Similar to natural sunscreen, the biggest question we get when it comes to natural deodorant is – does it work? The short answer is – yes of course, but you have to do some trial and error to find that one that best suits your scent and style. So we’ve broken down the types of natural deodorants out there to hopefully ease the process of picking one.
But first, why should you care about choosing natural for under your ‘pits? As with many conventional products like shampoos, body lotions and cosmetics, conventional deodorants have a lot of hidden chemicals in them. The biggest culprits in conventional deodorants are aluminum and talc (which is found in baby powder). Aluminum toxicity has been linked to Alzheimer’s, dementia and hormonal imbalances while talc has seen direct links to breast and ovarian cancer (1).
With natural deodorants you can rest assured there is no aluminum, talc or chemical perfumes in them. And at Community Natural Foods, we screen all of our products to ensure they are myCNF Verified.
We should also de-bunk what deodorant’s role is. Deodorants don’t stop you from sweating – they de-odorize your sweat just like their name entails. Sweating is a natural bodily function…in fact you WANT to sweat as it releases toxins from your body and helps maintain your overall body temperature. But sweating isn’t the most sexy bodily function (and if you’ve ever had to take fenugreek supplements you know exactly what I’m talking about) so deodorants sure help you smell fresh and more easy to be around. But which type of natural deodorant is best for you? There are 5 types we carry at Community Natural Foods that you won’t put up a stink over.
Applying with Finger
Some people find it gross to rub their fingers in their armpits so this may not be the best deodorant for everyone (though I have found these types to be the best of the natural deodorants). Jarred deodorants, like Routine & Veggie Witch are typically more expensive because you’re using way less. From personal experience, I use less than a pea size amount on my finger every day (twice a day if I work out) and a 60mL jar will usually last me 10 months to a year. Routine is the one deodorant that have got me through some of my stinkest moments, I find it works the best and is worth the upfront cost.
The most common & familiar style of deodorant is of course, the stick. The conventional deodorants often use aluminum-based ingredients, as well as petroleum-based ingredients and fragrances. Petroleum is a known carcinogenic which means it can be linked to many diseases and illnesses. Luckily, natural deodorant don’t have any of these nasty ingredients in them! Plus the natural deodorants are scented with essential oils rather than a chemical cocktail of perfumes. There are many scents to choose from and there are some that work better than others. Truthfully, it comes down to how much you're sweating. Some of the stick deodorants that I have found to work best for me are Every Man Jack, Green Beaver and Thirsty Naturals.
Anti-perspirants stop you from perspiring (unlike deodorant which just masks the smell). The idea of anti-perspirants is that it blocks the pores of our skin and our sweat glands so that we don’t sweat. Like conventional deodorants, anti-perspirants have commonly been seen to have aluminum from the aluminum salts that are said to reduce sweat. If you have a big presentation coming up and would like to avoid having sweat stains on your shirt, anti-perspirant might be the way to go and you’re in luck because Green Beaver has recently come out with a natural, aluminum free anti-perspirant. It uses their NaturaDri™ technology that “forms a natural barrier with jojoba and mimosa flower wax” to keep your ‘pits dry. Anti-perspirants shouldn't be used every day as you want to let your pore breath and let your sweat glands do their work, but if you know you've got something coming up that you might be sweating over, then definitely try Green Beaver anti-perspirant.
No this doesn’t mean you’re rubbing rocks on your under arms. This type of deodorant is made of natural mineral salt which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties to keep the stink at bay. It’s baking soda-free and doesn’t include any sort of starches (like corn starch or arrowroot powder that you may find in other natural deodorants). So if you find that the baking soda or starchy deodorants irritate your skin, then a crystal deodorant, like the brand Lafes might be the best one for you! The nice thing about Lafes deodorants is that they are incredibly affordable. To use it, simply wet the crystal and rub it on your clean underarms, and just like that you’ll be stink-free for the day. While I have personally never used Lafes or any other crystal deodorant, my mom is all about it and claims it works for her!
Make Your Own
It’s super easy to make a customizable deodorant that suits your scent & sweat. I’ve made this recipe many times and it has gotten me through workouts and hot days in the sun. The only downside to this one that I have found is that it will melt if you leave it in any warm area so be sure to keep it out of the sun and store it in a cool place in the house. This is not the deodorant you want to take camping - I learned that from personal experience.
¼ cup coconut oil
2 tbsp arrowroot powder**
1 tbsp baking soda
25 drops of essential oil (my favourite combo is 15 drops lavender and 10 drops lemon)
deodorant stick container
Heat the coconut oil in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top until it’s melted.
Remove from heat and mix in arrowroot powder and baking soda until smooth.
Drop essential oil into the mixture and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into the deodorant stick container (make sure the bottom of the stick is at the bottom of the container).
Put in the fridge to harden overnight.
Once hardened, the deodorant is ready to use and can be kept in the bathroom.
**if you want to make an apply with finger deodorant, use 1 tbsp arrowroot powder and a glass jar.