Rita's Guide to All Natural Deodorants
Listen guys - the struggle is real over finding an all natural deodorant that actually works. Am I right? How many of you have been on the hunt? I've been searching for nearly a year to find just the right one, and it certainly hasn't been fun. I *think* I've finally landed on one, at least one that works better than the dozens of others I've tried, so lets chat about what works, and what doesn't.
Before we get into it though - I also think its super important to talk about why its worth making the switch. It't not easy finding the right one, yes, but I'd rather struggle to find one that I love than suffer the potential consequences of using toxic products. Your skin is your largest organ - and so what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. This article by Time really breaks it down pretty simply - those pits of yours are absorbing things like parabens (which affects your production of estrogen), aluminum (which has links to causing cancer), Triclosan (which can affect your microbiome of your genes), Phthalates (which affects production of testosterone - which ladies you have too), and fragrance (and lawd knows what they use to make those things smell good) And if that's not scary enough, most of these "deodorants" are actually antiperspirants, which do exactly what they say - stop you from sweating, which means that all of these toxic things cant be released from your body. YIKES. If these are reason enough alone to start looking for a more alternative option, then just Google "why is deodorant bad for you," and the countless articles out there may sway you otherwise. Spikes in breast cancer? Maybe its because we're putting on cancer sticks that are being absorbed into the fatty tissue that sits right next to, you guessed it, your breasts. No thank you.
After doing my own research last year I decided I was ready to make the switch - seems easy enough, right? Wrong. The first thing that's super necessary, a detox to help get some of that aluminum out of your system.
The easiest way to to this? Order some bentonite clay or pick it up at your local store (I get mine on Thrive Market, its $4.99 for a huge tub. Use this link to get 25% off your first order!) Its amazing for a bunch of things, but mix a little with water to form a paste and spread it all over your pits - it'll help draw out the aluminum in particular, but also any other toxins in there. On top of it, it'll help you smell less as you make the transition over. I do this once every few months to keep me feeling fresh.
So here we are - now you know how yucky most deos can be, and also how to detox those pits. Now its time to talk about some of the options I've tried. I think what's important to remember is that every body is different - which means you may react differently than I did to some of these. After doing a ton of research, the levels of pH in your skin greatly affect how some of these work, or don't. More sensitive skin? Stay away from heavy baking soda products because odds are good you may not like that too much.
This was my first go at all natural. Let me first preface that it smells unbelievable. It was refreshing and crisp - and I figured lets give it a whirl. I bought it at my local health food store, I'm fairly certain it was around $8.00. I proudly walked home and gave it a spin and, immediately regretted it. I still to this day haven't figured out exactly what caused it to react with my skin, but it did. My guess, is the fragrance. I've never been one to return something - especially because I had used the product for a day or two seeing if it would work, but it made my underarms so red you would have thought I had a burn. I returned it and continued my hunt.
After my initial struggle trying out natural deo, I remember my sister had always use'd Tom's growing up, as she had sensitive skin. Thinking that maybe after detoxing my skin was also sensitive to the change, I wanted to give their Long Lasting Lavender one a try. While this didn't immediately give me a rash/burn after a few weeks it did - that same burning sensation under my arms, and needing to apply a few times a day to keep the scent away. I'm not naturally a smelly person, but this almost seemed to make it worse. I would say definitely an option for those of you who are not sensitive to fragrance as I've had a lot of friends tell me they LOVE this one.
After a few weeks of using the lavender one, I thought perhaps it was just my skin being needy about fragrance. I also have had a few friends swear by using the unscented version of Tom's so I decided to give it a whirl. That, was an immediate disaster. It made me smell like I had run a marathon in the heat of a Texas summer. And then rolled in the dirt and not showered for 8 days. Yikes. Aside from that, it also immediately made my burn and skin flare up - painful. I threw it in the back of my closet (who knows why is beyond me). In a fleeting and forgetful moment when another deodorant down the road wasn't working I though "hey lets give this a try again just in case" and my pits lit on fire just like the first time. I felt sad throwing money literally in the trash (I hate wasting products) but my underarms thanked me otherwise.
I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found this bad boy at Marshall's - what a steal! I had heard a lot about this brand as well, and it sounded like a great option. I grabbed this scent because it smells amazing! After the rough go of it with Tom's of Maine, this was a cake walk. The texture is a little rough, and ultimately the baking soda started to irritate my underarms, so I got ride of this and started with the Jasmine Tea one below. Other than the baking soda, I'd give this brand a B rating.
I did also give this Jasmine Tea one a whirl - and since its not made with baking soda, I will say that this one is still a pretty good option. I don't overly love the texture on my skin (although its not as bad as the non-sensitive ones) it's still a good option, at a pretty reasonable sale price.
Now listen, I'm going to bed you 10 bucks that you've seen an add for Native somewhere on your social media. I'll give them one thing, that they are good at branding. With their super sleek and clean packaging, and clean ingredient list and a long list of influencers supporting them its no wonder they are so highly ranked. This is where it got tricky - I actually really liked using Native for a while - probably a good few weeks, maybe even 2 months. I liked it enough that when I went through one stick, I went out and bought another. That, however, is when the problems started. Not too long into that second stick (again maybe 2 months in) I started to develop red bumps. Almost like I either had an ingrown hair or a pimple. And over time more of them developed. While they weren't really painful, they definitely weren't comfortable, or in the summer while baring my arms - not exactly the cutest look. After starting to do some research, I realized my culprit - baking soda. So many of the all natural deos out there use baking soda as a base, and while I love it for most things, I realized how greatly it must be affecting and counteracting with the pH levels in my skins. So, ultimately, I had to give up this fan favorite. I would highly recommend it if your skin can deal with the pH (or better yet, rotate this between one that doesn't use baking soda if you like it) I did love the Coconut & Vanilla as well as Lavender & Rose scent.
By now you're probably thinking that I gave up and should just forget the entire idea of using an all natural deodorant. Well, you've thought wrong. From the many articles I've read it's more about finding what works best with your body (your hormones, your pH levels, your skin, etc.) So for now, I've landed on a pretty good one, although I plan to try another after this one runs out.
As some of you have seen already - you know that I love Follain and all things clean beauty that come from their site. After taking their personal quiz on which deo may be best for me, this was a top runner. Its a coconut based stick, which unlike the ones with baking soda, this does not irritate my skin AT ALL. In fact, it actually calmed my skin after that quick relapse of going back to Tom's. It goes on incredible smooth and smells great. While its hard to say if this will be my tried and true forever, this is an awesome option. One of my only cons is its lasting power. I bought this one at the end of August, with many humid days left, and on the brink of travel season where I'm typically running around like crazy. That being said - I typically need to reapply midday for those extra busy days, but on a normal day in the office, one application seems to be enough.
Don't forget, if you decide to get this one from Follain (or any products from them, for that matter, using my code ref_ritawinthrop will get you 15% off your order.
It certainly hasn't been an easy road to trying to find the right all natural option for me - and as I mentioned, I plan to try another one (I won't name it yet until I do, so update TBD) but what I think's important to remember is that what works for me may not work for you - buy trial sizes where you can and do your own research. I had no idea until after looking into it further how much baking soda can really affect some people's skin (and my pits are thanking me now for making the switch to a coconut based one)
Have you made the switch yet? What have you found that works (or doesn't) Drop me a line or leave a comment. And thanks for reading.
This post is in no way sponsored by any of these products or companies - I purchased them all with my own money and tried them on my on time. Thanks!