When I was going through my "is-everything-in-my-bathroom-shelf-really-toxic??" frenzy, I decided if I was going to be serious about living a natural lifestyle I would have to cut some things out. Now, this post isn't meant to shame anyone for the products that they use. I fully understand that switching to natural products is expensive and often out of reach for people who live in areas where Sprout's and Whole Foods don't exist. With that being said, the "natural life" is a privilege.
I made the decision to switch to natural deodorant early in July because I was fed up with consciously putting toxic crap into my body. Products like shampoo and lotion can be sort of tricky to sort out whether or not they're "bad" for you. I know when I'm looking on the backs of the bottles and I just see a bunch of ingredients ending in "-ide" and "-gen," I feel overwhelmed. I plan to graudually replace many of my toxic products with natural ones and deodorant happened to be the first one I felt comfortable with.
I'm going to share my experiences with switching to natural deodorant. Maybe you'll feel inspired to make the switch, maybe not. But either way, I really want to stress that this isn't meant to shame anyone for sticking to Dove or Secret.
What is natural deodorant?
Natural deodorant is a combination of different non-toxic, natural ingredients that act combat odor. There are numerous studies of ingredients in deodorant that are linked to cancer, which you can read about here. Natural deodorant seeks to help cover up the smell that your armpits produce, but like all deodorants, it doesn't stop you from sweating.
Which kind do you use?
I've used Jason's Aloe vera deodorant for about four months now. It's not 100% natural - I don't think I'm ready for that, yet. Using Jason's deodorant has been a great way to ease my way into the natural world. It does contain mostly natural ingredients and it's lightly scented. I've read that this stick is "moderately hazardous," so it's not the safest product that exists. I am happy with the results, though, and comforted knowing that it isn't as toxic as the brands I used to use. You can read more about natural deodorants for beginners here.
What's different about the way it feels?
Well, this is probably because I made the transition in the hottest season of the year, but I sweat bullets. The first day was the hardest. I made the mistake of wearing a white shirt, in July, in an area of the office that was not air conditioned. During the transition, I also became hyper-conscious of my own odor. I kept asking my friends and family if I smelled bad and while nobody said that I did, I could still smell myself. I felt... ripe.
This uncomfortable feeling of moist pits and subtle odor lasted about two or three days for me. I've heard for some people it lasts up to two weeks. I'm sure if you decide to abruptly ditch your Secret stick and make your own homemade deodorant instead, it will take your body longer to adjust. That's why I suggest you ease into it, starting with a mostly natural stick before switching to a 100% organic one.
So, the verdict is...
Definitely worth it. I've used Jason's stick for many months now and it feels the same as any other deodorant I've used in the past. In fact, I've had the same stick since July. It's running a bit low and I think around December, when it will likely run out, I might be ready to transition into a 100% natural deodorant. If you've got any suggestions, feel free to send them to me or comment below!
The smell and constantly feeling of having wet pits went away within the first couple weeks, thankfully. I would definitely suggest switching over, maybe during a cooler time of the year to avoid extra sweat. (Read: don't do what I did.) The Jason stick is at its lowest about $4 and at its highest $6 if you buy it online. Deodorants like Secret and Dove range from about $3 to $8. It's not a significant difference in price, but your body will thank you.