Deodorant is probably one of the hardest things to find a REAL version of that you like and that works for you. That’s probably because as humans we’re made to sweat – there’s a reason that we do – it’s not just some random thing that happens. It takes a lot of pretty serious chemicals, waxes and other weirdness to make us not sweat. As a society we’ve become so worried about pseudo cleanliness and often associate a “natural” smell with being unclean – which is really kind of a sad state of affairs if you think about it. We prefer to give ourselves cancer and other health problems by wanting to smell like synthetic things and look down upon those that smell “normal” and “natural”.
I have a bit of a different perspective on this because I grew up in Colombia, South America. Since it was a third world country while I was living there, the standard of living was very meager. Most people didn’t wear deodorant because they could barely afford food, much less something that would make them not sweat. Since the city we lived in was on the equator, it was hot, hot, hot. Since sweating helps your body cool off, the last thing you want is to not sweat. Deodorant was usually just a quick wash or a shower before bed, or before you went to the store. Everyone smelled sweaty and no one thought anything of it, it was just the natural way to smell. I think because of this the smell of sweat isn’t offensive to me, it doesn’t bother me when people smell a little, I find it “normal”. I know most folks who have grown up in the United States have a different view of this. A fear of “smelling” of anything natural is instilled in us from a young age. Somehow we’ve equated the smell of sweat to being unclean.
Now if it were a perfect world, we could simply quit wearing deodorant, tell people we were going natural and they would accept us even if we smelled a little sweaty – but that’s not the case. People expect us to not smell, or to even to sweat for that matter. As members of this type of society we try to find a balance between not poisoning ourselves and yet trying to mitigate the natural odors that come from being human.
Probably the biggest hurdle for folks making the switch to an all-natural deodorant is that you actually perspire. Most people wear anti-perspirants which blocks the production of sweat. Moisture in your pits can be a bit weird if you’ve been wearing anti-perspirant for you entire life. All-natural deodorants have ingredients that are supposed to limit the growth of odor producing bacteria that can happen when you sweat, they don’t stop you from sweating. I think another one of the big hurdles of switching to a non-toxic deodorant is that we all have different body chemistry. We all produce different kinds of bacteria and perspire at different rates. That means you’ll probably have to try a few different products until you find one that works for you. You also have to be careful when choosing an all-natural deodorant because sometimes they still contain questionable ingredients. We purchased an “all-natural, aluminum free” deodorant from Arm & Hammer and when we read the ingredient list it was was filled with unpronounceable chemicals.
I’ve used a few of the products we’ve purchased – but to be honest I rarely wear deodorant. I have very sensitive skin and my armpits have always been ultra-sensitive to just about everything. I’ve always preferred to not wear it rather than to have red irritated armpits. Because of this, Mr Chiots has been the guinea pig for this experiment in our family. He’s been willing to try to products and head out in the heat of the day to work up a sweat to put the products through their paces. Here’s a summary of each of the products that we’ve tried and who likes each product best:
Burt’s Bees Men’s Deodorant
This is a men’s deodorant so I didn’t try it. Mr Chiots did not like this deodorant at all, not one bit. He wore it once or twice and that was it. He didn’t like the feel and he said it didn’t work at all. The smell is rather nice though if you’re looking for a “manly” smelling deodorant this is a good one. The ingredients are pretty normal too, nothing to weird.
Tropical Traditions All-Natural Deodorant
Until this, I had never used a roll-on deodorant and I must admit – it was a little weird to put a wet product under my arms. You kind of have to hold your arms up for a minute or two for the product to dry – which really isn’t a problem. Mr Chiots was not a fan of this at all, I didn’t mind it so much. This deodorant worked fairly well. I found that it worked even better if you reapply halfway through the day. The three fragrances are all nice, I used the lavender and Mr Chiots opted for the Frankincense. I’ll keep using this product when I need deodorant (which is only when I’m going out in public for a long period of time). I like that all the ingredients are something I wouldn’t be afraid of consuming. Tropical Traditions was kind enough to offer to send one of our lucky readers some of their all natural deodorant to try. All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win. I’ll announce the winner next week!
Crystal Stick Body Deodorant
Mr Chiots and I have both tried this product. I don’t particularly care for it as it irritates my underarm skin making me itchy. Mr Chiots loves this product – it’s his favorite product by far. He likes that it goes on easily and dries quickly. He appreciates that it isn’t creamy or too textured. For him this product worked better than all the others that he tried. He’s been using this produce exclusively for the last few months and is very happy with it.
One of the best all natural forms of deodorant is to simply wash each evening. It’s all natural (if you’re using non-toxic soap) and you don’t have to keep an extra product around! If you don’t want to take a full shower, simply wash your armpits with a washcloth & soap. This is the method I use often as I find a bar of soap to be the best defense for underarm odor.
I know a lot of you make your own deodorant and have recipes for them. List them below if you’d like, or write up the recipe on your blog and link to it in the comments.
One lucky commenter will win an All-Natural Deodorant from Tropical Traditions. We have a winner!
Have you found a type of all-natural deodorant that you like? Do you make your own?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, maple sugaring, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Ethel Gloves, Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.