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Everything You Need to Know About Quitting Deodorant

Most of us know deodorant is bad for us. Here's how to stop wearing it.

If you’re like most Americans, your typical routine ends with a swipe or a spritz of deodorant before you leave the house in the morning.

But you’re only human. If you’ve ever forgotten this critical step somewhere between waking up and heading out the door, you probably noticed it later that day.

In the U.S., approximately 92 percent of women and 86 percent of men use some type of deodorant. Another 87 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t want to work with someone who doesn’t wear deodorant. It’s no surprise that these innocuous little stink-masking agents are actually a billion-dollar industry.

But there’s evidence to suggest that some people don’t actually need deodorant. And then there’s the fact that most deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum and other chemicals, which we’re willing to bet aren’t that great for you.

It comes down to a choice between rubbing potentially toxic chemicals in your armpits every single day or smelling like a cheese factory. Most people choose the chemicals.

But what would happen if we didn’t? Is it possible to stop wearing deodorant and somehow avoid being that person that nobody wants to work with? Here’s what you need to know to stop wearing deodorant.

You will stink.

Leaving your antiperspirant behind and embracing your natural odor is kind of like undergoing a drug detox. That is, things are going to get worse before they get better.

After a week or so without deodorant, you might find that the smell emanating from your pits is akin to that carton of curdled milk lurking in a dim corner of your fridge. You might scare your significant other, friends, family, and yes, even your boss and co-workers.

However, if you’re serious about going deodorant-free, it’s important to stick this stinky phase out. The good news? It gets better.

A few weeks and you’ll have seen—er, smelled— the worst of it.

Some people who leave their deodorant behind find that the smell levels out after a few days or weeks. That’s not to say that your natural musk will ever disappear completely.

Obviously, intense physical activities such as running, biking, or having sex, as well as hot and humid weather, can create the perfect conditions for some seriously bad B.O.

If you tend to sweat a lot, you might be tempted to give up going pit-commando and return to your old deodorant-swiping ways. Now is the time to consider some natural alternatives to tackle that stench.

Natural products can help to mask odor.

All-natural deodorants and other stench-masking products have come a long way since they first appeared on the scene. Though they’re probably not as strong as the clinical-strength antiperspirant you’ve been swiping on your armpits since you hit puberty, they’re also a far cry from bare pits. Scented oils, deodorant creams, natural mineral salt deodorant, and organic sprays can definitely help to mitigate the anxiety of exposing your pits along with all their unholy smells.

Remember, there’s no shame in reapplication.

When you give up deodorant, it’s important to lower your expectations. If you’ve decided on a natural product, you may have to reapply once or twice throughout the day. Keep some of your preferred natural spray, stick, or oil in your desk at work and in your purse and/or gym bag in case of a B.O. emergency.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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