Published on August 24th, 2020 | by Catherine Tingey0
The Best Natural Deodorant
The Best Natural Deodorant
I’ve been low key searching for this for twenty years.
A natural deodorant that doesn’t irritate, kills odor and isn’t exposing my body to toxins.
Over the years I have tried so many (see below).
Along the way, I learned a lot about ingredients, chemistry and common irritants.
Before I discovered this wonderfully simple solution, I had a laundry list of criteria for the natural deodorant of my dreams (in addition to being non-irritant and effective):
Does not make oil stains or yellow stains on clothing
Free from propylene glycol (an ingredient in anti-freeze) and its more ‘safer’ twin, propanediol
Free from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Free from magnesium hydroxide
Free from ‘fragrance‘
Free from parabens
Free from aluminum and potassium alum
As an aside, the Organic Personal Care market is expected to reach over $25B in market share by 2025.
I’ve been an enthusiastic consumer, trying every new product on the market in hopes someday I’d find the holy grail of zero BO.
Here’s a list of natural deodorants I’ve tried.
Potassium alum is a naturally occurring mineral salt, potassium aluminium sulfate. These were the first alternatives to conventional deodorants. Most hippies have used them at some point in their lives! I used a version of a Potassium Alum rock throughout my twenties.
It worked pretty well, had to be applied daily, but if there were even the tiniest microabrasions in your skin from shaving, it stung badly. Had to be applied daily and sometimes several times/day.
At some point I started researching Potassium Alum and learned that even these contain small amounts of aluminum. I decided I couldn’t use these products any longer.
Crystal Roll-On and Crystal Solid– I love the smell of these but I just didn’t feel safe using them.
Crystal Rock – This worked well if you applied it twice daily and not on freshly shaven skin.
Crystal Spray– I found this to be the most effective of the rock, roll-on or solid.
Tom’s – In 2006, Tom’s of Maine was sold to Colgate-Palmolive for $100M. After that, I lost interest in their mission and their products, although I still bought them on occasion.
Arm & Hammer – I still love the way this deodorant smells (crisp and clean) but it contains propylene glycol, as well as fake fragrance. An early formulation contained Triclosan (look that ingredient up) but due to growing awareness, it was removed from the formulation.
ESSENTIAL OIL BASED
Living Libations Poetic Pits – I wanted to love these pint-size roll ons. I love everything Nadine Artemis does but after using these enthusiastically one summer, I developed an allergic reaction. They smell heavenly though.
Soapwalla – this was the first deodorant cream I tried a decade ago. Soapwalla was one of the first natural deodorants on the market and at the time, the cream concept was novel. This worked pretty well but because it was shea butter based, it would leave marks on white clothing. Also contains sodium bicarbonate which irritated my skin over time.
Ursa Major– didn’t work for me and contains propanediol.
Native – contains sodium bicarbonate and made my armpits itch.
Schmidt’s – I wanted to love these scents but they contain both sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide. More armpit itch.
Dr. Teal’s – a friend recommended this as the only product that didn’t give him a rash but I found it irritating. Other people really love it though. Just hold the stick against your skin to warm the product, and don’t use too much force as in scraping the solid against your skin. Contains sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide.
Deodorants in this category contain probiotics, prebiotics or micro silver.
Nuud – new player Dutch brand Nuud created a non-nano, micro silver-based deodorant cream in a tube. I loved the concept of micro silver killing bacteria but this one actually made me smell worse.
Lavillin – this Israeli company was making a ferment based (Bifida) deodorant cream back in the 70s. You apply it once every 7 days. This deodorant has a devoted following and some claim to only need to use it monthly! I had high hopes for this one too, but it only made me smell worse. Note, because of the zinc oxide, you’ll temporarily have whitish armpits after application.
Well, thanks to internet health bloggers, I finally found something that works for me!
Better than all the products listed above.
Such a beautiful and elegant solution.
Total game changer.
Take a lemon, organic if possible, and slice off the end.
Pat your armpits. Don’t rub.
Return to refrigerator face down for re-use.
When the surface dries up, slice off 1/8″, discard, and repeat.
Try it and see what you think!
*Do not do this on shave days.
If you’ve made it this far, I recently read about restoring your microbiome, probiotic sprays and not bathing for two weeks.
I’m curious to try Mother Dirt’s AO Mist, a probiotic spray for the skin.
If it outperforms lemons, I will definitely write about it.
** Lemon juice can make skin sun sensitive so don’t tan your armpits!
Some natural deodorants claim you need to detox your armpits before switching from conventional deodorants. To be honest, I’ve never done this. I feel my overall diet and lifestyle don’t require this for a product to be effective, but definitely something worth knowing about.
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