If you think back to five, ten, twenty years ago, “greening your beauty routine” often meant going down to the local health food store, picking up a salt crystal deodorant, a couple of bars of goat’s milk soap, and a tube of dusty rose lipstick.
Thankfully the green beauty market has grown exponentially over the years and we are no longer restricted by our green beauty choices. In fact, many green beauty products perform far better than their synthetic counterparts.
Even still, when I took my green beauty “oath” four years ago, I was hesitant to replace a few select products and antiperspirant was on the top of the list. I know that I was not alone. Antiperspirant is often the very last thing to go for many women. Why?
What’s the one thing we’ve always feared when entering social settings? Smelling! No one wants to smell like B.O. and no one wants giant sweat stains under their arms (at least I don’t).
Antiperspirant and its promise of sweat-free, odour-free days had always been my crutch, and I was loath to let it go.
It's Time To Ditch Antiperspirant
Eventually, though, I could no longer ignore the facts. I knew antiperspirant was counterintuitive to how I should be treating my body. Yes, it was preventing wetness and odour, but it was also clogging my sweat glands and preventing the very normal and essential process of cooling and detoxifying.
I decided it was time. Through a little trial and error, I made the switch and can never go back!
The debate still rages on as to whether aluminum in antiperspirant causes cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, but there are other reasons to ditch antiperspirant and start using a natural deodorant.
First off, have you ever looked at the ingredients?
Sometimes we forget that in addition to aluminum, antiperspirant is full of endocrine disrupting and possibly carcinogenic chemicals like petroleum, propylene glycol, plasticizers, and preservatives.
Secondly, most of us know that sweating is good for us, right? It cools the body, it helps eliminate toxins, and it fights infections. For this very reason, we flock to saunas and hot yoga classes to get that healthy detoxifying “sweat-session”, but yet still clog our armpits with antiperspirant. Why? It makes no sense!
Would you be persuaded if I told you that just because you decide to “go-natural” doesn’t mean you have to stink or sweat profusely?
In fact, studies show that antiperspirant can actually cause more odour by altering natural bacteria colonies. Simply put, there is ‘good’ bacteria and ‘bad’ bacteria living on the surface of our armpits. The ‘bad’ bacteria convert the fat and protein found in sweat into the stinky by-product we know as B.O.
The aluminum found in antiperspirant can actually decrease the number of ‘good’ bacteria, and increase the number of ‘bad’ bacteria, which in turn causes us to smell even more!
Getting your armpit bacteria back to a healthy and happy equilibrium may require a short adjustment period . . . okay, maybe a week or two . . . BUT I’ve got your back and there are a few things you can do to make it a seamless transition.
First, do a proper antiperspirant detox (instructions here). Trust me, these simple steps can make a huge difference!
Choosing The Best Natural Deodorant
Secondly, choose the best natural deodorant.
Not all natural deodorants are created equal, and using the wrong one can often lead to frustration and a path back to antiperspirant.
I have found the most success with deodorant creams, which are often comprised of any number of the following ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, clay, corn starch, and essential oils. Read more about why deodorant creams are often more effective than deodorant sticks.
As a result of baking soda being too alkaline on the skin (and causing redness or rashes) many deodorant companies are coming out with baking soda free versions.
For those individuals who don’t like the sound of deodorant creams –that need to be applied with fingers—I was very happy to find that LoveFresh carries a baking soda free version, AND it’s in a stick!
This usually goes against my practice of only using deodorant creams, however, I was delightfully surprised to find that it really does act like cream (it’s all about the consistency and amount of product that is distributed onto the armpit).
Unlike a few years ago, there are many great natural deodorants out there, and there is no reason why you need to still be hanging onto that antiperspirant.
It might take a little trial and error, but I know you will find one you love!
Living Well In Motherhood
Green Moms Collective is passionate about living well in motherhood. With a little help from mothers who get it and wellness experts. Get us weekly.