step 2: Detox (Optional)
We’re big fans of detoxing due to the number of environmental toxins humans are exposed to on a daily basis, and this extends to our underarm situation.
A good detox deodorant will help pull harmful substances from your armpits, sweat glands and lymph nodes, and get your body ready for the switch to a natural deodorant by reducing harmful bacteria and improving natural scent.
That being said, if you switch to a free-from deodorant and continue using it over time, your body will eventually detoxify itself - it’ll just take quite a bit longer.
If you’re interested in the detox process it will take about four weeks, and you can refer to the Nala Guide to Detox for further instructions.
Step 3: Plan a gradual transition
Try an every-other-day tactic for your new free-from deodorant, or apply it first thing in the morning and then “top up” with your conventional product in the afternoon.
Pay attention to how you feel & smell - after two weeks your body chemistry should start to shift, as you get used to the new product.
Step 4: The full switch, or back to the drawing board
After two weeks of alternating, you should be ready to fully commit to your free-from deodorant: your body will be used to the new, cleaner product.
However, if the product you’ve selected isn’t working for you, you’ll know by this point, too.
If this is the case, we implore you: don’t give up! Every body on the planet has a unique chemical make-up, and you may have simply selected a product/scent/brand that isn’t right for yours. We’re spoiled for choice nowadays when it comes to natural and free-from beauty products; why not try out another one?
Other ways to support the transition to free-from deodorant
Like so many health & beauty topics, underarm sweat and scent is a multi-faceted issue that has many causes - and many solutions.
Deodorant is obviously the first line of defense, but there are other ways to ensure you smell pleasant and don’t sweat excessively. Among them:
Wear natural fibres - synthetics tend to trap sweat and breed bacteria due to their lack of breathability, whereas natural fibres like organic cotton and bamboo allow the armpits to air out and breathe.
Drink enough water - your body needs to naturally detox every day, and ensuring your stay hydrated will help you flush the toxins that breed bacteria (and cause that funky BO smell) in your armpits
Eat a clean diet - things like excessive sugar consumption will feed bacteria in the body, causing a less-than-pleasant odor when you sweat.
Let yourself be human - there are certainly some medical conditions that cause excessive sweat and scent, and we understand completely the desire to treat them. Beyond those cases, however, most of us have just been told too often that any natural scent or sweat is ugly, embarrassing, or gross. This truly isn’t the case! Self-care doesn’t mean being perfect, it means loving your whole, human self - sweat and all.
When all's said and done, good health, clean products and a little more self-love are the components of a successful switch to a free-from deodorant.