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From Chemicals to Nature: How to Transition to Natural Deodorant

, by AussiePharmaDirect, 9 min reading time

Today, the desire to smell nice remains an important part of personal grooming and hygiene, with a wide range of fragrances available to suit every taste and occasion. While the reasons for wanting to smell nice may have changed over the centuries, the desire to present oneself in the best possible light remains a constant.

For the most part, body odour does not result directly from sweat but from the natural process between the bacteria on the skin and sweat. These bacteria thrive in areas of the body that are warm and moist, commonly the armpits, groin, and feet.

Overall, body odour is a complex issue that can be influenced by many different factors. The intensity of BO can be influenced by many factors, including diet, hormonal changes, and personal hygiene habits. Usually, practising good hygiene such as showering regularly and using antiperspirants or deodorants should be good enough to minimise the production of sweat and bacteria on the skin, thus reducing the distinct smell of body odour.

But why do my armpits smell no matter what deodorant I use?

Naturally, we’d be grabbing whichever stronger deodorant or antiperspirant on the shelves to combat body odour. But do you know that while antiperspirants are designed to reduce sweating, they may actually contribute to making body odour worse in some cases?

A lot of regular antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat ducts, which reduces the amount of sweat that is released from the body. The bacteria on our skin basically feed on the sweat that is produced by our sweat glands which causes the production of body odour. So, when antiperspirants block the sweat glands, the bacteria are not able to access the sweat, so they may begin to feed on other substances on the skin, such as dead skin cells and oils. As they break down these substances, they can produce even stronger odours than if they were simply feeding on sweat.

But this does not mean that it happens to everybody. Some people find that certain types of deodorants or antiperspirants are effective in controlling sweat and body odour. It really depends on your body chemistry, really!

I’m going to stop using deodorants. What’s the worse that could happen?

Well, it’s not going to be a life-and-death situation if you stop using deodorants or antiperspirants entirely. You may have heard or read that some celebrities or even the people closest to you stopped using these products because of this popular belief that prolonged use of these products may lead to health issues. In its entirety, there are still not enough studies that support these claims.

But if you’re considering stopping or reducing the use of deodorants or antiperspirants, it may potentially reset your skin’s microbiome so, you may give your skin a chance to rebalance itself and restore its natural defences which can, in turn, affect its ability to clear itself of dirt, excess oil, and debris.

This, however, does not mean the body odour will be completely gone. You will still sweat, and the natural process with the existing bacteria on your skin will still occur. A Study has also shown that compared to users of the products, non-users have more bacteria in their armpits.

So, yes, this doesn't mean you have to give up hygiene altogether - you still need to wash regularly with mild soap and water and use more natural remedies like tea tree oil or witch hazel which are commonly found in natural deodorants to control odour. 

Are natural deodorants worth it?

Whether or not natural deodorants are worth it depends on your personal preferences and priorities.

Natural deodorants are typically made from plant-based ingredients and free from chemicals like aluminium, which is commonly found in conventional antiperspirants. Some people prefer natural deodorants because they are concerned about the potential health risks associated with long-term exposure to certain chemicals, or because they want to use more eco-friendly products.

But if you’ve been wondering if organic deodorants and natural deodorants, there is actually a distinct difference. While there can be some overlap between the two, organic and natural deodorants are not always the same thing. While some natural deodorants may also be organic, not all of them are. 

It's important to read the ingredient labels and do your research before choosing a deodorant, whether it's organic, natural, or conventional. Look for products that use ingredients that are safe and effective for your body, and that align with your personal values and priorities.

What are the common ingredients found in natural deodorants?

Natural deodorants are made with ingredients that are derived from nature and free from synthetic chemicals. Some common ingredients you may find in natural deodorants include baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils, cornstarch, magnesium hydroxide, beeswax, and zinc oxide. What do they do? Well, these ingredients work together to absorb moisture, neutralise odour-causing bacteria, and soothe and nourish the skin.

More often than not, this type of deodorant comes with a fragrance that is usually from plant-based oils to help combat odour, in addition to their antibacterial properties. But there are also fragrance-free deodorant options that you can choose to buy. 

The ‘natural’ in these deodorants makes it seem like it’s the safest option for you, right? But before you decide to toss your regular deodorant, it's worth noting that some people may have sensitivities or allergies to certain natural ingredients, so it's important to always patch-test products that you’re using for the first time and discontinue use if you experience any adverse reactions.

How does natural deodorant work?

Unlike antiperspirants that work by preventing you from sweating, natural deodorants (like those of regular ones) work by neutralising odour-causing bacteria on the skin. 

When you apply the deodorant, the ingredients create a barrier on the skin that helps to absorb moisture. This means less “food” for the bacteria to feed on. So, is this the hurrah that you’re looking for? Well, not exactly. Depending on the kind of activities you’re doing during the day, the more you sweat, you’re more likely you will need to top up those applications every now and then.

How do you start natural deodorant?

With all new things that you’re trying out, it takes time. And it does take a lot of trial and error before you can finally find the one that’s right for you. Think of it as you’re looking for a potential partner that will stick with you for the rest of your life (and, yes you may experience some form of frustration and maybe heartbreak in the midst). 

If you're new to natural deodorant, it's important to approach the transition gradually to allow your body time to adjust. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Detox your armpits: If you've been using conventional antiperspirants or deodorants, your armpits may be clogged with toxins and bacteria that can make it harder for natural deodorants to work effectively. To help detox your armpits, try using a clay mask or applying apple cider vinegar to the area before switching to natural deodorant.
  2. Choose the right product: There are many different types of natural deodorants available, so it's important to find one that works for you. Look for products that contain ingredients that are known to be effective at neutralising odor, such as baking soda, magnesium hydroxide, or zinc oxide.
  3. Start slowly: To give your body time to adjust to the new product, start by using it every other day or every few days, rather than every day. Gradually increase your usage as your body adjusts.
  4. Be patient: It may take some time for your body to adjust to natural deodorant, so be patient and stick with it. You may experience some odour or sweating during the transition period, but this should subside as your body adjusts.

Practice good hygiene: While natural deodorant can be effective at neutralising odour-causing bacteria, it's still important to practice good hygiene to keep your armpits clean and fresh. Shower regularly, and always wear clean clothes. Yes, we’re looking at you gym-goers!

Homemade natural deodorants is another option to consider

Natural deodorant are great alternative to traditional antiperspirant as they are not made from harmful chemicals that could cause detrimental effect to your health. So, what is a good natural deodorant in Australia? There are quite a few to name but one that is worth considering is Woohoo. Their range of products are jam-packed with all the natural goodness for the skin! But if the ones you find online or in stores don’t tickle your fancy, you can always choose to do your own homemade deodorant. 

The recipes vary but the ingredients are relatively easy to look for, depending on your preference, whether you choose to make an unscented deodorant or ones that are infused with essential oils for fragrance.

Key takeaways

For a lot of us, BO is like a constant thorn on the side that we struggle to get rid of because of the notion that it repels the people around us. But do you know that the way that people perceive body odour can vary widely based on factors like cultural background, personal preferences, and even genetics.

If you're experiencing body odour that's interfering with your daily life, it's always a good idea to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Persistent and severe body odour could be a sign of an underlying medical condition or hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed.

A healthcare professional can help you identify the root cause of your body odour and recommend appropriate treatment options. This may include prescription-strength antiperspirants, medications, or lifestyle changes.


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