Tips for Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

So, I’ve raved before about my love for Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant, and I get lots of questions about why I made the switch from conventional to natural deodorant as well as my thoughts on the dreaded “detox” phase (more on that below). Prior to discovering brands like Beautycounter and Primally Pure, I didn’t pay much attention to the skin care and beauty products I was using. I figured if it’s being sold in stores, it’s definitely safe, right? Turns out, I was wrong. Read on for my tips for transitioning to natural deodorant

Over the past year or so, I’ve worked hard to become more conscious of what I put on my body after realizing that a healthy, sustainable lifestyle isn’t only about diet and exercise. The products we purchase and use are equally as important. We focus so much on what we’re putting in our bodies, but what about what we’re putting on them? After all, our skin is our largest organ (with the potential to absorb up to 60-70% of what we expose it to), so shouldn’t we prioritize our skincare as much as we do the foods we eat?

One change I made was the daily deodorant that I use. While our pits are definitely not the most glamorous thing to talk to about, using deodorant is often a regular part of our routines, especially for those of us who get super sweaty like I do. Unfortunately, most conventional drugstore deodorants are full of artificial (and even potentially dangerous) ingredients that have no place being on our skin. Our underarms are actually one of the most absorbent parts of our bodies. Think aluminum (!!) synthetic fragrances and parabens – yikes! In my opinion, if there’s only one switch you make when it comes to skincare and beauty, it should definitely be to natural deodorant!

I’ve tried a lot of different brands (some were drugstore versions of natural), but none of them really did the job. I would still end up pretty gross and sweaty, even after giving myself time to adjust to a natural product. Some of the deodorants that I tried even left white stains all over my clothing (that I have yet to get out). Ughhhh, MAJOR pet peeve!

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is hands-down the best natural deodorant I’ve found. Not only does it, you know, actually work, but I love the story behind it. The brand was born out of the founder’s own desire to switch to a natural deodorant. When her experimentation attempts with the ones available on the market failed, she just created her own. I love this! Talk about taking things into your own hands! Formulated with safe and gentle yet effective ingredients, such as baking soda, fair-trade coconut oil, and activated coconut charcoal, this deodorant keeps me sweat-free and smelling fresh. And, of course, I love not having to worry about any harsh chemicals that could disrupt my body’s natural balance. It’s truly the best!

While I’m a proponent of natural deodorant and definitely don’t foresee myself returning to conventional drugstore brands, there are a few caveats that come with making the transition. Oh, yes, I’m talking about “detoxing.” Our bodies have grown accustomed to the artificial results produced by using artificial ingredients. Removing those potential toxins from our systems might lead to some inadvertent side effects. The good news? With a little time and patience, these side effects will reside. Below are a few tips for what to expect and how you can make the transition a little more seamless.

Tips for Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

Sweat

Yes, you’re going to sweat. And, yes, it’s completely healthy and normal! Culturally (especially for women), we’re encouraged to cover up some of the completely normal biological processes our bodies go through and sweating is one of them. Contrary to what we’ve been told, we’re 100% supposed to sweat! When transitioning to natural deodorant, you might find that you initially perspire a bit more than you are used to. This is because the chemicals in conventional products can disrupt our bodies’ natural detoxification process, and our bodies need time to rebalance themselves. BUT this won’t last forever, and once the the balance is restored, you might actually find yourself less sweaty than before!

Smell

Yep… we’re going there. Just like the chemicals in conventional products mask our sweat, they also mask our smell. No one is saying we need to get down with being super stinky, but if we’ve gotten used to the scent of artificial, synthetic fragrances, then we might feel a bit stinky while transitioning. Thankfully, this resolves with time, and if it doesn’t, you might want to look into any other dietary and lifestyle factors that could be causing the problem. For example, this might be how a dairy sensitivity reveals itself when it was previously being masked by conventional products. Crazy, right? 

No matter what, you should always avoid deodorants that have “fragrance” on the label – this is usually a code word for lots of chemicals. I personally love the minty fresh smell of Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant, which is scented naturally with essential oils. They also carry Blue Tansy, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Tea Tree naturally scented products as well!

Irritation

While I’ve never experienced irritation from a natural deodorant, but I know it can happen. (Primally Pure’s contains essential fatty acids and nourishing, anti-inflammatory vitamins that prevent it.) Many natural deodorants contain baking soda, which can cause underarms to become red, itchy, and bumpy. It’s kind of similar to razor burn. If it happens, it’s usually at the beginning of use and calms down once your skin has adjusted.

There are a few reasons irritation could be exacerbated. If you’re using too much product (trust me, two swipes are all you need), are swiping roughly (yes, this is a thing), or are applying it immediately after shaving when skin is more sensitive. Try dabbing the product instead of wiping it or waiting a bit after shaving to apply. You could also apply the deodorant every other day or every two days and work your way up. Another handy tip is to dab a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar on your underarms. This helps to naturally balance the PH of the skin. If all else fails, Primally Pure’s refreshing Everything Spray doesn’t contain baking soda. It can be used as an alternative to deodorant when you need a quick pick-me-up!

Underarm Darkening

Again, this isn’t something that I personally experienced, but it definitely happens (it tends to be more common in those of us with darker skin tones). While it’s certainly annoying, it’s in no way harmful – just your body adjusting to baking soda. As a remedy, try rubbing a lemon wedge dipped in sugar onto the darkened area. Lemon and sugar is a natural skin brightener and exfoliant!

Staining

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is one of the few natural deodorants’s that I’ve tried that I have not experienced staining with. If a natural deodorant is causing staining, it’s likely due to the essential oils. You can try lessening the amount of product that you use to see if it helps. You can also wait a bit between applying and putting your clothes on to allow the oils to set. There are some fabrics where staining is more obvious, but I’ve found this to be the case whether you’re using natural or conventional products.  I mean, we’ve all run out of the house at some point and then saw white marks on our shirt, right? Most of the time, these stains come with a regular wash cycle.

If you’re considering making the switch from conventional drugstore to natural deodorant, I’d say do it! And if you haven’t because you’re unsure of the detox phase, I totally get it. No one wants to walk around like a sweaty, stinky hot mess. In reality, it’s not that bad and lasts only a week or two at the most. The best piece of advice I can give you is to skip conventional brands that have come out with more natural products and go straight for a line that specializes in natural skin care, like Primally Pure. You can actually save 10% with code CARROTSNCAKE on your order. The code works for all products on Primally Pure. If you sign up for a subscription, you get free shipping! I definitely think it’s worth it for happy, healthy underarms! 🙂

23 Comments

  1. I’d also add that you need to exfoliate your pits…my natural deoderant stopped working as well, and that was the tip I read somewhere. It helped a ton!

  2. I can’t get the code to work. I’ve decided it’s time to switch and this is the push I needed. But it rejects the code you provided. Any thoughts?

  3. Hi Tina,

    I love Primally Pure, I was trying to use the discount code and it told me that “This code did not match any active gift card or discount. Was it entered correctly?” has anyone else reached out saying it doesn’t work?

    Thanks,
    Kaylin

  4. I can vouch for the awesomeness of Primally Pure Charcoal deodorant! It works. I tried quite a few natural deodorants and discovered I have a sensitivity to baking soda. This is the only natural deodorant that has worked for me. Save yourself from spending too much money on other deodorants to try out and put that money to the Primally Pure deodorant!

    Thanks for the tip about the Everything Spray! I’ve contemplated purchasing it and just might try it out.

    1. I bought some earlier this week and currently trying it out. My quick review is that I love that the bottle lasts longer than others but it comes in a shaker bottle (only downside). My biggest love is that I really like the dark color options and it doesn’t rub off on my hands.

  5. You were the reason I tried the Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant when you featured it a month or two ago. I had tried many other natural deodorants. Some just did not work, some left stains and the fragrance was too strong. I decided to try one more and had read the charcoal one was good to use as a transition. I am so happy I made the switch. I have always sweat a lot all the time. Not just when I exercise. It has worked so well. I did make the transition when it was freezing where I live. I hope I am as happy with the hot weather coming. I do notice I sweat when I workout but the odor is totally different. It does not smell bad and my clothes do not smell like workout sweat. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Do you know how their charcoal deodorant compares to their other deodorants? or say, what is it about the charcoal ingredient that has different effects or makes the difference? Thanks!

  7. thank you for posting about this deodorant so much! I decided to switch to a natural one, and chose this because I had seen so many posts from you about it. I’m a true convert! and even though it’s a little pricey, one tube will last a LONG time if you are only applying a few light strokes once a day. I think one tube lasts me about 6 months.

    anyway – thanks!!!

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