Natural Deodorants: Why to Use Them and Which Ones to Buy?

November 15, 2017

 

If you've tried to make the switch from conventional deodorant to natural you'll know it's not an easy transition. I remember when I first tried switching years ago I smelled horrible. I took this to mean that the deodorant wasn't doing it's job and returned it. After doing some research online I learned that some people's pits go through a detox phase. As you may know, conventional deodorants often contain harmful ingredients such as Aluminum, Parabens, Talc, etc. These ingredients can clog the pores in your armpits and may lead to health problems. Some companies have even come out with pit detox products. I've never used them but it makes sense. We use detox face masks and we occasionally go on detox diets, why not detoxify our armpits?

 

I knew getting rid of my conventional deodorant was important and something I needed to pursue. One evening I spent quite a bit of time researching highly rated natural deodorants. I read really good things about Lush's Aromaco so I started there. First off, there's no packaging which is awesome for the environment. I will say though, to prevent this product from drying out you have to keep it in a sealed container or Ziploc bag.

 

Number one on the ingredients list is Witch Hazel which eliminates bacteria, keeping you feeling and smelling fresh. The next ingredient on the list is questionable: Propylene Glycol. There's conflicting evidence on the web regarding the toxicity of this ingredient so it's hard to say whether or not it should be avoided. Lush lists this as a safe synthetic but I'd probably avoid it to be safe.

 

For the first week or so it didn't seem like Aromaco was working at all though day by day any odor became less and less noticeable. I ended up using this product for about a year (it lasts quite awhile!) until one night when I got out of the shower I looked at my armpits and noticed they were slightly discolored and peeling. I hadn't noticed it before but I never really took the time to look under my arms so my guess is that my skin had been irritated for awhile. It turns out this was from the baking soda in the deodorant. While not harmful, some people's skin (especially in the sensitive underarm region) can be sensitive to baking soda. Though this product was great at keeping odor at bay, the irritation was not attractive so I continued my search.

 

Size: 3.5 oz

 

Price: $6.95 at Lush

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ Reasonable price

↠ No packaging

 

Cons:

↠ Propylene Glycol and Fragrance are questionable ingredients

↠ Includes baking soda (bad for those with sensitive pits)

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

My next purchase was the EO Certified Organic Deodorant Spray in the scent Vetiver. Looking at the ingredients list, everything looks good except for the very first ingredient: Organic Ethanol. This is, of course, included to kill bacteria which eliminates odor though it can be drying. I wanted to like this product so much. I loved the smell and all the essential oils but unfortunately it left me smelling bad after just a few hours. I tried reapplying but it didn't help. I tried it on days where I knew I would be sitting inside barely sweating but it still didn't work. Unfortunately this one's a no go for me.

 

Size: 4 fl oz

 

Price: $6.99 at EO Products

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ Reasonable price

↠ No mess, easy to use

↠ Simple ingredients

 

Cons:

↠ Includes Ethanol which may be drying

↠ Ineffective

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

If you recall in my Marshall's haul I purchased two deodorants. One of them was the Alaffia Coconut Reishi Activated Bergamot Deodorant. You already know I love Alaffia's soap bars and use them daily in the shower. I was excited to try this deodorant out and to my surprise it worked! The ingredients are rather unique. Activated Charcoal detoxifies and neutralizes odor, Coconut soothes, Neem purifies, Shea protects, and Reishi nourishes. Due to the charcoal the stick actually has a grey tint to it but it goes on clear. This product does contain Phenoxyethanol which is a synthetic preservative and has conflicting research regarding its toxicity. Since this deodorant doesn't include parabens, fragrance, heavy metals, and other common deodorant ingredients I will still use it but continue researching the potential effects of the preservative. This deodorant works all day, even through workouts! The only downside in terms of its efficacy is it's slightly less effective during the hottest summer days, which is to be expected. Also, I tend to find products with Aloe in them somewhat sticky. When I was using this deodorant in the summer while wearing sleeveless tops it would sometimes feel uncomfortable. Overall though, this is a high-performer.

 

Size: 2.65 oz

 

Price: $5.99 at Alaffia

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ Reasonable price

↠ No mess, easy to use

↠ Simple ingredients

↠ Lasts all day, even through workouts!

 

Cons:

↠ Includes Phenoxyethanol which is a questionable preservative

↠ Can get sticky during hot summer days

 

Would I repurchase? Yes

 

Last but not least is the other deodorant I picked up from Marshall's. It's the Stinkbug Naturals Deodorant in Tea Tree. Out of all the deodorants I've mentioned thus far, I'd have to say this one is the most natural and has the most simple ingredients. There are literally only five: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Baking Soda, Organic Corn Starch, and Organic Tea Tree Oil. This product works great. Just like the Alaffia deodorant it works all day. Unfortunately because of the Baking Soda my pits get red and flaky. You'll notice on the lid that Stinkbug markets this product as having no Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, or Chemicals. Remember that the Lush deodorant included Propylene Glycol and marketed it as safe? Talk about confusing! Anyways, if you don't have a baking soda allergy this would be my number one choice for you so far.

 

Size: 2.1 oz

 

Price: $7.99 at Stinkbug Organics

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ No mess, easy to use

↠ Very simple ingredients

↠ Lasts all day, even through workouts!

 

Cons:

↠ On the expensive side

↠ Includes baking soda (bad for those with sensitive pits)

 

Would I repurchase? If there was a non-baking soda option then yes.

 

There you have it! I hope this has helped you in your search for a clean, natural deodorant. I'll likely have a part 2 post sometime next year trying out more deodorants. Are there any you've been eyeing that you think I should try out? Have you already found your holy grail natural deodorant? If so, share it in the comments!

 

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