Natural products have gained momentum over the past few years — especially natural beauty and health products. As the world becomes more health-conscious, shoppers are more aware of what they are putting into and onto their bodies. Overall natural product selection and the number of natural-product manufacturers have also grown exponentially – especially with this newfound focus on living an overall healthier lifestyle. From makeup to toothpaste, skin care to hair color, natural has been the focus as of late. But what about deodorant?
Gone are the days of the oddly shaped, “mineral stick” style bottles — because let’s be honest, those were hard to find and most likely weren’t sold at your local drugstore. Natural deodorants have come a long way and are much more user-friendly than they used to be. Just walk down the aisle of your local grocery store or pharmacy. You’ll likely find more than just Tom’s or Crystal on the shelves. The natural options seem close to outweighing the non-natural choices these days.
But you may be wondering — what’s all the hype around natural deodorant? And, should you be using it?
One of these things is not like the other
If you are thinking about making the switch from conventional deodorant to a natural one, you need to know that these are two very different kinds of products. Natural deodorants contain no added antisweat ingredients. These ingredients are referred to as antiperspirants. Just because natural deodorants contain no antiperspirants, that’s not to say they don’t work. On the contrary! Natural products contain odor-neutralizing elements that stop the breakdown of bacteria on the skin. The bacteria is then mixed with moisture from your sweat and causes an unpleasant smell. This, in a nutshell, is the definition of body odor — which is the entire reason folks use deodorant in the first place. Natural deodorants stop the odor from occurring, and some also contain powders that help absorb some of the moisture in your ‘pits, should you start to sweat.
Here’s the difference between natural deodorants and antiperspirants: An antiperspirant stops body odor by blocking pores in your ‘pits. When conventional deodorants block your pores, you simply do not sweat — for as long as your pores remain closed. Ingredients such as aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex are used by conventional deodorant companies to prevent odor, and the byproduct of perspiring — sweat.
What’s all the stink about?
So why no antiperspirant ingredients for the all-naturals? The answer is simple. Presently, there’s no FDA-approved, all-natural antiperspirant on the market. It’s widely believed that sweating, or perspiring, is gross and unpleasant. This is a matter of great debate in the beauty industry, as some folks believe that excessive sweating causes further issues with self-esteem and depression, while others embrace the body’s most basic way of cooling itself down.
This is an important factor to keep in mind when deciding if it’s time to make the switch from conventional to all-natural deodorant, as you will likely notice more sweat production without the harsh antiperspirant chemicals clogging up your ‘pit’s pores. Those ingredients have been linked with skin allergies, irritations, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, and hormonal imbalances. While there is no definitive, scientific evidence that these medical conditions directly derived from these ingredients definitively, there are many studies showing a connection between them.
Detox, sweat, repeat
Detoxing, or cleansing, is something that happens when you make the change from conventional deodorant to all-natural. You’re quite literally ridding your body of the harsh, pore-clogging chemicals that have likely built up over a long period of time. That’s a lot of congested sweat that may have sat stagnant in your pores for a while. It can take the body two to four weeks to fully detox from conventional products. This is often frustrating for new users, as they believe their newly purchased, natural-based deodorant isn’t working — and it’s actually quite the opposite. The natural one is in fact working overtime by ridding the body of buildup while still trying to maintain an odor-neutralized environment.
It will take the body time to adjust to this newfangled way of blocking unpleasant underarm smells, but once the body has time to regulate itself, the excessive odors will subside, and the all-natural deodorant will be able to successfully neutralize the odor causing bacteria going forward.
Like Stevie Nicks, you may want to break the chain
Whether you are concerned about your future health, are becoming more conscious of what goes into your body, or just want to embrace a more natural approach to your beauty routine, now may be a good time to bite the bullet and switch to all-natural products. Not all products are created equal, so our staff recommends vetting your options fully. You should feel completely confident in your choice before taking the plunge. And as always, if you suffer from sensitive skin or skin allergies, please talk with your dermatologist or physician before applying new products on your body.
Writer’s Note: If you’re curious to see where your current odor-stopper is on the list of toxic products, consider checking out The Environmental Working Group, or EWG’s Skin Deep website. Consumers can search for their products and see where they rank based on their ingredients.
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