We know swapping to a natural deodorant is better for our bodies, but if it's making you stink, then you need to read this before you give up!
Here are some of the key reasons why you might be battling with your deodorant swap, and what to do about it.
We are all a little different when it comes to body odour and our deodorant requirements and this can cause a lot of frustration. You might not stink enough for people to notice, but enough to experience unpleasant whiffs.
Did you know some people are genetically gifted to not even have armpit odour!
My partner is one of those people and doesn't need deodorant which makes me a little jealous. According to this article, lots of these genetically gifted people still wear deodorant anyway and have no idea they have this super power. If you haven't dared to switch to a natural deodorant yet, I would recommend checking it out for yourself to see if you even need deodorant.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you do click on a link and make a purchase, it is the same price to you, but I may earn a small commission that helps to keep this site running.
So, back to the normal scented people....what can you do to prevent the dreaded B.O.?
1. Give It Time
If you have been using standard deodorants or anti-perspirants, you may already be well aware they are a concoction of ingredients and often contain aluminium which is very effective at preventing sweat.
Once you stop using these, whether you replace it or not, your body is absolutely going to sweat and smell more than usual. This unfortunate effect can last a week or up to a month. I know, it's not something you wanted to hear BUT it is important to know that it does get better.
Winter is your friend when it comes to cutting out standard deodorants as we tend to sweat a lot less and therefore are going to smell a lot less. Plan when you'll give it up and expect to wait a week or more.
If you're very patient, you'll be happy to hear that the older we get, the less body odour we have. I am really not this patient and I didn't want to wait 20 years or so to make the swap, but it is a good reminder that our needs do change over time.
2. Armpit Detox
Armpit Detoxing is pretty trendy right now and claims to help rid your pits of toxins and prepare you for your natural deodorant journey. They may help to shorten the waiting time mentioned above. I haven't ever tried this and there are loads of products on the market, but you could give a homemade recipe like this one a go.
3. Keep It Clean
Now, this is stating the obvious, but hygiene is important and most of us need to be washing once a day. It doesn't matter if it's a shower, bath, swim in the ocean or a 'bird bath' in the sink with a face washer- just make sure you wash your pits every day. Regularly washing your clothes is also advisable and if your t-shirt has the slightest pong to it, don't try to wear it for an extra day, just throw it in the wash.
The main reason I'm mentioning this is that when first making a swap you might need to do wash your pits 2-3 times a day, and your clothes every day while your body adjusts, and after that, you can expect to return to your normal routine.
4. Natural Soap & Body Wash
The soaps and body wash you use in the shower seriously impacts how bad you're going to smell later. Some of the best smelling products can leave us smelling like a monkey later in the day.
Opt for more natural based soaps or body washes that use olive oil or coconut oil that work better with our skin. Plain ordinary soap can also work a treat, but do be wary of packaging claims and look for a palm oil free version. Items with fewer ingredients often work the best, but it will take a little trial and error to discover what works best for your body. I really love Corrynne's Eco soap which is handmade in Western Australia, palm oil free, vegan friendly, package free and affordable. She also has a pure coconut soap, which is brilliant on sensitive skin and eczema.
Recently I found a Pears 'natural' soap in our bathroom cupboard and started using it. Well, it washes fine but I discovered pretty fast that with this so called natural soap, I end up with body odour at the end of the day, even when I haven't been sweaty. I have come to hate that soap with a passion since I had a freak incident where I dropped it in the shower and a few bits splinters off and went in my eye. Sooooo very painful and took a good 24 hours to go back to normal. Plus although it comes in cardboard, inside each bar is individually wrapped in plastic.
5. To Shave, or not to Shave..
There are a lot of people that believe hairy armpits make odour worse, but I haven't found this to be true and some weeks I am sporting an impressive forest of hair and tend to sweat more after shaving.
P & G did a study and reported it does make a difference BUT it pays to be a little sceptical - they worked along with Gillette Razors and have a commercial interest in making findings that tell us to shave more and purchase more products like deodorant.
So test this one out for yourself and make up your own mind.
6. Natural Clothing & Fabrics
If you have ever worn a synthetic shirt, or dressed up for a 1970's disco party, you'll know that this kind of fabric is guaranteed to make you stink, aluminium or not.
The more synthetic your clothes are, the more likely that are to make you sweat and hold odours. Choose cotton, hemp and natural fibres when you can, especially for anything that will be against your skin. Check clothing labels of those you own and before you buy as some materials can seem soft and natural but really aren't.
If your budget can't stretch for your preferred fabrics, opt for cotton and aim for the highest % when blended with other materials. You can often find affordable wool and cotton in second-hand stores for a fraction of the price.
7. Your Diet
What you eat impacts your odour. If you're living on salami and garlic sandwiches and not drinking water, your personal aroma is going to make your eyes water no matter what deodorant you wear.
That's obviously an extreme example, but foods like onions and garlic along with salty processed foods and alcohol consumption can cause odour problems. Likewise, if you don't drink enough water throughout the day your sweat is going to be more concentrated. So drink up and get plenty (or at least some) fruits, veggies and healthy foods.
Personally, I'm a huge garlic fan and sometimes eat it raw on toast BUT if I drink plenty of water, eat healthy and add some parsley to my diet it has very little effect on my body odour (My breath on the other hand might be a different story, but I do like my personal space so hopefully it wards off the vampires and close-talkers).
8. Your Lifestyle
Your activity levels, stress, coffee consumption and health may also help or hinder your swap to natural deodorant. Try not to over do the coffee and keep your cool in stressful situations. If you know you're going to be hitting the gym, stressing about a job interview or chasing after your 2 year old all day - expect to sweat more. You can combat the effects with some of the options already mentioned above, by altering your shower routine and with this next point......
9. Spritz Your Pits
Spritzing your pits really works wonders and is very simple to do, in fact you don't even need to spritz.
By using a small amount of witch-hazel, vinegar or some fresh lemon juice applied to your armpits straight after your morning shower can help prevent odours later in the day.
Alternatively, add it to a spray bottle that you can carry in your handbag for a quick spritz later in the day. I prefer witch-hazel and sometimes use this as my deodorant, but all are effective at neutralizing pH levels and reducing odour causing bacteria. Before you go overboard, do try a test patch first.
I hope these hints help you swap to a natural deodorant, and if you have some tips of your own, add them in the comments below.
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