About a year ago, I came to the conclusion that standard deodorants combined with bras were contributing factors to breast cancer. There aren’t any studies that I could find to support this theory but it makes too much sense to me to ignore it. The main ingredient in deodorants is aluminum and you often found other ingredients like phthalates and parabens in them as well which are hormone disruptors and might cause cancer. We know that everything that you put on your skin gets absorbed into the body. Then you have bras which compress the lymphatic system, making it that much harder for your body to remove those ingredients. So, rather than waiting for studies to confirm this, I decided to avoid wearing bras whenever possible and to switch to a natural deodorant.
Making the decision to switch to a natural deodorant was the easy part. The actual transition was pretty awful. No one seems to talk about that part so I’m going to. You have to detox your body, especially your armpits, in order to switch from regular deodorants to natural deodorants. Regular deodorants leave a chemical residue behind (that’s the reason we get yellow stains on white shirts) and trap bacteria in our bodies that needs to be flushed out. So in order for natural deodorants to be as effective as possible, we first have to flush out those chemicals and bacteria.
To aid in this detox, I found a simple recipe at Camp Wander for an armpit detox that I sprayed in my armpits before I went to bed. I used it for the first two weeks of this transition. Let me tell you, those two weeks were gross. I had to wash my armpits 2-3 times a day on top of a shower because they stank. It wasn’t normal odor either because my body was flushing out chemicals. Fortunately and unfortunately, I had just been laid off so I wasn’t going anywhere but I might have taken a week off if I had been working.
After using the detox for two weeks, I began using a natural deodorant. Things slowly got better after those initial two weeks but it took a total of two months for my body to completely adjust. I think it would have taken less time if I had done other small detoxes after the armpit detox. If I could go back, I’d do weekly epsom salt foot baths (since I don’t have a tub) and drink hot water with lemon every morning.
Now, I’ve been using a natural deodorant for almost a year and there’s no going back. I don’t have problems with stains on my white shirts anymore, I haven’t experienced body odor even in the heat and humidity of summer, and I just feel better overall.
If you are interested in making the switch, here are some of the natural options I’m interested in.
Ashley’s Naturals All-Natural Vegan Deodorant – I’ve been using an old version of this deodorant through this whole process. I chose the unscented one but it definitely has a scent. Body butters and waxes have their own scents and mixed together create a very odd scent. Next time I buy this, I will choose a scented one.
Ozone Layer Deodorant – I don’t quite understand how this deodorant works but I’m intrigued. It’s made of shea butter, beeswax, whatever fragrance or essential oils you choose, and oxygen. The infused oxygen apparently kills anaerobic bacteria which causes body odor. I’m very curious to see how well it works.
Urban Bush Babes All Natural Deodorant – This is a DIY deodorant that I am interested in trying. You can get empty deodorant containers online that I think would work for this rather than jars. I also really love having the option to customize.
EO Organic Deodorant Spray – I’m interested in this one mostly because it is a spray and I’ve never tried a spray. If I like using a spray, it would probably be worth it to make my own.0