All-natural deodorant has had a major PR transformation in the last couple of years.
What used to be considered exclusively for vegan hippies has now become chic with major beauty brands getting in on the trend. But is it worth the hype? Let’s deep-dive.
First, an explanation of how typical antiperspirant works (think Secret, Dove, etc.). The antiperspirant you find at the drugstore contains aluminum, which combines with sweat to plug up your sweat glands. While these plugs do eventually dissolve, for most folks who use antiperspirant 24/7, their pores are consistently plugged up.
There’s a big debate as to whether or not blocking your pores is “bad for you.” So let’s clear up a few myths. No, aluminum deodorant can’t cause cancer. Yes, too much aluminum in your system can cause death but you’d have to use a lot of deodorant to make that happen. (Although, the FDA has insisted on putting warnings on standards deodorant labels). There are others who argue that constantly blocking you pores prevents your body from working naturally which is inherently bad but we don’t have much data to support that.
So what’s the deal with natural deodorants? There are a couple of different varieties on the market right now, some made of plant-based materials, some made of crystal. Rather than plugging your ducts, they just work to mask the odor. That means that yes, you will sweat, but you won’t smell like B.O.
So here’s where my personal two-cents comes in. I’ve made the switch to natural deodorant — twice, actually. The first time was without much research. I happened to get a free sample of Nourish Organic Fresh & Dry Deodorant in Almond Vanilla. It smelled amazing. I loved it. Well, for about a month. Then it felt like my body odor had attached itself to the deodorant stick and that was that.
And then, a couple of months ago, I found myself questioning my antiperspirant yet again. After trying Secret Clinical and Dove Dry Spray (both worked for a short time), I found myself sweatier and smellier than ever. After some research, I made the switch to Crystal Body Deodorant Stick. I don’t want to overhype this, but it literally changed my life. A lot of folks online claimed it took a month or so for their body to adjust (which included a period of extreme smelliness) but I was lucky enough to avoid this. I’ve never smelled better and I even feel like I sweat less (although I recognize this might be in my mind). The packaging is ugly AF but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
So is natural deodorant for you? If you’re willing to test a few out, I believe you can totally find the right one that matches well with your body chemistry. You might have to be willing to go through a transition period, but it will be well worth it.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.