Making the switch from antiperspirant to a safe deodorant that works will be better for your health and protect you from loads of potentially harmful ingredients such as aluminum. But if you’ve recently made the switch to a clean or natural deodorant, or you’ve been considering it, it’s likely that you’ve experienced or heard a few complaints: I feel really sweaty; the detox phase is awful; my skin is breaking out.
Seriously? Don’t sweat it. As long as you’re prepared for what’s in store, you can find a natural or aluminum-free deodorant that’s suitable for your body’s needs without all the side effects. Learn more about common natural deodorant concerns and what you can do to fix them.
The Complaint: The Transition Phase Is Tough
The reality: There are plenty of rumors about excessive sweat and smell when people make the switch from an antiperspirant to a safe deodorant. And it’s true that when you stop plugging up your ducts, your body may need some time to adjust and get used to sweating again. The good news is that you don't need to go deo-free as you detox. In fact, the secret to getting through this so-called "detox period" lies in choosing the right high-performance deodorant that keeps you protected, even through the sweatiest of times. Your options today are vastly superior to five years ago, thanks to a new crop of aluminum-free deodorants that have improved odor protection capabilities.
In truth, many people barely notice the detox period, which usually lasts a week or two. Odds are, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition is to a safe deodorant that works. But every person is different. If you find yourself sweating a little more or notice that your BO is extra pungent, try applying a charcoal mask to your underarms to re-balance your skin and wear loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe while your body readjusts to sweating again. We promise, the detox period is only temporary (you won’t feel extra sweaty forever!).
The Complaint: It Doesn’t Work
The reality: Some natural deodorants that have been around for ages go on strong but fade quickly, it’s true. This is because their formulas are pretty simple. Sweat only smells when it comes into contact with certain bacteria on your skin. These basic formulas rely on an antibacterial ingredient to eliminate the bacteria that causes the offensive odor. But once the antibacterial effect wears off — which can be a matter of minutes with some people — you are left without any lasting odor protection.
Today, the best products involve more advanced science for much better performance, and can work the whole day, thanks to a lot of research and development. Type:A is the only aluminum-free deodorant that works by using sweat-activated technology to proactively provide long-lasting protection throughout your day.
To get the most mileage from your aluminum-free deodorant, be sure to start with clean, dry skin. Wash your underarms with warm water and soap to remove any lingering smells. Next, pat your skin dry with a soft towel. You may need to experiment with how much deodorant you apply - less isn’t always more when it comes to natural deodorant! Everyone’s body chemistry is different and some may need more protection than others so, for extra protection, simply apply more product.
The Complaint: I Feel Sweaty
The reality: Antiperspirants are designed to prevent wetness through the use of aluminum salts that plug the outflow tract of sweat glands, keeping underarms dry and therefore odor-free. Although aluminum-free deodorants prevent odor, they don’t stop sweat from happening. “It may take some adjustments to get used to the presence of moisture, even if it doesn’t smell,” says Sonia Batra, MD, dermatologist and co-host of the show The Doctors.
If you are using a natural deodorant, you’re making a healthy choice but excess perspiration can have a few drawbacks for your delicate underarm skin, including irritation, itchiness and inflammation. To reduce moisture build-up, consider wearing lightweight, breathable fabrics — especially for workouts. You can also look for the best aluminum-free deodorant that uses sweat-activated technology to keep you feeling fresh, so you may not feel as sweaty as you thought!
The Complaint: My Skin Is Irritated
The reality: Some natural deodorants can be abrasive to the skin, leading to redness and itchiness. “Stick deodorants are made solid through a mix of wax or fat and have a dry, hard finish. Dragging the stick across the skin can sometimes be irritating,” explains Dr. Batra. If the stick contains a high level of baking soda, that gritty texture can be even more abrasive.
If irritation occurs, apply a cool wet washcloth to your underarms, followed by a moisturizer to help soothe and calm the chafed area. Looking for a natural solution? Massage a little extra virgin coconut oil or manuka honey on the irritated spot, as they both have excellent skin soothing properties. Even better, apply a lightweight creamy deodorant that works straight from a tube and avoid the stick for a smoother, gentler application.
The Complaint: Natural Deodorant Stains My Clothes
The reality: “Oils in natural brands may transfer to clothing and cause stains,” says Dr. Batra. You can reduce the chances of stains by allowing the product to fully dry after application before getting dressed. To lighten any stains that do occur, cover the stain with baking soda, then splash it with white vinegar.
But really, the biggest offender for clothing stains comes from the aluminum in traditional antiperspirants, which is known to leave ugly yellow stains in its wake. Since Type:A is aluminum free, your clothes will be yellow-stain-free, too! Also, the formula is sheer, so you won’t see any of those bright, white marks left behind by many solid deodorant sticks.
Looking for the best clean deodorant with natural ingredients that really works? Click here to learn more about Type:A’s aluminum-free deodorant, including the natural and safe synthetic ingredients it uses and how its sweat-activated technology helps keep you fresh.
Written by Isadora Baum