Making the switch to clean beauty in great in theory, but it’s not always quite as easy to actually swap out all your favorite products for their natural counterparts. This is especially true when it comes to trying out natural deodorant, and that’s largely due to the fact that the vast majority of people would rather use a chemical-filled antiperspirant and stay sweat- and B.O.-free than spend a day emanating a less than pleasant fragrance.
But natural deodorants have come a long way from when they first popped up on the market, and there are *finally* formulas that don’t leave chalky residue everywhere and, you know, actually work.
So, what’s the big different between natural deodorants and antiperspirants, and why should you make the switch? We turned to the experts for answers.
“It’s all about the aluminum, or the lack thereof!” Megababes founder Katie Sturino told Observer. “Antiperspirants use aluminum to physically block sweat ducts. When you ditch the aluminum and switch to natural deodorant, your sweat ducts are open and your body can now release the sweat it naturally creates and expels.”
Instead of blocking sweat like an antiperspirant, “deodorants help to target the natural bacteria that grows under the arm that leads to odor,” Nécessaire co-founder Randi Christiansen explained.
Aluminum is a somewhat controversial ingredient within the beauty sphere, largely due to the debate over its potential link to breast cancer. Studies thus far haven’t been conclusive, but we still think it’s best to stay away from aluminum in your deodorant, as it can also be super irritating to those of us with sensitive skin.
“My mom had breast cancer twice. Thankfully she survived, but I’m not willing to take the chance on aluminum,” Sturino explained. “I love the peace of mind I get with natural deodorant and knowing that I’m not putting potential toxins in my body.”
It takes your body a few weeks to adjust to natural deodorant, so be prepared to sweat more than you’re used to during the transition period. Since we’re living in the era of social distancing, there’s truly never been a better time to make the switch.
“A tip during the detox stage would be to stay consistent,” Christiansen told Observer. “The other tip is to know that what works for one, may not work for you. Giving a few different deodorants a try is important.”
It’s also important to remember that sweating is normal. “For so long, the expectation has been you shouldn’t ever have to deal with armpit sweat,” Sturino said. “A common misconception is that sweat equals stink. In its pure form, sweat actually doesn’t stink; however, sweat is a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s the bacteria that forms on the sweat that causes B.O.”
Of course, not all natural deodorants are equally effective. A good natural deodorant should have two components, per Sturino. First, a “wetness-absorbing agent to instantly absorb sweat, helping to keep you dry, and two, antibacterial properties to ward off the stink-producing bacteria.”
We’ve done the hard work for you and found the best natural deodorants out there right now, so scroll through to see the top picks we recommend if you’re thinking about making the switch.