Thinking about making the switch to aluminum-free deodorant?
“You'll need to detox first...”
At least, that's what some people will tell you if they hear you're switching to a natural deodorant after years of antiperspirant use.
But what, exactly, does a detox even mean? And does it always have to happen? Here are a few A's to your Q's about detoxing...
What does “armpit detox” typically mean?
Typically, an underarm detox refers to a transition time where your body adjusts from its previous status quo to its new normal. In this case, your body is adjusting from what is often many years of antiperspirant use to a non-aluminum option.
What happens to your body during an “armpit detox”?
First some sweat science basics: Sweat itself doesn’t stink. Bacteria on our skin metabolize a protein in our sweat, which then off-gas to create what we perceive as the dreaded body odor. But sweat itself isn't a bad thing--in fact, it's really healthy for our bodies to sweat. It's the bacteria that we need to manage if we want to tackle body odor.
Now remember how antiperspirant works: the aluminum in antiperspirant absorbs into your skin, swelling and blocking sweat from exiting the body. Your body then becomes accustomed to having the exit for sweat blocked...which means it learns how to work extra hard to work the way it would without the aluminum blockage.
When you switch to natural deodorant, those blocks are removed. Which means initially you may sweat more than what you’re used to. Once you've transitioned, your body doesn't have to work so hard to get sweat out anymore, but it may need time to get the message that this is the new normal.
Sometimes during this time, it's true: some people may smell more than they’re used to if you're transitioning to natural deodorant for the first time. The reality is that you may need to experiment to find the right formula to combat your underarm bacteria with a product that is free of ingredients like aluminum, parabens, and phthalates. But it's important to note: with the right formula for your personal microbiome, you shouldn't stink.
Does the need to detox happen to everyone?
The short answer: not necessarily. Everyone's skin type and chemistry—and its contributing factors—are slightly different.
How long will it take?
Again, everyone’s skin chemistry is unique, so knowing exactly how long it will take for your body to reset itself is hard to say. For some, the transition period will only take a day or two, for others it could be several weeks. Some people, don’t experience any transition period at all!
Are there ways to speed up the detox process?
Unfortunately, there's no hard-and-fast way to know whether or not you personally will need a detox period – or how long it will last – until you make the switch.
There are, however, some things you can do to help support your system when you make the switch so that any detoxing side effects are minimized.
Our pit rebalancing mask is a mix of gentle clays and a food-grade prebiotic to help provide a smooth transition from antiperspirants to natural deodorant.
BONUS! It's also perfect for people who have experienced baking soda sensitivities and need a soothing recalibration for their skin.
The fear of transitioning to a natural deo shouldn’t stop you from making the switch to natural deodorant--the benefits are worth it. And now is a perfect time to try!