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.