Switching to Natural Deodorant - Detox (And Smell!) Explained
So, you've made the switch from conventional deodorant to natural deodorant and you find yourself thinking, "this stinks..." You're not alone! Many people believe natural deodorants just aren't for them — but they can actually work for anyone.
What most people don't realize is that your body has to go through a detox period when you give up mainstream deodorants. Yep, you read that right – you have to detox from your deodorant. But it's not as bad as it sounds – we promise!
Here's why you should switch to natural deodorant, what to expect during a detox period, and how to make the detox as odor-free as possible.
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
To understand why our bodies detox, let's break down the difference between conventional deodorant and natural deodorant.
Most conventional deodorants actually double as antiperspirants. To keep you from sweating, antiperspirants use ingredients like propylene glycol, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum zirconium to block your pores.
Aluminum-free deodorants like ours use tapioca starch, coconut oil, and other plant-based ingredients to absorb wetness and neutralize odor molecules, rather than preventing sweat from happening.
Why Should I Switch to a Natural Deodorant?
Aluminum in antiperspirants is an effective sweat blocker, but sweating is a good thing! Sweating is our body's mechanism for both temperature control and detoxification. Our bodies eliminate waste when we sweat, but aluminum blocks that natural process. That's why many people are ditching antiperspirants and looking for aluminum-free deodorants instead.
Deodorant by Bite uses an aluminum-free formula so you can sweat out all of the nasties – the only aluminum you'll find here is in our plastic-free metal case ;). We also keep out baking soda, a common skin irritant found in many other deodorants. The full list of ingredients and fragrances are available on our site as part of our commitment to transparency.
What to Expect When You Detox From Antiperspirant
When you switch to a deodorant after continued use of an antiperspirant, your body sweats out aluminum and releases waste that has been trapped. This process is natural, but can cause a bit of odor and excessive sweating while your body works overtime to detox.
Even though this is a natural and expected process, adjusting to a natural and aluminum-free deodorant can be rough. Thankfully, it won't last forever – your body just needs time to regulate itself.
How long does it take to adjust to natural deodorant?
The length of a detox phase (as well as the amount of odor and sweat) varies from person to person, but most people say it takes them about a month to fully adjust. This adjustment typically happens in a few different stages.
Stage 1 - "This is easy"
It may take a few days or even a week before you notice any unwanted side effects of detoxing from antiperspirants.
Stage 2- "Oh no no no"
The smelliest part of your detox will likely last a week or two. This is when most people give up, but you can do this! Your body is working hard to purge all of the bacteria and chemicals that have been trapped inside by your antiperspirant.
Stage 3 - "Sweaty, but better?"
By the third week, the body odor will start to die down but you may notice more sweating than usual. This is your body doing a final sweat purge.
Stage 4 - "I got this"
You're almost at the finish line! Around week 4, your underarms are sweating less and smelling better.
How to Make Your Detox Easier
To make the transition period a bit easier, there are a few methods you can try.
Clay masks and charcoal scrubs can help pull out dirt, oil, and the buildup left by antiperspirants, expediting the purge (and its smelly effects). Just apply every few days or when you notice odor starting to return.
We've also had some Bite fans tell us that the exfoliating acids they use in their skincare routine, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, help eliminate odor during the transition. These exfoliating acids get rid of the odor-causing bacteria and can smooth out skin. Apply this once or twice a week on clean skin and stop using if you notice irritation.
And lastly, use a deodorant that you like and that works well. Deodorant by Bite keeps you smelling fresh and feeling dry without the harsh chemicals (or plastic packaging!). Our one of a kind scents – Neroli, Rose Vert, and Santal – are sure to make the transition away from antiperspirants worth it.