So you've decided to try out natural deodorants. AWESOME! But be forewarned, the journey to the natural pit promise land may be laced with some irritation for the sensitive-skinned among us.
Natural deodorants, made with natural ingredients such as baking soda, essential oils, and plant-based waxes, can sometimes irritate the skin. That's just the sad truth. Your body kinda just naturally wants to do its own thing and stink a little. But in modern society, I guess that's seen as gross, so we use baking soda to naturally absorb odors.
Baking soda is alkaline and the natural pH of our skin is slightly acidic. Using an alkaline substance on the skin can disrupt the acid mantle, causing dryness and irritation, and that can sometimes lead to a rash. It's like a science fair project volcano. Acids and bases mixing usually result in an explosion of sorts.
A fair amount of people tend to be especially acidic in their underarms, so as soon as the baking soda hits it, it's essentially game over. Or is it? To ease into the baking soda deodorant game, make sure you've cleaned up a little so there isn't as much of your natural acidity to react. Start with a little deodorant at a time, just a couple of swipes. The human body adjusts marvelously over time.
Another potential cause of skin irritation from natural deodorants is an allergic reaction to certain ingredients such as essential oils or other botanical extracts. People with sensitive skin are more prone to allergic reactions, and it's recommended to patch test the product before using it.
The transition from using traditional antiperspirants to a natural deodorant can cause a "detox" period, where the body is releasing toxins that were previously blocked by the antiperspirant. This can cause temporary irritation and discomfort, but it's all worth it in the end.
It's worth noting that everyone's skin is different and may react differently to natural deodorants, some may just be party poopers. If you're experiencing skin irritation, it's recommended to try switching to a different formula that may have different ingredients or consulting a dermatologist for recommendations.