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Natural Deodorant Guidelines: I burned my pits!

It’s been quite some time since I last posted, three months to be exact. However, never fear because I am back baby!
I’m going to kick off my return with a story/informational post/cautionary tale. Sit back and relax as I weave you a tale about my natural deodorant journey.

Keep it Natural

A part of my ethical lifestyle efforts is completely overhauling the products I utilize on a daily basis. This ranges from clothing to makeup and female hygiene to regular hygiene, especially my deodorant. I’ve been on the quest to find a decent deodorant that meets all my criteria since giving up my old faithful Dove. Natural deodorant is suppose to be free of preservatives, aluminum, artificial fragrances, etc. I didn’t want chemicals clogging the pores of such a sensitive spot on my body, this and my efforts to lightening my pits after years of abuse, were the driving factors of my switch.

A few months ago I was contacted by a representative from reviews.com. They recently posted a Natural Deodorant Guide which fits perfectly with the motive of my blog. I have always intended to do a natural deodorant post for those that are looking for switch things up. I get a bit of questions about what types of products I use on a daily and deodorant is something I’m still trying to figure out. Let’s be realistic, no one wants to smell and while I maintain that do not stink, I’ve never received any complaints, but products that are “natural” tend to have a stigma of not controlling odor as well as others.

In the review.com article they’ve laid out some compelling research for readers to take into consideration. Already they’ve ranked the most effective deodorants for you all to try. The products they’ve look at are complied from 155 different natural deodorants, some of which that were recommended in lists that were featured in Allure and Good Housekeeping magazine. They’ve made shopping easy as they’ve already crowned the best natural deodorant for us to try out as well as, providing readers with other options to consider. All aluminum free and all natural.

When choosing your natural deodorant, aluminum is the key factor.

According to the research featured in this guide, aluminum exposure is suggested to increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Did you know non-natural deodorant contains aluminum? While the FDA and other national institutions do not support these claims, that doesn’t stop the FDA from requiring labels suggesting the consultation of doctors for those with kidney issues before using aluminum-based deodorant.

Personally, when on the search for hygiene products like deodorant I try to stick to a clear criteria. If the stick doesn’t hit all my needs it’s not worth blogging about.

However, there’s more that needs to be taken into consideration. Apparently big companies that try to market “natural” products are hiding chemicals with jargon we can’t decipher with one look. We’ve established that formulas that contain aluminum should be avoided but, did you know there are different types of aluminum?!??!?! I didn’t. According to the creator of North Coast Organics, Nathan Morin, as sited by reviews.com, companies will “green washing” their marketing and label items with misleading terminology. This comes in the form of labels reading, “Aluminum-Chlorohydrate-free” instead of the all inclusive “Aluminum-free”. This way an unsuspecting consumer will pick up a deodorant read the label and think they’re purchasing an aluminum free product. Big businesses prey on the ignorance of the consumer and benefit while we continue to purchase items we think adhere to a certain standard. It’s quite slimy when you think about it.

The Search

You’d think finding decent deodorant that is affordable and keeps that stank away would be easy however, I’ve taken this task with a grain of salt. Thus far, I’ve tried three types of natural deodorants since this summer and all I can say is, my journey is long from being over. Now that this Natural Deodorant guide is at my disposal, I can now narrow my search down to products that have research behind them. However, before this guide was published I had already ventured to testing out a few brands. One of them ended terribly terribly terribly bad.

Before I give you the tea on my fiery encounter I’m going to lay some back story.

Candidates thus far:
Primal Pit
DIY Deodorant Recipe
Tom’s of Maine

My Journey, My Struggle, My Stink

At first I tried a DIY recipe I found on Pinterest, because why not? Pinterest is the driving force for all my extra curricular activities and DIY compulsions, it’s only natural that I’d turn to it for my ethical journey inspiration. Now there are tons of recipes to try for those that are interested in mixing up a batch of deodorant. If you follow me on Pinterest I have a board dedicated to natural recipes for the natural DIY-er. While browsing through boards it became apparent that the general gist of simple DIY deodorant is Coconut oil, cornstarch, baking soda, and essential oils. I’m not a fancy person so the less ingredients the better.

It was as simple as mixing the ingredients, putting it in a jar, and applying as a paste. While I found the entire endeavor a tad messy, this method wasn’t too terrible. However, when it came down to the real test, controlling the stank of the gym… the DIY method failed. I’m not sure if I just perspire heavily or I went too hard at the gym or even had to wrong mixture ratio but, I found my home-made deodorant didn’t hold up after the first hour…

The second deodorant I tested out was Primal Pit. Again I opted to use a paste, for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. I hate using a paste. It gets under my nails, my finger tips smell like my deodorant all day, it’s annoying

. Primal Pit was victorious in hiding any odor after the gym. No complaints from me there. The formula is 100% Aluminum free and uses the standard coconut oil and baking soda, in fact you can really feel the baking soda in the paste. However, the one specification it did not hit on my criteria list was that it is not all that affordable. If you’re broke af like me, purchasing this paste will make you cringe. On Amazon this deodorant retails for about $10 and up. I’m cheap so I was not happy about this small detail when I realized that it actually worked, either pay $10-$12 for deodorant or… find an inexpensive rival.

Tom’s of Maine: Feel the Burn 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Thus brings us to the main event. The last deodorant that I’ve tried through this process, the bane of my existence, Tom’s of Maine. I’ve never heard bad things about this brand. In fact I believe one of my friends actually suggested this brand to me in the beginning of my journey. In retrospect, I don’t think this person was an actual friend because no friend of mine would suggest putting a lite match under my armpit as a form of antiperspirant. And yet, that is exactly what using Tom’s of Maine was like for myself.

Originally, I picked up a bar from my local Target. It was approximately $4.50, I was looking for something cheap and natural. I got the fragrance Wild Lavender because Target didn’t carry a large variety of fragrances for this brand. After a week or so I realized I didn’t really like the smell and while on a trip to Whole Foods I picked up another fragrance, Beautiful Earth. Again it retailed for under five dollars so you know baby girl was happy.

That Sunday I started using the new bar of deodorant and went out to run some errands. Within 30 minutes my underarms began to itch. I ignored it as I was busy and I wasn’t thinking too much into it. This continued all day until the itching subsided and turned into burning. I jumped into the shower rinsed everything off and when I lifted my arms to examine the damage, I had a huge red ring around the outside of my armpit and bumps. Needless to say I was livid. I popped a Benadryl, passed out and hoped for the best. The next day my armpits looked a bit darker and the ring started to fade. Progressively my armpits have been getting darker everyday and now are irritated and dried out.

You homegirl is messed up. No longer can I wear tank tops or strapless shirts because it looks like a straight up charcoal mask under my pits. I’ll save you all the nightmares and won’t show you a picture but regardless, it’s serious.

Now I’m not suggesting you boycott Tom’s of Maine. This may just be an isolated reaction. I suspect I’m allergic to some of the ingredients used in this brand or that particular fragrance. Regardless, I will not be purchasing Tom’s ever again. Sometimes what’s cheapest isn’t always what’s best. I can’t say it controlled my stank because my pits are so damaged now I don’t sweat there during my gym sessions. If anything it’s dried me out to the point of irritation. Again I take this with a grain of salt as I did not do my due diligence. If I were smarter I would’ve looked at the Best Natural Deodorant Guide and took a queue from them.

Moral of this story: Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. As consumers it’s our job to be aware of what we are consuming. This means researching the products that we ingest and apply to our skin. Before utilizing any new products be sure to test them out or else you could risk a large reaction.

Don’t be like me, protect the pits.

I still intend to continue with my journey to find a new natural deodorant. Of course this will have to resume once I get my charcoal pits under control. However, this won’t stop me from encouraging my readers to be more diligent where I failed. If you’re on your own natural journey continued where I stopped. Check out reviews.com’s Best Natural Deodorant Guide to find some products that will help you cover your stink naturally.

A tip for those looking for natural formulas, look for ingredient lists that include coconut oil, non-aluminum baking soda, zinc oxide, essential oils, shea butter, and/or arrowroot powder.

 

 

6 comments

  1. Matt

    Some great info here, sorry for the pain you had to go through to dish t out, but I’m sure plenty of others will appreciate it!

    Reply
  2. Tahnee

    So informative! Thanks for sharing a great post

    Reply
  3. Kasia

    Wow that’s interesting. I’ve used Toms of Maine toothpaste before I switched a more natural brand. It sounds like you had an allergic reaction to it. It’s always best to test things out on a smaller area but let’s be honest most of us don’t do that. It’s recommended on every hair color package and I’ve never done it. I’m glad you’re on the mend. I’m also looking for a better alternative for a natural deodorant but haven’t found one yet.

    Reply
  4. Lisa

    Sorry to hear about the charcoal pit problem. I use a diy deo and it works great for me. One thing you need to consider when switching over is a transition time for your body to regulate itself again after removing aluminum based products. If you try again, give it 2 weeks before you give up:)

    Reply
  5. Kasia

    I strive to use natural products, but I haven’t felt comfortable with what to buy. This experience is what worries me with using products I am not familiar with.

    Reply
  6. Basundhara Ghosh

    You seem to have struggled a lot with this. But kudos to your patience, and thanks for guiding your readers in the correct direction
    🙂

    Reply

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