Changing to Natural Deodorant

Changing to natural deodorant - lady's underarm

Making the Switch: A Guide to Natural Deodorant and How it Can Benefit You

If you’re considering switching to natural deodorant but don’t know where to begin or what to expect,
don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! With over five years of experience in manufacturing and using natural deodorants,
I have the knowledge and expertise to guide you.

As more people are shifting to prioritise their health and planet, they are turning towards more natural and eco-friendly alternatives compared to traditional deodorants.
So, whether you’re looking to reduce your exposure to chemicals or simply want a more sustainable option, read on to learn more about natural deodorants and how they can help you stay fresh and odour-free.

How to Choose the Right Deodorant For You

Finding a natural deodorant that works for you can, well… stink! With so many on the market these days, it’s hard to know which one to buy.
Here are a few things you need to consider before buying a natural deodorant:

With or Without Baking Soda
Baking soda is excellent for combatting body odour, but some people may be sensitive to it. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a deodorant without baking soda.

I prefer my deodorant with baking soda – it’s great for combatting that nasty odour. I’m super active AKA a workaholic!

Type of packaging
Stick, tube, tub, or spray. Consider which is most convenient for you to use. A stick may be easiest to apply, while a spray may be more portable. A tub may be the most eco-friendly option, but also the messiest.

I prefer a pushup tube all the way – it’s easy to use, no mess, no fuss, you just swipe it on and go!

What are the ingredients?
What!? Do I need to check the ingredients?
Yes, it is always good to check the ingredients in every product you buy, even if it says it’s natural. Some products come with a long list of unnecessary ingredients. Deodorants are simple; let’s keep it that way.

A good natural deodorant only needs the following ingredients:

  1. Butter, wax, and or oil,
  2. Clay, starch, and or baking soda,
  3. Essential Oil – but not necessary,
  4. Preservative and an antioxidant – depending on the formula, these items aren’t always needed.

The Difference Between Antiperspirant and Deodorant

On the market you can buy an antiperspirant, a deodorant, or a two-in-one deodorising antiperspirant. So what’s the difference? Antiperspirants stop you from sweating by blocking your pores. Usually, the main active ingredient is aluminium which functions as a pore-blocker. On the other hand, deodorants mask and neutralise the smell of body odour. Sweat itself doesn’t actually smell, it’s the bacteria on your skin that converts your sweat to stinky by-products.

Sweating It Out - Why It’s Healthy To Sweat

While blocking sweat may sound great – sweating is a natural process that prevents toxins from building up, clears waste and regulates body temperature.

Why Change to a Natural Deodorant?

Natural deodorants are simple, pure and not harmful to your skin and the environment. They don’t contain aluminium, synthetic scents, and solvent extracted/refined oils and butters, which can harm our health. On top of health reasons, there is the waste issue. A lot of deodorants come in non-recyclable packaging, these include aerosol sprays and plastic roll-ons. Not only are natural deodorants better for your body, but they also promote a more sustainable lifestyle.
Man Spraying Aerosol Antiperspirant - Changing to Natural Deodorant

Ingredients to Avoid in Deodorants


Aluminium blocks your pores and prevents you from sweating. Like we mentioned before, preventing sweating may sound like a good thing, but it’s not. Sweating is one of the ways your body regulates your temperature and naturally detoxifies wastes. Embrace the sweat!

“My deodorants do not, and never will contain aluminium.”

Synthetic Scents

Synthetic scents like fragrance oils and perfumes are often made in a lab with petroleum and natural gas. Unlike natural scents, synthetic scents contain no therapeutic properties, thus making them smell and nothing else. I like all of my ingredients to have a purpose beyond aesthetics. For example, Tea Tree Essential Oil is a natural scent with many therapeutic properties such as being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal. A synthetic Tea Tree scent smells like Tea Tree but has none of these health properties.
“I only use natural essential oils extracted using the distillation process. The distillation process is where plant matter is run through a still to extract the essential oil.”

Solvent-Extracted/Refined Oils and Butters

Solvent extracted/refined oils and butters are a real thing, and they’re available to purchase in New Zealand. During this process, the ground seed or plant matter is washed with a petroleum distillate (the most common chemical used is hexane) which releases the oil. The mix is then heated to burn off the solvent

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction only has one benefit – it extracts a very high percentage of oil quickly and easily, thus making it a cheaper ingredient for manufacturers. But it’s not all about cutting costs and increasing profits. It’s about doing what’s best for your skin and the environment.

“I only use cold-pressed or expeller-pressed ingredients.

  • Cold-pressed oils use a seed press designed to press soft seeds. During the cold-pressed process, the oil does not go over 50℃.
  • Expeller-pressed oils use a screw press designed to press hard nuts and seeds. Due to the friction caused during pressing, this can heat up to temperatures from 60℃ to 99℃.”

Solvent Refined

Solvent refinement strips out the natural colour to make an ingredient more appealing to the eyes – apparently, no one wants poo brown-coloured skincare. Stripping pungent scents from oils and butters gives a product a neutral smell so that it won’t overpower any added fragrance. I prefer to leave all the healthy goodness inside my ingredients.

“I only use unrefined, or naturally-refined ingredients. The coconut oil I use from Blue Coconut is naturally refined using clay.”

Female underarm - Changing to Natural Deodorant

What to Expect During The Detox Process?

When switching to a natural deodorant, people may experience a “detox” period where their sweat smells stronger or more intense than usual. This detox happens due to previous use of antiperspirants which block the pores of your underarms, stopping you from sweating. Remember, sweating is one of the key ways your body naturally detoxifies.
As a result, the body may initially produce more sweat to cleanse itself of any buildup that may have occurred while using an antiperspirant.
That’s a lot of stink!

The length of time it takes to detox from antiperspirants, and non-natural deodorants can vary from person to person. Some people may experience a detox period that lasts only a few days, while others may take up to four weeks. It depends on how long you have been using antiperspirant, your body’s chemistry and the deodorant you used.
There will be times when you just want to reach for your old antiperspirant or deodorant, please don’t give in – this will put you straight back to square one again!

Within this detox period, I recommend NOT doing the following:

  • Clapping with your hands above your head,
  • Waving your arms around while in an enclosed space, or standing close to someone,
  • Reverting back to your old antiperspirant or deodorant,
  • Forget to have your new deodorant on hand while out and about. My Scentsless and Sweet Orange travel-size deodorants are perfect for when you’re on the go.
So arms down, and let’s do this!

I recommend washing your underarms with a natural unscented antibacterial soap like Kawakawa Soap, also use this for shaving (if you shave). For the first week, you may want to wash your pits a few times a day, just to freshen up – we don’t want to lose a friendship or job over this!

Changing to a natural deodorant like my Kawakawa Sweet Orange Deodorant, you will still sweat, but you won’t stink!

When choosing a natural deodorant, always look for simple, pure ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging. And always check the ingredients label.

It’s also worth trying a few different options to see which one works best for you. Everyone has a unique set of bacteria which can respond differently. Finding the right natural deodorant that works for you may take some experimentation, but the benefits to your health and the environment make it worth the effort.

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