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Need Help Transitioning to Natural Deodorant? Here's How!

You know it’s important to stop using antiperspirants containing aluminum, parabens, and phthalates. You also feel just the teensiest bit (okay, more than a teensy bit) apprehensive about making the switch.

Odor and wetness are no one’s idea of a good time but a daily dose of synthetic ingredients and heavy metals is worse. Navago Co-Founder Kevin Jampole recently took the natural deodorant challenge and he’s here to offer his insights. Once you commit to transitioning to natural deodorant with a few helpful tips, you’ll never look back.

Yes, Your Pits Will Detox When Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

You’ve tried natural deodorant in the past and your underarms were extra wet and smelly. The truth is, that ramped up aroma is actually due to built-up bacteria under your arms that antiperspirant has kept trapped and hidden.

Aluminum is the active ingredient in antiperspirants and it keeps underarms from sweating by plugging up sweat glands. Aluminum has been found in breast tissue and is suspected of having a link to breast cancer. And yes, men can get breast cancer too.

Then there are the other chemicals commonly found in conventional antiperspirants. Synthetic fragrance ingredients to cover smell, parabens that have links to estrogenic effects in the body, and petroleum-based ingredients for smooth application.

If there is any doubt as to the toxic build-up from conventional antiperspirants, the weaning off process provides proof. “When considering making the switch, I talked with Simpy Smita about their deodorants and that’s when I learned about the detox, which meant no deodorants for a period of time,” said Kevin. “The thought of going without a product I’ve used for over 40 years was a bit unsettling.”

Within a few days of taking the challenge, Kevin noticed small lumps in his underarms that were red and tender. “I kind of freaked out until I did some research and understood this was my body getting rid of toxins and that my lymph nodes were likely clogged,” he said. “It took 2-3 weeks before they went away. That sealed the deal! There was no going back now that I knew what was going on in my body.”

The first two weeks off of antiperspirant are usually the toughest and it’s not uncommon to experience swelling, increased odor, and skin irritation. To make this situation more comfortable, try dry brushing or gently massaging the area, or taking an Epsom salt bath to lend a soothing feel.

Is it worth it? “Six months later, I alternate between natural deodorant, a bit of powder, and using nothing at all and have no issues with body odor,” Kevin said. “In fact, I have less than before.”

6 Tips to Switching to Natural Deodorant

Ready to ditch the chemical cocktail? These tips on how to switch to natural deodorant will see you through to the other, much sweeter smelling side.

1. Use charcoal soap to lightly exfoliate, cleanse, and draw impurities out of skin.

2. Pat on a light layer of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to help absorb wetness and keep skin feeling clean.

3. Start your pit detox in cooler months to reduce sweat and smell.

4. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that don’t trap wetness and odor.

5. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and minimize odor.

6. Skip processed and pungent foods that can make sweat smell worse, and opt for whole foods and fresh veggies.

It can take up to 3-4 weeks for your underarms to adjust. Commit to the process, choose eco-friendly cosmetics, and feel good about what you are doing for your body.