Antiperspirant vs. Natural: Don’t Sweat the Switch

Deodorant. D. O. for your B.O. Antiperspirant. Pit protector.

A product seeing a rise in popularity in the health/beauty/skincare realm, I’ve found that many people either love or absolutely hate natural deodorant. And with keywords like natural, organic, etc. on the rise, more and more people are looking to make the switch to the natural side of things.

When I was around the ripe age of 14 I was diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, AKA excessive sweating, AKA I was in high school like WTF I WAS SO EMBARRASSED WHY WERE MY PITS ALWAYS WET?! Probably due to the excessive anxiety and undiagnosed ADHD… anyway… I would be sitting in class, colder than a witches titty in a brass bra, and I would feel one little drop of sweat run down my underarm and into my Aeropostale sports bra. I would be freezing but my pits were telling an entirely different story. I had to wear sweatshirts in the summertime and I was that kid who always had a jacket on.

Eventually my doctor blessed me with a prescription-strength deodorant that changed my teenage life, however, I stopped using that once I got into my 20’s. Now that I’m nearing my 30’s, I’ve got my sweating a lot more under control (thanks medication and therapy!), but also due to what I believe is making the switch to natural deodorant.

What is the difference in natural deodorant vs. antiperspirant?

I’m glad you asked! According to cnet.com, antiperspirant contains aluminium which blocks the sweat glands in the armpits and also keeps anything from coming out. Natural deodorant is different in that it helps with smell — it neutralizes the bacteria for when we do sweat. Antiperspirant contains chemicals like aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium, to where natural deo contains more familiar ingredients: coconut oil, cornstarch, arrowroot powder, etc. A friend of mine even makes her own natural deodorant and includes essential oils for smell! {We love a DIY queen.}

So basically, if you come across a product claiming to be an aluminum-free antiperspirant, run the other way. That isn’t a thing.

PLEASE NOTE: There are many people that claim antiperspirant has links to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. I’m not going to get into that — you can do your own research and form your own opinion.

Do you sweat when you use natural deodorant?

Yas kween — you’re supposed to! Believe it or not, sweating is good for you. Let’s go back to our grade school days (you know, when I was crying from my armpits) and remember that sweat = our bodies regulating our temperatures and releasing toxins. And I know, the smell is an issue for a lot of people. Check this out from theeverygirl.com:

“Luckily for our bodies, sweat isn’t what actually smells; it’s just a mixture of salt and water. What does create that dreaded body odor is when sweat comes into contact with the natural bacteria that lives on our skin. Changing this reaction is easily done with natural deodorant.”

From my own personal experience, I can say with 100% confidence that my armpits have never smelled better since switching to natural. My current deo is unscented, but even the scented naturals I’ve used in the past left me smelling better at the end of a long day. Unlike past antiperspirants, which had me smelling like ass going on a hot date with a pile of rancid, teenage boy socks.

I can tell you there DEFINITELY won’t be a second date. We out here ghosting the antiperspirants.

Okay wow thanks for that incredibly descriptive comparison, Lindsey, but joke’s on you. I tried natural deodorant and broke out into an awful rash. Why?

Another great question! It was recently brought to my attention that many people have struggled with rashes when switching over to natural. I’ll first say my reactions to antiperspirants started becoming unbearable (prompting my switch in the first place), so I can see why you’d want to stick with what’s comfortable for you.

About 6 years ago I noticed a hard, painful bump in my armpit. GREAT!!!!!!! I got it checked out and thank god it turned out to be a swollen lymph node caused by my antiperspirant. I tossed that and switched to a different type of antiperspirant, and whaddaya know, it happened again! My body seemed to want to reject the sweat blockage I was offering daily. After battling that for the next few years, I made the switch to natural. For about the first week I could literally feel my pits detoxing themselves, not in a painful way, but I knew there was a change happening under there.

Okay so, what’s the rash about? According to self.com, natural deodorants can cause a reaction just like any other product can. Many natural deos contain baking soda to help neutralize B.O. but can cause a skin reaction in some people. FYI: there are some natural deos that are baking-soda-free.

For those who prefer scented natural deos, be mindful that some essential oils added for smell (peppermint, lavender, tea tree, etc.) can also upset your skin.

Also, coconut oil. It’s meant to be a skin conditioner in our natural deo, but much like previous ingredients, it can cause irritation to some — like me! I was using a natural deo that had coconut oil in it and I experienced a few pimples in my pits. I switched to a different type and now I am feeling ~*~fresher than a mother~*~

If you attempt to make the switch and notice red, itchy, peeling, scaly skin… you are experiencing some form of contact dermatitis and should consider switching to a different natural.

BOTTOM LINE:

Read the ingredients. If you know you’re allergic to coconut, lavender, peppermint, whatever, don’t buy it! If you test it out and notice the baking soda is itching you, try out a baking-soda-free natural deo. I promise you, there is a natural deodorant out there for you. You’ve just got to be willing to do a little digging for your little pitties.


Natural deodorants I recommend:

Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream, $16

This is my current HOLY GRAIL DEODORANT! Yes, it’s pricey, but oh my god is it #worthit. A little goes a long way, and you can even apply it with your fingers if the square applicator is awkward for you. It’s packed with wonderful ingredients: mandelic acid, arrowroot powder, shea butter, and FREE of coconut oil (so no pimples for moi). Recently I’ve been, as Fergie said, “up in the gym just workin’ on my fitness”, and my armpits have remained unphased by me getting my swole on. It’s unscented, vegan, and cruelty-free too.

Native Deodorant Coconut and Vanilla scented, $12

This vegan, cruelty-free natural deo has a better price-point for most, and it comes in a variety of cute scents to choose from! (Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone?) Native also recently launched a plastic-free deodorant line in their most popular scents! It contains ingredients like tapioca starch to keep you feeling dry, as well as probiotics and shea butter. This does contain coconut oil and baking soda, however. Just an FYI. I have a lot of pals who use this and love it.

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant, $7.99+

This is the first natural deo I ever used and it was a great introduction into this world! A sweet friend of mine recommended it to me and the weird lumps I had been getting from antiperspirants went down almost instantly. A few ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, arrowroot, and vitamin E. Unfortunately my body wasn’t stoked on the coconut oil so I did get a couple pimples and had to switch, but nonetheless I’d recommend this for anyone wanting to switch for the first time to see what does/doesn’t work for them. They have options for sensitive skin as well, along with jar formulas!

Tom’s of Maine Deodorant, $4+

Tom’s has SO many different scents for people of all ages. They’re free of any artificial colors, fragrances, and preservatives. Something that’s really nice on their website: you can browse all of their ingredients to find out more! Much like Native, they strive to be environmentally conscious with their packaging — something we can all appreciate.


I hope this helps! Like I said, I understand making the switch can be frustrating because there is sometimes a trial-and-error process. But I can promise you, there is a natural deodorant out there for everyone.

Now, go forth and smell AMAZING, PEACHES!

Published by

Lindsey Morrow

A lovable weirdo with a passion for helping others. I’m constantly looking for ways to grow and learn — keeping a high vibration attracts high vibration things. I currently live in Indiana with my husband and our doggy son. I love all things meditation, podcasts, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, skincare, and self-help books. You’ll always catch me with a smile on my face. I try my best to see the beauty in every little thing. Every new day is a blessing.

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