10 Reasons Why Store Deodorant STINKS!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 12, 2013

If you are eating a wholesome, healthy diet and are still using underarm deodorant from the store, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses.

Store deodorant is loaded with chemicals and toxins that easily penetrate the skin, getting into the blood supply.

It’s even worse if these products are applied soon after shaving.  Tiny nicks in the skin provide an even easier route for chemicals to penetrate the skin barrier directly into the bloodstream.

Drug companies are taking advantage of the ability of skin to absorb chemicals of all kinds with the smokers’ patch being one of the most well known.  There are now skin patches for birth control and a patch for motion sickness when you take a cruise or fly in a plane.

Slathering on the chemicals and heavy metals contained in underarm products day in and day out is a dangerous practice and one that no doubt can contribute to a host of health woes in the long run.

Need some concrete reasons to ditch the store deodorant?  Here is the top ten list to consider before your next shower and where to find nontoxic brands that actually work.

#1:  Parabens

Most deodorants, even those labeled as “natural,” still contain harmful ingredients like parabens affixed to one of the following common prefixes:  methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.

Parabens are dangerous substances, particularly when put on the delicate underarm skin which is so near the breasts.

The Breast Cancer Fund reports that measurable concentrations of six different types of parabens have been identified in breast cancer tumor biopsies.  What’s even more telling is that the concentration of the parabens in the biopsies were in the same approximate concentration that would be found in paraben containing cosmetics like underarm deodorant.

Parabens are not just a risk for the breasts.  Samples of a diverse sample of US adults found parabens in nearly all urine samples as well indicating that these chemicals get into the blood and move around the body before being excreted.

#2:  Aluminum

The heavy metal aluminum is contained in most deodorants and is even disguised in some natural deodorants under the word “alum”. Any compound containing the word “aluminum” would be a problem such as aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.

Scientific evidence has has demonstrated that aluminum exposure is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

#3:  Triclosan

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent.  Preliminary analysis indicates it may be carcinogenic due to potential contamination with dioxin. Triclosan easily crosses cell membranes and is stored in body fat.

A 2006 study has shown that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disruptor in the North American bullfrog.  In 2008, a study of juvenile male rats showed that triclosan exposure significantly impacts thyroid hormone concentrations.

Triclosan is in many deodorants labeled as natural so buying at the healthfood store is no protection from this chemical.

#4:  Fragrances

Love the smell of your deodorant?  According to Environmental Working Group (EWG), even natural smelling fragrances like rose may be something else entirely.  The fragrance industry takes great care to hide from the consumer exactly how chemical fragrances are concocted using any blend of the 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that are available.   EWG also reports that:

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

Bottom line?  If your deodorant has “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, you really don’t know what’s in it!

#5:  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Yet another chemical popular in deodorant, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) has been banned in Europe. A well known skin irritant, SLS is also a  suspected carcinogen and has been linked to kidney and liver damage; nervous system disruption; damage to eyes leading to cataracts; eczema and dermatitis.

#6:  Sweat Blockage

Sweating is good!  You want to sweat to release toxins and it is a normal cooling response the body needs.  Blocking sweat with anti-perspirant ingredients is an unhealthy practice and can cause blockage of toxins.

#7:  Deceptive Marketing

Some deodorants, even natural and organic ones like crystals and salt sprays, state that they have no aluminum chloride.  However, if you examine the label in detail you notice that they contain potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate, which is still aluminum.

#8:  Staining and Clumping

What in the world are those clumps left on your skin by conventional deodorants?   This stuff doesn’t completely lather off in the shower either and eventually ruins your shirts by leaving yellow stains that don’t wash out (that’s from the aluminum).

#9:  Ineffectiveness

Many people report that natural versions of conventional deodorants found at the healthfood store are ineffective or only work for a short period of time.

#10:  Store Deodorant is So Uncool!

Let’s face it.  Everything about store deodorant is uncool from the chemicals in the supermarket versions to the hidden baddies and ineffectiveness of the so called “natural” brands at the healthfood store.

What Deodorant is Nontoxic AND Actually Works?

We consumers deserve a deodorant that is safe AND effective, don’t we?  Is that really so much to ask?

Fortunately, there are nontoxic deodorants out there that actually work and claim to be what they say they are.   I am pleased to say that my family and I use such quality products. These products work even for friends of mine who are extreme athletes working out in extreme heat and humidity. If made properly, natural products really can withstand all sports, endurance races, mud events, WOD (CrossFit for “work out of the day”) and athletic competitions.

Sourcing Quality Deodorant

If you find yourself throwing up your hands about the deodorants on the market that are either incredibly toxic or natural but completely ineffective as shown in this humorous video below, then click over to the Personal Care section of my Resources page to check out vendors that have products that actually work and won’t harm your health!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

 

Comments (177)

  1. We stopped using deodorants a long time ago. We found that in the absense of soaps, they are not as necessary. I sometimes use coconut oil as a deodorant. Salt water can also help, or grapefruit seed extract, or baking soda. But really, the whole body smells better without soap. Evidently, the skin tries to detox from the soap and produces unnatural, toxic-smelling odors. Baking soda does pretty well for cleansing, but without producing the odors.

    Reply
    • I make my own too from coconut oil, arrowroot and grapefruit essential oil! I have the same thing…I sweat, but don’t smell. Plus the arrowroot seems to absorb some of the wetness to I don’t get wet spots under my arms. This totally works and is totally cheap!

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    • I’ve been making it for years. Same recipe, but I added Shea Butter….I rarely sweat and have lots of friends who love it so much they buy it from me.

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    • I have been using this recipe for almost a year and wouldn’t use anything else! It works much better than any store bought, It takes about 15 minutes to make enough for 2 months. I pack it into empty Arm & Hammer deodorant containers. Works Great!

      Reply
  2. I have tried umpteen different natural brands and have tried making my own and NOTHING so far has worked and it has been a huge source of frustration because I walk around super self conscious and stinky!! At church especially people are constantly hugging me and we raise our arms to praise all that stuff and I am afraid people will smell me! two woman that I know that don’t wear deodorant had no idea just how bad they smelled. One of them was a doula for me at my home birth and smelling her pits was not fun in labor & delivery. SO. I just hope hope hope I can find one that will actually work because I am they type of person who not only had had to resort to using store brands but the prescription strength at that. I know it is bad for me but who wants to walk around wreaking!? I am going to see the one’s you recommend. *crossing fingers*

    Reply
    • Tiffany, I used to be the same way. I found I was deficient in magnesium and after I started supplementing and using magnesium oil I don’t smell nearly as bad. I have a lot of detoxing to do (which will cause odors), but it is sooo much better with magnesium. I am also going through menopause and imbalanced hormones can cause problems as well.

      Reply
        • This is really true. I make and use Mangesium “Oil” and provide directions for use. (It is really Magnesium salt that feels a little like oil when you put it on.) If you are not careful it can be an unpleasant experience to apply it. I sleep much better too.

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  3. I’m remain amazed! When I stopped eating grains of any kind, my body odors vanished. I can go 3 or 4 days without a shower, and typically just shower every other day. My morning breath is sweet. My visits to the bathroom are not recognizable. What it means to me is that these smells are toxicity in the body. Something is wrong. It’s just ain’t normal to smell bad. (I also eat very clean: http://youtu.be/Z9g_EGbnfxo)

    Reply
    • I realize you posted this almost a year ago, but PLEASE be careful about restricting grains from your diet like you have explained. Grains are the body’s main source of energy and that “sweet breath” that you are experiencing in the morning is a side effect of your body creating ketones. This process happens when your body doesn’t have enough outside energy, so your body starts breaking down your muscles for energy, resulting in an unstable byproduct which are the ketones. Because ketones are unstable, the kidneys can’t properly filter this from the body and the ketones build up and poison the body.

      Grains are an important part of body function and there are plenty of healthy natural grains such as quinoa, brown rice, granola, etc that can be eaten while remaining healthy.

      Just helpful information coming from a worried college student in the health sciences.

      Reply
  4. Cheeseslave once wrote about how stinky pits can signal a magnesium deficiency. My husband (a VERY hard worker) and I both can attest that when we are diligent to keep our magnesium levels up, arm pit odor disappears…. EVEN in the midst of very sweaty weather conditions! Sadly, though, we struggle to keep our mag levels high enough, so we go through long phases of odor.

    I totally also think detoxing is another factor to blame. When our bodies are trying to detox through the skin, no matter WHAT we do… the stench smells like rotting fast food. LOL. (And no… we never eat the stuff.) Very interesting. Detoxing foods from childhood?? ;)

    We do enjoy using homemade deodorant recipes and the ever so simple combo of coconut oil and shea butter. Just a tiny dab though, so you don’t get any on your clothes!
    Mindy, The Homespun ARTisan\’s last post: RESERVED FOR MICHELE R. – 25 Printed Cards by TheHomespunArtisan

    Reply
    • Interestingly, I’ve found that using magnesium topically is an absolutely phenomenal way to neutralize just about any kind of odor on the skin.

      Believe it or not, plain, unflavored milk of magnesia (which is simply magnesium hydroxide and purified water) is simply AMAZING for use as an underarm deodorant.

      Just shake the bottle well and dab a small amount on.

      Not only is it fantastic for stopping pit odors in their tracks, but it can also be used to get rid of fishy odors on hands after handling seafood, or just about any other kind of smell you may be dealing with on the skin.

      Personally I stopped using any kind of antiperspirant/deodorant decades ago, but I do like to use a little swipe of MOM under my arms before my public speaking events just in case.

      If you want to try it, be sure to only use the PLAIN UNFLAVORED kind. The ingredients should only be magnesium hydroxide and purified water.

      Reply
      • I also use milk of magnesia. It works great and is cheap. What I did was to buy a roll-on glass bottle to make application easier, especially when traveling. I got 2 the bottles for about $3 or $4 on e-bay.

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      • I saw the article Cheeseslave wrote and I tried MOM as well. It seemed to work for a couple dayse and then my stink came back. I don’t know what to do, I really wanted it to work!

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      • I was just about to suggest Milk of Magnesia, as well, when I saw others were already on the bandwagon, so I’ll just chime in with it’s effectiveness for our family. I put it in an old roll-on I had laying around to make it easy to use. It works better than any commercial deodorant (healthy or not!) I’ve ever used. I started using it before supplementing with magnesium, since which has kept the stink down even more effectively between “pit treatments”.

        Reply
    • Is it just me or does baking soda burn your skin? I used it several times as a deodarant and after several days I had very sore armpits!

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      • I’ve had the same thing happen to me, especially after waxing or shaving.. I am going to try to make my deodorant out of coconut oil and arrowroot powder instead of baking soda and see how that works

        Reply
      • Start with a small amount if it stings. If you use it right after quitting commercial it could irritate a bit. After a few weeks your body will adjust, but may never get irritated in the first place. We’ve been using a homemade deodorant with some baking soda for years. It even helped a friend who was prescribed a powerful deodorant for a sweating problem.

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  5. I stopped using deodorant 3 years ago. I went through an initial detox period where I had an increase in bad body odor, but I stuck with it. It took a couple weeks to adjust.

    I still use some soap — Dr. B’s peppermint. Because I shave and that helps lubricate my skin.

    After I get out of the shower, I pat on some dry baking soda and I’m good to go. Some days I skip the baking soda and I don’t have an odor problem.

    I read an internet tip which I try from time to time (more so at the beginning when I was adjusting) and this really worked for me. About 10 minutes before getting in the shower, swab your underarm area with apple cider vinegar. Rinse off in the shower, then use baking soda after getting out of the shower while skin is still damp.

    Not only is it so much healthier, but for me I found I do not have to buy any deodorant products any more! It caused me to question ALL of my “product” buying, and now in fact I buy very little: no shampoo/conditioner, no perfumes, no deodorant, no lotions, no toothpaste, no mouthwash, etc. I just use natural things like oils, baking soda, borax, apple cider vinegar. Cheap and healthy!

    Tiffany, I would suggest trying the apple cider vinegar before you shower, then baking soda after, and also do an inventory of all the products you currently use. For example, if you use shampoo, that rains down all over your body and is absorbed through your skin, and that also may be toxins your body needs to release. The other thing is that many problems stem from constipation — if that is blocked, then the toxins will come out through your skin, so consider your interior “terrain” as well. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Eliza,
      I could really use your tips on
      “”no shampoo/conditioner, no perfumes, no deodorant, no lotions, no toothpaste, no mouthwash, etc. I just use natural things like oils, baking soda, borax, apple cider vinegar. Cheap and healthy!”

      This is like a foreign language to me but I want to learn! Will you share your recipes on the above mentioned?

      Reply
      • Bev, I did post about this below — probably posted over each other! :)

        But I’ll add a few things, and many other people are touching upon the same stuff, too.

        1. the internal “terrain” of your body is very important as to the health of your skin/external body. So, clean that up first (cleanses, starting with bowel, then liver/kidney/gall bladder, then bloodstream) and keep it clean, with wholesome foods.

        2. instead of perfume, I use an empty atomizer, fill with distilled water, small amount of vodka and a few drops of whatever essential oil. You can spray this on skin or hair or clothing (or use as room air freshener). I also add several drops of essential oil to my bath and it smells good on my skin afterwards. You can also mix the essential oil with another oil like coconut oil and put this on as a moisturizer.

        3. if you have dry skin, rub oil over your body BEFORE getting in the bath or shower.

        4. if you have foot fungus, grab a small handful of borax (20 mule team, in the laundry aisle) and rub all over your damp feet when getting out of the bath or shower. I do this in the evening before bed and leave it on (yes, it gets in the sheets…). But it really kills the fungus and leaves your feet smooth. Dry, cracked feet can be a sign of foot fungus! Not just dry skin.

        5. I do not wash my face with soap. I don’t wear makeup. I just massage oil into my face and rinse it off. I vary the types of oils I use: coconut, castor, olive, wheat germ. I don’t make recipes. I just use the oil “straight up.” My skin is clear, smooth, soft, glowing. No need for makeup!

        6. I don’t have a specific hair routine. It varies depending on the state of my hair on any given day. Some days I just rinse. Other days I use the baking soda or borax. Some days I rinse with nettle tea (steeped for 30 minutes, then diluted in cool water) which is good for the hair. I do not color my hair or use a dryer to style it. I have long, wavy hair and let it dry naturally. If my hair and scalp feel dry, sometimes I will rub my scalp with oil, leave on overnight, then rinse out in the morning. In this case, the borax does a more thorough job. There are a lot of natural shampoo “recipes” on the internet, so you can play around (honey, egg, etc.).

        7. Baking soda leaves your mouth feeling very fresh. You can brush with it, or a mix of baking soda and salt. If you also try oil pulling, it removes a lot of toxins/bad breath stuff. You can also dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide (diluted, food grade) and brush your tongue with that.

        8. Nail polish is also extremely toxic. I don’t do any of that stuff anymore — though I used to! Everything you put on your body is absorbed through your skin, so these chemicals in the products can be very harmful.

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  6. I use miessence ancient spice deodorant. It works nicely. Just a mixture of essential oils and spices. I believe that if the body is functioning correctly due to proper bowel health that the sweat should not smell bad. When I smell a bad smell in any of my bodily functions I know that something is wrong (breath, poo and sweat :)). I am currently addressing all my bodily functions to allow them to be back to the way they were created to be by doing the GAPS diet.

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  7. So a quick question about not using soaps… what do you use then??? To wash your pits and privates? Feet? My mom said I had horrible B.O. at the age of 2. Primale Pit Paste is the only natural deodorant I saw in the resources page and it absolutley does not work for me, niether does coconut oil. I have been using salt crystal which I thought was healthy….
    what do you use for shampoo, and soap, and deodorant?????

    Reply
    • Bev, I still use soap sometimes but not as much as I used to. Just a small amount and only where I think I need it (pits, privates, or to help get off dirt). Some people think you should never use soap and don’t need it. I’m not quite there yet…. I alternate between Dr. B’s castile soap (peppermint) and Dudu African black soap.

      Sometimes I cleanse with olive oil — rub on the olive oil, massage it in before I shower. Then rub off excess with a towel. Then shower. No soap.

      For hair, I wash it either with baking soda or borax powder dissolved in water, and finish with an apple cider vinegar or lemon juice rinse (diluted in water). I rinse off the rinse. I finish up with a few drops essential oil in water, pour over my head and leave on. Smells good. To condition, if it needs it, I put on a bit of aloe gel and/or coconut oil. I find that I do not need to use the borax/baking soda every day, since I’m not using shampoo any more, my scalp does not overproduce oils. I do, however, rinse my hair in the shower every day.

      and then, deodorant as in my post above: if you need a bit of extra help, swab with apple cider vinegar about 10 minutes before your shower. Wash as usual. Then dab on dry baking soda while your skin is damp.

      Reply
    • Thank you for your recipe Sarah! However, baking soda is a naturally aluminum free substance, regardless of what the label says.

      Reply
  8. After trying a number of natural deodorants that don’t work, I’ve been happy with lifestinks (http://www.duggansisters.com/lifestinks/), which is made from aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate and essential oils. I have noticed that if I am detoxing, I have stronger body odor, but lifestinks has worked well for me when I need it.

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  9. Wait so I just looked at my deoderant and it has potassium alum in it? does that mean it has aluminum? I am so frustrated as all this time I thought it was safe.

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  10. Thanks for the tips! what is a good way to boost magnesium? I wondered if I had an issue with it because whenever I had ever tried to give up grains to help my PCOS symptoms I got extreme leg cramps and read that it could be magnesium.

    I had a friend try the primal pit paste and it didn’t work for her either. Pretty disheartening. all of my products are natural except the deodorant.

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    • Tiffany can you buy Nigari or magnesium chloride from the chemist. I don’t know whether Nigari is safe since the nuclear leak in Japan (any specialists out there?) but it should get you Mg levels up!!! Also very good for the immune system I believe…

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  11. I’m struggling with DIY deodorant. I’ve used the coconut oil, arrowroot, baking soda, and essential oil mix and I sweat like crazy. I can deal with that, but I stink too, and that’s not cool. It’s disgusting! And I’m just sitting at my desk all day, I can’t imagine working out in the heat/humidity!

    Reply
  12. I like to make my own using coconut oil and baking soda, sometimes with a drop or two of lavender. I also like Tropical Traditions deodorants.

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  13. I think people can over complicate themselves by removing a product then still remaining in the consumer mind set. For example, you remove conventional made deodorant, shampoo, or toothpaste, but still remain fixed on the IDEA that you NEED some version of that product. You believe you need shampoo to wash your hair or toothpaste to clean your teeth.

    When you start thinking back where you got these IDEAS, it was just the way you did it as a kid. I would say when you start thinking you NEED something, think back from WHERE you got that idea/belief. You may open your mind to possibilities.

    About me, I have stopped using shampoo twice, first a failure, second its been a success. I remember as a kid I would never brush my teeth…. never! Gross, eh? Funny thing was I never had any cavities. Aside from some plaque my teeth were perfect. Come university and I was brushing my teeth times a day with toothpaste. Guess what I got? My first cavity!

    From all these stories, I’d say experiment and listen to your body. I find using coconut oil, as many of you ladies suggest, works great, and a pinch of baking soda if needed takes away any chance of smelling for me.

    Reply
    • Josh, I totally agree! Once I got out of the mindset of having to have a “product” including the idea that I needed to mess around with a “recipe” to create my own homemade “product,” I was a lot freer!

      I had the same experience as a kid — I brushed often when I was little and had cavities. When I was about 12, I stopped brushing with toothpaste (just used baking soda *sometimes*) and no new cavities since then. I am 50 years old.

      Synde, makeup is a totally personal choice. I wore makeup myself for many years and felt that I “had to” or didn’t look good without it, or that my job “required” it to look professional. About 5 years go I just stopped. I look fine/pretty without it. My skin is flawless without all that junk I used to put on. I don’t even have dry lips anymore, I just “moisturize” with olive or coconut oil. The glow from that is pretty. Just saying, you might come to a similar conclusion — don’t need makeup. One less thing to buy, and natural beauty really is a beautiful thing. The other thing is…. you don’t need to worry about it lasting through the day! or those awful chemicals.

      Reply
      • Jennifer, I often see Arbonne recommended, but I can’t seem to find a list of their ingredients online. I do know the smell of the products I’ve opened makes me have difficulty breathing, so I’m thinking it can’t be all good for me, but I don’t know what is in their products. Do you have a link to ingredients somewhere?

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        • If you ask any Arbonne Independent Consultant for the ingredients in a certain product, they can get them for you. I know this because I distribute in the UK. If you want more information please ask. They do sell a deodorant!

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    • I did a lot of research on this a few months back and found 100% Pure to be the best I found. They and every other company I found still had titanium dioxide in their foundation but their lipsticks etc… seemed very clean. I’ve used their lip pencil, lip stick and lip glosses as well as their foundation (only occasionally though) blush and eye shadows. So far their products seem good to me. However I will say I’m a put lipstick on daily but save the rest for Sunday kinda girl.

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  14. I understand and can appreciate the reasons why you shouldn’t use them — however, what about those of us who perspire heavily? I’ve tried not using anything that wasn’t “natural” and ended up with wet armpits all the time, even after a “detox” from antiperspirants. Seriously unattractive, NOT professional and probably actually detrimental to the career.

    BTW — I have never used antiperspirants under my breasts and my white cotton bras are all yellowed from perspiration stains at the front bottom, way far away from the underarm part.

    Reply
  15. Casey Staats via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I had a thermogram back in early September. It showed a lot of heat in my armpit area. I immediately stopped using deodorant with aluminum. I had a second thermogram in November (to establish a baseline) and that area was almost completely clear. Amazing!

    Reply
  16. I have tried just about every natural deodorant on the market and NONE have worked for me. Its embarrassing and a hassle to have to reapply the natural ones like six times a day. Can anyone recommend a good natural deodorant for someone in my position? Also, yes, I have tried many homemade versions too and none of those worked either. :(

    Reply
  17. Lizzy Sharp via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I have gone through every natural deodorant known to man kind… And the only thing that works for me is peppermint oil. That stuff is strong and protects you from odor all day long. Just a little FYI for the tougher individuals out there…

    Reply
  18. Lizzy Sharp via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I swear essential peppermint oil will keep the odor away…If you can handle smelling like a candy cane…I highly suggest it…

    Reply
  19. Elizabeth Anne via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    There used to be one by LUSH that worked for me, but of course, they stopped making it. I went back to regular stuff for a while. Now I’m just using coconut oil, and being a bit smelly. Has anyone tried that recipe that is cocoa butter, shea, clay, and EOs?

    Reply
  20. LOL…love the Portlandia link…I sometimes feel just like that. I don’t want all those toxic ingredients, but I don’t want to stink either. And Tiffany, thanks for keeping it real! “smelling her pits was not fun during labor and delivery”. I thought I would fall out of my chair!

    Reply
    • haha! it’s funny now but boy o boy! my midwife had to have a talk with her told her that being natural was cool and all but not at a home birth! not cool. haha

      Reply
  21. Karen Henshaw via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    The only natural that has worked for me is the Thai Crystal deodorant stone. I have learned that it’s most effective if my underarms are shaved and I’m fresh out of the shower when I apply it.

    Reply
    • I like the Thai Crystal deodorant stone very much and have been using it for years. But, it has alum in it — is that aluminum?

      Reply
  22. Donielle Michele via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, tea tree oil and peppermint oil. Mix and keep in fridge. I’ve been using it for about a year now and it WORKS :)

    Reply
  23. Crystal Christensen via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I’m using coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda with a bit of essential oil. It’s working great!! I sweat easily too and I have not had any issues. I have found that you need apply it a bit later after shaving to prevent irritation and you only need a small amount. I’m happy and so are my pits:)

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  24. P., just a thought/question — do you use natural fiber clothing in addition to bras? That can make a difference, as many synthetics do not allow your skin to breathe. Even synthetic blends can be problematic.

    Also, do you have a stressful job or notice the times of day you are perspiring heavily vs other times when you are not? This question is because perspiration can be induced by emotions — releasing toxins which need to leave the body. Many people do perspire from fear, for example. That being said, mind over matter can sometimes work (self calming to reduce perspiration-inducing reactions to situations), if that applies to your situation.

    Reply
  25. try making your own! works for us. also, nothing is going to work quite like toxic chemicals do. Get lots of magnesium, and just get accustomed to the natural odor that is you! it gets better, i promise. I used to be one that used the “most aluminum avaliable without a perscription” gal. now I don’t even wear deodorant most days.

    Reply
  26. Laura Cortes via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing and its true I have been back and forth on the issue I buy natural and its breaks me out or dosent work in the summer I dont have a lot of body oder or sweat but I always go back to the Secret..cuz yes I like the smell. and it works!! so I’m torn

    Reply
    • Lea,

      We have switched almost all our products needs to Bubble and Bee and love them all! Homemade sounds interesting, but we are not quite ready to go there just yet. We love the spray deodorant the best, didn’t have good luck with the “Pit Putty”.

      Reply
  27. I tried 5 different natural deodorants like Jason and Tom’s and they all gave me rashes. On top of that I am a heavy sweater and I would have to apply them constantly throughout the day and I still smelled. I finally decided to just buy Toms deodorant with aluminum because its the only one that works and at least it doesn’t have parabens, silicones, and petroleum. I hate that I’m still applying aluminum to my skin but I feel hopeless!!

    Reply
  28. I tried 5 different natural deodorants like Jason and Tom’s and they all gave me rashes. On top of that I am a heavy sweater and I would have to apply them constantly throughout the day and I still smelled. I finally decided to just buy Toms deodorant with aluminum because its the only one that works and at least it doesn’t have parabens, silicones, and petroleum. I hate that I’m still applying aluminum to my skin but I feel hopeless!!

    Reply
  29. Sara Elizabeth via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    U know what works the best! Plain old Walgreens brand milk of magnesia!! Just massage it under your armpits and i use cool setting on blow dryer to.dry it quick!!! Works better.then EVERYTHING natural I have tried!!!!

    Reply
  30. Violet Revo via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Bubble and bee make the best deodorants I’ve used. I first apply their spray and then the pit putty cream. Works awesome. So does face naturals. Soapwalla makes a very popular one that everyone swears by, it irritates my skin though.

    Reply
  31. I make one with coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, and vitamine E oil…I think the vitamin E is what really helps it to not cause a rash. I used to add an essential oil but that caused a rash too so I stopped, but I was using a citrus oil so that could have been part of it. I love it and have not had ANY problems with smelling…it’s been great. For those asking for a recipe…Private message me and I’ll send it to you!

    Reply
  32. Well, I was wondering if anyone has found a good dishwashing liquid/soap. Even the more natural liquids have sodium lauryl sulfate. I’m always washing dishes and I hate knowing that my hands are in these chemicals. I’ve tried using borax…all kinds of soaps and I usually end up with slimy dishes. I’d appreciate any insight in this area. Thanks

    Reply
  33. Lisa Pipella via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    what about Toms brand? when we switched from the bad store brands we did a detox for about 2 weeks and stunk to high heaven. after letting our body rid itself of all those chemicals we use Toms and it works wonders! i use it every 2 to 3 days and i work out 5 days a week. So does Toms have bad stuff in it?

    Reply
  34. Jared Diller via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Ours has Baking soda,coconut oil, and arrowroot. You can add Essential Oils if you want. It works VERY well.

    Reply
    • Mine too! Just trying to find a way that I can store it somewhere besides in the fridge..the coconut oil causes it to leak when it gets soft :(

      Reply
  35. Meredith Patterson Rusthoven via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Seriously – MILK OF MAGNESIA just like Sara Elizabeth said above. It is the BEST. NO ODOR!! Amazing :)

    Reply
  36. Giving up conventional deodorant was tricky, since I’m a ballet teacher. I didn’t want to smell bad around my armpit-tall students. I use a salt crystal that is free of fragrance, paraben, and aluminum chlorohydrate, just ammonium alum (natural mineral salts).

    The biggest thing that has made a difference for me is magnesium, like has been mentioned on Cheeseslave’s and Gutsy’s blogs. I use a spray on my torso, belly especially, and absorb it transdermally. When I keep up with that daily, I just don’t smell at all. Sounds crazy, but whatever works, right? I started the magnesium for other reasons, but as side effects go, lack of body odor is okay by me.

    Reply
  37. Jeremy 'n Bonny via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks! I knew deodorant was bad, but just didn’t know how bad nor about an alternative yet. I’m throwing out our deodorants today. =)

    Reply
  38. I use a mix of baking soda for odor, coconut oil for skin conditioner, and cornstarch to absorb. All organic of course. If works fantastic! Better than any deodorant I have ever bought. I don’t stink at all if I use it.

    Reply
  39. Adam-and Michelle Ladkins via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Bi carb soda does a wonderful job. No mixing ingredients, just sprinkle a little in your hands and then rub on under your arms. A true deodoriser, if you forget to put it on and get smelly you can still use it – it gets rid of any smells instantly! I used to not be able to wear deodorise because of a shocking rash. This works, is natural and is very cheap too!

    Reply
  40. I use coconut oil/baking soda for underarms, baking soda for washing hair and apple cider vinegar for conditioning. For me, there is nothing better than homemade.

    Reply
  41. Anne Shantz via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I made some of the coconut oil deoderant, and it worked great, until I started getting large painful pustules under my arms. They went away as soon as I went back to storebought.

    Reply
  42. I ran out of my Bob’s Red Mill “Aluminum Free” Baking Soda so I went to my local health food store to replace it because I use it in baking several times a week and was extremely excited to make my 1st batch of homemade deodorant. It turns out that Bob’s Red Mill changed their baking soda package and it no longer says “aluminum free.” I was told that Bob’s Red Mill baking soda is made from the deposits of mineralized sodium bicarbonate and therefore contains small traces of aluminum so they can no longer claim it is “aluminum free.” Is this small trace of “natural” aluminum safe or is this a different issue all together? I get so confused and hung up on these technicalities!

    Reply
  43. Katrina Glasgow via Facebook February 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Anne Shantz, that may have been your body detoxing, or you may need to remove an essential oil (if you added one) or add some cornstarch to balance out the bicarb soda :)

    Reply
  44. I use Bubble and Bee’s Pit Putty. They make a stick, but I find it a bit too crumbly. I have to keep it the refrigerator. For the past year or so I have been using their pit putty cream. Love it. Wonderful organic scents to choose from – geranium lime; jasmint; lemon and clove; orange vanilla; spearmint and tea tree; and patchouli.

    Reply
    • I use approximately equal parts of each. I just remembered that I also add some beeswax, maybe a Tbsp (if you are doing about 1/4 cup of each of the other ingredients). The beeswax helps keep it from getting too runny when it’s warm out.

      Reply
    • I use two fingers and rub a tiny smear of coconut oil and then dab with a cotton ball that I kept in a small jar of baking soda over my armpits. ( very small amounts of both) It has worked for months now and the b soda helps to kept the pits dry . When I was using just baking soda my armpits developed a sore rash. Very simple and really works!

      Reply
  45. Firstly, wash your underarms with water only. Soap dries out and irritates your underarm skin so it wants to sweat and detox more. Women should try and cut back on shaving too.

    Second, you might find you can eliminate one or two foods in your diet that make you smell worse. Look it up. I believe one of the foods is garlic.

    Third, add ginger to your diet, vegetable juices etc. I think cucumber helps too.

    Lastly, a little fresh lemon or lime juice under the arms works to take the smell away. I know this doesn’t sound appealing to women you shave frequently. I’ve heard coconut oil works too.

    Reply
  46. Just natural and avalon body washes and shamposs are awesome! They are topping the most natural and I love them! Then I use the conditioner all over as well and something about the natural oils! You are right about the Braggs Natural apple cider vinegar in the shower then use the natural products to follow… Arm&Hammer has an essential line that is natural oils too and it works pretty good…
    Toothpaste natures gate toothpaste at health foods is best followed with organic coconut oil, peppermint oil and spearmint oils.. I have been told these oils can work as deodorants as well, they are safe and if they work so well to kill bacteria in your mouth then they will def work to kill bacteria under your arms naturally…

    Reply
  47. We use NOW Organic brand. It is the only natural one that works for us. I tried making my own with baking soda, coconut oil and arrowroot powder, but it broke my underarms out. It did work though and I did not smell. Sarah, do you know about the NOW brand. Is it ok?

    Reply
  48. Chlorella. It’s internal deodorant. It will detox you and rid you of body odor. I have not worn deodorant, store-bought or natural since last July. I keep taking any chlorella supplement daily because it keeps me clean.

    Reply
  49. I have tried all of the non toxic deodorants including crystal and Toms and they didn’t work. Ava Anderson deodorant is the only natural deodorant that actually works! It is paraben, aluminum, and fragrance free!

    Reply
  50. I have never really used deodorant. My mom was sensitive to it so she just taught me to wash instead. Neither of us ever had a problem.

    Now I use oil cleansing for my face (if anything), baking soda with water and essential oils for my hair, and homemade magnesium lotion for skin. I don’t have a problem ever. I do not really buy personal care products at all except for the occasional bottle or bar of pure castile soap (made from just saponified plant oils) for hand washing or other random uses. We just don’t need it. It’s frugal too!
    Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: How to Show Respect Even When You Disagree

    Reply
  51. I am a big supporter of natural deodorants. Thank you for the “recipes”. One note, however, about the article. “Alum” is a naturally occuring crystal compound and is completely different from the metal Aluminium. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples as a food additive with medicinal properties and yes, as a deodorant. It is very popular in Ayurvedic medicine and other Eastern traditional cultures. It does share some chemical compounds with metalic aluminium, but is not the same.

    Reply
  52. I wash my face and underarms with raw local honey, then use my homemade moisturizer on both and haven’t been stinky since I started doing this. I have tested this out by going 4 days without bathing or using anything extra and not been stinky. I don’t hardly even sweat much anymore even though we keep our thermostat at 77 to 78 degrees.
    1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
    1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
    1.1 oz beeswax
    1 oz sweet almond oil
    1 2/3 cups food grade aloe vera gel
    10 drops tea tree essential oil
    10 drops lavender essential oil
    10 drops sweet orange oil
    Melt beeswax and coconut oil in double boiler, add other oils, then start blending with a stick blender as you slowly add the aloe vera gel.
    This is almost the only thing I use anymore for moisturizing everywhere and for deo.
    Wynette\’s last post: Products

    Reply
  53. I used to make my own coconut oil, arrowroot and baking soda deodorant, and I found it worked extremely well. I would still sweat, but I didn’t stink. Now, I just swab on some Bragg’s ACV with a cotton ball. It works just as well. I have a very physical job in extremes of temperature so I perspire a lot. When I used store bought deodorant, I often stunk by midway through the day. Now, I don’t. If I’m having a quiet day and wearing natural fibers, I can even skip the ACV for a day and I don’t smell. But if I’m working and wearing my polyester uniform, I need the ACV.

    I have noticed if I’m eating more SAD food, I have more odor. If I’m eating a proper traditional diet, I don’t. Sugar seems to have a negative effect on the smell of my body.

    Reply
  54. I haven’t used deodorants for many years.
    I use apple cider vinegar with aromatherapy oils and I put them into a roll on bottle. My favorite oil is Neroli. The deodorant is very gentle on the skin, the ACV is anti bacterial and gets rid of the smell. I still sweat on hot days, but that is good as the toxins are coming out.
    I have tried baking soda, but I found that it irritates my skin.

    Reply
  55. Take an inexpensive probiotic from a capsule, mix in a little water and apply to the underarms. It attacks any bad bacteria and is an effective deodorant.

    Reply
  56. What I find works great for me is: find an empty spray bottle, add a base oil and mix in an essential oil ( I use lavender because it is antibacterial). In the morning I just take a small scoop of baking soda, spray some of my lavender concoction and make a paste and then rub it into my armpits. It never fails me. Just a note: if you don’t rub it in well enough it will come off on your clothes, I have worn black shirts before without the staining or stinking just keep in mind to rub it in. My family used to complain of my armpit smell, as soon as I started using this recipe all the complaining stopped. I used to use the crystal deodorant but it stopped working for me, and I found that I always got extremely smelly immediately after ingesting any kind of sugar… I followed a good diet to keep the smell under control, but it’s hard, especially in college when you can’t always prepare all of your meals. My homemade deodorant works even after I eat sweets

    Reply
  57. There is a new 100% natural scentless all body deodorant which is 24 hours or more effective, It’s called MgDeo, short for Magnesium Deodorant its water based, so no oiliness and mess, it has dead sea minerals, organic food grade ingredients, and vitamins, no aluminum, no baking soda, I read the ingredients list, and its clean from nasty chemicals, my wife is using it also while breast feeding, two pregnant woman in my family too, they are vegans, use gluten free products, and nature freaks. Works great for me. http://www.onlygoodnessinside.com

    Reply
  58. Alum is just as bad as aluminum–http://press.herbalix.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-aluminum-free-and-crystal-body-deodorant/

    I’m a big fan of the Herbalix deodorants. I’m fairly stinky (still working on getting healthy from the inside out) so I like their Geranium and Tropic Cove. They have a lighter Rose and an unscented as well.

    Oh, and their Supreme Solution is the best for oil cleansing on my face and for shaving. Just delicious, and a smidgen goes a looong way.

    Reply
  59. We all use plain ol’ baking soda over here, sprinkled onto the hands and rubbed on, leaning over the sink! ;D It works just fine and I never have any odors or wetness!

    Reply
  60. I was disappointed when I realized that the first ingredient in the deodorant I had been getting from the health food co-op, Dry By Nature Deodorant by Desert Essence, was PROPYLENE GLYCOL, a toxin used in antifreeze.

    I have since switched to homemade using coconut oil, aluminum free baking soda by Bob’s Red Mill, and a drop or two of lavender oil. I alternate between this and the Frankincense deodorant by Tropical Traditions which is lovely!

    Reply
  61. My mother had rosacea on her face for years and had been treated by a dermatologist with no effect. As soon as she stopped using deodorant it cleared up and hasn’t returned since!

    Reply
  62. I have been trying to switch to more natural nontoxic products as my traditional more toxic ones run out. I have a maybe stupid question… what do you do with all the lotions, body products, and smelly stuff that you receive as gifts? Do you just throw it all out? Re-gift it?

    Reply
  63. Thank you to everyone who recommended milk of magnesia. It’s working great for me.
    Has anyone tried putting it in a roll on deodorant bottle and where can you buy an empty one? I have a trip coming up and would like to avoid bringing my whole bottle of milk of magnesia.

    Reply
  64. I’ve tried EVERYTHING natural to combat odor with no avail. I found something that does work, but it makes my armpits nearly black… Every natural deodorizer does. I know a lot has to do with diet, but what can one do about dark armpits which was not an issue with store bought products…

    Reply
  65. I’d been use standard anti-perspirants for all of my life until I read about the negative impact of aluminum on the brain and internal organs. I started using a product called Lavilin and can’t see myself ever switching back to anti-perspirants or any other deodorant for that matter. Lavilin is an awesome, all-natural deodorant that comes as a cream or a roll-on. Both work effectively for me, although I think the cream is probably better. Love the product.

    Reply
  66. Pingback: A Homemade Deodorant That Really Works | food to glow

  67. Herbalix makes a seaweed based nighttime Detox deodorant for cleaning the underarms. For most of us it takes 1-4 weeks for the underarms to clean out the cellular waste stagnating in the ducts. Think of our underarm as a trash can with a closed lid. The more one seals the armpits with antiperspirants and crystal style deodorant the more buildup of waste cells collect upstream. If you ever had a underarm rash from commercial deodorants your experiencing an allergic reaction to the aluminum salts working their way to the skin’s surface. Detox Deodorant can really clean up the body including the feet. The alum used in some antiperspirants/crystals is used to dye and dry out leather.

    Reply
  68. Jessie – much agreed about Lavilin. And I saw this review also – really incredible press!

    I would vouch for Lavilin over any other natural deodorant. It’s simply the best!

    Reply
  69. Pingback: Hooray! Natural deodorant that works! - Down to Earth Mother

  70. My company, Carefree Organics, has an organic deodorant that has been really taking off. It took us almost 2 years of research to get it right but its organic, has no chemicals and such, and ACTUALLY WORKS. I can say that with such confidence and it feels great. Over the last 10 years I cant even tell you how many organic and natural deodorants I tried that failed to work. Anyway, give us a try, I promise you will be happy with it: http://carefreeorganics.com/products.html#!/~/product/category=5032107&id=24359922

    Reply
  71. I understand using an alternative to store bought deodorant because of it’s link to breast cancer. But how in the world do people go without showers, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.? That’s only possible if you don’t work, go to school, or are in public for extended periods of time. I had an employee a couple of years ago that I was forced to have a few talks with because of our customers complaining about the body odor. I understand taking care of your body, but if chemicals in soap and shampoo are so alarming, there has to be hygiene products that are made with “real” natural ingredients. I’m sure you could also make your own soap with natural oils and such that are mentioned in previous comments. I just can’t see soap, shampoo, and toothpaste being so dangerous that uncleanliness would be chosen over good hygiene.

    Reply
  72. This statement is confusing: Sweating is good! Blocking sweat with anti-perspirant ingredients is an unhealthy practice and can cause blockage of toxins.

    Reply
  73. Pingback: Crystal Body Deodorant – The Best Deodorant! | Little Shop of Goodness

  74. Pingback: How Bad Antiperspirant is? - ZirYab's Body Brew Deodorants and Personal Products

  75. Pingback: Should you choose a safer deodorant? |

  76. Pingback: Homemade deodorant (that actually works!) | Leila Dishes

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  78. I’m a Lavilin guy myself. I play soccer all the time and found myself applying deodorant multiple times a day. These issues are real and it’s not worth it. I changed to the all-natural brand AND it only requires that I apply once (maybe twice) a week! I got used to it being a cream really quickly, that was really the only transition.

    Reply

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