If you're considering making the switch to a natural deodorant, you might believe that you should first "detox" from your conventional deodorant or antiperspirant. But what exactly does that mean?
Like anything else in life, change often takes time. The theory behind a deodorant detox is that your armpits need time to make the transition from your current underarm product to something new.
While there is no scientific evidence backing up the theory that your body needs extended time or help switching to natural deodorant detox, there are some temporary changes you might notice as you make the swap.
What Happens During the Switch?
After years of using conventional antiperspirants, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to try something natural. However, I discovered that making the transition was more involved than simply switching products. In the week following my switch from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, I experienced an increase in odor and perspiration.
The way natural deodorants work to reduce odor is different from how antiperspirants work. According to the Mayo Clinic, antiperspirants prevent you from sweating by blocking your pores with aluminum-based compounds. Stopping the use of antiperspirants could then explain the sudden increase in sweating.
As for an increase in odor, this can be the result of a change in armpit bacteria. As a study published in PeerJ found, participants who stopped using antiperspirants showed an increase in armpit bacteria. Body odor is not caused by sweat itself, as the Mayo Clinic explains—instead, body odor is created when sweat comes in contact with bacteria already on your skin. More or different bacteria plus more sweat equals more odor.
What Happens After the Switch?
After a few days of dealing with more odor and sweating, I started to question if a natural deodorant detox was the right choice for me and if my new natural deodorant would ever actually work. And then something changed. A week in, I noticed that my odor was going away, and all I smelled was the naturally derived fragrance.
While I still find myself sweating on a hot day or during a workout, it doesn't feel excessive, but it does feel different—maybe because I was so used to a sweatless body after years of using products designed to stop sweat.
I do also want to mention one significant benefit of switching to a natural deodorant is that my armpit skin has changed. It's less irritated than it's been in the past, and the skin feels softer.
What Underarm Product Is Best?
Deciding what underarm product to use is ultimately a personal decision that will depend on your own needs. If body odor is the main issue you're trying to control, then a natural deodorant might be a good fit. But if excessive sweat is a problem, then an antiperspirant might be better.
No matter what product you choose, it's essential to keep in mind that making a switch can come with some changes, and it may take some time to acclimate to a new product.
To learn more about the benefits of using products made with naturally derived ingredients, check out the Naturally Good Products board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
Deciding what underarm product to use will ultimately depend on your own needs. It's important to keep in mind that it can take some time to adjust to a new product, but with a little patience, you'll find the best fit for your body.