Let’s talk about something that may be a little uncomfortable. Everyone sweats. While we can’t help this natural body function, we do everything in our power to stop from feeling damp, sweaty, or smelly in our underarms. But, when you reach for your antiperspirant, do you really know what you are gliding onto your skin?
The scary truth is that these “regular” deodorants are full of harmful, toxic ingredients that interfere with your body’s natural attempts to remove toxins. Yes, sweating is natural and good for you. However, these products we all swipe under our arms don’t just block the sweat, but have been linked to reproductive issues, allergies, and cancer, and have serious long term effects such as breast cancer or Alzheimer’s.
Making the Switch
You can see why it’s so important to avoid these harmful antiperspirants and reach for all-natural, organic ways to fight off sweat and body odor. If you’re ready to make the switch, but others’ horror stories have made you hesitant, we’re here to help clear things up.
Your body is used to the ingredients that are in your old antiperspirants and suddenly switching from toxic deodorants to natural ones might cause your body to give you some pretty whacky responses. This is why a deodorant detox is in order.
First Things First
It’s tricky when you first begin your detox. The sweat-blocking ingredients in your antiperspirants and deodorants change the natural bacteria microbiome that is found on your armpits. In fact, consistent use may cause your sweat to smell worse or have a stronger smell than usual, which might explain why you notice a stronger smell on those days you skip or forget to use deodorant.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try a natural option! This just means you have to prep the area and rebalance the bacteria there. Since you have probably spent most of your life using antiperspirant deodorants, chances are you’ll notice a difference in the smell and/or the amount of sweat that is being released once you ditch your toxic deodorant. This happens because the glands and pores in your armpits begin to open, unclog, and—finally—function properly.
Instead of running back to your old ways, if you understand what is happening and follow our guidance, you’ll be able to handle the transition better. It’s time you make the switch that’s better for your health and the planet.
Tips for an Easier Switch
These essential tips and tricks will ease the transition so you can finally leave your toxic deodorant behind!
You are what you eat.
The old saying is true. You are what you eat. While it is always important to mind your diet, this is especially true now. As we mentioned above, your pores are unclogging, and sweat is the way your body gets rid of waste. So, if you put crap in, you will surely get crap coming out.
Certain foods will make your sweat smell worse, with or without deodorant use. The big offenders are sugar-ridden snacks, processed and fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, and red meat. Diets rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains neutralize and reduce body odor. While the best foods for fending off odors are leafy greens, the worse culprits are garlic and onions.
Prep your pits.
Just as you detox your body, it’s also a good idea to detox the skin on your armpits. If you have been using an antiperspirant for a long time, there are probably bunches of dead skin cells and leftover chemical residues in your underarms. Before you shower, dry brush the area to loosen buildup and increase circulation. Exfoliate the area, while in the shower, with a loofah or bath scrubber. After you’re done bathing, be sure to completely dry the area, as a moist environment is perfect for the bacterial growth.
Keep in mind that during this time you might want to shave your underarms every day as hair will trap smells. Also, depending on how much you sweat, you might find it beneficial to clean the area throughout the day. While on the go, wipe off excess sweat with a paper towel to keep the area dry.
What you drink is a part of your diet. Make sure you ditch the sugary, caffeinated, soft drinks (they’re not good for you anyway) and drink water instead. When you are hydrated, your body removes the everyday toxins in an efficient way, and this may help in preventing body odor.
Watch what you wear.
You might not realize it, but the type of material you are wearing may cause you to sweat more. Try to stick to natural fibers, such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, and linen, as they don’t trap sweat and bad smells in the clothing, whereas fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and spandex trap sweat, giving bacteria a wet place to live. In fact, since synthetic fabrics hold sweat in the fabric, the bacteria begin to grow on your shirt.
While you may think this is counterintuitive, think again! Unlike the sweat glands throughout the rest of your body, the ones in your armpits produce water, salt, and amino acids. Since your glands haven’t been able to release the amino acids in a while – due to your old antiperspirant – there may be a build-up of mucus, making the sweat thicker. Hitting the gym or sauna and making sure you sweat more will help get your sweat glands functioning again.
Use Your Smarts
Now that you have successfully made the switch, or you at least are headed in that direction, remain smart! Just because the word “natural” is stamped across your deodorant label, don’t assume it is! Take a second look at the deodorant before you buy—here are the ingredients to always avoid:
● Propylene Glycol
● Synthetic colors
● Potassium or ammonium alum
● Aloe Vera or water
● Triethanolamine (TEA)
● Diazolidinyl Urea
Let us know what you think in the comments below.