What we put on our skin is essential to the health of our bodies and the environment. Choosing cosmetics made with organic and natural ingredients is a small but important step in protecting yourself and the planet from harsh chemicals. However, making the transition from conventional to organic body care products may leave you frustrated with a perception of comparative ineffectiveness. Deodorant is one cosmetic product in particular in which an experience with an inoperative organic brand may make you unwilling to compromise with your traditional favorites. But don’t throw the towel in just yet. There are a few ways in which personal research and lifestyle changes can support you through the worthwhile transition to an organic brand. Here are the 7 fail-proof steps to follow:
Organic deodorants by definition are free from the chemicals that make conventional or cleverly marketed “natural” deodorants effective at a cost to our health. Thus, there has been a great deal of experimentation with organic deodorant formulas to produce products that do not compromise our wellbeing. The wide variation in product ingredients combined with a wide variety in individual skin types and allergies results in either success or failure. For example, baking soda-heavy deodorants can be either miracle workers in blocking odor or alkaline burn rash-producers. Especially if you know that you have sensitive skin, do your research on ingredients ahead, and shop around to try on different formulas until you find a product that satisfies you.
One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in making the transition to organic is not giving your body sufficient time to adjust to the new brand. Unfortunately, the discontinuation of anti-perspirant use may cause you to experience excess sweating that may be unavoidable as your armpits begin to overcompensate for the years of clogging. Give yourself 2-4 weeks on a new deodorant to sweat it out while your body acclimates to the change. You can also help decrease this transition time by using a bentonite clay detox mask under your armpits to help draw out the toxins. Read more about that here.
To speed up the removal of years of buildup from conventional deodorants, try exfoliating your armpits. To start, try soaking a washcloth with a homemade brown sugar scrub or an organic facial cleanser, and gently scrub the area 1-2 times per week.
As you sweat out the buildup and wait out the transition period, it can help to make lifestyle changes that support low production of body odor. The most important of these changes is in your personal hygiene. Sweat from exercise and heat can begin to stink if unremoved for periods of time, while bacteria feed on fats within the sweat. It may be obvious, but nonetheless important, to recognize the benefit of keeping clean. Shower soon after heavy workouts, and keep organic cleansing wipes with you to remove the excess sweat if you notice yourself damp during the day.
Sweat that is produced from anxiety and stress is even more malodorous than heat- and exercise-induced stress because it contains a higher lipid content. There are many health benefits of keeping your stress levels low, and body odor is yet another one of them. Physical activity, yoga, and meditation are all wonderful techniques that are linked to stress reduction in empirical research. However, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your mode of stress-reduction is, rather your focus should be that you practice it with regular dedication.
Diet and body odor are also closely intertwined. In order to smell your best during the transition to an organic deodorant, practice vigilance in eating a diverse, plant-based diet. It may also help to avoid meat, strong spices, and high quantities of alcohol. Lastly, stay hydrated to continue to flush out toxins from your conventional deodorant.
The last bit of your lifestyle transformation is to put your best foot forward by dressing the part. Wear light, natural fabrics made from cotton, wool, hemp, or bamboo. These fabrics may be more effective than synthetic clothing in allowing sweat to evaporate rather than becoming trapped and thereby producing odor. Move through your transition to an honorable organic deodorant in style and with a smile because of your small, but meaningful step toward personal and environmental health.
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