I made the move to natural deodorant more than a few years ago now, and I was lucky that the transition was very uneventful - but I'm not much of a sweater.
Why people switch to deodorant from antiperspirant
Traditional antiperspirants contain aluminium (or aluminium compounds) to block your pores and prevent you from sweating. Less sweat means less smell. There are some studies that claim that using aluminium every day can be harmful to our health...especially due to the close proximity of our armpits to our lymph nodes and breasts.
The other main reason that people make the switch to a natural deodorant from an antiperspirant is because sweating is one of the ways your body regulates your temperature and naturally detoxifies. By blocking the ducts that allow your body to sweat you can affect these natural bodily functions.
Because a natural deodorant doesn't contain synthetic ingredients we are more likely to be able to find a cruelty free natural deodorant than a cruelty free traditional antiperspirant. Vegan friendly natural deodorants are also available but the Raw Nature deodorants online contain NZ beeswax.
I'm not one to tell other people what they should and shouldn't do with their life, but for those that have done some research and made the decision to switch to a natural deodorant, here are some tips that should make the transition easier.
What to expect when switching to natural deodorants
Natural deodorants don't prevent us from sweating, so for some of us the increase in moisture is enough to put us off - the wet feeling should subside as you move through the transition phase.
While the natural deodorant is working to adjust the pH balance of the skin under our arms we might find that the increase in sweat makes us a bit smelly - after 20(ish) years using a traditional antiperspirant this is to be expected.
For those that have sensitive skin there may be a reaction to the "baking soda" in a natural deodorant, those with sensitive skin might also react to certain essential oils, so those that have sensitive skin should check the ingredients list carefully (and get in touch ASAP if there's a reaction).
The So Vanilla natural deodorant by Raw Nature has been recently re-formulated so that it is baking soda free - this is the best option for those with sensitive skin. Nicky is in the process of re-formulating the whole range so keep an eye out for updates.
The transition phase with natural deodorant
Not everyone who makes the move to natural deodorant will experience the transition phase, but it pays to be prepared - just in case.
The transition phase when changing to a natural deodorant can take up to four weeks to be effective - it can be longer for those that have been regular, long term users of a traditional antiperspirant.
Generally speaking, this is how the transition phase goes;
Week One - The first few days might have minimal changes but your body might go into detoxifying overdrive as the underarms adjust to not being blocked by antiperspirant.
Week Two - Armpit bacteria begins to change and there might be an increase in odour. This might be the week that the detoxifying starts and this might be about the time most of us decide "this isn't working" and give up.
Week Three - Armpit bacteria begins to re-balance as the pH balance of our underarms changes from the continued use of natural deodorant. The moisture levels should start to subside as the body eases up on the natural detox.
Week Four - Things in the underarm department should start to return to "normal" in week four. There are other factors that might affect the body's ability to adjust to a natural deodorant such as pregnancy, some medication and puberty.
Using an underarm detox
As mentioned, I didn't experience any issues when making the move to natural deodorant after 20 years using a traditional antiperspirant, but some users might find it beneficial to use an underarm detox product.
I found this Underarm Detox Bar by The Minimal Co online at Smashed Avocados (I haven't used this product myself), alternatively you can mix up your own underarm mask using equal parts betonite clay (or activated charcoal) and apple cider vinegar and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
I would be tempted to improvise and use a betonite clay face mask!
Using your natural deodorant
The Raw Nature natural deodorants come in a cardboard tube (that you can just pop out with your kerbside recycling when you're finished), the deodorant stick should easily push up from the bottom. If you have issues getting the tube to push up, roll the tube between your hands a few times.
I find that when I push the stick up it stays just above the top of the tube which makes it perfect for application. If you push your stick up too far just tap the bottom of the tube on a table or hard surface and the deodorant stick should slip back into the tube.
You should only need to apply your natural deodorant once a day but during the transition detox phase you might need more frequent application. I find that a stick lasts me at least four months.