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Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

About a year ago I decided I wanted to switch to an all-natural deodorant. I’d been reading a lot about the toxins contained in heavy metals and how they can affect our health, and the idea of rubbing aluminum on my arm pit and let’s face it, right by my boob everyday kind of freaked me out. I know the effects of deodorant are controversial, but I decided I’d rather be on the safe side. Since then, I’ve gone through 7 different natural deodorants. Lucky for all of you, I’ve decided to write this blog post so you don’t have to go through the same experiment. You’re welcome.

Before I get to my reviews, you need to hear a few words about my natural deodorant journey. I call it a journey because I need enticing words to make a story about deodorant more exciting as it is not itself a thrilling topic. Back  to my story.

My Deodorant Journey

A year ago when I decided to make the change, I almost quit after a week. We were driving home from Utah at the end of the kids’ spring break and I was driving. I had my hands up on the wheel and smelled something awful. You know when someone walks past you in the grocery store and you gasp at the shock of BO that accompanies them? It was like that. I turned to yell at my husband for smelling bad when I realized… IT WAS ME!! I smelled worse than a skunk at a manure party (if there is such a thing). I turned to Dr. Google and learned that it takes time for our bodies to detox all the crap we’ve been using in regular, grocery store deodorant. And that detox is a smelly, smelly process. After about 2 weeks, I stopped smelling like a foot and started smelling like… a person. First hurdle done.

Why Natural Deodorant May Never Work For You

A second note about natural deodorant. Sweat is one way we clear toxins out of our systems. If your system is toxic, the worse you’ll smell when those toxins make their way out of your body. What makes us toxic? Eating crappy, processed, artificial food; drinking alcohol; smoking; using dangerous products, etc. The more you have to detox, the worse you smell. When I go on a crap food binge (yes, it happens), I can smell it on myself. If you don’t change your other habits, no amount of natural deodorant can make you smell like a petunia.

The Compromise You Will Have to Make

I promise this is the last thing I have to let you know before I get to my deodorant rankings. Some natural deodorants work better than others as antiperspirants, but nothing is going to work as well as traditional deodorant. On hot days, I often go around with pit stains. The difference is, I don’t have BO. I don’t smell bad, I just look kind of tacky. Like I said, this isn’t daily and my favorite deodorant gets the top ranking because of it’s antiperspirant power, but there is nothing natural that can stop it permanently. If I’m going to be somewhere I know I’ll sweat more, I wear dark clothing. I’ve had to go into bathrooms and dry my pits. I’ve had to bring my deodorant and reapply. I’ve had to change my shirt half way through the day. These are compromises I’ve had to make. I’ve decided this is worth it and I’ll tell you why.

A few months ago I was tired of wet pits and decided life was short and I was going to spend it wearing sweat-stopping deodorant. I went back to my standard deodorant… for three days. One day three I had a particularly sweaty day. The first thing I noticed; the smell. I smelled so bad. The knowledge that the smell came from all the dangerous chemicals I was rubbing on my body did it for me. I decided it wasn’t worth it. Now i’m fully converted and can’t go back.

My Favorite Deodorants

First off, I did like all the deodorants I tried. I only tried ones that got great reviews online, so I’m raking the best of the best natural deodorants. Here is my list from least to most favorite and why they achieved their ranking.

7. Primal Pit Paste Stick (Click for Link)

While I liked the fact that this came in a stick I didn’t like what it did to my clothing. It actually was a fairly good antiperspirant, but it ruined several shirts. This smells good, works well, but it’s not worth it to me.

6. Piper Wai (Click for Link)

This was the first one I tried. It took care of the smell and blocked sweat but I didn’t like that I had to rub it on with my fingers and the smell was a bit strange to me. It’s made from charcoal and therefore didn’t smell as good as the other deodorants I tried.

5. Primal Pit Paste (in a jar) (Click for Link)

This wasn’t as good at blocking sweat as the stick version, but it still worked well. It blocked smells, kept me dry fairly well and didn’t ruin my clothing. Again, it didn’t get a higher ranking because I had to scoop it out with a stick and rub it on my pits. A good choice, but more work than I want to put in to putting on my deodorant.

4. Dragonfly Traditions (Click for Link)

This one smelled nice, came in stick form and didn’t ruin my clothing. It didn’t block moisture as well as others but did provide enough moisture blockage that I was happy to use the entire stick to the nub.

3. Schmidt’s Lavender Sage (Click for Link)

Even though this one only ranks 3rd on my list, it’s the one I wear most days because I’m OBSESSED with the smell (which is why I specifically mentioned the Lavender Sage scent). It blocks the smell really well, but isn’t as good at moisture blocking as my top two. Also (strange note), it’s a little painful to put on. It comes in stick form which I love, but the stick is pretty dry and it’s kind of rough on the pits. It doesn’t flake or come off in chunks, you just have to be a little tough to rub it on. But to me, it’s not a big deal. It’s inexpensive, easy to find (I get mine at Sprouts) and can get me through my normal routine. If I have an extra hard day (big workout, hot yoga in a room full of other people, or a social event that makes me nervous), I go with my #1 choice.

2. Native

Native ranks number two because it’s really good at blocking both moisture and odor. It comes in stick form, doesn’t irritate my skin and has a great smell. I don’t use it regularly because of how much I love the smell of Schmidt’s, but I do keep it on hand because it’s a great option.

1. Primally Pure

This gets my top ranking because it can carry a heavy sweat load and I love the smell. It’s got a bit of a sweet smell that makes me happy (good smells make me happy. Bad smells make me sad). My favorite scent is the Lavender. A few weeks ago I had to perform my flute in front of a big group of people and wore this. I came out dry and smelling great on the other end. YAY! I don’t wear this daily because it costs a bit more and I’m scared my body will adjust to it.

Remember, all bodies are different. What works well for one person may not work well for another. I’m a person who sweats a lot. I’m sure that says specific things about my body chemistry, hormone balance, etc. Since your make-up is different, deodorants may work differently for each of you. I would recommend any deodorant on this list as a good option.

May you always smell like a fresh spring day.

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