Why Natural Deodorants "Don't" Work


Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly column, 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. 

Have You Ever Thought That Natural Deodorants "Don't" Work

The first thing I often hear from consumers, and even close friends of mine, is that “Natural deodorants simply DON’T work!” I am going to admit that I had tried for years to use natural deodorant without success, until I figured out why…


Now you may be thinking “well…i’ve tried a dozen different natural deodorants, and they are never strong enough to mask my odor!”  The good news is, you have probably thrown out a lot of deodorants that actually DO work. The bad news is…you probably threw out some really good deodorants!

The real reason none of the natural deodorants you have tried have worked for you is simply because you didn’t give it time. When switching to natural deodorant, your body – and more specifically your underarms – will go through a natural transition period commonly known as an armpit detox.

The fact of the matter is, if you’re someone who is using natural deodorant for the first time after using antiperspirants for years, your body might need a little time to adjust.

Now, some more good news…there’s a way to mask the effects of ‘detoxing’ to help make ANY natural deodorant work for you, no matter what stage you are on. But first, let’s talk about what happens when you detox.

Baking Soda


Simply put, the reason you smell when using natural deodorant is because your body is trying to adjust and change the way in which it works. Normally, when using antiperspirant, your armpits don’t have to do a whole lot to block odor and sweat. Aluminum that is found in antiperspirants will take care of all that, as they block the pores in your underarm area, which prevents sweat from breaking through.

With natural deodorant however, your underarms are now adjusting to a ‘new normal’. They can finally breathe and let out all the sweat and bacteria that has been locked up for years.

Many scientific studies have discovered that when you stop using antiperspirants your underarms begin to overproduce bacteria and sweat for a temporary period. And when there is an over production of sweat and bacteria in the underarm area, it will ultimately lead to unwanted body odor that your natural deodorant won’t be able to cover up. Hence the smell…

Again, this is temporary! This entire process normally takes 4 weeks, and after that, your underarms will have adjusted to the new norm. Now keep in mind that your body chemistry can also affect the duration of your detox. So for some it could only take a few days to adjust, while for others, it could take a month or maybe slightly more.


After the detox process is over, you can start to really feel out the different types of natural deodorants out there in order to find one that really works for you.  This is because not all deodorants are created equally, so keep this in mind as the human microbiome in the underarm area is very complicated. Therefore, finding success with natural deodorants just requires some knowledge.


Now 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. Read this article if you want to find out how to avoid the ‘smelly’ side-effects of an armpit detox.


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