WELLBEING | The Truth About My Experience of Transitioning To Natural Deodorant

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🕒 4-5 minute read

I was keen to swap to a natural deodorant and embarked on my transition from antiperspirants to natural deodorants at the end of January. Read on to find out how the transition went and whether I’m sticking with natural or going back.

Natural deodorants

Before getting started I read heaps of reviews and a couple of bloggers ‘real experiences’ and decided it was something I was definitely going to do. Then I forgot about it until I happened to come across a natural Bamboo Powder deodorant version of Mitchum which I bought along with my groceries on one of the rare occasions I left the house during the third interminable lockdown.

The first few days and weeks, yes weeks, were GROSS

The deodorant itself was a joy to use. Silky smooth, it smelled lovely and felt nice under the arms. The first few days were okayish, like my body hadn’t quite figured out anything had changed yet, but then around day 5. BAM!

I’m going to be honest, it was gross. It was about day 6 that I happened to catch the vilest, pungent whiff and I honestly didn’t know where it was coming from. It took a few seconds for me to realise it was coming from me. It smelled nothing like me, even at my “I’ve just put a hulking great 5 metre canvas bell tent up on my own and then spent 2 hours putting camp furniture and bunting up in blistering sunshine” worst, I’ve never smelled that bad.

Wild natural deodorant review
My favourite natural deodorant turned out to be this one, Wild

I momentarily wondered whether I was one of those characters in a movie that’s died and is now a rotting corpse but just doesn’t realise it yet. I checked my reflection in the mirror just to make sure, absently aware of that fact all that proved was that I wasn’t a vampire.

The alarming thing was, that even when I did a quick wash of the old pits the smell didn’t really go away, I mean it improved a bit, but it just clung to me, like the ever-present stink lines on the smelly kid out of Charlie Brown. It wasn’t until I got in the shower and had a proper scrub with tea tree shower gel, that the whiff disappeared.

I felt weirded out. I had no clue my body could smell quite so bad, but thankfully, lockdown was good for something and meant I didn’t have to subject anyone else to the stench, so with no one to upset, I decided to keep going.

How long did my natural deodorant transition really take?

I read information about going natural and it was generally agreed that the body goes through a phase where it eliminates a lifetime of plugged up pit-toxins and that it was natural to smell a lot more and even to sweat more too early on.

I read natural deodorant reviews from people who claimed to have switched to natural from antiperspirants and it worked immediately for them but most of what I read said to expect a stinky period of a good 1-2 weeks.

I no longer smelled like I’d crawled out of a swamp, run a marathon and was keeping a dead rodent under each armpit.

Well, I must be unusually smelly or weird because the adjustment period for me wasn’t anywhere near 1-2 weeks.

In fact, it took almost 6 weeks before I was back to only needing to shower in the morning and not having to wash my pits mid-afternoon AND shower again at night. Frankly, I couldn’t have kept that shit up any longer and I’m amazed I persevered for so long.

My tenacity paid off though and by week 5 I realised that through a combination of time and finding the right natural deodorant for me, I’d finally cracked it and no longer smelled like I’d crawled out of a swamp, run a marathon and was keeping a dead rodent under each armpit.

I’d get into bed at night, have a sneaky sniff of the old pits and not recoil in horror. Result!

Natural deodorants
All of the deodorants that I tried

The natural deodorants I tried

Weeks 1-3 Mitchum Bamboo Powder Around £4.50

I really liked the smell, the texture and how nicely it went on. Never sticky and I never felt sweaty, but I did find it took several weeks for my body to adapt.

Week 4 Pitrok Around £6-£7

I tried this after reading overwhelmingly positive reviews but I think I had a bad reaction to it, as it left my underarms very badly burning and itching. It was really unpleasant. I switched back to Mitchum Bamboo for a few days to let my armpits recover before giving it another go, once again carefully following the instructions to apply after a shower to still-wet underarms. The same thing happened again so I haven’t used it since.

Week 4-6 Wild deodorant From £7 (for a refill)

I saw this advertised on social media last summer and liked the look of it, I hunted it down and read up and realised that the product ticked 2 boxes for me, it’s a natural deodorant and the container is reusable with eco-friendly refills. It smells divine (several lovely different natural scents to choose from), it goes on beautifully and controls wetness and odour. I love it!

Natural deodorants

Essential things to consider before switching to natural deodorant

If you fancy making the switch to natural, here are the things I wish I’d known before I started my transition.

It takes time

Often a lot longer than you might expect for your body to adapt, though this seems to be different for everyone. Experts say a couple of weeks is normal, but for me it took the best part of 6 weeks. Grim AF right?

You will stink (probably)

Simple as that. So I’d recommend not trying this in the height of summer or waiting until you’re back in the office. If you’re still working from home, start the process now whilst you have fewer people to offend.

Just be aware that you may well need to have a mid-afternoon wash, or an evening shower for the first few weeks.

Embrace the process

It made me feel good knowing my body was adapting and using something natural on my underarms has left them really, really happy. They are no longer sore or feel stingy like they often used to do and I no longer feel guilty about having to toss another little plastic twisty-uppy antiperspirant container into the bin every couple of months.

Trial and error

It can take a wee bit of trial and error before you get it right. For example, my experience of Pitrok was terrible in terms of irritation and pain it caused when I tried it, but Wild, which I am now in love with, has proved both gentle and effective at controlling both wetness and odour.

Be consistent

Swapping between natural deodorants until you find one you like is okay, but don’t make the mistake of switching between natural and your old antiperspirant, make sure you’re consistently using the natural deodorant.

Some Natural Deodorants Options

Below you’ll find some options to get you started, do remember though, if you’re after sustainability, you’ll want to choose wisely as not all come in eco-friendly packaging.

If you fancy trying Wild, which is my favourite, you can get a FREE £7 refill if you click on my Wild referral link here.

Where to next?

Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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