FROM TOXIC TO TRUSTWORTHY: HOW TO SWITCH TO (+ LOVE) NATURAL DEODORANT
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Natural deodorant popped up on my radar about four years ago and I was immediately intrigued, mostly because I’ve never enjoyed the powdery, floral scent of most women’s deodorant. For years, I’d been using men’s deodorant because I liked the smell and texture better, but part of me always questioned the artificial color, fragrances, and effects of antiperspirant.
But, switching to natural deodorant isn’t always easy! From sweating and BO to stained clothes to questionable application methods, it’s easy to get discouraged.
I tried what felt like a thousand natural deodorants before finding Primally Pure’s Charcoal Deodorant, the very first Primally Pure product I bought. I instantly loved it for it’s subtle yet refreshing scent, because it didn’t stain my shirts, and because I could feel good about what I was putting on my body.
In this post, I dive into the whats and whys you need to know about natural deodorant, so you can make the switch with confidence.
WHY GO NATURAL?
The deets on detoxing. Our body is designed to detox every cell every minute of the day for our entire lives. We don’t need to do expensive or extreme cleanses to rid our body of toxins. In fact, we each have a whole set of organs and pathways dedicated to doing this for us all the time so “detoxing” isn’t always a necessary activity, and isn’t a sustainable approaching to living a non-toxic lifestyle.
However, our modern lifestyle can often increase our toxic load beyond what our body is able to efficiently process. When our toxic burden is high, these built-in systems can’t rid our bodies of toxins to the degree that we need in order to be healthy, and we can experience everything from gut issues to endocrine (hormone) disruption to serious disease. It’s impossible to eliminate our exposure to toxins completely — they’re in our food and food storage containers, water, furniture, medications, household cleaning products, and makeup and personal care products — but, we can pay attention to our toxin exposure and eliminate toxins wherever possible. A more sustainable approach to living a non-toxic lifestyle is to lessen our toxic burden, and choosing natural personal care products is a great way to do this.
For tips on lessening your toxic burden, download my free guide, 3 Things You Need to Know About Detoxing, and if you’re ready to make a change, check out my blog post on three easy switches to non-toxic living.
Deodorant downfalls. Conventional deodorant contains toxic ingredients that can disrupt hormone health, are carcinogenic, and irritate skin. In addition to fromadelhyde, triclosan, benzyl salicylate, and phthalates, here are just a few examples:
Parabens — preservatives that prevent mold and bacteria growth, but have been linked to endocrine disruption and breast cancer. Alternative: use your nontoxic deodorant within 6 months.
Aluminum — blocks your pores to prevent sweat and keep your pits dry, but has been linked to Alzheimer’s and heavy metal toxicity. Alternative: use moisture-absorbing ingredients that allow your body to detox. More on this below!
Fragrance — overpowers BO, but is made up of >3,000 synthetic chemicals that can irritate skin. Alternative: use a product scented with pure essential oils.
Propylene glycol — a fragrance, skin conditioner and absorption enhancer that’s also found in anti-freeze. It has penetrating effects, which helps carry other harmful ingredients into the skin and can cause organ toxicity. Alternative: organic tallow from grass-fed cows and organic coconut oil are real ingredients (full of anti- inflammatory and anti-microbial vitamins and essential fatty acids) that will nourish and protect your pits.
All this to say, when you switch to non-toxic deodorant, you may experience improved skin, hormone health, energy levels, adrenal function, and PMS symptoms. It may seem that what you hurriedly swipe on your pits as only part of your daily routine isn’t a big deal, but daily use of these harmful ingredients can cause serious lasting effects on your body and health.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You’ll sweat, *praise hands*. This is a good thing! Conventional deodorants are often anti-perspirants, which means they prevent us from sweating. But, our skin is the largest organ in our body, and one of our main detox organs. Our skin needs to sweat in order to remove toxins from our bodies. You may sweat more than usual at the beginning as your body detoxes the harmful chemicals it was absorbing before, but the longer you use natural deodorant (and other non-toxic products), the less you’ll have to detox and you’ll sweat less overall.
You’ll use less. And save more. Natural deodorants don’t contain fillers or additives, so they’re far more concentrated. One or two swipes is all you’ll need! So, while nontoxic deodorant may be more expensive than conventional, you need far less of it so you’ll spend less over time.
Your pits will have to adjust. Just like introducing anything new to your body, there will be an adjustment period, even if the changes you’re making will benefit you in the long run and especially if you have sensitive skin. Give your body time to get used to your new deo (about 2 weeks depending on your current toxic load), and find a brand that works for you! What I love about Primally Pure is that their products include no more than 10 ingredients that I can pronounce.
HOW TO CHOOSE
How to choose natural. I follow the same philosophy with my personal care and household products as I do with my food: If there are ingredients listed on the label that I can’t pronounce or don’t know what they are, I don’t consume it. The first step towards choosing natural deodorant is to check the label, and ask yourself if you’re comfortable putting that product on your body, and more specifically on your largest organ that is capable of absorbing what is topically applied to it. If your answer is no, it’s time to go natural.
How to choose a brand. When looking at natural deodorants, you want to choose a with real, wholesome ingredients that powerfully combat odor. Natural ingredients work differently than conventional ingredients, so it’s important to source your deo from a company that understands holistic health. For example, Primally Pure uses arrow root powder and kaolin clay to absorb sweat (and allow your skin to breathe and detoxify), instead of aluminum, which blocks sweat glands to prevent perspiration and has been linked to heavy metal toxicity. The team at Primally Pure formulates their products with integrative health in mind, which is one of the reasons I love their products (you can find my favorite products and a discount code on this shopping guide!).
How to choose a scent. I believe in bioindividuality, which means that each person’s biology is unique. This comes into play with deodorant because our body chemistries react differently with different scents. Ever tried a natural deo and experienced BO mixed with a hint of a flowery scent? It’s important to find the scent that works best for you. Primally Pure offers 7 different varieties of deodorant, all lightly scented with essential oils, and you can even take their quiz to find out which is right for you!
NEXT STEPS TO LOVING YOUR NATURAL DEODORANT
Now that you know why making a switch to non-toxic products is so important, what to expect when you do switch, and how to choose the perfect product for yourself, let’s actually do the thing!
You can purchase your Primally Pure deodorant in two sizes (I love the 1.7 oz for travel and my yoga bag, and the 2.5 oz for my bathroom), and you can even sign up for the deodorant subscription program and avoid shipping costs! Like I mentioned earlier, I love the Charcoal Deodorant, which smells like eucalyptus.
Natural deodorant is a great way to get your feet wet with non-toxic personal care products. If you’re ready to take the plunge all the way, I have a few favorite Primally Pure products. For the most radiant complexion I’ve ever had, I use the cleansing oil, baby bar, everything spray, fancy face serum, blue tansy beauty cream, and neroli complexion mist. I also love their dry shampoo for my lazy hair days, baby oil for soft skin post-shower, and lip balm.