I Don’t Use Deodorant and Why You Shouldn’t Either

I know what you’re thinking. “No deodorant… gross. Smelly hippy.” Well, think what you like but I can guarantee that I am not a smelly hippy. A hippy maybe, but not smelly. I honestly cannot remember when I stopped using deodorant, but its certainly around 10 years now. And even before then, I never really bothered that often. My nan hated the stuff, so I suppose it kind of rubbed off onto me. I assume you’re reading this because you are considering a deodorant detox. It’s very easy and very beneficial to your health. Go Forth and Sweat Freely Dear Reader!

It’s not just deodorant that I ticked off of my shopping list but sanitary towels, tampons and toilet paper too. Oh shit. I really am a hippy.

I suppose I am quite lucky. I’m not a person who suffers from terrible body odour, nor do I sweat much. But for those of you who wear deodorant, do you often wish that you didn’t have to? Have you ever considered that you might be stuck in a rut and you now have to use it because you have used it for so long? Many people are now trying deodorant detoxes and have discovered that they no longer need the pretty smelly stuff. I’m not talking about switching to a more natural alternative, but ditching any deodorant all together.

What are the benefits of using deodorant?

The benefits of using deodorant are pretty obvious. You stop smelling and sweating. But why and how true is that previous sentence? Firstly to be classed as an ‘antiperspirant’ the product only has to stop you from sweating by 20%. To stop you from smelling, well that’s just a chemical in the spray that kills off some of the smelly bacteria.

The rest of the hard work is done by perfumes which simply mask the smell of your sweat. Your sweat itself is odourless, the smell actually comes from bacterial growth. Niiiiice.

What are the disadvantages of using deodorant?

You know me by now, this list isn’t going to be as short as the benefits.


First of all, most antiperspirants contain aluminium. The link between antiperspirants and cancer is the aluminium. The aluminium is absorbed into the skin around the armpit and breast area, even more so if the skin has any tiny cuts from shaving, then these chemicals react with your DNA changing your cells into dangerous cancerous ones. It can also interfere with oestrogen levels in women and cause cancer cells to develop.

Alzheimer’s has also been linked to aluminium. In the 1960’s studies showed that those with Alzheimer’s had higher levels of the metal in their brains. Of course daily exposure of aluminium doesn’t just come from antiperspirants but also aluminium cans, some bedframes and cabinets… the list is very long. Avoiding putting aluminium based antiperspirants directly onto my skin seems like an obvious positive health choice.

The aluminium in antiperspirants works to combat sweat by temporarily blocking sweat glands and reducing the amount of sweat released. I am a firm believer that if your body needs to remove waste, it is doing so for a good cause. Urine, vomit, diarrhoea are all released from the body for a reason and believe I do you should never attempt to stop this from happening.

Of course there are many studies out there to read up on. Some strongly defend deodorants while others are quite frankly rather scary. Have a read for yourself. Personally while I have the choice to avoid certain ‘things’ to improve my health I will do so. It’s not a paranoia but more of a ‘well its one less thing to buy and I can live without it and if it really is bad then its another thing I don’t need to panic about’ lifestyle choice. *and breathe*

Moving on from the aluminium topic… Did you know that people become immune to their deodorants. Because the human body is super clever it actually builds up an immunity to the product that you choose to use. I see immunity as a good thing. If we build up immunity to illnesses and germs, which are bad for us, then surely building up an immunity to deodorant means that the body takes it as a bad thing and tries to fight it. I trust my body and listen to it. Can you tell I am totally not a scientist yet?

Some deodorants and antiperspirants also contain- Formaldehyde, Propylene Glycol (antifreeze) and various parabens (notice how some products say ‘paraben free’?).

So what happens if you do stop using deodorants?

How often do you shower or have a bath? OK that’s a rather irrelevant question. Most of us have a night time and morning routine. Fill the sink, wash our face, brush our teeth, sort out our bird-nest hair. When the skink is full and you are washing your face, just wash under your pits at the same time. It isn’t any extra hardship and doesn’t take a second. And if you use deodorant, you should probably do this anyway. Take off your deodorant like you take off your makeup. You wouldn’t sleep with your facial pores blocked, so why should your armpits be blocked up too?

When you first stop using deodorant your body will react very quickly. Suddenly your pores start to open up and detoxify. They will start to unclog all of the built up fluids and toxins and you may notice more sweat and odour than you are normally used to. That’s OK. You have a sink? Wash your armpits with a mild natural soap. This quite often sends people running straight into the direction of their old deodorant, and the vicious cycle continues.

Get the old gunk out of your pits easier by going for a walk or a run. Your body will detox quicker with a little help. It will get your sweat glands working properly again and cleared. Don’t be alarmed if the sweat seems thick. This is just old mucus working its way out. Gross, but once it’s gone it’s gone.

It wont last long, a few days to a week, but once you are clear of the nasties then the detox becomes easier. Seeing the gross side affects from years of using deodorant will become a sharp reminder of how much that simple daily product has affected your body. Why eat healthy, go to the gym, loose weight all for your health while you continue to poison it with deodorants?

People would learn a lot about their health if they start to think for themselves, rather than buying something that society tells them that they HAVE to buy. Whether you choose to look into the studies above, or just decide to take a more natural approach let me know. I’ve just realised how freakin’ crazy I sound, but it works for me. What’s the harm in giving it a go, eh?


Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m going to try again with my hippy paste (LOL!). I’ll keep you updated on the smelly progress.


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