This week, Mary decodes: Your underarms.
The first thing I often hear from consumers is that, “Natural deodorants DON’T work!” I am going to admit that I had tried for years to use natural deodorant without success, until I figured out why…
The truth is, we have probably thrown out a lot of deodorants that actually DO work. First, I will state that not all deodorants are created equally, so keep this in mind as human microbiome in the underarm area is very complicated. Therefore, finding success with natural deodorants just requires some knowledge.
Here are some key tips to helping you choose a natural deodorant that will work for you:
PHOTO BY LUCAS BLAZEK.
ALLOW THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF TIME
If you are going to be making the change from antiperspirant to natural deodorant or just changing brands, BE PATIENT.
Your underarm microbiomes are about to go on a wild ride as studies show that the bacteria in your underarm will change when you stop using antiperspirant or deodorant (even using different brands of deodorant will recolonize the armpits with new bacteria).
U.S. medical journals show that similar to the gut or the mouth, the biology of armpit bacteria is just as complicated. This is why you need to allow at least 2 to 4 weeks to adjust to natural deodorant.
PHOTO BY PRISCILLA DU PEREZ.
WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES WHEN TESTING
Antiperspirants block your sweat glands and prevent you from sweating, so when you stop using them, your body also needs to adjust to the feeling of moisture. Arrowroot and cornstarch, typically found in natural deodorants help with this.
However, if you sweat a great deal DO NOT WEAR TIGHT FITTING SYNTHETIC GARMENTS, you will feel like a wet mess for sure!
Wear loose fitting sleeves made of natural fibres like cotton, bamboo or linen so your underarms can breathe during the transition.
Think of it this way, when you change your skin care regime, you often will be told by an aesthetician that your skin may break-out. Changing products under your arms will also cause some chaos. So preparing for this will definitely change the experience and possibly the outcome of your new product.
PHOTO BY CHRISTIN HUME.
WATCH FOR INGREDIENTS THAT ARE TROUBLE-MAKERS
Unless you already know if you have an underarm sensitivity to an ingredient, the only way you will know is to use the product. Patch testing a deodorant on your hand or arm will not work as the skin under your arm is a different country. It is a damp and dark country and ingredients in a damp enclosed areas will respond differently than on surface skin.
If you know that your skin is highly sensitive watch out for these ingredients at high levels:
Baking soda – if it is in the first or second line of ingredients, you could have a problem as approximately 20% of consumers do.
High levels of essential oils (in the first or second line of the ingredient list) as some companies use essential oils to deal with odor instead of proper active ingredients intended to combat odor.
BE PATIENT AND EVALUATE AFTER 30 DAYS
At kaia naturals, we take pride in being transparent with our consumers. We want to ensure that you are aware there may be a 2 to 4 week transition period when switching from antiperspirant to natural deodorant. Trust us, it’s worth it.
THE STAGES OF DETOX
Week 1: All is good, the product is working just fine.
Week 2: This is when the trouble starts, as this is when the bacterial communities recolonize the armpits as a result of the change. This is the timeframe where most people throw the deodorant out because they have no idea what is happening under their arm and they assume the product is not working.
Yes, you will notice more sweating during this week. Don’t panic either, reapply your deodorant or you could try showering with an antibacterial soap in the morning before you apply your deodorant to help combat this symptom. We discovered this problem when we developed our deodorant, so we launched a natural antibacterial bar to help people who wanted to ensure that they were not uncomfortable during this part of the transition.
Week 3: Things will start to normalize (for most people). This week may have a little bit of ups and downs with the bacteria under the arm, but hang in as the end is in sight.
Week 4: You should almost feel normal by now, but you may have a day here and there that you worry. In a short period of time you will forget that you even used antiperspirant.
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