By Laurie Stone, L.Ac.
Wondering how my natural deodorant transition is going?
If you missed my post on natural deodorants a few weeks ago (Click here to see it), I will recap briefly for you…
Switching away from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to a natural deodorant was my final frontier of getting toxic products out of my house and off my body.
The main problem, besides being a little scared to do it because I don’t want to be smelly, is that I am sensitive to baking soda as a topical ingredient in the majority of the natural deodorants.
I get a chemical burn if I use baking soda topically for more than one day. I tried other products in the past that didn’t use this ingredient, but they either felt gross to apply, or were chunky and crumbly.
So when doTERRA came out with their sensitive skin deodorant with Greek Orange and Douglas Fir oils, it finally felt like the right time to try a proper armpit detox.
And I am very pleased to announce that I have successfully been off of aluminum products for 39 days!!!!
That might not sound like much to you, but this is HUGE to me! I’ve never before been able to do this!
In my effort to come clean (hah, pun intended!), let me first tell you that I cheated three times.
Once was because I was giving a presentation to a large group just a few days into my detox. I hadn’t built up any confidence in my going natural and was afraid to smell.
The second and third times were for a two-day health fair where I would be leaning over people giving mini-treatments, again early days and no confidence yet in what my body was going to do that day.
Otherwise, I used the natural deodorant the whole time. Every once in a while I would switch to the doTERRA Balance blend or Beautiful blend just to change up the scent. Those two do have baking soda in them, and as long as I keep it to one day, I have no issue.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Week 3 sucks.
I’m not going to lie. I almost quit several times during week 3.
Instead, I did some research. I found a lot of validation that week 3 is the worst time – it really does take a couple of weeks for your body to start detoxing.
Aluminum in antiperspirants basically works like a physical plug to block the sweat pores. Because of that, there can be toxic buildup in the tissues in and around the armpit.
When you stop putting aluminum on and the tissues start to release toxins through the sweat, this attracts a different kind of bacteria temporarily that is more smelly. Is this TMI?!
Well, they weren’t kidding. I stunk during week 3 and felt very self-conscious. I would reapply four times a day – morning, lunch, after work, and bedtime.
But but but but….. it DID get better! I’m heading into week 6 now, and can say during weeks 4 and 5, I barely noticed any odor, and reapplying would take care of it.
To give you an example, last week I climbed a spiral staircase to the top of a lighthouse, felt a little nervous being out on the catwalk with nothing but a thin railing between me and the lake below. Walked down the spiral staircase backwards because the open slats in the steps kind of freaked me out. Got back down to the bottom, and still no smell! How cool is that?!
Wash more often if you need to.
In my first post, I mentioned dabbing off with a paper towel during the day if you need to. I can tell you now, if you’re in the worst of your detox, that won’t be enough.
If I had a sink available, I did use soap & water first, drying off, then reapplying. But there were several times where that was inconvenient.
Baby wipes were one suggestion for on-the-go freshness. At first, I didn’t like the idea of applying another chemical when I’m trying to get off chemicals. Even the “good” baby wipes still contain chemicals.
There are recipes for homemade baby wipes using essential oils but I don’t have the patience for that right now. So I decided on the smelly days, if it was a decision between quitting altogether or using a baby wipe, I might as well try it.
Looking on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, the Made Of brand had one of the best ratings, so I am trying their sensitive skin wipe.
I’m using the wipes just for emergencies but I feel more confident heading into summer with something I can use on-the-go during the work day if needed.
doTERRA’s Spa Mud Mask helped.
I have used the mud mask twice a week since the beginning, and every other day during week 3. It definitely helped.
Using it doesn’t mean you won’t still go through a detox, but it’ll help to move things along more quickly.
So at this point, I feel like I’m through the worst of the detox that I’m not going to turn back now. I won’t promise you that I won’t ever have a cheat day because I want to see how the summer goes first. But I am fully on board with my day-to-day routine and so incredibly thrilled to be off of aluminum. FINALLY!
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