The Smelly Truth – Switching to Natural Deodorant


Natural Living

When my friends who have never been to Flagstaff ask me what the people are like, or more specifically,  what my mom friends in Flagstaff are like, I tend to describe them as “hippie chic”.  I think it’s pretty accurate, like everyone got the memo that natural looking makeup and hair is cool, and that sensible clothes with a little sass is the way to go; and that buying organic is always the best option.

What I didn’t expect when I moved here was that a large, maybe more than half, of my friends didn’t just buy organic produce and chicken at Whole Foods, they bought all their makeup, body care and skin products there too.  

After a night out and much gossip about all this natural beauty stuff I came home in a panic, currently pregnant at the time and armed with an app that told me how toxic everything I put on my body was, I ravaged our bathroom and my makeup drawer.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  The next day and one hundred dollars later I was feeling much better and thinking about how thankful I was that I had probably (and quite heroically) saved my baby from becoming a centaur or unicorn because I had successfully wiped out parabens and artificial fragrance from our lives.  

That being said, I had a secret, and my secret was that I couldn’t give up my beloved Secret.  Deodorant and antiperspirant that is.  Some serious middle school trauma of forgetting to wear deodorant to a school dance clings tightly to my psyche and giving up the good stuff was just too hard.  However, once I had my baby and my hormones leveled off (HAH is that even a real thing?) I decided it might be time to bid my Secret adieu and go the natural route.  Here is how it went: 

Week 1

HOLY SWEAT.  I don’t consider myself to be a “sweaty person”.  We all know them, they are those people who are drenched before the warm up is even done, or who glisten after a quick jaunt up the sitars.  That wasn’t me, however, without my regular deodorant, I was totally the sweaty kid.  So week one consisted of a lot of outfit changes, a lot of mid-day showers, and a lot of sweat.  To start off I used a natural deodorant called N’Fuse that smells amazing and comes in a roll-on dispenser.  Their product site warned that this week of transition would be sweaty and to reapply as needed, and boy was it needed.

Week 2

After trolling many blogs about natural living and also many natural deodorant sites, I came across the recommendation to use a bentonite clay mask on the underarms to help pull out the toxins and yucky stuff left there from unnatural deodorants. Also doing this mask cleanse can help prevent an instance of chemical burn that sometimes comes from switching to natural deodorants. So, just to add on to being the smelly sweaty person I am also now the person putting a face mask on their underarms.  Who wants to hang out? No takers?  Yeah.  I get it.  

However, as weird as the mask thing sounded, it seemed to really help. The nice tingle was refreshing and as I worked up the amount of time I left the mask on (I started at 5 minutes the first day working up to 15 minuets by the 7th day)  I felt like I was less stinky and the amount of sweat I was producing in my underarm region was much less.  Score!  I was still reapplying deodorant and washing multiple times a day though, because, hygiene. 

Week 3

Most blogs and sites say this is the week when you finally get some relief, and for me it’s true!  I’m feeling like a normal human instead of hot sweaty mess. However, other sites say that week 3 can be the worst week of all.  I ended up trying a different brand of deodorant this week as well, Schmidts, which comes in the typical deodorant stick and smells amazing.  I just felt a little more secure and liked the way it went on in a thick application, more reminiscent of my old toxic laden Secret.  No more daily underarm masks this week and I have only been re-applying as needed, like if I work out or take a walk outdoors. Can’t report on stench this week because my allergies are so bad I can’t smell a darn thing, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.  

Week 4

Ok so this is the final week of deodorant detox.  In order to go full on natural with deodorant most manufacturers suggest you take 4 whole weeks to transition.  I will say that it was hard not to just revert back and use something I know would work, but the effort of this process was worth it.  Now that I have detoxed I really don’t sweat that much, and when I do it’s not terribly cringe-worthy in the smell department either.  I will be sticking with Schmidts natural deodorant from now because I know that this is a healthier way to provide myself some self care every day; and mostly because I went through a month of detox and don’t want to have to do it again.  

I encourage you to make the switch and hold strong.  It may be hard, it will be sweaty, and you will most likely smell to high heaven, but in the end knowing you have eliminated something harmful from your daily routine will get you through! Best of luck!

Are you a fan of natural personal care products? Have you found a brand of natural deodorant that works for you? 


  1. Sarah, you’re too funny! I made the natural deodorant switch too and it was hard! I’m naturally pretty smelly. I tried many different deodorants and wasn’t impressed until I used Native coconut vanilla scent. It’s the only natural deo I’ve found that actually truly works and smells amazing. Good luck ?

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