All you need to know about natural deodorants and antiperspirants

Natural deodorants do not have aluminum although it is a naturally occurring substance. There’s a long-standing rumour that it causes cancer. Some studies have found a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer and in fact even Alzheimer’s.

We are all picky when it comes to choosing the right fragrance. If you’ve been considering switching to a natural deodorant as an environment-friendly alternative, this is the place to know more about it.

For those who tried it and switched back to their trusted antiperspirant, hold on, since first, you have got to be patient and secondly, find the right formulae for yourself. Here is a rundown on what’s true, what’s hogwash, and if there’s any compelling reasons to switch over to natural deodorants. Well, a little underarm intel, if you will.

First things first, we would like to help you differentiate between a deodorant and an antiperspirant.

Deodorant vs antiperspirant

An antiperspirant contains aluminum, which is responsible for blocking sweat glands and keeping anything escaping from your pits. A deodorant simply neutralises the bacteria in sweat and helps with the bad smell. However, it has been reported that sweat glands are highly activated when using a natural deodorant. So, maybe the chemical-free deo you’re using does work, you just need to give it a week’s time to prove itself while your body’s perspiration levels normalise. Just a thought.

Although aluminum is a naturally occurring substance, it’s certainly a controversial one. There’s a long-standing rumour that it causes cancer. Some studies have found a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer and, in fact, even Alzheimer’s.

The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, FDA, Alzheimer’s Association, Cancer Research UK, and even the EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (which has banned thousands of personal care ingredients) all confirm there is no conclusive evidence that antiperspirants cause cancer.

Even though there’s no substantial proof that mainstream antiperspirants are harmful, they do prevent a completely healthy process from occurring. As we know, sweating is an essential bodily function to expel heat from your body and keep the organs at a healthy temperature. Preventing your body’s attempts to rid itself of toxins and regulate temperature could cause long-term health issues such as allergies, sensitivities and diseases.

But, for all those planning to make a switch, know that it won’t be an easy ride because your pits will need a period to recoup from all those years of congestion.

So, yes, they might make you a bit smelly for a bit, but they’re ultimately better for your health and better for the environment.

Embarrassed by odour? Know what your body is trying to tell you

The pros 

  • Say goodbye to harmful ingredients!
    The positive impact that natural deodorant makes is underrated. Natural and botanical-based formulas don’t contain any chemicals or ingredients that have been linked to health issues. There are constant ongoing studies suggesting that the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and adds to the possible connection to breast cancer. The reason being that aluminum compounds found in antiperspirants form a plug within the sweat ducts, preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface.
  • Say hello to caring, kind benefits.
    Another encouraging reason to leave your much-loved conventional brand behind is that the ingredients used in natural deodorants are in fact proven to be good for you. With fast-absorbing elements such as charcoal, mineral-rich clays, and moisturising botanicals like shea butter and coconut oil, these ingredients can help to improve your skin’s condition and leave your pits less prone to irritation.
  • Do your bit to save the environment
    Just in case the lure of natural, soothing properties isn’t reason enough to put that can of deodorant in the trash, then think about the environment. Traditional formulae contain Triclosan, which is a threat to not only our health but the waterways. With increased use, these chemicals are accumulating in our rivers and streams, after being washed from our body and reaching the water. Moreover, lots of antiperspirants come in non-recyclable and non-refillable packaging.

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The Cons

  • Your body will need some time to adjust.
    With your underarms being so used to regular antiperspirants and deodorants, making the change to a natural and simpler way of hygiene comes with its own detoxification routine. With no aluminum compound to “plug” your sweat glands, after a week or so of making the switch they will become exposed and your pits will have a minor freakout. You may experience a substantial increase in the growth of odour-causing bacteria and excessive sweating. Do not worry, this is just your body’s way of flushing out toxins. But don’t be put off as by week three, your body’s bacteria levels and moisture levels will normalise, and hopefully, after a month of use, your underarms should have fully adjusted. The key to this is ultimately, patience.
  • It takes a little trial and error to find out what works for you.
    With such a wide range of chemical-free alternatives present in the market, things can get a little confusing if you’re new to the world of organics. So it really is a journey of experimenting and finding one that works in balance with your body. With natural deodorants, what works for one person, may not work for everyone.

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