When making the switch to natural products in your home, deodorant is often one we cringe about. No one wants to be smelly or have pit stains. But do you know what antiperspirants do? They stop a natural body process–sweating. While the sweat might be an inconvenience at times, our body needs to do it. Stopping that isn’t a great idea. So how do you make the switch, and why is it so important?
One of the biggest downsides to antiperspirants is its inclusion of aluminum in the ingredient list. How does antiperspirant work? The aluminum essentially clogs up your pores to keep the perspiration in. That sweat then builds up and gets trapped just under the skin. That can cause all sorts of things like bumps and irritated skin and buildup of bacteria. The acidity of the aluminum tends to react with your clothing and ultimately causes those lovely yellow pit stains on your white shirts. Numerous studies have also been conducted suggesting aluminum can be responsible for Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Aluminum is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep reading those ingredients, and you’ll find a whole lot of other chemicals that have been linked to various ailments and diseases:
- Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl, butyl): endocrine disruption, environmental toxin, cancer, reproductive disorders, premature aging, immune toxicant, allergens
- Phthalates: cancer, birth defects, infertility, allergens
- Proplyene glycol: skin, eyes, and lungs irritation; reproductive and fetal neurotoxin linked to kidney and liver damage; enhanced skin absorption
- Silica: possible carcinogen if contaminated with crystalline quartz; skin, eyes and lungs irritation
- Steareths: endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, skin irritation
- Talc: non-reproductive organ system toxin, possible carcinogen if contaminated with asbestiform fibers
- Triclosan: antibacterial agent banned in several countries due to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; endocrine disruption; muscle weakness; skin, eyes, and lungs irritation
How to Make the Switch to Natural
Making the switch can be tough! When I switched, I was one of the few able to do it without having any trouble. I switched cold turkey and never looked back! For some, though, switching can be a bit tougher. When switching, consider these tips:
- Give a new deodorant at least two weeks. It can take time for your body to adjust. Some people find they sweat more than usual due to their body detoxing and expelling stored-up sweat.
- To speed up the detox period, be sure to wash daily (or even 2-3 times daily) with natural soap and water. Additionally, exfoliate your pits twice a week. Apply deodorant after each cleanse.
- Wear more natural fibers (cotton, hemp, etc.) during the transition period. Polyesters and acrylic fibers have a tendency to trap extra moisture.
I know it can sound a bit daunting (and maybe even a little scary) to switch to natural deodorant, but it is absolutely worth it! Your health will thank you!