Everything You Need to Know About Natural Deodorant: Part 1
This two-part series was adapted from a video by our aesthetician, Melissa Menard, that was shared in the ShopEco Insiders Facebook group. For more excellent Insider information and a chance to win a $25 gift card each week, join over 900 Insiders in the group now.
Natural deodorant is often the “final frontier” for folks looking to incorporate more natural products into their routine. It can be nerve wracking to take the plunge, especially if you’ve tried in the past with less than stellar results.
Never fear - we’re here to help! All of us on the team have extensive experience with the different types and formulations of natural deodorant and can help guide you to the perfect selection for your unique body chemistry.
Here are 6 tips for choosing a natural deodorant that works for you:
1. Understand your unique body chemistry
What works for your BFF may not be the right choice for you. Think about how a perfume will smell slightly different depending on who’s wearing it - it’s a similar idea with natural deodorant. Your skin microbiome, how much you sweat, and more will influence the effectiveness any one particular deodorant.
If you tend to sweat a lot or be prone to body odour, a formula with baking soda will give you extra protection. Try either scent from Habitat, or original formula scents from Routine.
Sensitive folks or those with skin barrier issues such as eczema should avoid or limit use of formulas with baking soda, as it can alter skin pH and cause a rash. Either avoid baking soda formulas altogether, or alternate a baking soda formula with a baking soda free formula weekly. Great baking soda free choices would be Faerhaven, Dr. Mist, Nuud, Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant, and the baking soda free scents from Routine.
An exciting emerging science in the field of skin care is prebiotics, which are thought to “feed” the good bacteria on your skin, which then crowd out the bad (ie. odour causing) bacteria. Be on the cutting edge of deodorant science by choosing Moon Sisters or Superstar deodorants from Routine.
2. Deodorant vs. antiperspirant
Most conventional “deodorants” are technically antiperspirants. They work mainly by preventing smell through preventing sweat.
Natural formulas are true deodorants as opposed to antiperspirants. Their main function is to discourage growth of odour causing bacteria using ingredients such as baking soda, magnesium, or silver.
While they will reduce sweat with minerals or clays, you will still experience some sweat. You can minimize this by choosing clothing made with natural fibres, and reapplying your deodorant midday.
3. Be aware of circumstances that can make you sweat more
Hot humid weather, stress, certain illnesses and chronic conditions, and the hormonal fluctuations that accompany PMS, pregnancy, and menopause can all cause you to sweat more. Beef up your deodorant routine by adding in a booster bar, and carrying cleansing wipes and a purse-friendly deodorant with you so you can refresh when needed.
4. Plan for a transition period
When first making the switch from conventional antiperspirant to natural deodorant, there is often a transition period. Plan for this by using the tips from #3 above.
Week 1: You shouldn’t notice any major difference because your pores will still be clogged from your antiperspirant.
Weeks 2 and 3: You may sweat and/or smell a bit more as your body readjusts to using a deodorant rather than an antiperspirant. This can be more pronounced if you’re using a deodorant that contains charcoal, such as Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant or Superstar by Routine.
Week 4: Things should start to stabilize at this point and you shouldn’t notice any further changes, barring the circumstances mentioned in #3.
5. Ask for advice
Our staff have experience with a range of different deodorant brands and formulations, and a knowledge of key ingredients that will be most effective in different scenarios. Don’t be shy! Let us know if you tend to sweat a lot or a little, if your skin is prone to rashes or irritation, and your scent preferences, and we can guide you to a few options to start with.
6. Get samples
Even with all the expertise in the world on your side, there will likely be some experimentation involved to get to the perfect product combination that gives you the results you want. We’re happy to offer you free take-home samples to help you make your selection.
Once you've picked the perfect deodorant, head over to Part 2 to find tips for getting the most out of it.
Take care of yourself,
Debra Purdy is the owner of ShopEco, a beauty and self care boutique located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Her mission is to help you thrive through self care you can feel good about. For more self care tips delivered to your inbox and a special birthday treat, click here to subscribe.