Whether you are looking for relief from irritation or are choosing to make a healthy switch toward a more natural lifestyle, there are effective options out there for all-natural underarm care.
It isn’t something you should ever bring up on a first date … but a huge percentage of people wrestle with itchy, irritated armpit skin. If you can relate, the culprit is likely your deodorant. The synthetic ingredients in off-the-shelf antiperspirants and deodorants are so caustic that they cause irritation for thousands of people – who often don’t bring up the topic in polite conversation (but maybe they should).
That skin under your arms is sensitive, and manufactured deodorants are full of chemical ingredients. Aluminum, triclosan, phthalates, and parabens block your pores and mess with the natural bacterial biome on your skin. When your skin is out of whack, the good bacteria have a hard time keeping things healthy and comfortable, and your body odor can actually get worse.
But people use deodorant for reason, right? Turns out there are better, natural options for daily underarm hygiene without the laundry list of manufactured ingredients that make grocery store deodorant so uncomfortable and harmful for you poor pits. Natural products can actually help you move through a hot day with confidence, comfort and health using completely phthalate- and aluminum-free ingredients.
Don't Sweat It
Despite what your fifth-grade health teacher told you, sweat itself doesn’t actually stink. It’s the bacteria feeding on the sweat in your underarms that produces the less-than-pleasant body odor you experience after a long day of hard work. But traditional antiperspirants and deodorants don’t even address the problem of bacteria. Instead, they use an aluminum-based compound to literally plug your pores so the sweat can’t exit the skin. Which is weird, because sweating is a normal function of the body. It helps us to cool down, signals our emotions and even helps fight infections. Manufactured antiperspirants block this basic function.
Ready, Set, Switch
How to begin using a natural deodorant? First, find a product that soothes and nourishes your skin, and seems to work to support your biome. Your body may need a short adjustment once you make the switch to an all-natural product … a detox, some call it. You may notice an increase in sweat or aroma while your skin biome recovers to its normal balance. Once you correct the bacterial imbalances, your sweat should not smell particularly unpleasant and your underarm wetness will actually decrease.
Natural deodorants are often a soft solid that you apply with your fingers. If the product gets too soft, it’s an easy fix to place the container in a cool place, such as your refrigerator, for a short time until it regains the texture you prefer.
What Options Are Available?
Salt-based deodorants are rock solid. If you want longevity, these “crystal” deodorants are the way to go. A single salt bar can last up to a year, even with frequent use. To use a salt crystal, simply wet it and rub it liberally in your underarms. You can also find liquid spray versions. The mineral salts are designed to minimize odor-causing bacteria … but they don’t prevent perspiration in any way. Some people consider this normal and even say that their body adjusts to the open pores in a few days, so that their sweat diminishes.
Many people are sensitive to different ingredients used to scent deodorants. You can make your own deodorant at home, or buy an unscented deodorant base and combine your favorite essential oils to get exactly the natural benefits and the aroma that you want. Real Oil makes a product that has added probiotics and works super well with simple oils like Tea Tree or Lavender.
One of my favorite stick deodorants comes from Milk and Honey. the ingredients are super clean and are perfect for more sensitive skin types! Ursa Major is another popular brand with many scent options available if you want pre-scented natural deodorant.
What natural deodorants have you tried? Making the jump to an all-natural deodorant can be scary at first, but is definitely worth it! If you are unsure where to start, leave a comment below!