I Used Natural Deodorant for a Year and Here’s What Happened

I made the switch from a classic antiperspirant to natural deodorant 14 months ago. Have you made the switch?

With the clean beauty movement coming in hot over the last year, you are probably aware of why so many women are trading in their antiperspirants for a natural deodorant option, but if you aren’t let’s break it down..

You’ve probably been using antiperspirant deodorant since your parents handed over a bar to you in middle school. 

The active ingredient in your antiperspirant deodorant is aluminum, which plugs sweat glands shut to stop perspiration. Ick – that sounds so unnatural! To be considered an a”antiperspirant” product, the solution must contain aluminum. With claims out there that aluminum may be a cause of breast cancer, people have started thinking deeper about what they are putting into and onto their bodies. 

Many antiperspirants also contain parabens which is another worrisome ingredient found in the beauty industry which I chat about here. Parabens are used as preservatives, are synthetic and mimic estrogen, which can disrupt the natural balance of the body’s endocrine system. Again, ick. 

Another problematic and super common ingredient in antiperspirant is synthetic fragrance. Beauty brands hide hundreds of unregulated and undisclosed ingredients int he word “fragrance” on our labels. It’s messed up!

So to summarize, the product e are slathering onto our pits [super close to our precious lymph nodes] is blocking out body’s natural urge to sweat toxins, contains things that can mess with our estrogen levels and have a list full of other mystery ingredients masked by the term ‘fragrance’.

And this is why I made the switch over a year ago!

Deodorant works by eliminating and absorbing the moisture and odors associated with sweat.

Natural deodorants don’t block your sweat ducts, like antiperspirants do, and allows your body to work naturally. Sweat is your body’s in-built air conditioning unit, and is essential for good health. Your 4 million sweat glands enable you to maintain a safe body temperature and sends sodium (salt) back into the blood to maintain salinity in the body.

At first when we hear ‘natural’ we may assume we will be super stinky which isn’t true.

Sweat itself doesn’t cause body odor, but when mixed with the bacteria on your skin, it can stink.

Natural deodorants work by removing the odor causing bacteria so your sweat has nothing to interact with and no stink is produced.

natural-deodorant-milk-honey-900-3 natural-deodorant-milk-honey-900-2 WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRANSITIONING TO NATURAL DEODORANT
The first month or so, you body goes through a detox. Just keep in mind, this is a season and it will pass! If you are an OG reader, you probably remember on IG stories last March when S saying I smelled like the stinky kid on the playground.

Here are the side effects I experienced when transitioning off of antiperspirant and on to natural deodorant. These lasted about six weeks for me, but since all our bodies are different you may experience other symptoms, no side effects at all or have a quicker detox period. 

  • Sweat: Once your sweat glands are freed of aluminum, they may release fluids previously blocked antiperspirants, which causes an increase in moisture.
  • Odor: Sweat gland activity is higher now that they aren’t being blocked which results in increased moisture and sweat which interacts with odor-causing bacteria. This is just a season and will pass!
  • Sensitivity: With an increase in bacteria and backup being released from your the lymphatic system, it may be that some people experience increased sensitivity as the body filters out undesired materials. I already have super sensitive underarms though so I expected this.
Keep deodorant on you at all times. I’d reapply three times a day at first. Now I apply once on a normal day and twice on a day of intense cardio.

Transition during colder months. While that’s ideal, if you can’t make it work you’ll be fine! You’ll just be a tad more sweaty 😛

Stash baby wipes in your car. If you feel super icky, using a baby wipe can make you feel better in between showers. I kept mine in my gym bag for post-spin if I had to run errands after. I’d sue the wipe, then reapply my deoderant. 

Remember it’s worth it. This is just one short season of weirdness that will pass. Eventually you’ll be at the point where you apply this once in the morning and don’t feel slimy or stink.

Have patience. I tried three types of natural deodorants because I found my winner. That means I went eight months using two that I wasn’t in love with, but other women have had success with them Just like with any product, all of our bodies react differently. 

I tried two different brands before finding the one that works for me! I don’t want to call out the ones that didn’t work for me because again.. out body chemistry is different! I believe those other two products are of a great quality and that they work for some people. So let’s focus on the one I suggest you try!

Last October I discovered a really cool brand called Milk + Honey. They are an Austin, Texas based spa and natural beauty brand that believes in sourcing and vetting the highest quality ingredients — always clean, non-toxic, safe, and as organic as possible. I tested out their No9 Regular Strength Deodorant and have used it every day over the last eight months.

Why I like it better than the other natural deodorants I tried?

  • I feel dry. The others left me feeling sticky and wet all day. Ick.
  • No irritation. One of the other brands made me develop a painful rash under my arm [my under arms are super sensitive] and so when I switched to this one, that painful rash healed and I haven’t had any bad reactions.
  • It smells amazing. Lavender + Tea Tree, but it also comes in No5 Lemon Vanilla and No33 Coconut Lemongrass.

You can test out my natural deodorant at Ulta or here, here or here. It’s priced around $20, but a bottle lasts you a really long time. I have used mine every day, and double application on cardio days, for eight months and I’m no where near the bottom. 

Have you transitioned to natural deodorant? Tell me your experience in the comments below! Xo Mindy


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I'm a Maine native residing in the Boston 'burbs sharing my love of interiors through decorating my husband and I's first home.

Through this experience, I discovered I have a knack for curating spaces that feel warm, cohesive and inviting. That passion turned into friends and family asking for interiors help and now we are here! 

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