Many people who have tried switching to a natural deodorant without completely going through the transition period, may have thought that the natural deodorants don’t work.
What you should be aware of is, that when you stop using antiperspirant, your body goes through a detox phase, a so called transition period. It can take up to 30 days for your body to fully detox. During this time, the bacterial communities underarms are changing and each stage of the detox may vary depending on the body chemistry.
You may already know this, but if you don’t, here are a few infos that will help you completely understand the transition period when you swap out a non-natural antiperspirant, for a natural deodorant.
Antiperspirants and deodorants are not the same.
Antiperspirants are used to block sweat. When antiperspirants come in contact with sweat, they turn into a gel that forms a plug over the sweat glands and constricts the pores in the underarm. This plug will reduce the amount of sweat released to the skin surface.
Deodorants work by killing the bacteria on your skin. Your body still sweats, which is healthy and a natural bodily function that helps regulate your body temperature and flush out toxins. But when you use deodorant and you sweat, there isn’t enough bacteria sitting on your skin to create an odor.
When you stop using antiperspirant, it may pass a couple of days or even a week without noticing much difference between your antiperspirant and the natural deodorant. This is due to the fact that the pores underarm are still constricted. As soon as the underarm pores are starting to clear, you will feel additional moisture because your body is naturally sweating. You will also experience a substantial increase in growth of odor-causing bacteria in the underarm area. It is NOT the natural deodorant that makes you smell worse, but the bacteria. It is important to know that this odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, it is just a part of the detox that happens when you discontinue using antiperspirant.
After a while, somewhere between week 2 and 3, the bacteria levels may begin to subside. The culture of bacteria is able to re-balance and stop over-producing odor-causing bacteria. What this means is that you will likely notice any odor issues starting to decrease. Underarm moisture levels will also normalize. It will take some time to get used to sweating under your arms.
By week 4, your body should have fully adjusted to natural deodorant. It can take up to 4 weeks for your body to regulate itself, though for some people the detox stage is shorter. You can now continue using natural deodorant every day to neutralize the smell of daily body odor.
Some people may find the transition period too much of a hassle to even start with, but it is really worth it when you realise that from then on, you are making a healthier choice for your body and for the environment in the same time.
Tips to help you get through the transition period:
1. Wash the underarms a few times a day, or as often as needed.
2. Use hot water to help open your pores and encourage sweating to help flush out toxins.
3. Use a natural antibacterial soap. If you remove the extra bacteria that your body temporarily develops during the detox, it will significantly improve issues with feeling stinky. Perfect for this are: The Dark Side, The Barista and The Gardener on our stock.
4. A natural underarm scrub will help as well. You can DIY by mixing coffee grounds with sunflower oil.
5. After washing, pat your underarms dry with a natural fiber towel.
6. Apply a thin layer of natural deodorant, only on completely dry skin.
7. Wear clothes made of natural fibers such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, linen or ethical wool.
8. Don’t give up, once you’ve started, keep going till you’re through the detox, and you won’t regret it!