Have you been thinking of using a more natural deodorant, but does the switch make you a bit nervous? Or have you never considered it and would you like to find out why you should? Read on to discover the benefits of switching to natural deodorant.
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For the past four months, I have been using a natural deodorant, made by the brand We love the planet. I have used both their stick and tin format and I will review them this coming Monday!
UPDATE 02-01-2021: Read the We Love The Planet Natural Deodorant Review here.
(These are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure policy here.)
Before I review these products, I felt it would make sense to share with you what I have learned about natural (and non-natural) deodorants. I want to highlight that I am not a doctor and do not have any professional medical knowledge. I have based the information on what I have found online and I, therefore, recommend you do your own research as well.
Why did I switch to a natural deodorant?
After having used an antiperspirant spray for years (of the brand Dove most of the time), I was a bit nervous to switch to a natural deodorant. It was a new territory and I felt like I needed some convincing. I played around with the idea for a good half-year before I finally made the switch.
The truth is… before I switched, my armpits could get quite itchy. I have very sensitive skin and I suspect that the antiperspirants I was using were triggering this itchy-ness. Even the antiperspirants that are meant to be for sensitive skin weren’t improving anything.
So I started researching what could be causing it and what could be a solution. After researching for a while I kept coming back to the same thing: antiperspirants aren’t good for you. Let me tell you a bit about what I have discovered.
Sweat doesn’t smell
Did you know that your actual sweat doesn’t smell? Say what? I know, I didn’t really expect that either. Sweat is your body’s natural means of bringing your internal thermometer down and eliminating toxins. Sweat is mostly made up of water and salts (sodium, potassium, and magnesium) which are all fundamental to the electrical and chemical balance of your body.
So where does the smell come from then? It is not the sweat itself that smells, but it does start to smell when it mixes with the natural bacteria that live on your skin. The fact that the hair on your body holds on to the sweat and bacteria doesn’t help to get rid of the smell either!
The difference between deodorants and antiperspirants
Your mainstream deodorant works by killing the bacteria on your skin. On top of that antiperspirants can reduce the amount you sweat.
Let me highlight here that there is a difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. A deodorant neutralizes the bacteria in sweat which helps with the smell. Deodorants aren’t deemed as harmful. In a funny way, any deodorant which doesn’t contain aluminum could be labeled as natural.
When looking at the different types of natural deodorants, there are of course different levels in how natural they really are. Deodorants without fragrance are a much better choice for example. I tell a bit more about this in the blog post coming Monday.
From now on when I mention natural deodorants, I am aiming at deodorants that do not contain aluminum. Antiperspirants will be discussed later and are deemed harmful.
When I found out that there is a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants, I wondered whether I had been making a fuss about nothing since my perspective of ‘natural deodorants’ suddenly changed.
But when looking at for example Dove, I found out that the majority of the products offered there are actually antiperspirants. The same goes for the products offered by Boots. I had been using antiperspirants all that time without knowing it, and you might too!
What is so harmful about antiperspirants?
What is so harmful about the antiperspirants then? The reduction of sweat by an antiperspirant is caused by an active ingredient (usually aluminum compounds) in your deodorant which reacts with the electrolytes in your sweat to create a thick gel. This thick gel blocks the top of your sweat glands and contracts your sweat pores and that is actually not a good thing.
Why? Because it blocks (or makes it more difficult) those two important functions of sweat that I mentioned earlier. Your body needs to sweat in order to bring your internal thermometer down and to eliminate toxins. On top of that, these deodorants can cause skin irritation, possible health risks, and make your perspiration even worse.
How can it make your perspiration worse? The blocking of your sweat glands causes a build-up of sweat and good bacteria underneath your skin. This means that your body is limited in its ability to digest the bad bacteria on your skin (because the good bacteria would usually help with this). This makes the sweat that does manage to come through that thick gel layer, smell even worse.
The benefits of switching to natural deodorant
Using a natural deodorant has so many benefits. Not only does the use of only natural ingredients in deodorants limit the skin issues and diseases possible from their non-natural counterparts, but they also provide many benefits themselves.
Natural deodorants don’t block pores, so that good bacteria keeps working, meaning less odor even when you’re not wearing any deodorant. An irritation-free armpit results in a closer (and longer-lasting) shave, and you can forget about worrying over your white t-shirt getting yellow pit stains.
Taking all that together, a natural deodorant does seem to be a much better and safer option. If not for health benefits, then to avoid skin irritations and sweating more than needed. Next Monday I will be talking about the natural deodorant I decided to go for, why I went for this one, and what my experiences are (UPDATE: read the blogpost here!)
Do you want to read more about this subject? Here are the links to some of the websites I used!
The Every Girl > Explains very simple what the contrast between natural and non-natural deodorants is.
Earth 911 > Goes more into detail regarding the toxic ingredients of antiperspirants.
C Net > Discusses natural deodorant in a more critical manner. Denies health risks connected to antiperspirants.
Science news for students > Takes a very scientific approach to what causes sweat and odor.