How To Make Natural Deodorants Work

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

If you’re new to natural deodorant, you must be going through the inevitable armpit detox…YUK! Just because the detox stage is inevitable, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to suffer the consequences. I mean let’s face it, no body wants to go an entire month feeling like they need to ‘social distance’ because of the way they smell. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid the ‘smelly’ side-effects of an armpit detox.


If you haven’t read our blog on why natural deodorant doesn’t work [insert hidden link] then you need to know that if you are going to be making the change from antiperspirant to natural deodorant or just changing brands, you need to BE PATIENT.

Your underarm microbiomes are about to go on a wild ride. Studies show that the bacteria in your underarm will change when you stop using antiperspirant or deodorant. Even using different brands of natural deodorant will recolonize the armpits with new bacteria. This is why you need to allow at least 2 to 4 weeks to adjust to natural deodorant.

Baking Soda


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. Corn starch in particular is a natural sweat absorbent. Hence, applying a little bit of corn starch after applying your deodorant can help minimize excess sweat during the detox process.


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.


Sweat doesn’t cause odor in the underarm area…it’s bacteria that’s the real culprit. Hence, even if you’re not in the detox phase, washing your underarms with an anti-bacterial soap is CRUCIAL in order to neutralize odor.

Unlike your regular shower soap bar or shower gel, and anti-bacteria soap (such as the underarm bar, for example) will use natural odor eliminate ingredients to target odor-causing bacteria in the underarm.

The underarm bar, is actually created specifically for those looking to transition to natural deodorant. It uses apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal as main ingredients to help mask the effects of detoxing, and help make any natural deodorant work (no matter what stage you’re one).


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:


If it is in the first or second line of ingredients, you could have a problem as approximately 20% of consumers do. Baking soda has a very alkaline (or basic) pH of 9. As soon as your skin’s pH goes over 6.5, your acid mantle is thrown off. Each point increase in the pH scale makes a huge difference. In fact, an increase of just one point means it’s a pH that’s ten times more alkaline than the point before it. This often results in skin irritations due to the increased alkaline level particularly in the sensitive skin area.


Be cautious if fragrance is in the first or second line of the ingredient list. Some companies use essential oils to deal with odor instead of proper active ingredients intended to combat odor.

If you have any questions about detoxing, side effects of natural deodorant, or odor-related questions in general, feel free to leave a comment below. You can also DM us on our Instagram page, or send us an email at [email protected] if you would like to remain anonymous !…NO YOU CAN GIVE THEM MY ADDRESS

If you’d like to learn more about the stages of detox, click here.

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