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“If you do anything that leaves your underarms damp, it’s because you did a presentation to a crowd.”
Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to tamp down body odor and moisture, but some contain ingredients that could be harmful, cause irritation, or even make your pits smell worse in the long run. They can even change the pH balance to make your pits bacteria-friendly sweat saunas.
We have the details on natural deodorants and a few tips for making your own.
The science behind the company sounds a bit off. Your underarms are like a petri dish forbacteria. Thebacteria eat yourMoisture when you perspire The waste generated from this process creates a smell.
What’s the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?
There are a few differences between deodorants and antiperspirants.
Traditional anti-odor products are formulated to work. They usually contain agents that kill odor-causingbacteria.
Antiperspirants are formulated to reduce or eliminate sweat. The sweat glands are plugged with aluminum-based salts so there is no water for thebacteria to eat.
Most products you find on shelves are actually deodorant-antiperspirant combos, which might sound pretty great. Get rid of the bacteria and the odor, right?
According to a very small study from 2016, these traditional products can alter your skin’s ecosystem, and not necessarily for the better.
The five study participants who didn’t use antiperspirant or deodorant had more Corynebacterium in their underarms.
This common bacterium sets up house in your armpits, along with Staphylococcus, Propionibacterium, and Micrococcus. Corynebacterium produces BO, yes — but it also provides a boost against infections.
Bacteria naturally thrive on your skin. While some of these can make you sick, other “good bacteria” can offer protection against more harmful bacteria and help with other important bodily functions, like digestion.
New and different types ofbacteria could be introduced and even affect immune system function if products are used to kill helpfulbacteria.
If you have decided to throw out your traditional stick in favor of a better pit microbiome, you might be wondering what is natural. These are not only free of synthetic and artificial ingredients, but also have three components.
- ingredients with disinfectant or antibacterial properties, such as coconut oil and tea tree oil
- essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, or bergamot to provide a pleasant scent
- naturally absorbent ingredients like baking soda, arrowroot, or cornstarch to combat moisture
Natural deodorants won’t plug sweat glands like traditional antiperspirants, but they don’t contain the often-worrying ingredient aluminum.
Natural deodorants cover smell, not sweat — and that’s a good thing
Don’t expect the same results as traditional deodorants when switching to a natural product. It could take a few days or weeks for your underarms to rebalance their ecosystem. You can try an armpit detox to potentially speed up the process, but keep in mind that natural deodorants won’t halt sweat. Instead, they’ll work to minimize odor when things heat up.
You may not want to eliminate your own scent signature.
Most people talk about body odor as a bad thing — but it’s really not. As a matter of fact, your nose also plays a role in who you choose to partner up with.
So, although you might not want to go on a date without showering right after hot yoga, your natural, unmasked scent is totally acceptable in everyday circumstances. And it could just attract a potential partner.
You can buy natural deodorant at most natural food stores, online or anywhere you might purchase other natural skin care products.
Some popular options include:
- Schmidt’s natural deodorant
- Green Tidings all natural unscented deodorant
- Pretty Frank natural deodorant
Finding the right natural deodorant for you can involve a little trial and error, much like searching for a favorite pair of jeans. That’s because not only does everyone smell differently, but everyone smells differently, too.
According to 2013 research, a unique set of genetic variations affects you perceive scents. You may not like how your natural odor pairs with a patchouli-laced stick, for example, but your sister might love the way it works with her chemistry.
It is possible to try a range of scents until you find a natural one.
Create your homemade deodorant
“If the online options don’t appeal to you, you can try making your own. Try this recipe.”
There are ingredients.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil.
- Baking soda is a quarter cup.
- A cup of arrow root.
- If you want a larger amount of essential oils, 6 to 10 drops.
- Baking soda and arrow root are used in this recipe.
- Coconut oil is used to blend the mashed in. If you want, add essential oils.
- The mixture should be placed in a jar.
- Warm a small amount between your fingers. Apply to your skin.
“You can experiment with different bases, powders, and oils when making your own natural deodorant. If you prefer an all-powder formula, you don’t have to have a base.”
- Baking soda and arrow root are combined.
- Add your favorite oils.
- To mix, shake it.
- Store in a jar.
Wondering why your BO is so strong? It could be related to your diet.
In one 2006 study, 17 men ate a “meat” or “nonmeat” diet for 2 weeks, wearing pads under their armpits to collect samples of body odor. A month later, participants switched diets and repeated the experiment.
The samples were rated on attractiveness, intensity, and masculinity by a total of 30 women. The women said that the body odor from men who ate a non meat diet was less intense and more pleasant.
Red meat consumption can make you less appealing to potential partners.
In a similar vein, think about how certain foods like garlic or onion affect your breath. When you sweat, those foods can make your whole body smell a little more potent, too.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, could have a positive impact.
If you use deodorant regularly and still have some concerns about your body odor, it’s not a bad idea to connect with a healthcare professional. Certain illnesses or health conditions can sometimes amp up your odoriferousness.
If you give natural deodorant a try but don’t notice much of a difference, you can also give these BO hacks a whirl.
“At the end of the day, remember that sweat and body odor are natural. Don’t let your fear of natural scent keep you from enjoying life.”
A Nashville-based book editor and writing instructor is named Jen. She is a health writer for several national publications. She earned her Master of Science in journalism from Medill and is working on her first fiction novel.