If you are still using antiperspirants, this post is for you.
Like many, I was resistant to go natural because I am a heavy sweater. Shout-out to my dad for that awesome trait. In reality, sweating is awesome for the body; it is a natural form of elimination and detoxification. When you use antiperspirants, the active ingredient is aluminum, which prevents you from sweating. Aluminum salts - in the form of aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum hydroxybromide - prevent you from sweating when aluminum ions are drawn into the cells that line the sweat ducts, causing the cells to swell and squeezing the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out. As a result, your underarms can have painful inflammation along with a buildup of sweat-digesting bacteria. I personally suffered from large, tender bumps on my underarms during many years of antiperspirant use. I tried dozens of natural brands but nothing worked, so I suffered through the bumps not wanting to sacrifice feeling and smelling clean.
Years later, as I became more knowledgeable about toxins and realized just how harmful aluminum is, I knew I needed to find an alternative. As a known neurotoxin, aluminum is linked to many health issues. Aluminum compounds found in most antiperspirants are aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine, which are linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and skin irritations. Motivated to make the switch to avoid these serious potential side effects, I educated myself on the most effective yet natural deodorant.
My research yielded two natural deodorants choices: Agent Nateur holi(Rose) No. 4 deodorant and Ursa Major's Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant.
For three weeks I tried Agent Nateur holi(Rose) No. 4 deodorant. Impressed by the packaging and the incorporation of rose ingredients, I was excited to try this. The rose smell was divine upon opening. I was prepared for a unpleasant period of transition while my underarms acclimated from chemical ingredients to natural. The unpleasant period happened, and it didn't get much better after those three weeks. The deodorant only seemed to last for a few hours before I had to reapply. I also noticed that the lovely rose smell of the deodorant became lost to a lingering smell of body odor. I had to wipe off the stick with a tissue before every use. Overall, I was not a fan.
For the next three weeks I tried Ursa Major's Hoppin' Fresh deodorant which smelled minty fresh upon opening and gave my underarms a minty sensation, which I loved. I found I didn't need to reapply throughout the day; once in the morning was typically fine. On particularly active days, reapplication in the afternoon was warranted. Overall, Ursa Major's Hoppin Fresh was a win for me. I've used it consistently for a year now and have gotten family and friends to switch to it. For those with extra sensitive skin, I recommend Ursa Major's No B.S. Deodorant, which is deodorant without baking soda. You won't get that minty fresh tingle I referred to, but for those with extra skin sensitivities, the mintyness might cause an irritation anyway. Choose your poison based on your skin's needs; both Hoppin' Fresh and No B.S. are equally effective.
A sweaty transition period is inevitable as your body detoxes completely from the aluminum. To speed up the detoxification process by renewing the skin, exfoliate under your arms twice a week with a dry brush. Wash your underarms daily with natural soap and water. You may struggle with a strong odor for one to three weeks while your body expels the toxins from your body, but don't give up! A morning, midday, and evening wash may be necessary during this pungent period. Apply your deodorant after each daytime rinse to refresh and protect you throughout the day. You will eventually notice the strong odor disappears and leaves you smelling naturally fresh even without deodorant. The minor frustration of the transition period is well worth the results of being toxin-free and avoiding all of those terrible side effects!
by Rose Botanica Founder, Chelsea Poling