Hi Friends! Happy Sunday!! I hope you all are having a great weekend, it’s a balmy 70 degrees here in Oakland and I’ve been enjoying a lot of outdoor time this weekend soaking up the vitamin-D. I mentioned in a few blog posts a while back that I wanted to start dabbling in the wellness category but wasn’t quite ready. To be honest, I still don’t know if I’m ready so I am starting slow. Over the last few years I’ve had a bunch of really random health things happen that are mostly hormone related thanks to my adrenal gland that I had to have removed (that’s a story for a different day). During this journey there have been a few products I have noticed that impact my body negatively. Antiperspirant deodorant is one of those products that tend to impact me negatively so I’m kicking this whole wellness topic off with my experience of switching to a natural deodorant.
First things first…… before I dive into my natural deodorant experience, I want you to know that I am not here to tell you that you should or should not use regular antiperspirant deodorant. It’s very personal decision! I’m simply sharing my experience and my reviews on natural deodorants that worked, didn’t work, and why I’ve made the switch. At the end of the day, you gotta do you!
Why I made the switch to natural deodorant
My natural deodorant experience has been one that’s been ongoing since my puberty years. I can remember my mom, aunts, and grandma all talking about antiperspirant deodorant and how it wasn’t good for women because of certain ingredients. I vividly remember shaving my underarms one time and then putting deodorant on right after (gosh, did that sting) and my grandmother scolding me for doing that. Her reasoning had something to do with those pores being even more open and ready to soak up chemicals that weren’t the greatest for my body. **Cue the eye roll from the moody teenager** I was lucky in the sense that once I got out of puberty I never really needed to wear deodorant again until I was in college. It was weird, I didn’t sweat that much (even playing sports) and I would only smell if I put deodorant on….how weird am I, right?
Once I finally started wearing deodorant regularly in college (welcome to adulthood, Amber) I would notice articles pop up here and there about deodorant being linked to all sorts or random health things. Cue the **I’m only 20 and don’t need to worry about that stuff right now** and would just brush that information off. Every now and then I would switch it up and wear Tom’s Deodorant or LaVanilla only to realize that they weren’t for me and I went back to the “good stuff”(Non-Natural Deodorant).
After brushing all that information off until about this time two years ago, I started noticing my underarms getting swollen and inflamed. It would sometimes be so painful that I couldn’t put my arms down. I started thinking about all the things I had heard about antiperspirant deodorant since my childhood and did a little research of my own. My body was basically rejecting the antiperspirant deodorant because it DID NOT LIKE IT. Once I put two and two together I immediately stopped using it.
Here I was with swollen and irritated armpits and within two days of stopping antiperspirant deodorant use, they were completely fine. Sometimes you just have to listen to what your body is telling you and do what it tells you. What’s a girl to do though? I couldn’t be walking around with my stank for everyone else to smell. My aunt had recommended waxing my underarms because it helped remove bacteria that can cause all of us to smell not so great sometimes. Guess what?! It totally worked!! But of course I have uber sensitive skin and regular underarm waxing just wasn’t jiving with me. I continued to repeat this cycle of “trying” regular antiperspirant deodorant again to see if this time I’d be fine, and I was…for a month or two. I’d get swollen and irritated again, stop using, and go back to the esthetician for a good ol’ underarm wax. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Finally I came to my senses and gave up those aluminum filled antiperspirant deodorants for almost good last spring. In all transparency, I occasionally have to break my Secret back out for a day here and there if I know I really am going to need it.
Tips for making the switch
Before we dive in to my products reviews, let me offer you just a little bit of advice if you are ready to make the switch to natural deodorant….
- You have to give your body time to adjust, it’s not just going to happen over night.
- Remember that you are going from a product that uses aluminum to block your pores from naturally sweating to letting those babies go au naturale to sweat it out until your body adjusts and rids itself of the toxins. Don’t be fooled though, sweat is a good thing, it’s one of our bodies ways of naturally detoxifying.
- Don’t make the switch in the thick of summer. It’s still winter so now is the perfect time to make the switch if you’ve been thinking about doing it!
- Play the trial and error game. Yes, you may have to try multiple brands to figure out which one is best for you. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Everyones’ bodies are different! To date, I have tried 6 (yes, 6) natural deodorants to find one that actually works for me.
- If your skin is uber sensitive like mine, try dabbing the deodorant on instead of swiping…it will cause less irration.
Natural Deodorant Reviews
Natural Deodorant No. 1: Tom’s Natural Deodorant
- I honestly have no idea how this one has such good reviews on Amazon. It did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, it actually made me smell with it on rather than when I didn’t have it on. As I’m writing this, I’m beginning to think I have the most high maintance underarms ever! Anyways, Tom’s also made my underarms burn the second I would start sweating in just the slightest. I didn’t make it over a week with this one.
Natural Deodorant No.2: Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
- The rose & vanilla and lavender & sage scents smell divine, seriously, they are both so good!! The first time I put this on I felt like I was applying sand paper to my underarms, it was awful, just plain awful. Of course I hadn’t read the directions where it says, “hold momentarily to skin to soften on contact with body heat.” I’m sorry, you want me to do what now?! For this deodorant to actually be comfortable enough for me to put on I had to hold it on my skin for well over a few brief seconds. Trust me, if you don’t do this “warming up” period, well, just don’t because you’re sure to feel like you’re rubbing sand paper all up in there! After figuring out how to properly apply this deodorant I thought I was in the clear and all was happy in my underarm arena. That was until about 3 weeks later and my body decided it HATED Schmidt’s. Out of nowhere my underarms turned BRIGHT RED, super rashy, and they seriously burned worse than a sunburn. I could barely put my arms down. After stopping for a while I gave it another try and the same terrible reaction happened.
Natural Deodorant No. 3: Lavanila
- When I used this in college, there was a blackberry scent that smelled so good. I honestly only used it for the scent. Back then, it never really seemed to work for me but I didn’t care because the smell was so good. Fast forward to present day and Lavanila no longer makes that glorious scent. After my whole Schmidt’s debacle I thought I would go back and try this one. Years later, Lavanila still doesn’t work me. It’s also pretty irritating and has a sand paper feel to it when you’re applying. It only lasts for a few hours so prepare to have to carry it around in your bag because it definetely needs to be reapplied after only a few hours. It’s not made to last all day long and doesn’t really do a good job at preventing smells those first few hours anyways. For me this one also has the same side effect as Tom’s…it made me smell more with it on than when I didn’t have it on.
Natural Deodorant No. 4: Arm & Hammer with Natural Deodorizers
- This one has a very manly scent (which I don’t mind) but I could see some people hating it. The texture of Arm & Hammer is the best out of all the brands I’ve tried. It glides on your skin effortlessly without any irritation. It also works pretty well in terms of keeping the stench down and feels like it absorbs wetness. Come the end of the day though I start to notice that it’s worn off. HOWEVER, Arm & Hammer isn’t a true natural deodorant but it is free of aluminum and parabens. This one could be a good segue into natural deodorant if you aren’t fully ready to commit to the switch.
Natural Deodorant No. 5: Native Deodorant
- I was perfectly content with my Arm & Hammer deodorant until my co-worker mentioned that she uses and loves Native Deodorant. Of course I love a good recommendation so I decided to give it a go. This one is not bad at all. The texture is decent but it feels like it gets a little gritty when applying and crumbles sometimes. As far as protection goes, I think it’s equivalent to the Arm & Hammer brand. It’s good but its not quite great, in my opinion. This one has amazing reviews online so I’m sure for most of you this one will be the winner but I’m not completely sold.
Natural Deodorant No. 6: Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant
- Bless you if you are still here and reading this ridiculously long natural deodorant post. Seriously, bless you! After all this trial and error of natural deodorant, Primally Pure is my favorite because it WORKS. Seriously you guys, this one is everything I needed a natural deodorant to be. If I would have tried Primally Pure first then I wouldn’t have gone through the vicious cycle of underarm waxing, back to regular deodorant use, to then trying natural ones again. The texture is great and glides on nice and smooth. The protection actually lasts all day and almost seems to work better than the Secret I used to use. I will note that if you apply too much, you’ll get this weird tingly sensation going on so just apply a little less next time if this happens to you. Another thing I really love about this one is that it’s made for sensitive skin so there is virtually no irritation for me. The smell isn’t bad but it’s definitely not the rose and vanilla scent. After the first few weeks I don’t even notice the scent anymore which is great. All in all I think Primally Pure works just as good a regular deodorant!! I do not foresee myself needing to break out the Secret anytime soon, in fact, I just tossed it out.
Links To Additional Readings You Might Find Interesting About Antiperspirant Deodorant and natural deodorant
I’ve read a lot of information regarding antiperspirant deodorant and why it can potentially be harmful to our bodies. There is also a ton of mixed reviews on this topic so I take everything with a grain of salt. I don’t want to relay any of the information that I’ve found incorrectly so I’m including a few links below if you’d like some additional readings. There is also a link to Primally Pure which has a really great blog for all things safer beauty if that’s something you are interested in. I’m not a “Safer Beauty Expert” nor have I even jumped aboard that train fully but there are a few safer beauty items that I’m loving lately from Primally Pure.
I’m excited to start sharing tidbits here and there about wellness and I hope you liked this post and found it helpful! If you have any specific questions feel free to contact me because I can definitely talk more in depth about each of these deodorants that I’v tried but thought I’d spare you all from that novel and just give you the main points. Next up on this wellness train, why I quit gel manicures!