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Does aluminum free deodorant work?

Have you been thinking about making the switch to aluminum free deodorant? Maybe you’re fed up with the unnecessary chemicals in your standard antiperspirant. Or maybe you just want a product that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. These are both great reasons to choose natural deodorant.

But if you’ve been using antiperspirant for years, it can be quite the shock to switch to an all natural product. You may be mulling over a few uncertainties. Worries like, “Will I reek around friends and family?” “Is it really worth the extra money?” “Can I rely on it for that wedding on Saturday?” Maybe you knew a friend who had a bad experience with natural deodorant because it caused an angry rash.

Does aluminum free deodorant work? To answer this question, we have to define what exactly makes an aluminum free deodorant “work.” If the goal is to not sweat at all, then no, it doesn’t work. But if the goal is to reduce odours and have fresher, more comfortable underarms, then yes, it does work. There are more ways to control sweat and odours than blocking sweat glands. Turns out, these natural sweat-managing additives are way better for us.

We’ll tell you what to expect when you make the switch, the problem with antiperspirant, and the science behind aluminum free deodorant. 

Why is antiperspirant bad?

When it comes to natural deodorant, there’s no such thing as antiperspirant. True to the name, antiperspirants aim to stop you from sweating. The ingredient aluminum acts to block your sweat glands from creating sweat, keeping you dry. While there are mixed opinions, there is growing concern that blocking sweat is harmful to our health. Just like how a dog pants to cool down, humans sweat to regulate our body temperature when it gets too high.

Aside from blocking sweat glands, ingredients in antiperspirants have been linked to disease. Most standard antiperspirants contain the following chemicals:

  • Parabens: a preservative that alters estrogen levels and is linked to breast cancer
  • Triclosan: an antibacterial agent that alters hormone levels and may impair thyroid function
  • Phthalates: a binding agent that can harm reproductive organs in men and women
  • Fragrance: an ingredient with no disclosed sourcing information, linked to skin irritation and allergies

In recent times, there have been concerns about aluminum causing Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Several health experts have publicly denounced the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.  The link between aluminum and breast cancer has also been denounced. However, there is still lingering fear, and it’s perfectly reasonable to be wary of aluminum.

How does aluminum free deodorant work?

Aluminum free deodorant works differently than antiperspirant. Instead of blocking the sweat glands, it manages your sweat, stopping it from becoming odourous. A few natural ingredients act to absorb your sweat while also killing bacteria. Stinky underarms are caused not by sweat alone, but by dried sweat and bacteria. This bacteria is further compounded by the presence of hair, which is why armpits tend to be stinkier than other parts of the body. 

The main ingredient that neutralizes odours in aluminum free deodorant is sodium bicarbonate, A.K.A. baking soda. Baking soda absorbs your sweat, making your armpits feel drier, while also neutralizing pH levels to ward off bacteria. Routine deodorant uses baking soda in their concoction.

Baking soda irritates my skin. Is there an alternative?

Some folks can’t do baking soda. The underarms are a delicate skin area, and baking soda can make some people break out into a rash. Luckily, there are other natural ingredients to manage sweat. Magnesium hydroxide is another additive that neutralizes pH levels to stop bacteria from multiplying. If baking soda isn’t for you, bottlenone and Routine make a baking soda-free deodorant that’s magnesium based. 

If you’re not sure if baking soda irritates your skin, try a little of it on a small patch of underarm skin. Wait a day or two, and if you’re in the clear, smear away!

What can I expect when switching to aluminum free deodorant?

If you want to switch from antiperspirant to aluminum free deodorant, be aware that there is a detox period. There will be a period in this transition where you sweat a lot. That’s because your body is making up for lost time when it wasn’t allowed to sweat. 

We don’t recommend making the transition during a time when you’ll be going to several all-day social functions. So don’t start your detox right before your best friend’s 5-day summer wedding celebration! Try to pick a 2-4-week period when you won’t have much going on in your life.

What are the benefits of natural deodorant?

There are many benefits of switching to natural deodorant. The biggest benefit is peace of mind from harmful additives. Though there are mixed messages about the effects of aluminum, why take the chance? Natural ingredients can safely be applied anywhere on your body, such as between the thighs and on the feet. The cherry on top is that natural ingredients like coconut oil, essential oils and shea butter smell like heaven.

Lots of folks switch to aluminum free deodorant simply to reduce their single-use plastic waste. Bottle None deodorant comes in recyclable plastic free push-up tubes. Routine deodorant comes in reusable, refillable glass containers. Both are great sustainable, plastic free options. 

The environmental advantages don’t stop at the packaging. Remember that every product we use on our bodies, whether it’s shampoo, deodorant or toothpaste, goes down the drain. It’s important that whatever goes back into our waterways be natural and not harmful to our water supply and wildlife. Preserving our lakes and oceans and all the ecosystems within them is key to addressing climate change.

Don’t sweat it

While the safety of aluminum is debatable, standard antiperspirants contain a cocktail of other harmful additives. We don’t blame you for feeling uneasy about standard antiperspirants. When natural aluminum free deodorant can do the trick with added peace of mind, we call that a no-brainer!

Looking to find the right aluminum free deodorant for you? Check out our deodorant section!