October 22, 2017

The Natural Deodorant Experiment

Underarm sweat is normally not a topic we associate with beauty or health. Of course, B.O. (body odor) is most definitely a deterrent to an otherwise well put together look. If you are health conscious minded, you may have given some thought to the potential risks of your everyday antiperspirant.

Most of the major deodorant brands for women target our concerns about long-lasting odor protection or the ugly white marks old-school deodorant stains our clothing with. But Naturalistahs may have heard warnings about traditional antiperspirants’ potential links to breast cancer. The two questionable ingredients found in most mainstream antiperspirants are aluminum and parabens, which are preservatives.

Some researchers are concerned about how aluminum and parabens can begin to mimic estrogen in the body, and since we use antiperspirants daily in an area very close to breast issue, some scientists are concerned about potential risks associated with long-term use.

I have thought about “going natural” with my deodorant for a little while, but my attempts have not all been successful. Why? Well, the so-called “natural” deodorants are just that – deodorants. I have yet to find a natural deodorant that also features significant antiperspirant qualities. Chemical antiperspirants literally “block” you from sweating, while deodorants are fragranced products that minimize body odor. Since the natural products don’t block the sweat, it’s difficult to completely block the odor.

That said, I think it’s important to point out that our bodies are designed to eliminate toxins and regulate temperature by, you betcha, sweating! God designed us to sweat. When we prevent our bodies from self-cleaning and regulating, there is bound to be a down side. I have tried a few brands and thought I would share my experiences with you in case you’d like to go-natural in the underarm area.

Here’s my take on a few brands you might want to try.

Good

Tom’s Natural Deodorant: Tom’s is popular brand in the natural health and beauty industry.

Pros: They offer several fragrances in their deodorant line so you are bound to find a scent that you like. This natural deodorant is one of the easier ones to find in local stores and contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or fragrances.

Cons: The label claims that their deodorant is “long lasting.” I did not find that to be true for me, although everyone’s body chemistry is unique.

Better

Living Clay Detox Deodorant: I was excited about this product because of the ingredients! One of the primary ingredients is Calcium Bentonite, a natural clay well known for its detox properties. Another key ingredient is coconut oil, which you already know I love!

Pros: Because of the Bentonite clay, this product works with your body’s natural elimination process instead of fighting against it like most traditional antiperspirants. Living Clay Detox Deodorant has great ingredients including baking soda and cocoa butter, and uses natural oils like lavender and vanilla oils for fragrance.

Cons: You may have guessed it, but I think the strengths of this natural deodorant are also its weakness. It contains several good-for-you oils, unfortunately, that can translate into an oil slick under your arm pits and create oil-based stains on your clothes! Also, it doesn’t seem to be a widely available product in very many stores.

Best

My personal favorite is Schmidt’s deodorant. It’s list of ingredients is simple and effective and includes shea butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cocoa seed butter, vitamin E and fragrance. Except during the peak Texas summer heat, this product hangs in there with me most the day.

Pros: Aromatic rich scents like cedarwood/juniper (masculine scent), lavender sage and rose vanilla. Simple list of ingredients. Schmidt’s has a nice creamy texture with no greasy feel.

Cons: This product comes in a jar, which means you have to get your hands dirty to apply it. No drying time needed but on days when I’m in a hurry, I am tempted to use my traditional deodorant. I also wish it was just a bit longer lasting. It seems to work most of the day, but depending on if/when I workout, I feel like Schmidt’s fades out a bit.

How about you? Have you experimented with natural deodorants? What’s worked well for you?


My tips for going natural:

  1. Test any new natural deodorant product during the weekend. This gives you a chance to see how the product works with your body chemistry before getting embarrassed at work or an important event!
  2. Experiment with different fragrances. I’ve used both the lavender and rose vanilla scent for Schmidt’s. Although I personally love the scent of lavender more than the scent of roses, I found the rose vanilla scent worked better with my body chemistry – even though it’s the same brand!
  3. Pick and choose your battles. If you know you will be under a high-stress situation at work or attending an outdoor baseball game on a scorching hot day, use the regular/traditional antiperspirant. Any small step to minimize exposure to potentially toxic chemicals has its benefits…plus, we don’t want to lose relationships over bad body odor, do we? Haha!
  4. Be patient with your body. I have found that with consistent use of natural deodorant my body seems to have adjusted and self-regulated sweat production and odor. Of course, I still sweat and always will, but the intensity seems to have changed with time and consistent use. I also experienced skin irritation when I would switch back and forth.

2 Comments on The Natural Deodorant Experiment

  1. Hi Kelley! I love this post. I have also gone natural with my deodorant as well- I was (and still am) so concerned with the connection of our traditional products to breast cancer. I feel like I have tried every single natural option around and man, has it been tough. I have accepted the fact that these are not going to give me that “24 hour protection” and that I will need to apply more than once a day. And I am ok with that! Should a product or chemical be stuck on our bodies that long anyway? My personal favorite that I use and have been using for a while now is Lavanila (I like the pure vanilla scent). It smells amazing (for a while anyways lol) and it’s fairly affordable at about $8-9 a stick.

    • That’s so awesome! I agree with you that applying twice a day is a more realistic approach to natural deodorant. It’s not going to offer that 24-hour protection like traditional products that contain parabens (preservatives), but then again, if we bought bread that was free of preservatives, we wouldn’t expect it to last over a week like traditional grocery store brands.

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