How to switch to a natural deodorant without smelling

Body odour isn’t the consequence of your sweat. Sweat doesn’t smell. The apocrine glands in your armpits produce this viscous protein-rich substance we commonly call sweat that once released, comes into contact with the natural bacteria living on the surface of our skin. Here bacteria start to break down the viscous substance and body odour is the end result of the process.

Boring science aside, what we need to know is that our armpits are a gateway to our lymphatic system and to our breast tissue. If we care about our health, we might want to switch to natural deodorants. But here comes the scary bit: will a natural deodorant be enough to cover my smell, or will I smell like a wet dog?  I hear you my friend, and I won’t lie. There will be a period of adjustment, but here are a few ways to ensure the transition is smooth and your partner doesn’t file for divorce while you try:

  • Find a low-tox deodorant. Toxic ingredients you should avoid at all costs are aluminium, parabens, fragrances, propylene glycol, triclosan, bht. Some are endocrine disruptors and others are simply by-products of fossil fuel production, so highly toxic.
  • Wear natural fibres in direct contact with your skin, preferably 100% cotton and white in colour. It might sound negligible but trust me, it made a big difference for me. 
  • Follow a good diet and keep hydrated choosing only good filtered water. Some vitamins and minerals deficiency (like zinc, magnesium and vitamin B) have been linked to increased body odour. Find out if you have a deficiency and use supplements accordingly.
  • Address any hormonal imbalance you might have.
  • There are two more things you can do to neutralize the bacteria on your armpit (remember, we don’t want to get rid of them but only help to maintain a good microbiome): Apple Cider Vinegar Pat and Armpit Masks

Apple Cider Vinegar Morning PAT

Dilute some apple cider vinegar in water (experiment with different concentrations depending on the severity of your odour or on your fear to smell) and place it in a spray bottle (preferably glass). In the morning, before putting in your own natural deodorant, spray your armpit with ACP and pat dry.

Armpit Mask

Ingredients: apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay, tea tree essential oil, water. Make sure you use a wooden or glass container and a wooden spoon as clays should never get in contact with metal.

Mix one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 4 drops of good quality Tea Tree essential oils (you can also use lemon or lavender) and a tablespoon of Bentonite Clay. Add enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste on your armpits and do 15/20 minutes leave in. 

Also, remember this: our body odour can give us a lot of hints about our health. There will be moments when you find it is stronger than usual. Maybe your diet is burdening your liver, maybe you aren’t drinking enough water or you are very stressed. Your body is always your friend.😉

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Janet Camela

Janet Camela is a qualified massage therapist and trained ScarWork™ Therapist. She studied Soft Tissue Therapy at North London School of Sports Massage and trained in Scar Therapy with the UK's leading scar specialist Emma Holly.

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