lady with fresh underarms depicting switch to natural and safe alternatives to deodorants

Natural and Safe Alternatives to Deodorants

Conventional deodorants may contain questionable ingredients like parabens, aluminum compounds, and synthetic fragrances that may harm our skin and health. If you’re looking for natural and safe alternatives to deodorants, read on.  

What are deodorants

Source: Befunky

Deodorants are products designed to eliminate armpit odor. They work by turning our skin acidic, making it less appealing to bacteria that cause bad odor. They also often contain fragrances that mask any lingering smells.   

Unlike antiperspirants, deodorants do not necessarily lessen or stop perspiration. However, some products combine both deodorant and antiperspirant functions.

Why switch to natural deodorant alternatives

There are convincing reasons why we need to switch to natural deodorant alternatives, including the following:

1. Conventional deodorants pose potential health risks.

Using deodorants may cause possible health risks. For instance, many deodorants are also antiperspirants. Our bodies are designed to sweat to help us cool off and regulate internal temperature. Antiperspirants, however, stop us from sweating, which is unnatural.

Deodorants also contain synthetic fragrances, which are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals are known to pose health problems, including cancer, congenital disabilities, and nervous system issues.  

2. Ingredients in traditional deodorants may cause skin issues.

Some people, especially those with sensitive skin, react to deodorant ingredients, leading to painful contact dermatitis under the arms. Potential deodorant ingredients that may cause skin irritation include parabens, alcohol, and fragrances.  

3. Natural deodorants offer more advantages. 

Switching to natural deodorant alternatives delivers not only odor-free underarms but also more benefits, including the following:

  • Gentle ingredients: Natural deodorants use ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter, which nourish our skin. They do not contain harsh chemicals that can irritate our armpits.
  • Breathability: Our skin can finally breathe with natural deodorants. Unlike conventional deodorants, they do not contain aluminum compounds that block sweat glands.
  • Lessen chemical load: Conventional deodorants contain various chemicals to improve their shelf-life, consistency, texture, scent, and appearance. By using natural deodorant alternatives, we can stay away from these added chemicals that may harm our health.  
  • No stains: Natural deodorants won’t leave embarrassing marks on our shirts. They do not contain chemicals that can discolor our clothes.
  • Earth-friendly:  Natural deodorants are eco-friendly. They do not contain harmful chemicals that can pollute our planet.

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Natural and safe alternatives to deodorants

If you are like me who want to keep your underarms feeling and smelling fresh without the harmful side effects, try the following suggestions. You’d be surprised to learn that some ingredients are readily available in your kitchen.    

1. Baking soda

Baking soda as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate absorbs underarm wetness and kills bacteria responsible for odor. It is a common ingredient in natural deodorant recipes. Unlike conventional deodorants, they are gentler on our skin. 

To use baking soda as a deodorant, mix 1/8 teaspoon with a bit of water and apply to your underarms.  

2. Lemon juice

lemon juice as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

The juice of lemon is a rich source of citric acid, which kills odor-causing bacteria on the skin and prevents unpleasant body odors. It also has a citrus scent that provides a naturally refreshing aroma without relying on the synthetic fragrances of conventional deodorants. Finally, lemon acts as an astringent that helps tighten pores and reduce sweating in underarms.  

To apply, swipe a plain sliced lemon under your arms every morning. Be sure to avoid sun exposure, as lemons are phototoxic and could give you sunburns or blisters. 

3. Rubbing alcohol

rubbing alcohol as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Rubbing alcohol, specifically isopropyl alcohol, can surprisingly serve as an effective deodorant. It is naturally antibacterial and eliminates germs and bugs contributing to underarm odor. It also has a drying effect, which helps prevent excessive sweating.

To use it as a deodorant, get a bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy or convenience store. Pour the alcohol into a clean spray bottle to avoid contamination. You may add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Then, spray each underarm with the alcohol to keep them smelling fresh. Reapply whenever needed.

4. Coconut oil 

coconut oil as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Coconut oil serves as a moisturizing base for natural deodorants. It contains natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. When applied to the underarms, it effectively combats odor-causing bacteria, keeping us smelling fresh naturally.

Unlike some commercial deodorants, coconut oil doesn’t block our pores. It allows our skin to breathe and perspire naturally, making it gentle on sensitive skin. Coconut oil also ensures that homemade deodorants remain solid. Plus, when combined with other elements like baking soda and essential oils (like tea tree or lavender), it creates a fragrant, skin-friendly deodorant.

Note: Coconut oil melts into a liquid above 80°F, cooler than skin temperature

5. Witch hazel

witch hazel as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Witch hazel is renowned for its skin-soothing properties, obtained from the bark and leaves of a shrub. It acts as an astringent, shrinking the pores in the armpit. Witch hazel also causes any sweat that escapes from those pores to evaporate, keeping you dry.  

To use witch hazel as a deodorant, simply soak a cotton ball or pad in witch hazel and apply it to your underarms. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Witch hazel is gentle and non-irritating, making it an excellent option for those with sensitive skin. You may need to reapply it throughout the day for maximum effectiveness.

6. Tea tree oil

tea tree oil as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Tea Tree Oil, also called Melaleuca Oil, is an excellent natural deodorant. It has potent antibacterial properties that kill odor-causing bacteria living on your skin, preventing body odor at its source. Unlike conventional deodorants with artificial chemicals, tea tree oil deodorizes naturally, leaving a clean and refreshing scent.

As more people seek skin-friendly alternatives, tea tree oil is a compelling choice for those seeking long-lasting, natural odor protection like us. Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water and use it as a natural deodorant spray.  

7. Activated charcoal 

activated charcoal as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Activated charcoal is not what we use for grilling. It is charcoal that has been heated to a high temperature and combined with gases.  

Activated charcoal deodorants work by absorbing sweat and odor-causing impurities. They are highly porous and can absorb bacteria and toxins. When applied, charcoal actively absorbs the sweat under our arms, reducing moisture in the area.  

We can use activated charcoal as a standalone deodorant or as an ingredient in a natural deodorant recipe. Combine it with baking soda and coconut oil to make a paste. However, be careful since it may stain clothing.  

8. Shea butter

shea butter as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Shea butter is a wonderful natural ingredient for creating effective deodorants. We can also use it as a standalone deodorant.  

Shea butter is derived from the nuts of the Shea tree and contains natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the underarms, it combats odors, soothes the skin, and moisturizes underarms without clogging pores or leaving residues.

Shea butter’s creamy texture feels wonderful on the skin, blending seamlessly with other ingredients to create an effective and gentle deodorant.

9. Arrowroot powder

arrowroot powder as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Arrowroot powder, derived from the arrowroot plant native to South America, is another effective ingredient in natural deodorants. Its high starch concentration makes it an excellent thickening agent that helps absorb sweat and keep our underarms dry. By absorbing moisture on our skin, it prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria, keeping our underarms feeling fresh. Finally, unlike commercial deodorants, the arrowroot powder is gentle on the skin and does not clog pores.   

To create a natural deodorant, mix arrowroot powder with coconut oil or shea butter. You can find arrowroot powder in natural food or health food stores.   

10. Aloe vera gel

aloe vera gel as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Aloe vera has many uses for our skin, but I just found out we could actually use it as a deodorant, especially for sensitive skin. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that effectively prevent and reduce odors while being gentle on our skin.   

If you have an aloe vera plant at home, you can break off a small piece of aloe vera from your plant and apply the gel directly to your armpits. Fresh aloe gel is ideal because it contains all the natural goodness of the plant.

You can also use pure aloe vera gel from a prepackaged bottle if you prefer convenience. Just be sure to choose one that’s free from preservatives and additives for best results.  

11. Mineral salts (potassium alum)

potassium alum or tawas as one of the natural and safe alternatives to deodorants
Source: BeFunky

Potassium alum, tawas, or potassium aluminum sulfate, is a natural mineral salt commonly used in crystal deodorants. It acts as an astringent by shrinking sweat ducts without blocking the pores. It also fights the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

These mineral salts are available in powder and crystal form. You can use them by applying them directly and rubbing them gently on your underarms.  

Everyone’s skin is different, so experiment with these natural and safe alternatives to deodorants to find what works best for you.

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Tips for making the switch to alternative deodorant options

Ready to begin your natural and healthy journey towards cleaner and fresher underarms? Below are some recommendations to help you make the switch:

1. Give your body time to adjust 

When making the switch to alternative deodorant options, it’s important to give your body time to adjust to the new product. This means that you may experience some body odor or wetness during the first few weeks of use.

2. Start with a mild option

If you’re new to alternative deodorant options, it’s best to start with a mild option such as a crystal deodorant or a baking soda-based option. These options are gentle on the skin and can help minimize irritation.

3. Be prepared to reapply

Unlike traditional deodorants, alternative options may require more frequent reapplication throughout the day. Be sure to carry your deodorant with you so that you can reapply as needed.

4. Keep your underarms clean

To maximize the effectiveness of your alternative deodorant, it’s important to keep your underarms clean and dry. This means showering regularly and avoiding tight-fitting clothing that may trap sweat.

5. Experiment with different options 

As I’ve mentioned above, everyone’s body chemistry is different, so it may take some experimentation to find the right alternative deodorant option for you. Feel free to try different brands and types until you find one that works best for your body.

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lady with fresh underams
Source: BeFunky

Switching to natural and safe alternatives to deodorants is not only beneficial to our health but also eco-friendly. By making the switch, we can reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals, avoid skin irritations, and enjoy the many benefits of using natural ingredients. And if you’re looking to make the switch, try out the simple tips we’ve provided, and find a natural deodorant product or recipe that works best for you. With a little bit of patience and experimentation, you can say goodbye to conventional deodorants and hello to a healthier, more natural lifestyle.

Have you tried any of these natural and safe alternatives to deodorants? Please share your experience and favorite deodorant with us.  

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