Yes, I tried 5 of the top natural deodorants and decided which was best, so you can save some time and money.
I love to smell nice. It’s been a point of pride for me ever since I tried perfume for the first time. Except, it was an utter disaster when I was a little girl because I put on WAY TOO MANY sprays of my mother’s perfume (just trying to mimic what I saw my mom do) and stunk up my whole classroom — oops!
After learning the proper way to utilize perfume/body sprays, I never wanted to smell like anything except midnight wildflowers and fresh cucumber coconut ever again. This extended to my deodorant too - why simply cover up body odor, when I could stop sweating entirely and blast lavender into the air when I raised my arms?
Until I realized what was making that smell… Because despite what the packaging would have us believe, we are not simply spritzing on dried, distilled flower essential oils. Instead, we are putting on “fragrance” which is often considered a trade secret and could contain a mixture of 3,000+ chemical ingredients and the cause of countless serious health issues.. And the whole ‘antiperspirant’ thing in your deodorant? That’s aluminum, clogging up your pores and stopping your natural body processes, along with parabens, triclosan, fragrance, and phthalates. These ingredients pose potential harm to the endocrine and reproductive system. I get it, you don’t want to sweat, or you don’t want to smell. I’ve been there. A few people commenting on my sweating when I was a young girl was enough to make me want to inject the aluminum right into my armpits (until recently).
I’d rather smell a bit and have to reapply than increase my toxin load by up to 3000+ chemical ingredients in a ‘fragrance’
If you haven’t noticed I’m mildly in love with LeeFromAmerica - they say you’re a successful blogger/wellness guru when people talk about you like you’re one of their friends. Well, Lee’s definitely hit that point for me! I relate to her, she’s funny and down-to-earth. So it wouldn’t be a post without me referencing one of her articles! This one is about her journey to finding a natural deodorant that worked for her (except, spoiler alert, she vetoed deodorant all together and is practicing more natural approaches! tbh I’ll never go down that route, but good for her).
Lee voiced concerns about putting toxins so close to her lymph system (you have lymph nodes right by your armpits!) and even found a lump (scary), which spurred her to change. After my PCOS diagnosis, I searched for a lot of different ways to decrease my toxin load, and switching deodorants was an easy call.
The ten toxic ingredients you should avoid with Dr. Sara Gottfried? Most of them are found in your deodorant.
Detoxing your make-up routine with Dr. Mark Hyman - a short and simple article that offers some alternatives to your current beauty routine.
Tbh I can no longer put something on my body DAILY so close to my lymph nodes that is going to be toxic to my body and possibly increase my risk of cancer.
I see breast cancer survivors daily (along with many other cancers). I also see people with stage 4 breast cancer that has metastasized all over their body (liver, bones, etc). We don’t have a solution to cancer, and currently our best bet is prevention. One of the easiest things you can do to decrease your toxin load is to simply buy different deodorant. I implore you - please consider switching if you aren’t using natural deodorant.
Or maybe you’re just like me, and you want to switch, but have no idea where to start. What brand is best? What will prevent the stink? Will anything stop my sweating?
Natural deodorants I put to the test:
Tom’s - Some people swear by this brand but it never worked well for me. I tried both solid and liquid, and I always smelled awful after 4-6 hours. Honestly, I don’t particularly even think their scents smell that great in the first place either. Watch out for their antiperspirants as well, which do contain aluminum.
Here’s the bad news: You won’t stop sweating without something (like aluminum) clogging your pores. So if you are embarrassed to sweat, you might have trouble switching. I say, let yourself be free! Who cares if someone sees you sweat? Everyone sweats. In fact, your underarms have their own microbiome - good bacteria, bad bacteria… similar to your gut (kind of). So It’s normal to sweat — don’t sweat it!
Lume - Their scent is a bit too earthy/musky for me. I have a slight smell if I’m sweating (hot day, post-yoga, etc), but it almost smells more like maple syrup to me for some reason? (I’ve been checked for diabetes, don’t @ me.) So I don’t smell bad, but I also don’t smell good and it masks my scent ~75%. I do have to reapply daily (they say up to 72 hour protection), and if I will reapply after 10-12 hours if I’ve got evening plans.
Schmidt’s - I tried their Lily of the Valley and really liked it! I used it for a solid 8 weeks. I don’t put it on immediately after the shower because this one does have baking soda, making it a bit more drying and (possibly) irritating. So I let my skin have a break for a bit and apply right before bed or the next morning (I shower at night because mornings are my ultimate enemy still). I get a little bit of my natural scent by the evening, so I would just reapply. BUT different from Lume, I have an actual flowery scent coming through, which is what I loved so much about traditional deodorant. I am drier thanks to the baking soda, but when I initially switched, I had irritation. Redness, darkening in the armpits, but no itching. After about 2-3 weeks of regular use, that resolved. It is a bit clumpy so I have to be careful not to over-apply. It’s gritty and doesn’t go on totally clear, but it holds up decently (not perfectly) after a tough aerial class.
I am also using Schmidt’s Bergamot Lime body soap and love it! It smells like a dream. I loved it so much I bought the Bergamot Lime deodorant too. Turns out I don’t like lime smell for my deodorant as much as I thought. Meh.
Primal Pit Paste - I’ve tried this one in the past, and it worked… okay. I found after about 6 hours that I needed reapplication. Their plastic packaging is BPA-free and biodegradable. Since Schmidt’s gave me some redness/irritation, I decided to try this one (they have a matcha scent and I can’t imagine anything better than smelling like BEAUTIFUL MATCHA ALL DAY ERR DAY). I tried their “zinc” based one, since I wanted to try a non-baking soda deodorant. It’s the same as my past experience - smells great, but if I put it through a yoga class, it’s ineffective (and needs reapplication every 6-8 hours). Even by the end of my work day, I get a mix of the lovely Primal scent annnnnnd my own :( I estimate about 50% coverage after a few hours.
Native - They have a huge variety of scents, which I was excited for (Rose being the one that looked the best!). The ChalkboardMag’s “The Chat” on Facebook was ALL about this deodorant, so I didn’t feel like I could give a complete review of natural deodorants without at least giving it a try. I ordered a pack of 3 - it’s aluminum free and has high quality ingredients, still baking-soda based (I knew from my Schmidt’s v Primal Pit experience that I needed baking soda to stay fresh for more than 6 hours). I think it has less baking soda in it, which allows it to go on smoother and more transparent than Schmidt’s, but I think that also makes it not last as long. The scents are great and I like that it goes on smoother, but it just doesn’t hold up as well as Schmidt’s over the course of a day or after a tough aerial yoga class.
PrimallyPure - I haven’t tried this one, but the reviews are phenomenal. It was mentioned as I scoured the internet for recommendations, so I felt I had to mention it, but after trying 6 different deods I was a little worn out! Especially since I found the one that I liked and worked fairly well.
Final verdict: Schmidt’s wins!
I will continue to use natural deodorant for my health with Schmidt’s being my #1 choice, and to limit my chemical exposure. If you’ve got PCOS like me, or an autoimmune condition, you should definitely consider switching off of toxic deodorant. If you’re really sensitive, you will likely want to consider one without baking soda - I recommend Lume as the #1 non-baking soda deod.
Check your current deodorant on the EWG Skin Deep site, and use it to compare new brands. Be careful of greenwashing - just because something has a coconut and green leaf on the front doesn’t mean it is good for you!
What deodorants are you using? Multiple? None? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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