I never really considered what was in the products I was using. I looked to ensure the beauty products I was buying weren’t tested on animals and that was about it. If a shampoo maintained my white blonde, I used it. If a serum made my skin youthful and glowy, I ordered three. And if a deodorant kept me dry, I bought stock. And then I got skin cancer and my outlook started to shift. Certain behaviors have consequences: Unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer (so can genetics) and putting chemicals on your body can do all kinds of damage. A quick Google search about aluminum + the human body had me tossing every stick of deodorant I owned and testing out a few natural products.
I prepsire easily; It’s one of my many delightful qualities. It’s always been something I’ve been self conscious of and a large reason I never considered going natural. There’s no way natural deodorant combat my level of perspiration, right?
Another big player in this was wanting to go natural but not wanting to smell natural. I knew nothing about it so I started with a stick I’d seen all over the place: LAVANILA. I tried a few flavors and was most satisfied with the green tube but I was still not feeling as clean and dry as I’d hoped I would. I also tried to Sport Luxe version of this stick and was shocked at how ineffective it proved to be.
At the time, I was seeing a lot of ads for Primally Pure’s Charcoal deodorant and, honestly, was sold by that active ingredient alone. The packaging and the reviews regarding the pleasant scent didn’t hurt either.
What they say is true – and it makes sense. You body is detoxing when you make the switch from deodorant with aluminum in it to a natural one. Chances are, you’ve been wearing deodorants with aluminum in them for more than half your life – you’re doing a hard pivot and introducing something totally foreign (ironically, a natural product!) and you’re body is going to react.
My detox experience: It took me about two weeks to level off. During that time, I sweat, my underarms were irritated, and I stunk a little. I was also making this change during the first month of running my own business in the dead of summer. Two factors that maybe didn’t help so much. If you’re interested in making the switch, this month is the perfect time to start. What can you expect? For the first two to three you might sweat more than you normally do. You also might have more underarm irritation (those little red bumps) than normal especially if you work out every day. My detox time wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be but I’d definitely recommend you test this out in a cooler month.
UPDATE: Over the past few months, I’ve introduced two new brands of natural deodorant into my routine and I’m officially hooked. My medicine cabinet is now home to the following natural deodorants and I cycle through each on a weekly basis: Primally Pure’s Charcoal deodorant, Native in Coconut & Vanilla and Kopari’s Coconut deodorant. I’m not recommending one over the other because all three are equally kick ass for different reasons. The PP charcoal is a lighter detox option. I reach for this stick before workouts or really warm days. But because it’s charcoal, it can leave your skin a little irritated which is why I initially looked into a less aggressive natural option. Enter: Kopari. It smells amazing and glides on incredibly smoothly which helped on days after using the charcoal. I settled on Kopari for normal days before I was introduced to Native which, if I had to choose, might be my favorite. The scent is super yummy and the protection rivals that of any aluminum-based deodorant. I legitimately use all three but if you’re going to start with one, I’d recommend Native.
Natural Dry Shampoo
Earlier this year, I thought I’d found the perfect dry shampoo. I could go a solid 4 days without washing my hair once I introduced the product into my routine and my hair never looked better. But 2-3 months in, I noticed a particular area of my scalp was a lot more sensitive than normal. So much so that brushing, styling, and shampooing on the sensitive area was starting to become really painful. A few months earlier, I had a dime-sized area on my scalp biopsied and thankfully, the results were benign. But because of my history, I chalked this sensitivity up to something more serious and made another appointment with my dermatologist.
Two weeks before the appointment, I went to my stylist for my normal cut and balyage. She noticed this area was bright pink and asked why I hadn’t switched up the products I’d been using. Well – because I jumped to the worst case possible. Long story short, with a gentle but thorough wash and removing that miracle dry shampoo from my routine (and all other products from that brand), the rash/burn/allergic reaction disappeared.
UPDATE: After further testing, I’ve discovered this reaction was from the purple shampoo + conditioner combo I was using. I’m slowly introducing my favorite dry shampoo back into my routine just to make sure!
Since then, I’ve been using the natural dry shampoo from Primally Pure (the same place I get my charcoal deodorant). I don’t get the spritz satisfaction I get from a bunch of chemicals coming out of an aerosol can but that’s probably for the best. It’s in powder form that comes in what looks like a big spice jar. Because it’s not an aerosol can it makes travel super simple and it lasts forever. It’s buildable – meaning day 3 and day 4 hair is still manageable after using this product and it soaks up excess oil just as good as an non-natural dry shampoo I’ve tried.
Bottom line – I’m a lot more aware of what I’m putting on my skin these days. If you’re having reactions to products, your body is trying to tell you something. Do yourself a favor and try giving a few natural products a try – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
I’d love any natural beauty and skincare recommendations you have. Please leave them in the comments below!