Many of us have become much more health conscious of what we're putting on and in our bodies as we have gotten older. It's pretty natural to worry about diseases and conditions and in doing so, the first place to start making positive changes is usually in the products we use. It's easy to change out something "bad" for something good.
Likely, you've spent some time looking at the labels of commercially produced goods and, if you haven't, you should probably start. Many of the products we've been using since we were old enough to need them, like deodorant are things we never gave much thought about. Our mother just told us we stink and gave us some deodorant to start using. We found something that worked and just stuck with it. One day, while brushing our teeth or in some other curious moment, we looked at the ingredients and realized that we have no idea what most of the ingredients in our commercially processed deodorants were! Worse off, they definitely didn't seem healthy.
There has been a lot of information coming out lately about the potential dangers of commercial deodorants and the ingredients within them. Studies have suggested links to breast cancer, weight gain, impotence, lethargy even alzheimers and many other serious health impacts. What's a person to do if this is a concern?
Natural deodorant is surely an option but, it's always been connected with that tin-foil hat, hippie, outdoors-y, not-all-that-effective but THEY think it is community. No so true anymore. Natural deodorants have come a long way from those days. There are many products with highly effective ingredients that leave you smelling fresh and feeling good about the product you're using at the same time. Green Theory actually harnesses the odor fighting power of probiotics in their deodorants to kill of the odor producing bacteria. Over time, you build up a stable colony of good bacteria that helps you stay smelling great for extended periods of time. Some have reported going on vacation and forgetting to apply their Green Theory Probiotic Deodorant for two days and not smelling at all!
So....what do you need to know about making the switch?
First of all, they do work! It may take some time to find the company and brand that works for you but, it does exist. Some natural deodorant companies are owned by large companies such as Uni-Lever (Schmidts) or Proctor and Gamble (Native) and some are still true to their roots and owned by the individuals that started them (Green Theory). If that matters to you, do your research before buying.
Second, it may take a short amount of time to get used to. With commercial deodorant that you've been using, you're used to swiping it all over your pits and moving on with your day. You got used to the feel and experience of what you were using whether it was a solid, gel or spray on. Most natural deodorants come in the solid, stick form. They're made of oils and natural powders to help keep body odor away and absorb moisture and the feel of those ingredients is likely going to be a little different than those cakey commercial deodorants at first.
The next consideration, especially if you have been using an antiperspirant is that for all this time, you've been plugging your sweat glads up with aluminum. That aluminum builds up and has to come out. You may notice for the first little bit that you sweat a little bit more than you were.....this is totally normal. Stick with it. Your body is purging itself of those harmful chemicals that it is no longer being exposed to. In fact, many companies recommend that one go through a period of underarm detox in order to pull those toxins and metals out. This can range from products to simply not wearing any deodorant for a few days (better make sure its the weekend). Some products, such as Green Theory Probiotic deodorants come with the detox already in them. Green Theory uses bentonite clay in every deodorant that when it comes into contact with moisture, it changes it electrical charge and attracts toxins and metals to it, pulling them out of the body. This is useful not just as a commercial deodorant detox but as a general detox on a daily basis, making you healthier each time you put it on! How many commercial deodorants can say that?!
When applying your new natural deodorant, it's best to hold the deodorant to the skin for a few seconds before applying as to soften up the product for a smooth and easy application, particularly if you have underarm hair. Keep in mind that your natural deodorant is made from oils and so, it is best to apply it on to dry underarms for best effectiveness. Oil and water as we know, do not mix and as so, applying natural deodorant to wet armpits is likely not to stick as well and end up on your clothes.
This brings up another consideration - will it stain clothing? Generally, if it is applied correctly, this will not be an issue. All Green Theory Probiotic deodorants are made with white beeswax to avoid any unsightly stains on white clothing. If by some chance, you notice some deodorant on dark clothing, it can be washed out or rubbed out when dry. Do you know what causes the yellowing stains on white clothing? Its the reaction of urea (a waste produced by the body) reacting with the aluminum in antiperspirants - not your sweat! Another great reason to make the switch to natural deodorant!
Taking the plunge and switching to natural deodorant can be a liberating experience but, it is not without some bit of a process in the beginning as you have read about. It can take some time and there may be an adaptation period where the bacterial colonies in your armpit stabilize back to the point where they're supposed to be. Eventually, you'll find out that making the switch was entirely worth it and you'll be advocating for others to make the decision as well. We only have this one body that we have been given, why expose it to potentially harmful chemicals when there are great options that offer the same results? The peace of mind is definitely worth it.
Let us know your experience!