The benefits of using a natural deodorant & why making the switch over to a cleaner option is so important. This post shares great all-natural deodorant alternatives, tips for armpit detoxing, ingredients & more!
I can’t lie, I’m really excited about writing this post. You might glance at the title & say to yourself, I don’t need to make the switch to a natural deodorant, the one I’m using works just fine! But please give it a read & a chance! Knowledge is power & there are a lot of things regarding the common antiperspirant deodorant brand that everyone should be aware of!
It took me a really long time to jump on the natural deodorant train.
My mom was trying to get me to make the switch for YEARS, but I thought there was NO WAY I could ever do it because I’m a sweater. Always have been & probably always will be (UGH)! So there I was, year after year, applying so many layers of aluminum deodorant onto my armpits, like most of us do. And since I was a basketball player, I used an extremely strong men’s deodorant as well, not even considering the possible side effects of using an antiperspirant.
So after plenty of excuses & finally learning the long-term benefits of natural deodorant, I finally made the switch to an aluminum-free deodorant & I’m never turning back! There are so many great alternatives for deodorant, rather than just using an antiperspirant. It will take some trial & error to figure out what works best for you, but the benefits will definitely outweigh any cons or concerns you may have about switching over to using a natural deodorant, free of harmful chemicals.
Here’s the Benefits of Going Natural
Our bodies detox through our armpits & our sweat! By sweating, our bodies are able to cool down, balance out, & expel toxins. We all know sweating is completely natural…everyone sweats, just some more than others.
So let’s think. Antiperspirants are used to prevent our bodies from sweating, which is achieved by blocking our sweat glands with harmful ingredients (which I will explain soon) & aluminum. All of the chemicals & artificial fragrances are added to the antiperspirant deodorant in the attempt to block & eliminate the odor our bodies NATURALLY produce.
Why would we want to prevent our bodies natural ability to sweat?
Let alone clog up our sweat glands with ingredients like aluminum.
It’s no wonder so many women experience irritated or bumpy skin, clogged pores, & ingrown hairs in & around their armpits! Just think about how often you shave or apply shaving cream, wax, apply lotion, etc., & then your favorite antiperspirant! My guess is quite often!
We are talking about YEARS of buildup in your pores. So once you stop using an antiperspirant with aluminum, your body will most likely go through a period of detoxing. And unfortunately, this detoxing period might leave your pits with some body odor. If you’re considering making the switch over to a deodorant with all-natural ingredients, you might want to check out my post on armpit detoxing!
Potential Side Effects of Using Antiperspirant
I listened to a great podcast featuring blogger, Lee From America, on the Glowing Up podcast (you can listen here). One of the topics discussed on the podcast was her skincare routine, but more specifically, how she takes care of her armpits.
Lee ditched antiperspirant deodorant after developing a lump in her armpit at the age of 18, which she ultimately had to get surgically removed. She mentioned that women especially, should be conscious about the products (specifically deodorant) that they use on their armpits because armpit health is related to breast health.
She is spot on. Breast cancer, as well as, Alzheimer’s has been linked to the same aluminum compounds that are found in antiperspirants (Source).
When you think about it like that, it’s scary what actually is allowed to be in common care products found in stores today.
I too have had horrible experiences & side effects from the constant use of antiperspirants in the past. On three separate occasions, I experienced third degree burns on both armpits. I can confidently say it was some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. How harsh do the chemicals have to be in order to cause physical burns, I’ll answer that…HARSH!
People love the idea of achieving overall wellness but forget that what they put onto their bodies is just as important, because it gets absorbed directly into the skin. If you’re eating a clean diet but slathering on an antiperspirant deodorant twice a day, the two just contradict themselves!
Harmful Ingredients In Deodorant
Even typing that out is SCARY…like I just mentioned, these ingredients are ABSORBED into the skin & aluminum is not only linked to cancer, but can also mimic hormones such as estrogen in the body.
Parabens are a skin irritant & are added to products as a preservative to prevent bacteria growth. They also are hormone disrupters & have been found to increase the growth of breast cancer cells. Parabens are tricky because they come in many forms.
This chemical is added to products to help the fragrance stick to your skin. Similar to Parabens, Phthalates are hormone disrupters, can be linked to birth defects, as well as, cause damage to the kidneys, liver, & reproductive system.
4. Artificial Fragrances
The key word here is “artificial”!!! These so-called fragrances are made up of multiple ingredients, & some are known phthalates. Not only do these artificial additives cause skin irritation & allergies, but they also disrupt hormones & are carcinogens.
5. Propylene Glycol
This is used to create anti-freeze…enough said.
6. TEA & DEA
Triethanolamine & diethanolamine can not only cause skin irritations & allergies but can also wreak havoc on the liver & kidneys if absorbed into the body for long periods of time.
Triclosan is added to products as an anti-bacterial agent, but can disrupt the functions of the thyroid, as well as cause issues hormonally.
Many of the top name brand deodorant companies such as Secret, Degree, Dove, Right Guard, Axe, & Old Spice have at least one of the harmful ingredients listed. Below, I’m breaking down an actual product (“Degree Women, MotionSense, Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant, Sexy Intrigue“) found in stores today & sharing why the ingredients aren’t the best! Feel free to check out the ingredient list for yourself too – you can do so here!
The first active ingredient is none other than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY. Aluminum is also the reason why some people experience discoloring on their white clothes (ever noticed your pits were yellow?).
Degree Antiperspirant Ingredients
1. Maltodextrin – This is a food additive, why is it in deodorant?
2. Cyclopentasiloxane – A silicon based conditioning agent.
3. Stearyl Alcohol – If an alcohol is one of the first six ingredients, run for the hills! Known to aggravate the skin, cause dryness & overall weakens the elasticity of the skin.
4. PPG (Popypropylene Glycol) – A neurotoxin that is completely artificial & is related to the Paraben family.
5. Hydrogenated Caster Oil – A hydrogenated oil…fantastic! Tip – stay away from anything that says the word “hydrogenated” in regards to food & products.
6. Polythylene – Commonly used in plastics.
7. Fragrances (Parfum) – Remember when I mentioned earlier that fragrances contain many components, I saved you time & counted 58 different components that make up this artificial “fragrance”. 58!!
8. Hydrated Silica & Silica– Has been found to cause damage to tooth enamel, so why is it in a deodorant?? Silica causes skin irritation & is a carcinogen.
9. Hydrolyzed Corn Starch – EW!
10. BHT – Another known carcinogen which may also mimic estrogen in the body.
How to Make the Switch to a Non-Aluminum Deodorant
Before switching over to a natural deodorant it’s a good idea to detox your armpits from the years of buildup, as I mentioned above. You can put your body through a detox by ditching all forms of deodorant for at least three days, doing a Bentonite Clay armpit mask, or slowly working your way up to using a natural deodorant of your choice.
Baking soda (aluminum-free) is a common ingredient in natural deodorant. So be aware if you have a known baking soda allergy. The baking soda will pull the toxins & bacteria from your skin, so it’s extremely common to sweat way more than usual when you first begin using a natural deodorant. But stick it out & drink lots of water. Excess sweating is normal & part of the detox.
Applying Witch Hazel or an essential oil like Tea Tree can be really beneficial during this detoxing period. Tea tree oil can be used as a natural anti-bacterial while your body is trying to expel those built up toxins.
Dry Brushing can also be extremely beneficial while detoxing because it will help stimulate the lymphatic system in & around the armpits, which will help promote the detox process.
The Best Natural Deodorant For Women
1. Beautycounter’s Clean Deo
Beautycounter just launched their highly anticipated Clean Deo, which has been 5 years in the making & definitely worth the wait! I’ve used many clean deodorants over the years since first swapping out my antiperspirant & this is hands down the best formula I’ve used – be sure to check out my full review here! It comes in three lovely scents, free of synthetic fragrances, of course, & the formula does a beautiful job of neutralizing body odor & keeping your armpits dry! I’ve been using this deo for almost a year now & will have a hard time using anything else! Also! It has a refillable component as well, making it better for you AND the environment!
2. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
Schmidt’s used to be one of my favorite brands for natural deodorant, hence why the brand is featured within the photos of this post. Their formula is award-winning & completely free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, & phthalates. HOWEVER, within the past year or so, I’ve noticed they’ve added “Natural Fragrance” & even “Parfum” into some of their formulas. Unfortunately, the majority of their formulas now have fragrance, so that’s definitely something to be aware of. Just because a fragrance is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s clean, so I really don’t like how they made that change. If they really wanted to maintain their transparency, they should have listed out the ingredient scents like they do on some of their other formulas. The three options I listed below do NOT contain any synthetic fragrances.
3. Petty Frank
Petty Frank (formally known as Primal Pit Paste) has some really clean deodorant offerings. No harsh chemicals, aluminum free, synthetic fragrance free, paraben free, proplyene glycol free etc. Overall, they have a really high standard for clean, their formulas are awesome…they have baking soda free formulas too!
4. type:A. Deodorant
I tried the type:A. fragrance free deodorant about 2 years ago now & I really enjoyed it! I would be okay trying the scented options because they don’t contain actual “fragrance”, instead they list out the different oils that make up the scents, which I very much appreciate! Overall, type:A. is a great brand & I can really appreciate the price point as well!
When looking to achieve overall wellness, it’s important to make changes that will benefit your body not only now, but also further down the road. This includes making clean swaps now to benefit your future self later! Every clean swap matters & deodorant is such an important place to start!
The benefits of switching to a natural deodorant can really make a huge difference in your health long-term. AND with so many great alternatives for clean deodorants, your body will thank you! Don’t give up! Find a product that works best for you & your body because everyone is different!
Have you switched your deodorant over to a safer option?
Brenna Johnson says
My first switch to natural deodorant was with Native, and although I like it, I just heard about Schmidts. Thanks for the write up! I will defintely give it a try;-)
Madalena Rowan says
Oh Brenna, you will love it!! Thank you for reading, means so much!
Tara Rowan says
Schmidt’s charcoal and magnesium is such a solid choice suggested for men attempting to break free from the good ol’ Old Spice. Especially, due to the fact that we are all mineral deficient and this one is mineral enriched:) solid choice for the adolescents who need to start the regime of applying help to the pits! Again the food choices….:(
My fav is schmidt’s “Rose +Vanilla!!!” Love Love Love -And am always complemented from strangers! Of its uplifting scent!!
BTW- Walmart offers this exceptional brand;)
Madalena Rowan says
We love minerals! Thanks for the comment…LOVE YOU! XOXO
I switched over ten years ago. A couple of years ago, for health reasons, I had to switch diets to control blood sugar. Interesting side effect was no need for any deodorant unless I have too many cheat days in a row. So I’m guessing there’s a hormone component to this maybe? When my current deodorants run out or expire, my plan is to try Schmidt’s.
Madalena Rowan says
Wow that is so interesting! I know some people who have weaned themselves off deodorant completely, & they barely even sweat! As a sweater, I just don’t know if that would ever be doable for me LOL! Schmidt’s is wonderful, myself & a lot of people I know use it, and have heard nothing but good things back!
Elise Ho says
I made the switch many years ago and I am so glad that I did. I hope that many will follow suit.
Madalena Rowan says
I agree Elise, it’s so important!
Years ago I switched to Primal Pit Paste and liked it but then decided to switch to a crystal and have never looked back. It’s nice not to have product buildup on my T-shirt’s anymore. Conventional deodorants/antiperspirants are so horrible for your health. I had no idea of the correlation between armpit health and breast health. That’s very interesting. Great article!
Madalena Rowan says
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Heather, thank you for sharing! When doing research for this article, I came across the option of using a crystal, I think it’s very intriguing! It was the first time I had ever heard of it!
Rebecca Gardner says
Thanks for explaining why it’s beneficial to stop using deodorant completely for three days before making the switch to a natural, aluminum-free one. I want to do some shopping for personal care products with my next paycheck since I think taking some time for myself every day would go a long way in improving my self-confidence. I appreciate you sharing this info so I can make the switch in the right way once I have all the natural products I plan on using!
Madalena Rowan says
Thank you for taking the time to read Rebecca! I love that you mentioned how you’re trying to make time daily to take care of yourself, I think that is so important & it makes me so happy to here! Have a beautiful day! xo
Who promotes a plant-based products and then say “EW” to corn starch?
Your deodorants contain magnesium hydroxide…….a laxative for constipation. 🙂
I’m sure they are healthier, I just find stuff like this amusing.
Madi Rowan says
To each their own! Thanks for stopping by!