Should you detox from deodorant?

Regular kinds can negatively impact your armpit microbiome.

Swiping on deodorant or antiperspirant regularly could impact the microbiome of your armpits, and actually make your body odor worse, according to Chris Callewaert, Ph.D., a microbiome researcher at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He emphasizes that this is highly individual (each armpit microbiome is unique), but for some, this could lead to needing more deodorant or antiperspirant over time to get the same effect.

And while we now know that the link between aluminum in antiperspirant (which is what stops sweat from making it to the surface) and breast cancer is a myth, Callewaert says there’s still reason to be concerned about the chemicals you’re applying on a daily basis in the underarm, an area so close to important lymph nodes. “The chemicals are usually fat soluble, so they are easily taken up into the skin and the lymph nodes,” he says.

Since conventional products stay on the skin for three to four weeks even after thorough washing, Callewaert says, many people are choosing to “detox” by skipping deodorant and antiperspirant for a few weeks at a time. Afterwards, the hope is that you won’t need them anymore, although results vary from person to person.

For regular exercisers, going completely au naturale may not be realistic, making products with more natural ingredients appealing.

Here, five natural options with sophisticated scents.

agent nateur holi(man) n5 deodorant

This woody unisex fragrance makes it feel like you’re applying a high-end perfume or cologne instead of deodorant. Made with food-grade ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, and avocado butter, its raw organic honey has both antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
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follain under cover deodorant

This blend uses cornstarch to absorb moisture, tea tree leaf oil to reduce irritation, and coconut oil to soothe and moisturize delicate underarm skin.
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megababe rosy pits

So popular that there’s currently a waiting list, this rose-scented deodorant is made without baking soda, a common ingredient in natural deodorants that can be irritating to sensitive skin. Cornstarch is used to absorb moisture, and sage, sandalwood, and horsetail plant protect against odor-causing bacteria.
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aer next-level deodorant

This gel-to-powder deodorant comes in three botanical scents and uses ingredients like tulsi, arrowroot, and oregano to target odor at the source by fighting bacterial buildup.
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aesop herbal deodorant

Blended with 11 different essential oils, this deodorant spray contains zinc ricinoleate, a natural deodorizer.
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