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Natural deodorants from Biork, Zero Waste Path and Natural Spa

Natural Deodorant - What to expect when switching

Many of you will know that there is a transitional phase to go through when switching from 'commercial' shampoos to natural ones.  You may not know that the same thing is true for switching to a natural deodorant.

Before we get to the transition phase, it's important to understand the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants, as they do two different things.

An antiperspirant is designed to prevent perspiration, they block your pores to reduce the amount of sweat under your arms.

Deodorants tackle the bacteria that causes nasty odours, but they do not prevent you from sweating.

Confused?  Possibly one of the most important things to know is - sweat doesn't smell.  Body odour, or BO as it is known, is caused by bacteria breaking sweat down not by the sweat itself.

So what does this mean?  Personally, I think sweating is both natural and essential, so I choose to deodorise, not prevent sweat.

The Transition Phase

If you have been using antiperspirants for a long time and switch to a natural deodorant, you can expect the transition phase to last 2-3 weeks.  The following are things you may notice; we are all different after all.

  • More sweating.  This is because you are longer blocking your pores
  • Increased 'body odour'.  You're body will be detoxing, and it is possible this can cause an odour.  
  • Underarm sensitivity.  Some natural deodorants contain sodium bicarbonate which can irritate your skin, you could find the same is true for you - if that is the case, there are plenty of natural options that do not contain this ingredient.

Tips for this phase

  • Don't give up.  It may seem really difficult to adjust, especially if you feel you are sweating more, but it will be short term.
  • A little goes a long way.  If you are used to aerosol deodorants, switching to a cream, powder or crystal stick will take getting used to.  Start with a small amount and build up
  • Use a natural soap.  The natural PH balance of your skin is important in reducing reactions/odours.  Washing with gentle, natural soaps will help a lot.
  • Go bicarb free.  If you find natural deodorants are irritating your skin (they do mine), try products that are free from this ingredient.

Switching deodorants was one of the changes I was most apprehensive about, but I am now really pleased I made the change.

Don't give up, many people will have changed 'commercial' brands several times to find the one that works for them - the same is true for natural ones, so if you don't find 'the one' straight away, try another (and pass the one you didn't get on with to a friend, as we are all different) 


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