Body odor is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids — some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it really is the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids. Everyone has bad body odor, at some point. With some people, it becomes a chronic problem.
Despite popular belief, sweat doesn’t actually cause body odor; the odor is produced when bacteria breaks down sweat. That’s where deodorant comes in. Applied to the skin, typically the underarms, deodorant contains antibacterial and other ingredients that hinder the bacteria that break down sweat and cause the odor, effectively stopping body odor before it starts. Some deodorants also contain scents to help mask body odor. Deodorant does not, however, prevent you from sweating.
Your body needs to sweat. Like it or not, sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling off and releasing toxins, and hindering this function with artificial antiperspirants can lead to a host of unwanted effects. In and of itself, sweat doesn’t actually have an odor. In fact, it’s only when sweat comes into contact with the naturally occurring bacteria in your armpits that you begin to smell. This means that antiperspirants are actually unnecessary.
To speak more broadly, the main reason why you should switch to an all-natural deodorant is that it’s better for your health. Most of the deodorants that are available on today’s market are filled with harmful ingredients that have been linked to serious diseases, including Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Products of natural deodorants don’t contain aluminum or other chemical ingredients found in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. Some people choose natural deodorants because they want to avoid aluminum and other chemicals, while others find that they’re sensitive to certain ingredients commonly used in traditional deodorants and turn to natural deodorants as a result. Natural deodorants won’t stop you from sweating, but they can help to reduce odor.
The most important thing you can do when switching from a traditional deodorant to a natural one is be patient. Yes, it may seem like your body is rejecting your natural deodorant in the first few days or even weeks, but it’s just adjusting. As long as you keep your underarms clean and conditioned, and maybe stick to light, breathable fabrics during the transition, you’ll soon be able to experience all the benefits a natural deodorant has to offer.