What *Really* Happens When You Switch To Natural Deodorant

What *Really* Happens When You Switch To Natural Deodorant

This week, Mary decodes: The stages of detox.

I cannot count how many times people have told me, “Mary, natural deodorant just doesn’t work for me.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that your body goes through a detox phase when you swap out aluminum-laden antiperspirant for a natural deodorant. The truth is, your natural deodorant isn’t making you smell worse – the bacterial communities under your arms are changing and it doesn’t happen overnight! It can take up to 30 days for your body to fully detox from aluminum.


What To Expect When Switching To Natural Deodorant

A 2 to 4 week transition period can be expected when transitioning from antiperspirant to natural deodorant. Each stage of the detox may vary depending on your body chemistry.


stages of detox



Antiperspirant is classified as an over-the-counter drug in both Canada and the U.S. If you have been using antiperspirant since you were a preteen, your body will definitely be dependent on it.

  • You may go a couple of days or even a week without noticing much difference between your antiperspirant and natural deodorant.
  • This is due to the fact that the aluminum compounds in antiperspirant form a gel-like plug and constrict your pores in the underarm.  This prevents you from sweating and getting wet.



  • When you stop using antiperspirant you will experience a substantial increase in growth of odor-causing bacteria in the underarm area.
  • You may also feel additional moisture because your body is sweating, which is the body’s natural way to flush out toxins.

At the end of the study conducted at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Lab,  it was found that there was an initial increase of smelly bacteria (Corynebacteria) in the underarms of antiperspirant users when they stopped using it. Deodorant users did not experience the same increase in odor-causing bacteria when they stopped using underarm products. They even had fewer species of bacteria in their armpits compared to armpits of participants who use no product at all.   It is important to know that this odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, it is just a part of the detox that happens when you discontinue use.


underarms-by-Alexandra Nataf-for-unconditionalmag-cropped


  • Bacteria levels may begin to subside. The culture of bacteria is able to re-balance and stop over-producing odor-causing bacteria. What this means is that you will likely notice any odor issues starting to decrease.
  • Underarm moisture levels will also normalize. It will take some time to get used to sweating under your arms,  (powder in natural deodorant can help absorb that moisture) natural fibres like cotton, bamboo and linen are your new best friends. As natural fibres are much more breathable, both sweat and bacteria can evaporate easier from the fibres.



  • Your body should have fully adjusted to natural deodorant. It can take up to 30 days for your body to regulate itself, though for some people the detox stage is shorter. You can now continue using natural deodorant every day to neutralize the smell of daily body odor.


underarms-by-Alexandra Nataf-for-mateauswimwear-cropped



For some people, the stages of detox may seem too scary to embark on, but it is so worth it when you realize that then for the rest of your life, you will have the security of knowing you are making a healthier life choice every single day. Thankfully, there are also a few things you can do to to help you get through the detox.




Tips to Help You Get Through the Detox

1. Eliminate odor-causing bacteria in the shower with a natural antibacterial soap. Sweat + bacteria = odor. If you remove the extra bacteria that your body temporarily develops during the detox, it will significantly improve issues with feeling stinky.

2. Carry a travel-sized deodorant with you on the go to freshen up throughout the day while you detox.

3. Take hot baths to help open your pores and encourage sweating to help to flush out toxins.

4. Apply a natural starch powder, such as arrowroot powder or cornstarch, to the underarms after applying your deodorant. The starch will help absorb some of the excess moisture you may experience as your body flushes out all of the toxins trapped inside.


Have you switched to natural deodorant already or have tried to? What was your detox experience like? We want to know! Please leave your comments below.

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How Antiperspirant Affected My Body After 17 Years

How Antiperspirant Affected My Body After 17 Years

Meet Heather, a previous PR intern at kaia naturals by day and a professional dance instructor by night. As an individual who sweats excessively everyday while she teaches dance, she became self-conscious when she smelled body odor even after using antiperspirant. Heather shares her experience with switching from antiperspirant to natural deodorant.


My Antiperspirant Stopped Working

It was about two years ago when I realized I had an odor problem. I hopped out of the shower after a dance rehearsal and suddenly became aware of something very strange. I didn’t smell fresh. I had just shampooed, shaved, and scrubbed my whole body, but I still didn’t smell clean.

Within the next few days I became very conscious of the fact that no matter how much antiperspirant I put on, it was as though a sweaty smell followed me everywhere I went. It is important to me that my antiperspirant is long lasting because I work closely with the dancers around me in rehearsal and I teach sometimes for 9 hours a day. No one wants to partner or be taught by stinky girl. I was alarmed that my antiperspirant seemed to suddenly stop working altogether.


Using Antiperspirant Since I Was 7 Years Old

I had been using antiperspirant ever since I came home from ballet class in Grade 2 and my mom tossed a stick of it at me with her fingers plugging her nose. Pretty much every brand of drugstore deodorant made for women is also an antiperspirant. What this means is that it contains aluminum which blocks your pores to stop your body from sweating.



My Doctor Recommended Clinical-Strength Antiperspirant

After consulting my doctor, I was simply told to try using a clinical strength antiperspirant instead. Displeased with this recommendation, I started to do my own research. I quickly learned that my beloved antiperspirant was actually trapping toxins in my body! I also stumbled across several testimonials by women just like me who found that their were negative effects of antiperspirant and was suddenly causing them to smell worse.

The best solution? Switching to natural deodorant. I figured that it was worth a shot, but had a slight fear that I would smell deadly as I sweat profusely teaching dance every day.


My Armpit Detox Experience

Due to the fact that I’m so active and was already experiencing odor issues, my transition to natural deodorant was more intense than what other people may experience. My body was suddenly releasing a lot of sweat – something that had become so foreign to me after years of antiperspirant use. A sweat towel became my best friend at dance to help keep me feeling dry during rehearsal. For about a two week period, I found myself reapplying deodorant as often as possible.


natural antibacterial soap

The Game-Changer

The biggest game changer for me during this time was the underarm bar by kaia naturals. I had already been using this even before starting my internship here. The underarm bar is a natural antibacterial soap formulated with apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal that helps to kill the odor-causing bacteria in the shower so that your deodorant is more effective. I noticed that if I ever forgot to use it in the shower, there was a huge difference in how long my natural deodorant lasted throughout the day.


Natural Deodorants For The Most Active Lifestyles

By the end of the month, I could go the entire day without thinking about whether or not I was getting stinky – even if I had a five hour rehearsal. While the transition process was not the most lovely experience of my life, it was SO worth it. I never thought that natural deodorant would be strong enough to keep me smelling fresh through dance class. I no longer deal with embarrassing body odor and have peace of mind knowing that I’m not using a toxic product on my body every day.



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