There have yet to be any scientifically-validated studies published on the subject, but empirical evidence and first-hand accounts give us insight into what you can expect when transitioning away from non-natural deodorants or antiperspirants. Of course, our bodies are very different, and what holds true for one person may not hold true for another. Likewise, we may find that those with similar habits or biologies share some of the same experiences.
The short of it is, many people report no difference at all when switching, as the natural deodorant may work equally well for them. Most are happy to make the change to natural, feeling confident and assured that they're using safe, natural ingredients.
Others report a transition period that may last for a couple days, or a couple weeks--ultimately, it depends on your unique body chemistry. Sometimes, this period is referred to as an "underarm detox," particularly when the user is transitioning away from antiperspirant, which utilizes aluminum to clog the sweat glands and block sweat from escaping.
During this time, you may notice a temporary increase in the following:
- Sweat: the theory goes that once your glands are unclogged, they may release fluids previously blocked by aluminum in antiperspirants, causing an increase in moisture.
- Odor: the idea here is that the flushing of the system and increased apocrine sweat gland activity results in increased moisture and sweat which interacts with odor-causing bacteria.
- Sensitivity: with a hypothetical increase in bacteria and backup being released via the lymphatic system, it may be that some individuals experience increased sensitivity or tenderness as the body filters out undesired materials.
PRO TIP: While you may experience no adjustment period, remember that adjusting is a positive experience for your body! The best part is, many report that after years of unsuccessfully tackling their body odor issues, that they no longer have odor after switching to natural products. This may be attributed to the way antiperspirants interact with bacteria in your sweat glands--aluminum does a great job of killing off mild odor-causing bacteria Firmicutes and Staphylococcus, however this opens up the floor for the more pungent Actinobacteria microbes whose growth can continue unabated without competitive bacteria in the system. The closer we look at antiperspirant, the more imperative the use of natural alternatives becomes.
Looking for a natural deodorant that really works? We recommend Schmidt's. 😉 Start with our Original Stick formula, or try our Sensitive Skin sticks if you have a history of sensitivity.
To make your transition a breeze, check out our Official Underarm Skincare Guide.