How I Successfully Switched to a Non Toxic Deodorant

Find out how to detox your armpits and switch to a natural deodorant. Deodorant often contains parabens, propylene glycol and other harmful chemicals. You don’t want that in your body! #detox #nontoxic #naturaldeodorant

This is a topic that most people would hesitate to discuss. Using deodorants, and switching to a natural, non toxic deodorant. But this is not just a personal body care issue, it’s also a hygiene issue.

I remember a good friend of mine called me a hippie in grad school, because I wasn’t as into fashion and make-up as the other women. I was confused – I was certainly nothing like a hippie! I was more passionate about animal welfare and the environment than pretty much everyone in my class, but I was still very far from being the unwashed, dreadlock-haired, stinky hippie.

Was I a hippie back then? Nope. I loved nature and animals, but I was so far removed from truly loving them. I wanted to help the environment and animals, but I was very far from actually helping them. I did not want to cause any harm. But I did, day in and day out, without realizing it.

And…I definitely used to spray on copious amounts of deodorant. I knew I was damaging the environment, but hey, who wanted to stink? I knew of no other options. Little did I know that I was also damaging myself.


The Problem with Chemical Deodorants

Deodorants function in two ways at once: they prevent growth of bacteria on the skin, and their fragrance helps to mask the odor. Antiperspirants work by reducing the amount of sweat on our skin. They do this by evaporating the water on the skin with the help of astringents, or by blocking sweat pores and preventing the sweating process – which is very important for the body – from occurring in the underarm area.

Both deodorants and antiperspirants are known to contain small amounts of aluminum and parabens. Exposure to aluminum is thought to increase risk of cancer, and parabens are thought to mimic estrogen in the body, confusing your system and possibly resulting in hormonal imbalance. There’s also the nasty propylene glycol which can damage the central nervous system.

I’m not linking to any specific studies, because most of them are deliberately vague and inconclusive regarding a direct link between one and the other, like this one. But here’s a recent article on aluminum toxicity and why you should be concerned.

But what did it for me wasn’t some damning scientific evidence gleaned from laboratory mice that deodorant use cases cancer.

It was common sense.

It isn’t natural to block sweat pores; sweat performs an important cooling function. It isn’t natural to spray chemicals on to our skin, which, remember, is the largest organ of the body. Anybody who claims that what you put on your skin doesn’t affect your body is a liar. Beside, your lymph nodes and endocrine glands are located right in your armpit. Spraying right on them with strong, harmful chemicals is not a good idea!

It isn’t useful to release aerosols into the atmosphere so that we don’t stink.

And, perhaps most importantly, it is not natural to cage and torture mice and rats, and especially not for industry-funded university professors to experiment on them and then claim that “there is no link between deodorants and cancer (in humans)” or that “mice are different from humans, so we’ll never know.”

If you’re looking at it from the perspective of causing minimum harm to yourself, the environment and animals, then popular deodorants and antiperspirants made by the big brands are not the way to go.



What Are The Alternatives?

Guys, here’s a helpful list of natural, zero-waste (vegan and cruelty-free) deodorants to try out (in no particular order):

Hippie Skin Aluminum Free Deodorant Paste

Meow Meow Tweet

Kokomo Cream Natural Deodorant by Crunchy Betty

Kopari Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Ursa Major Natural Deodorant


Primal Pit Paste

Milk + Honey

Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant

Bali Secrets

Love Beauty And Planet


Auntee B Naturals



Challenges Faced While Switching to a Non Toxic Deodorant

My personal journey into the world of natural, non toxic deodorants was not smooth or easy. I jumped right into the deep end and, after reading this illuminating blog post, decided to make my own non toxic deodorant – with four ingredients: arrowroot powder, baking soda, coconut oil, and shea butter. I even made a video of it and put it up on youtube (nope, not linking it here). It smelled good cos I added a couple drops of citrus essential oil, but did not work at all on me. It made me feel sticky, uncomfortable and I was constantly suspicious that I smelled.

Not a successful experiment, all in all.

But I didn’t give up, or think that, hey, this natural deodorant doesn’t work for me. I’d read enough to know that it isn’t easy to switch from a potent chemical deodorant to a gentle, natural one without hitting some speed-bumps along the way. And I understood that I just needed the right substitutes for my body.

The thing is, our body gets used to how we treat it. If I use a chemical deodorant, my body ‘adjusts’ and ends up making more sweat, more bacteria, to counter this confusing outside influence. And if I don’t apply this daily deodorant one fine day, I’ll end up smelling much more than ‘usual’, because my body has gotten used to my daily deodorant use and merrily continued to make as much sweat as it did the day before.

So, don’t panic, and don’t get disheartened. I know that when switching to natural deodorant smell is a major consideration and fear. But this process actually involves some understanding of your own body, some modification of your diet (yeah, your sweat’s smell is partly dependent on what you eat!), and some patient trial and error, before you are successful in cutting loose from chemical deodorants.

In fact, you may have to detox your armpits.

(I did this, too, but without realizing it! I began a nightly routine that I followed religiously for a couple of months: I’d shower, scrub my armpits (gently), and after drying off, I’d dab some natural powder (non-talcum) on my pits. And that’s it – no deodorant, nothing. My reasoning was that I was allowing my pits to ‘breathe’ during the night. I smelled a bit in the morning, but I’d shower again and apply my chemical deo (initially) and then I slowly transitioned to trying out various natural pastes. Believe me: I could feel a gradual difference for the better. I stopped smelling so much in the morning, and my body adjusted to my new routine, spending nearly 10 hours a day without any nonsense in the pits. It’s almost like my body became comfortable with itself, without needing artificial sprays to hide stuff.

I still also shower (most days!) at night and go to bed without any deodorant.)

Find out how to detox your armpits and switch to a natural deodorant. Deodorant often contains parabens, propylene glycol and other harmful chemicals. You don’t want that in your body! #detox #nontoxic #naturaldeodorant

Anyway, after my home-made deodorant flopped, I ended up trying out a couple of store-bought natural deodorants. The second one has worked perfectly for me. It’s a sticky, creamy substance that comes in a flat little tin. I apply a pea-sized quantity to each pit every morning. And it keeps me feeling fresh all day long. I love it!

In my experience, it’s totally worth it. I feel much better now (not lying!), much ‘cleaner’, and I feel like my overall health has improved. I had a difficult hormonal situation to begin with, and after switching all my personal care products to organic, vegan, cruelty-free, it’s had an immense effect on my hormonal health. I’m never going back to regular deodorant brands.

Plus, I’m not harming animals or the environment simply because I want to smell ‘good.’

Go ahead and try it for yourself.

And yeah, I’m certainly much closer to being a hippie now. And proud of it!

Want to Make Your Own Natural Deodorant?

Try Lauren Singer’s recipe:


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Find out how to detox your armpits and switch to a natural deodorant. How I switched to a non toxic deodorant. I hear ya: if you’re thinking that natural deodorant doesn't work for me, then this post IS for you! When switching to natural deodorant smell is a key factor, but it can be solved! After this, you won’t think of going back to regular deodorant brands at all. #detox #nontoxic #deodorant

7 Comment

  1. This post was awesome! I’ve had such a hard time finding a deodorant, but I found this honest article helpful and encouraging enough to keep going. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! Natural deodorants definitely work – it’s about finding the right mix for your body. Hope you find that soon:)
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Such good information. Thank you for putting this together! I’m sharing it!

  3. […] love making my own luffa soaps and toothpaste and I’m even going to try making my own deodorant. All of these products are far less toxic for my body than store bought products that I’ve […]

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