Switching to Natural Deodorant

Here's what I learned from making the switch to aluminum-free odor protection.
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Here's what I learned from making the switch to aluminum-free odor protection.
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This post was developed in partnership with Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are my own.

Shortly before dismissal in the seventh grade, a then classmate of mine, Jonathan, teased me that I smelled. We had just finished gym class and I always took athletics seriously so it's plausible, although in hindsight I think he was just trying to get my attention. To make matters worse, a popular eighth-grade girl, Stacy, popped her head into our apparently odoriferous classroom to inquire about the commotion.

Stacy: What are you guys talking about?

Jonathan: That Jill smells!

Stacy: Well she does!

Hilarity ensued and I ran to the bathroom in tears.

While I joke about the "Jill smells" incident, it's not funny how concerned I became about odor protection. I'm active, a stress sweater, and generally warm blooded. In the past 25 years, I would say I have tried almost every type of antiperspirant/deodorant and even considered Botox under my arms. What I didn't know was that most antiperspirants contain aluminum. The aluminum prevents toxins from being expelled by the body. As a result, the toxins clog up lymph nodes around the armpits and breasts. Recent studies suggest a link between aluminum-based antiperspirants and breast cancer.

The turning point for me was when I became pregnant with my first son. I was much more conscious of what I was putting in and on my body. While I didn't completely make the switch to natural deodorant at the time, I started reading, thinking, and considering more natural and eco-friendly products. I honestly can't remember what spurred me to make the final push, but last winter I stopped using conventional antiperspirant and switched to aluminum-free.

Here's what I learned from making the switch to aluminum-free odor protection:

  • There's a lot of trial and error in finding a natural deodorant you're comfortable with. Deodorant is relatively inexpensive, so don't be afraid to try different brands and scents and toss what isn't working. If you like trying new products, it's actually really fun. Read reviews but realize what works for others may not work for you and don't get discouraged.
  • It takes time to adjust. Once I got over the hump, I never looked back. Some days I'm more stressed than other and I will notice I am sweating more. Perspiration is the body's way of regulating itself. It's a good thing! Odor comes from bacteria on the skin. Keeping underarms clean and deodorized minimizes smell. I spent a month asking friends and family if I smell and they thought I was crazy. Generally, I do not! After a good SoulCycle class, I'm not so sure.
  • My health is more important than the fears of a 12-year old. I can tell you right now I will never go back to conventional antiperspirant. I don't care if I do smell. My health and my children are my priority.

I'd like to think we’re all becoming more conscious of what goes in our body and our skin. That's why I made the switch. Check out Bev's story of switching when she got pregnant:

Tom's of Maine is a leading natural personal care brand that makes high-quality natural toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, bar soap and baby care products. Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant is the best-selling natural deodorant and has been for decades. I have been using its latest deodorant formula with new and improved scents: Long Lasting Unscented, Long Lasting Lavender, Long Lasting Tea Tree, Long Lasting Apricot, Long Lasting Lemongrass or Natural Dry. Apricot is my favorite scents as I gravitate toward sweet and floral. If that is enough to convince you, here are some other great reasons to try Tom's:

  • No animal testing or animal ingredients
  • No artificial colors, flavors, fragrance or preservative.
  • Tom's shares every ingredient, it's purpose and source at tomsofmaine.com.
  • Sustainable practices are a priority in every aspect of Tom's business.
  • Tom's strives to maximize recycled content and recyclability of its packaging.
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