Detoxing Your Armpits from Commercial Deodorant Tips & Tricks

Commercial Deodorants & Antiperspirants

Before we speak about Natural Deodorant, I want to talk about the current standard. Chances are, most of your life you have used Antiperspirant. Antiperspirant works by blocking pores and sweat glands under your arms. Antiperspirants work by either blocking or shrinking your pores. The issue with this is that your body uses your armpits to shed toxins via sweat. Have you ever used an Antiperspirant for several months or even years just to have it suddenly stop working? Your body is actively fighting commercial antiperspirant.

The Aluminum and Aluminum Salts in commercial Antiperspirant has also been linked to several health risks. I am not a fear monger, and won’t try to scare you, but please research the risks for yourself. 

Most commercial products, and even some "Natural" ones are full of chemicals like : Propylene Glycol, Tricolsan, Talc and Fragrance. 

Deodorant is a very different story. Deodorants, or at the least Bear’s Beauty Natural Deodorants, are made to allow your body to sweat while killing bacteria and scenting the underarm. Natural Deodorant allows your body to begin regulating itself again. 

Natural & Aluminum-Free Deodorant | Green-washing 

With more and more "natural" deodorants hitting the market, it is becoming tough to decipher what is actually natural, and what is some chemical voodoo. As a formulator, I struggle with the line between natural and chemical. Our preservative, for example, is made using a fermentation process and then filtered. It is natural, and totally necessary, but the process at home would be laborious, so I purchase it from a lab. I understand there is a place for technology and bio-chemistry in skincare, but I also think that if there is a RAW version, you should use that. 

Check the ingredient deck, and if they don't disclose their ingredients, ask. There are blends, like my acne blend, that I do not openly post, but I do share if you have allergy concerns. There is no need for any kind of Fragrance in natural deodorant. There are plenty of essential oils that function as a scent. 

Some of the most popular brands on the market are owned by large companies, even some that started out family-owned. They tend to let standards slide, so be diligent and check your ingredients. If you can't eat it, it shouldn't be on your armpits.

Make The Switch

Whether you are switching from commercial Antiperspirant / Deodorant or even from other “natural” deodorant, there may be a detox phase. This should not scare you. In reality, you probably have pores that are clogged with chemicals, dead skin, sweat, and built up toxins. When you stop blocking those pores, your body will pick up where it left off.

Detox can involve some excess sweating as well as an increase in smell. This is totally normal. This is just your body shedding toxins. Each of my formulas will combat this with a combination of absorbent starches and essential oils. WORST CASE SCENARIO WHEN USING ONE OF MY FORMULAS, YOU MAY HAVE TO RE-APPLY ONCE A DAY THE FIRST WEEK OR SO. You won't stink. You won't smell like a headshop. You will just smell fresh.

There may also be some instances of bumps or small lumps in the armpit, especially right after switching. This is far less common, but totally normal. In my experience it has been a very clogged pore that went away on its own, but you can use a gentle scrub and clay mask to help speed up the process. Read more below on how to make the process as easy as possible.

If you experience a rash, this is NOT an allergy to baking soda. The reality is, you cannot be “allergic” to baking soda. Without going into a ton of detail, your skin is naturally acidic. Baking Soda is Alkaline (the opposite of acidic) and can irritate the skin. The skin has a protective layer called the “Acid Mantle” that protects your body from environmental pollutants and germs. This acid mantle can become damaged. This is a type of contact dermatitis, but is not an allergy. Just because you had a rash with another deodorant, does not mean that you will have a reaction to all baking soda. In reality, most healthy people can tolerate alkalinity with no issue. 

If you do get a rash, be sure you are waiting at least an hour after shaving and try applying a layer of moisturizer before your deodorant for a few days. 

You can also step down to Sensitive, our baking soda free formula. 

Tips & Tricks

First, don’t rush to a conclusion. Give a new formula at least one week, ideally two, before you decide it’s not for you. Your body takes time to adjust, but will do so quickly.

Drink lots of water! You should be doing so already, but seriously it makes such a difference in your overall health. Water helps dilute toxins and hydrate tissues as well as keep circulation healthy.

Treat your pits special. Gently exfoliate with a natural scrub (Bear’s Beauty offers the Armpit Care Scrub for just this purpose.) Apply a gentle detox mask like Bear’s Beauty Black Detox Mud Mask. I even offer a serum to help soothe and calm angry pits. Taking extra care of your pits for a week or so while your body is detoxing does wonders for speeding up the adjustment. You can also choose any one of the above three or use all three together. You can also try dry brushing and making sure to use a gentle soap. Stay away from anything artificial.

Let yourself sweat. It may seem weird, but the more you exercise and work up a sweat, the more your body is able to clear out clogged pores. Try the hot tub or the steam room at your gym. I find hot yoga is my favorite.

Be ready to wash your pits a little more than you are used to. Keeping the area clean and dry does wonders for preventing irritation or rash. If you shave, wait at least an hour before applying deodorant. You can even apply some rich moisturizer or shea butter before for extra protection. When you shave, you damage the surface of your skin, exposing this damaged skin to baking soda will cause irritation.

Apply less product than you think you need. Many times, customers who find they are staining their clothes or having issues with irritation are just applying too much. One or two swipes is all you need for protection. Applying more product will not increase protection. Bear’s Beauty does sell mini sticks that can be easily and discretely applied throughout the day (though you will not need to once your body adjusts.)

Try using an AHA or BHA toner on clean armpits at night. You may find this even works as a deodorant.

The Good News

Once your week of two of detox is over, you will find that you sweat less than ever before. You will also find that your sweat stinks less. I also try to eat a Vegan diet and avoid dairy, as I find those things really contribute to body odor.  You may even find that the skin under your arms gets softer, smoother, and more even toned. Best of all, no more Aluminum!


  1. Thank you for this. I am having a hard time with the detox. Stopped using a fairly strong deodorant/antiperspirant and the smell that resulted from my first natural deodorant was embarrassing. I tried a different one a week later, with baking soda and loved how dry and smell-free I was but a week later, I started getting a rash so I stopped it immediately. I tried yet another one, without baking soda and it worked for 2 days and then I started smelling again, but no rash. Should I try the baking soda one again?

    1. Hey Betty, I cannot speak to other formulas. The truth is, I make and sell my deodorant because I found pretty much all of the other options too harsh. I would point you toward this formula, in a scent like Lavender + Grapefruit or Lemongrass + Lemon. Since I don't know what you are using, I can't say that the stick isn't just too high a PH :)

      Also, this scrub and serum.



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