Since the late 1800s, we Americans have grown accustomed to swiping our armpits with chemical concoctions promising to hold back our stink. Admittedly, we have been quite good to the multibillion-dollar deodorant industry. According the Smithsonian, we have been dutiful consumers and faithful consumers, applying deodorant daily to our delicate underarm skin—even when it literally burned through clothing back when it was first introduced. We wear deodorant everyday, rain or shine, in spite of the white residue caked on our blouses or the yellow pit stains on every shirt we own.
Deodorant contains so many potential allergens, it seems there are too many to count on just your fingers. But since you are counting, how many times has your deodorant given you a raging rash? If you're like most people, it's happened a few times. Of all cosmetics, not too many products stab you in the back like deodorant. Many consumers have kicked chemical-laden deodorants to the curb—even celebs like Cameron Diaz, Matthew McConaughey, and Bradley Cooper. If you are considering doing the same, here’s what you need to know about finding a deodorant alternative.
Deodorant will not prevent perspiration; antiperspirants do that, and unfortunately there is no natural alternative. Regular deodorants focus on killing the bacteria on your skin with antibacterial agents so they can’t produce odor in the first place, but if that doesn’t work, the second-string players, fragrances, work to just mask your body’s funk with other scents.
The very ingredients that make deodorant effective and possibly irritate your skin are basically the ones you will want to consider avoiding when choosing a natural deodorant. This makes the struggle to find a natural deodorant that works without having to reapply several times a day very real. You will want to look for a product containing labels such as: aluminum-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free. Do not lose heart.
Types of Natural Deodorants
Typically, natural deodorants will come in roll-on, soft solid, or crystal rock forms and may be composed of mineral salts. Some live-on-the-edge types may even make their own deodorant at home. Ingredients may include coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch, and essential oils with antiseptic properties such as tea tree oil.
What could be more natural than making lifestyle changes? A few tweaks to your diet or routine just might reduce your smell factor. What goes in must come out, so avoiding foods that stink on their own before you even put them in your mouth is generally a good idea if you want to avoid having an off-smelling odor. Also, spicy foods may cause you to perspire, so you may consider avoiding those and hot caffeinated beverages.
According to the Mayo Clinic, wearing breathable clothing will help to keep your body ventilated and reduce perspiration. Deep-breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques may lower your stress level, which can make you sweat. When you exercise, dressing appropriately in clothing that won’t trap moisture will work in your favor. Bathing regularly—especially in the morning—and washing with an antibacterial soap will help to remove bacterial growth and odor caused by sweating during night.