Natural Deodorant: a journey not for the faint heart (trust me)
Ok let’s talk about natural deodorants and my journey to going au natural...
Let me tell you there is a steep learning curve! If you ever want to test your friendship this will certainly do it. You will find yourself constantly asking if you smell (even if you do not everyone will tell you!). It happened to me, sad to say… but I also didn’t know that my armpits would purge smelly gunk while I made the transition. Now you’re thinking why didn’t you just stop and use your regular stuff again? Well as Sum41 would say, by that point of my transition, I was “In Too Deep”.After a week of going natural, the all too familiar funk started to set in, and well once you hit that hump you know it can only go up from there right? And it sort of did…
Anyone can Google for themselves how to make the switch to a more natural product, and how to “ease the transition” but this gal didn’t have time for that. So here are some hard lessons learned and some knowledge I picked up along the way...
First of all, why did I go all natural? Simply put I was tired of having to always buy deodorant that sort of worked, left my clothes with white marks and was full of crap! Once you’ve made the decision to change, expect some odor changes to happen (although this doesn’t happen to everyone) and be prepared! Now that you are ready to embark on this quest, you must first choose a type/brand. Below listed are ones I’ve personally tried.
Let’s talk terminology:
Body Odor: the byproduct of the bacterial breakdown of sweat
Deodorant: simply put it prevents unwanted odor, while not preventing sweat.
Antiperspirant: designed to prevent our body from producing sweat by blocking sweat from reaching the skin
1) Crystal: probably the most common and easily available, mainly because it’s always on the bottom shelf with all the other commercial deodorant brands. Typically they are made from mineral salts, such as potassium aluminum sulfate. The idea behind this method is the mineral salt kills the bacteria
2) Cream: generally soft in texture ranging from body lotion to thick shea butter consistencies. These types come in small pots/containers in which you spread and “rub in” the product (more on this later)
3) Spray: Glycerin, water, carrier oils, essential oils and other similar ingredients are mixed together in a pump action spray bottle.
4) Powder: contains regular baking soda although a normal edible food ingredient but it is even better deodorizer.
Now that I’ve covered the main types, let’s talk about which ones I tried and which one actually worked for me! (Whoo!) #reviewtime
Item A: Sage’s Floral Crystal Fresh Deodorant
Promises: to “gently eliminate unwanted odors caused by perspiration, naturally. This delightful blend of lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and sweet benzoin leaves you smelling fresher than a garden in full bloom”
Category: Crystal (uses potassium alum) + Spray (uses lavender, geranium and ylang ylang)
Review/Thoughts: This product smells heavenly as you can probably tell by the essential oils listed above. I love Sage products and had high hopes for this one working (I even tried another scent to be sure!) But it didn’t... The spray concept in theory is nice, but moistening your underarms isn’t! I would say this product would work best for “freshening up” rather than keeping odor at bay
Item B: Lush’s T'eo Solid Deodorant
Promises: to eliminate odor with” sweat-absorbing powders and odor-neutralizing essential oils”.
Category: Powder with the help of essential oils
Review/Thoughts: Ok, now this was third product that I had tried that had sodium bicarbonate in it as its main ingredient. I finally smartened up and realized this was the trend in a slew of problem that were happening to my underarms. They were red, raw and so very dry! I couldn’t even use this product for more than 3-4 days tops before I called it quits. It crumbled when I applied it and left a powdery mess all over my bathroom floor and it left my armpits in not so great condition.
A little bit of research later and this is what I discovered:
Let’s talk a little bit about pH and how it comes into play here:
The pH of sodium bicarbonate is around 8.3 (more alkaline)
Neutral pH is 7 (think water)
Baking soda (according to its MDS) can cause the following symptoms with continuous contact:
dry, cracked skin
Now this won’t happen to everyone, but if you do a quick search online you will quickly see that lots of people struggled the way I did with products containing baking soda.
Item C: routine. natural deodorant
Promises: “A sensitive clay and beeswax formula that smells like raspberry, sage and the open road in a pink cadillac”
Review/Thoughts: This is a Canadian company (they hail from Calgary) so I had really high hopes! This particular deodorant came to my attention when a lady at my gym swore by it, and if it worked for her it would work for me. Wrong! I Unfortunately this product does contain baking soda (lower levels than others) and still caused me to have a bad reaction. Also I just wasn’t a fan of having to scoop and run this in every morning. I want to simplify my routine, not add extra steps and time!
*This company utilizes 4 (previously 3) formulation methods:
Vegan Clay Formula (clay naturally absorbs sweat)
Beeswax Formula (beeswax acts a stabilizer-less messy)
Clay and Beeswax Formula with Baking Soda (the kind I tried)
Clay and Beeswax Formula without Baking Soda (this one is new, and I haven’t tired it)
Item D: Lavilin
Promises: to “effectively neutralizes perspiration odor in the underarm area by eliminating it for up to 7 days with just one application!"
Review/Thoughts: Wow a whole 7 days without really, even with bathing and vigorous exercise! Count me in! Ok wait. This product is a cream which from my previous product review you all know I’m not a fan of. I found that it didn’t do a terrible job at keeping the odor at bay, but it also wasn’t the greatest. The texture of this is quite thick, like zinc oxide cream thick…in fact that’s exactly what it felt like. I could not wear this product in the summer simply for that fact that my arm pits were stark white! Who wants that?
Item E: Mama Pacha- Deodorant Stick
Promises: That “an easy to use applicator and is very affective and reducing moisture and smell. You can feel good about using this deodorant”
Review/Thoughts: Again another Canadian company, this one local (Whoo Winnipeg!) I adore her products and thought I would give this one a go, since I was so very desperate. It comes in a stick which I love, mainly because it feels right and well for the past 20+ years I’m used to this way. The scent was amazing (reminds me of just brushed teeth-minty and fresh) but sadly ingredient #2 was baking soda
Product F: LAVANILA: The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla
Promises: “superior odor protection with this 100 percent natural, freshly scented deodorant. Soothing essential oils blend with beta-glucan technology fight odor effectively while soothing, conditioning, and nourishing the delicate underarm area. It goes on clean, with no sticky wetness, and delivers long-lasting, luxurious results”
Category: cream (solid)
Review/Thoughts: I’m not so sure about the fancy technology, but I still smelled except like BO and now vanilla (not good). I was sure that this one would be a grand slam because it was a solid stick, and I got it from Sephora (and she never does me dirty!) but alas I was wrong.
Ok still following along?
Let me talk about a product that did work! And OMG Hallelujah(*hands emoji*) thank goodness I stumbled across this. I’m about 99.9% sure my underarms were red and raw from other brands, and I was desperate to find a solution.
Until I met Milena at a craft sale. She’s the mastermind behind the local company called Just the Goods. Her products are everything, they are handcrafted and feature vegan plant and mineral based ingredients. It really has changed my life!
I’ve personally tried the basic and citrus blend scent; currently I love the latter. This stuff seriously works! I cannot stress this enough! It was essential to find a product that wouldn’t irritate my underarms after figuring out what the cause was.
It’s a liquid roll-on deodorant that is completely” free of parabens, propylene glycol, and other suspicious ingredients found even in brands that declare themselves “natural"
Mainly it utilizes because potassium alum (which scores a ranking of “1″ on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database) and palma rosa essential oil control odor while castor oil and a blend of gluconolactone and sodium benzoate offer anti-bacterial support.
This stuff works so well plain and simple, so much so that I’ve even got my hubby hooked on the cedarwood scent!
Give it a try if you’re interested
Let me know your thoughts on ones you’ve tried!