June 1, 2017
What to Expect When Switching to Natural Deodorant
Why you might be experiencing what's known as an "underarm detox"
When it comes to knowing what to expect when transitioning to a natural deodorant, we have to keep in mind that our bodies are all very different. 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. And without any scientifically-validated studies on the subject just yet, we rely on shared stories and first-hand accounts of the experience.
The short of it is, many people report no difference at all when switching to a natural deodorant, as the natural formula may work equally well for them. Most are happy to make the change, feeling confident and assured that they're using safe, plant-based ingredients.
Others report a transition period that may last for a couple days, or a few 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 block sweat from escaping.
During this time, you may notice a temporary increase in the following:
- Sweat: The theory goes that once your sweat glands are freed of aluminum, they may release fluids previously blocked 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 undesirably 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.
If you do experience an adjustment period, remember that this is a positive experience for your body. Many report that after years of unsuccessfully tackling their body odor issues, they no longer experience B.O. 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.
Switching to a natural deodorant can sometimes feel like a process, but the end result—once your body has made it through the transition—is a "better safe than sorry" alternative.
The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a physician.