Switching from Antiperspirant to Deodorant

I’m going to start this post by saying that everyone is different, and that what works for me might not work for you. I also want to remind you that I have sensitive skin (in case you missed me saying that repeatedly over the course of the past months of blogging).

Over the years, I have tried countless different deodorants in the attempt to stop using antiperspirants. And each time I always ended up switching back to antiperspirants because they just did not seem to work for me. As in, the deodorants seemed to make me smell worse than if I had just skipped a day of wearing antiperspirant.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to try again after stumbling across the Primal Pit Paste website where they explained that your underarms go through a detox process, and during this time, you might be sweatier than usual, and quite often, stinkier than usual. This is completely NORMAL. (Here is the link to the full pit detox protocol form PPP, and Zabana Essentials also has a good explanation of the process as well here)

We know what you’re thinking: “Hey, I thought this stuff was supposed to kill odor!  What gives?”  Often what happens after years of using aluminum antiperspirants or chemical deodorants is toxins and bacteria have built up in and under the skin due to the clogging nature of those products.  Now that you’ve ditched the junk, your pits can unload all the gunk they’ve been holding onto all these years and sometimes that’s stinky business.  So you might actually have smellier pits than ever for a short time.  Not only are your pits getting to breathe for the first time in years, but baking soda may also have a drawing effect that actively pulls toxins and bacteria from the skin so your Primal Pit Paste might be coaxing crud out of your pits more quickly.

They go on further to explain the detox process:

Aluminum antiperspirants actually travel into and block your sweat glands so that you sweat into your body instead of out of it.  We wish that it wasn’t a dirty secret, but it’s the stinking truth.  But you’re body is smart, it knows it needs to get that nasty stuff outta there and may start producing more sweat in an effort to clean out the sludge getting trapped in your glands and pit lymph nodes.  So when you start using a seriously effective natural product like Primal Pit Paste, your sweat glands are still in overdrive for a bit while they’re finally able to successfully sweat out all that garbage in the right direction!  Fear not- wet pits are not in the forecast for long.  Most people see a normalizing of their sweat production after a few days or weeks.  Then the arrowroot powder in Primal Pit Paste will easily be able to absorb excess moisture once your pits get the hint that they can chill out.

Luckily I was working from home and did not have any client meetings during the underarm detox process, because honestly, I was a smelly, sweaty mess. You can help speed up the detox process by drinking more water, eating healthy, dry brushing, and exercising more (because this helps you sweat more, so you will flush out the yuck quicker).

Because I have sensitive skin, the baking soda content does sometimes cause irritation of my underarms. When the weather here hit heat wave levels, my underarm skin started reacting to the baking soda, becoming red and inflamed, to the point where my underarm skin looked almost eczema-like, and eventually, the top layer of skin peeled off like a sunburn. I ended up switching to a baking soda free deodorant for awhile, and my underarms stopped being irritated. And now I am able to use the deodorants with baking soda again, and I alternate between the two formulations on a regular basis to avoid irritation. Personally I find that the baking soda-free deodorants to be less long lasting than the ones with baking soda.

Here’s a few of the ones that I have had various levels of success with, from three different cruelty-free companies: Primal Pit Paste, Zabana Essentials, and Earth Science Naturals.

Primal Pit Paste: 


Royal and Rogue, Lavender both worked well for me, but I occasionally have to take a break from this one as the baking soda does tend to cause irritation if I use this one several days in a row. The Thyme and Lemongrass scent did not work well with my body chemistry. Below is the ingredients for Royal and Rogue, but the base ingredients are the same for both Lavender and Thyme and Lemongrass, just the essential oils are different:

Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Shea Butter,  Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Essential Oils: Rosewood, Frankincense, Petitgrain, Sunflower, Orange, Black Pepper, Grapefruit and Sandalwood, Non-GMO Vitamin E derived from 100% Sunflowers


Happy Pits (Coriander and Sage) baking soda free did not work well for me at all, I’m not sure if it is the scent that doesn’t work, or if the deodorant doesn’t work for me, or a combination of the two.

Organic Mango Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Beeswax, Magnesium Hydroxide, Kaolin Clay, Sunflower Oil, Essential Oils: Coriander. Sage, Lavender and Vanilla.

Zabana Essentials:


Sage and Blood Orange works great, but I don’t think that the scent of sage works well for my body chemistry. But the baking soda in this one doesn’t seem to irritate my underarm skin at all.

*Cocos  Nucifera   (Coconut)  Oil, Simmondsia (Jojoba) Chinensis Oil,  Vitis  (Grapeseed) Vinifera Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax,  Zinc Oxide, *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Bentonite Clay, Sodium   Bicarbonate,  Curcuma Angustifolia (Arrowroot) Powder,  Essential Oils


Baking Soda-Free Lime Berry Basil, works well, and smells amazing, but is not as long lasting as the deodorants with baking soda. I tend to”touch up” after several hours when I wear this one.

*Cocos  Nucifera   (Coconut)  Oil, Simmondsia (Jojoba) Chinensis Oil,  Vitis  (Grapeseed)  Vinifera Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax,  Zinc Oxide, *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Bentonite Clay, Curcuma Angustifolia (Arrowroot) Powder, Raspberry Extract, Essential Oils

Earth Science Naturals:


Mint Rosemary Natural Deodorant works great, and I love the scent. It does have a much higher ingredient list, including talc, which I am not a huge fan of. But this one really does work, and is long lasting, and it does not contain baking soda.

Propylene Glycol, Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Talc, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Silica,Sodium Hydroxide, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract,Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lavendula Hybrida (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil,Menthol, Glyceryl Stearate SE.

Have you tried switching from antiperspirants to deodorants? What was your experience? Did you go through the pit detox stage? Do you have a favourite natural deodorant?

Thanks for reading this super long post, and have a beautiful day!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Disclosure: I purchased all of these things, except for the one from Earth Science Naturals, which my mom gave to me.

26 thoughts on “Switching from Antiperspirant to Deodorant

  1. I tried out a natural deodorant about 2 weeks ago – tested it for a week and I just COULD not continue! I don’t think it was the fault of the deodorant since people rave about it (from the brand Consonant skincare) but I was sweaty and worried I smelled gross. I went back to Mitchum! 😮 I’m going investigate more into the ones you’ve listed – I’ve not heard of Primal Pit Paste! But I like the name! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great post though I cringed when I read what it did to your pits during the winter. OMG that sounds so painful! This may sound ignorant, but I had no clue that antiperspirants send all the yucky stuff back up into your body! That’s terrible! I also don’t want to be smelly for a few weeks at work (I work in a call center) but maybe it wont be so so bad since you don’t sweat as much when it’s cold outside. Ugh… either way I know I’m going to have to try this. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My detox process was probably worse due to doing it in the summer time, but I was working from home and knew that I wasn’t having any client meetings so it didn’t matter if I got smelly. Plus I was home, so I could just wash off the stink, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If I hadn’t read the article, I would have switched back immediately, but once I knew that it was a normal process that would end, I persevered through the detox stage because I was working from home so it didn’t matter because I could just “wash off the stink” if I got smelly, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article thanks! I transitioned from antiperspirants to deodorants about 2 yrs ago and the detox phase nearly made me sick lol. Glad it passed. I’m still trying to find a natural deodorant that I loved as much as my antiperspirant but till now my favourite is the crystal deodorant body stick. have you tried it?

    Liked by 1 person

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