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.
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.
PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA NATAF.
- 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.
PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA NATAF.
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.
PHOTO BY NEAVE BOZORGI.
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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