Quite honestly, my transition to natural products had not been very difficult at all. I think people really underestimate the beauty of having Google and Pinterest at your fingertips. I mean, what a time to be alive, guys. But the one natural product that caused me the most difficulty has pretty much made up for the lack of collective difficulty I had anticipated.
Holy moly was this a smelly journey. But thankfully it had a happy ending. Really it should not be surprising because even the effectiveness of conventional deodorants vary from person to person as well, but I definitely just was not ready.
My deodorant journey began about three years ago. I was an avid Arm & Hammer Powder Fresh user pretty much from the time I realized there was life outside of Teen Spirit, and I could not praise it more. I never sweat, I always smelled wonderful, and it never competed with my perfumes. Perfection. But there came a point in which a painful lump formed in my armpit, and after about three days I went to Patient First. Long story short, I was told my deodorant was too effective and blocking my sweat glands, so I needed to switch to the gel form. After the initial relief that the diagnosis was nothing life-threatening, I spiraled into a deodorant depression and braced myself for a life of mediocre Secret deodorants that I would undoubtedly have to reapply at least three times a day.
Fast forward to earlier this year when I was telling this story to a cast mate who offered use of her deodorant when I complained about being smellly (I know, actors are gross and share everything). I had forgotten the medical term the doctor used for the clogged sweat glands, so I looked it up online and got distracted by the extensive amount of articles that came up drawing connections between the aluminum in deodorant and breast cancer and neurological disorders. And while those connections have not been proven yet, I can tell you that the aluminum mixing with your sweat is what is causing those yellow pit stains in your clothing. That’s right, folks, your sweat is not actually yellow and permanently staining your clothes!
How many white button downs could I have saved in all of my years of private schooling?
Anyway, so once I was low enough on my Ooh La La Lavendar Secret to justify buying new deodorant but have a safety net (hey, I’m human), I pretty much started throwing my money at every store that carried natural ones.
I bought this one online not realizing I could have purchased it at the Ulta down the street, but even without shipping, it cost a pretty penny. I chose this one because it seems to be a favorite among the natural deodorant bloggers; if it did not “win” a natural deodorant contest, I was a runner up. It’s a roll on, which did not bother me at all as I was used to gel deodorants, but anyone who only uses solids might find the time you have to wait for it to air dry annoying. The smell is fantastic and pretty gender neutral, both citrusy and woodsy. It worked pretty well, though I did feel I had to reapply after going to the gym if I wanted to run errands, and I was very impressed. However, as this deodorant was kind of expensive, I did more research to find alternatives and discovered that the primary ingredient for combating odor, alum stone, is still aluminum. I am nobody’s scientist, so I will not try to explain to you why they are different, but at the end of the day, many still are not sure if is linked to breast cancer and neurological disorders.
I have seen this brand in Wegman’s a lot and really like their shampoo and conditioner (more on that in another post), so I was excited to use this one. Tea tree oil is also probably my favorite essential oil of all time; it fights acne, it’s cleansing, and it smells great. The first two days I used this deodorant, I did not work out and the weather was pretty chilly, so I had a false sense of security in its effectiveness. The first day I wore this when I worked out, however … I had no choice but to run errands as I was out of food, and I was so embarrassed and felt terrible for anyone who came within four feet of me. Needless to say, I have not touched this deodorant since.
Calico Jack Spiced Mahogany Deodorant
Someone actually found this deodorant at a random farmer’s market, but otherwise you can purchase this deodorant online. I was hesitant initially because it is a solid, but there was absolutely no need. This deodorant is pretty incredible. It takes a little bit to get used to because you have to sit the deodorant on your armpit for a minute or so to warm it up so that it’s applicable (strange, I know), but every time I wear it, I do not need to reapply. And it smells wonderful, a little woodsy but sweeter, if that makes sense. It makes me think of fall. I only have two complaints about this deodorant. The first one is that when it is hot outside and you are sweaty, the deodorant will sort of liquefy and you will have visible white on your armpits. I think this was only a turn off for me though because I have no used a solid in so long. The second is that if you wear a lot of black, you have to play the how-to-strategically-get-dressed-so-that-deodorant-doesn’t-get-on-my-outfit game, again something I have not had to do since wearing a gel. But this deodorant is definitely here to stay, especially for the winter when I am wearing sleeves.
Primal Pit Stick Lavender
I was not even looking for a deodorant when this one came to me. I was walking around Whole Foods looking for natural sun screens and stumbled upon this deodorant. When I read the ingredients on the back, it did not seem too dissimilar from the Calico Jack deodorant, so I figured why not. Guys. I. Love. This. Deodorant. Though it’s no tea tree oil, I do really love lavender essential oil. And as the ingredients were similar, the results were similar. As we have hit 90 degree weather and I try not to drive with my AC on, I have had to reapply after working out, but not always, which is so surprising and impressive. You do have to let your armpit warm up this deodorant too, but it applies so smoothly. Also, this deodorant leaves absolutely no residue whatsoever. Since my purchase, this has become my predominant deodorant. The only thing about this deodorant is that baking soda is the first ingredient on the list, meaning there is a lot of it, so if you are prone to hyperpigmentation or are super duper sensitive, just be aware of that. BUT the super awesome thing about this company is that they literally have a deodorant for everyone. The Primal Pit Stick line of course appeals to those who want the conventional deodorant experience, the pastes come in light, regular, and strong, which refer to the amount of baking soda in each deodorant (so hypergimentation prone, try the light!), and the Happy Pits stick and Primal Pit Pumps (spray) are completely baking soda free. This deodorant is just great.
So I hope that my deodorant trials and tribulations will make your transition to natural deodorants much easier!