Natural deodorants: here’s my truth about my year-long experiment with aluminum-free deodorants.
Guys. We need to talk about natural deodorant. It’s a thing. And there’s a lot of kerfuffle about whether or not natural deodorants work. I’m sure you’ve read about how terrible regular deodorants are. How your aunt’s mom’s sister got breast cancer from using deodorant with aluminum.
I’m not here to dispute any of the aluminum arguments. I’ve read all the research. Aluminum isn’t awesome for you to ingest or apply topically, or to absorb into your skin. It’s aluminum.
HOWEVER. Some of us sweat like banshees. Some of us being me, and me, and me. Like ugly crying, but from my sweat glands.
So. About a year ago I ended up in bed for a month with a life-threatening Lupus flare-up. It was really bad. And the long and short of it is that my body basically reset itself while I was down. I hardly ate, or opened my eyes for that matter, for a whole month, and of course, I didn’t wear deodorant.
As I came out of my illness, I decided a couple of things: I hadn’t had caffeine for an entire month, so I decided I was going to quit caffeine, and start drinking only water, (goodbye, beloved Diet Dr Pepper!) and I was going to try natural deodorant.
I’d been curious about the deodorant thing for awhile, so it was a perfect time to go for it, with a fresh start. As for the caffeine, I don’t drink it anymore, and I can honestly say I don’t miss it, at all.
But the deodorant is another story altogether.
I did all kinds of research on the best natural deodorant and landed on two heavily recommended brands: Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream and Primal Pit Paste. Both brands have rock-star-level-fervor love from their users. I ordered both from Amazon and started using Soapwalla immediately.
I smelled bad, but I figured my body would eventually find an equilibrium and I would stop sweating, or at least stop smelling terrible after a few weeks.
I figured I’d try some cheaper grocery store brands in-between to see if either of those would cut through the smell. Both Soft & Dri and Tom’s failed me. They melted off my skin and left a faint trace of B.O. and essential oil on their way out. No bueno.
I went back to Soapwalla and tried it again for a few months, to no avail.
Next I went to Pit Paste. It didn’t work, but I used it for about 9 months, hoping eventually my body would figure it out. What happened is that by about 10 a.m. every day, I smelled like a pubescent teenager. I asked my husband if I smelled okay, he told me I smelled fine. I asked my son if I smelled good, he lied and said I smelled lovely. Then I asked my teenage daughter; I should’ve started with her. She told me I’d smelled like B.O. for almost a year and it was time to go back to my regular deodorant, and she was totally right.
So after a year, 2 very highly recommended natural deodorant brands and 2 grocery store brands later, I’ve switched back to my “regular” deodorant, and together we smell just fine. Like baby powder, actually.
“Natural” deodorant might work great for you. And if you’re that person, I congratulate you. But odds are, if this stuff works for you, you probably don’t sweat a whole lot normally, with or without deodorant. It’s always worth a shot to see if you can incorporate chemical free, natural deodorants into your life. But if you end up smelling like B.O., don’t feel bad about going back to the regular stuff. We’re all human.