Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Still Hunting for the Natural Deodorant Holy Grail

I am nothing if not dedicated to the search for a more perfect natural deodorant, and wonder if any of these six featured on Refinery29 are better than my precious Lavanila. (Which shows up on slide No. 4.)

The Secret one doesn't count because it's still got aluminum; the Jason one doesn't work, which I know from experience; the Lush T'eo one looks interesting but unsubstantial, the Lavera bamboo-and-cotton one looks ... weak; and the Body Shop one looks promising, but it's from the Body Shop. Anyone tried it?

Lauren O'Neal, a [something] turns its [something] eyes to you.

147 Comments / Post A Comment

Pound of Salt

LUSH grew out of the Body Shop; approach them with equal skepticism.


@Pound of Salt Totally DO NOT get the Lush stuff. It smells nice, but it is so abrasive they have to note in the directions not to rub it on your armpits. And if you pat gently as they say, it will still irritate your skin and make you sweat more.


@dinos I got another LUSH deodorant and it made my armpits break out something awful! Also, I definitely got BO (which I never get when I smear aluminum into my armpits a la Secret). ALSO as I do most of my LUSH purchases, I was pressured into buying it (unlike most times at LUSH, fortunately, this is the only LUSH product I haven't had a good experience with)


This is a follow-up to a previous dirty hippies post: I'm in the middle of the Hairpin's poo-free program, and it's working out swimmingly! My hair does what I want it to, product-free, in a way it never has before. I blame/credit the grease.


@boyofdestiny Right? I keep worrying that it's going TOO well and maybe one morning my hair will just explode or something but yeah, so far so good!


@Dani Being a boy of destiny and not a longer-haired girl of destiny, I think I've been bypassing a lot of the problems anticipated in the post. (Like, I haven't been brushing my hair. I don't even own a brush!) The biggest problem has been containing my joy in mixed company, as I don't really have a good explanation as to why rubbing baking soda into your scalp takes the place of using shampoo. It JUST DOES.


@boyofdestiny: How long is your hair? If it's boyishly short, you probably can forgo even the baking soda. I shampoo once every month or two with some fancy shampoo just 'cause it feels nice. But other than that I just rinse my hair when I'm in the shower. And I bike to work, so I have sweaty helmet hair twice a day.

Granted, I also still use styling product - just a little wax or paste or something.


@ejcsanfran Yeah, since I shaved my head, I have washed my hair/head once, when I got stuff on it. Well, I run it under the water every day, but I don't use shampoo or anything. Obviously my hairs are tiny, so I can't tell you much about it, but they are growing so soft and lovely and I'm going to try to keep this up, even when/if I grow it a bit longer.


Wait, what's wrong with Body Shop and Lush? Besides selling overpriced products of questionable effectiveness?

Pound of Salt

@faustbanana Exactly. And anything that smells that strongly from around the corner makes me suspicious.


@Pound of Salt: I'm always the one in the crowd who remembers to warn my friends as we're about to pass by either Lush or Sephora, "HOLD YOUR BREATH!"


@faustbanana I'm still kind of wondering about this. The Body Shop sells a lot of fair trade stuff, and they have a nifty anti-sex trafficking campaign. I was also under the impression that they use decent ingredients in their products. Is it all for show?

Pound of Salt

Also Tom's of Maine deodorants suck. I'm sweating in an air conditioned office RIGHT NOW.


@Pound of Salt Really? I use Tom's of Maine lavendar all the time and love it. It lasts all day for me.

I'm also not a big sweater. Strangely, I stopped sweating so much when I joined the dirty hippy club and stopped shaving my armpits. I swear, I smell way better.

Pound of Salt

@viviangirl I use that one too! But it's the roly ball one? And I think it's a mistake for me.


@Pound of Salt Ahh, that's where you went wrong. I feel like roly-ball deoderants are gross, generally. I use the stick one. It says "natural long-lasting care: 12 hour long-lasting odor protection." It works great! And also reminds me of my mom, who loves lavendar. Maybe a weird thing to have in my armpits, but whatevs.

Pound of Salt

@viviangirl I'll totes try it!


@viviangirl I use this exact one with excellent results. Although I am also not a very sweaty person.


@viviangirl I tried the stick version of Tom's for like two months, until I had a reaction to it and all the skin started peeling off my underarms! It was great in summer until then, but now I'm afraid to try again.

Those crystal things look awesome but also sound like witchcraft.


@Pound of Salt I love Toms, I use the lemongrass one.
The reason I switched was because regular deodorants (Secret, etc.) weren't working well from me, I tend to sweat a lot, and I was hoping that switching to a natural deodorant would help my body adjust and sweat less. So far, so good!


@fishiefishfish I had weird burny/redness issues with Tom's too! It must not combine well with our chemistry.


@viviangirl I'm with you. My dirty hippie armpits still sweat, but they just smell like a person. As long as I shower every day, I basically don't need deodorant at all, although I do wear it in summer/if I'm exercising. And fewer sweat stains on clothes!


A [hairpin] turns its lonely [pits] to you...woo woo woo...


@Ophelia Oh no, these pits are going to be so disappointed. I use the natural Arm & Hammer stuff, but it doesn't work that well for me! I haven't tried any of the expensive brands, because they're expensive. I have been thinking of switching to just plain baking soda, but that might be too dirty-hippie even for me.


@Ophelia So here's to you, Edith Zimmerman, Melis loves you more than you will know... woah woah woah.


If anyone finds something better than Lavanila, let me know.


@theharpoon i just switched to milk of magnesia from the vanilla lavender lavanila deodorant. so far it's effective, for about $17 less.


@ali Hmm, I may have to investigate this.

Edith Zimmerman

@ali HMM indeed! How does this work?


@Edith Zimmerman scientifically, I have no idea how it's effective... but it is. Right now I just pour a little bit into my hand and kind of rub it in my armpit, but I think a rollerball container and a little bit of lavender essential oil will be magical. It dries to a silky kind of powder finish, and I still smell like lavender.


@ali I just googled and found this! So all that's left is prying it open and adding essential oil. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/deodorant/


Why is lavanila so expensiveeeeeeee? I want natural deoderant, but so far they have all been the pits (HAAYYOO!), especially the crystal one.


@contrary i've been using lavanila (successfully albeit expensively) for over a year.. until this week. milk of magnesia. try it.


@ali just like, rub it up in there? NO WAY THIS COULD WORK, TOO COST EFFECTIVE.


@contrary yeah, basically! i know, i was skeptical too... between the money saved on lavanila and not using shampoo, i might buy a yacht.


I'm all for artificial deodorants b/c what happens in my underarms ain't natural.


I use Anthony Logistics alcohol/-aluminum free deodorant and I really like it. It smells kind of minty - I do not care for the smell of vanilla which is why I ultimately tried a product marketed to men. I supplement it with perfume. After a little over a year of using aluminum-free deodorant, I can happily say that I sweat no more than when I used regular anti-persperant. And I'm pretty sure I don't smell worse, but truthfully I am a little paranoid that I do get smelly sometimes. I live in Austin and it's very hot here most of the time, so I feel lucky that going anti-persperant free has worked out.

@boyofdestiny: I started using baking soda to clean my hair only once a week and one month in, I'm super happy with the results. It really does feel like I'm saving money and screwing The Man. It's very satisfying.

ida claire

L'Occitane makes several different aluminum free deodorants in different forms. Roll ons: Purify, Olive branch, L'Occitan (for men, but I like it). Sticks: Verbena...


I think I've tried every natural deodorant ever and for me (I sweat, I live on the Gulf Coast so 100% humidity 100% of the time, I walk/bike most places) E Plus High C by Aubrey Organics is the most bestest. I'm not crazy about the smell, it's pretty baby powder-ish. But! I don't smell like sweat and I don't have to re-apply it 50 times a day. Their calendula one smells really good but it's not as strong.


Oh my goodness, I have tried so many natural deodorants. Including Dr. Hauschka's, which is like $20, and didn't work for me. Tom's of Maine doesn't work for me either, and contains propylene glycol, which is gross. The ONLY thing that I have found that works is the natural crystal salt kind that you buy for $7 and will outlast your natural life. Just don't apply it to unclean arms, or you'll stink it up and have to throw it out. Learned that the hard way twice. Also don't drop it, it'll shatter. BUT. Still. Works really well. Not an antiperspirant, fyi.


@bodinea: I love my hippie crystal! Have been using for a few years. Took some adjustment, since I'd always used anti-perspirant and wasn't used to sweating. But now I like sweating - and my shirts no longer get those nasty yellow stains in the pits.

But one thing I learned recently - you can't use it until the crystal is gone! It is only effective for a year. I noticed that I was getting stinkier and mentioned it to my mom who pointed out that you have to replace your crystal annually, no matter how wasteful it seems.


@ejcsanfran OMG! I had no idea - thank you! And yes to the awesomeness of losing the yellow stains. I had no idea sweat on its own (minus the antiperspirant I used to throw at it) was so docile.


@bodinea The hippie crystal is AMAZING! It keeps me stank free, unlike every other "natural" deodorant I've tried. Better than Body Shop, Jason's, Tom's of Maine (which used to dry my pits out so bad that the skin would peel/flake off all day -- GROSS), etc. I carry it with me in case I have to reapply, which occasionally happens on particularly hot/sweaty days, but that's the case with every other deodorant I've ever used, too. Love this stuff.


@caitlinrcdc YES me too on Tom's! Thanks for proving I'm not insane!


@bodinea Does the crystal actually stop sweating or just make it not smell? I'm intrigued by the crystal but am far more sweaty than smelly.


@KatnotCat The Crystal doesn't stop the sweating, it just stops the smelling. I've been using it on and off for a few months now. It worked great during the cold winter months, but I'm afraid of the summertime! I also really, really hate sweating.


@LastMinuteLulu Eh, then it's a no go. I have heard some claim that they sweat less once they use it for a while, but I think that's hippy bullshit and I don't have time to experiment with that during a D.C. summer.

Also--is everyone really that smelly, but not sweaty? I don't understand.


@KatnotCat I don't really have time to experiment with it either, which is why I switch back to antiperspirant on days where I know I'll be extra-sweaty. I need to figure something else out soon though!

Liina Koivula@facebook

@KatnotCat Personally I don't want to smell but I do want to sweat, I think it's totally creepy to not sweat (for me - what people do with their sweat is their own business!)


@Liina Koivula@facebook Well, I always sweat, but antiperspirant makes me sweat a little as opposed to rivers of sweat extending from my armpits to my waistline on either side. Sweat is good, pinning your arms to your side due to constant social fear is bad.


@KatnotCat It's probably that if they have armpit hair, they notice the sweat less.

The crystal really does work. My boyfriend bought one and I used it one time in desperation, but it's amazing and I might buy one for myself. I had an aversion because my friend in primary school used one and... it was not effective. But maybe she kept it too long?


You'll have to pry my prescription-strength Secret from my cold, dead hands. Oh, I tried a Lush deodorant for a few weeks several years ago- and I lost a lot of good shirts. (Full disclosure: I am a sweat machine.)

Megan W. Moore

THIS: http://www.origins.com/product/3817/11952/Bath-Body/Daily-Essentials/Deodorants/Totally-Pure-Deodorant/Certified-Organic/index.tmpl

Only this, ever. It's the only natural deodorant that has ever worked for me. Even when working on a farm, with hairy armpits (what?!?! What you didn't have an early-twenties-back-to-the-land-dyke-out?)


I just use baking soda + essential oil. It always works, even when I am active. Second place = salt crystal.


@roadtrips: But does it work when your dormant?


@roadtrips may be a silly question but when people talk about adding essential oils to powders, I'm always confused about the technicalities. Do I just put in a few drops of oil and all the powder sucks it up and distributes the oil equally? How much baking soda am I adding the oil to? A whole box? Of course, you also may have just been referring to using essential oil separately so...


@rubyvroom I have a small glass dish (like, really small, it probably holds 1-2 oz of powder. I fill that and then add about 8-10 drops of essential oil and then mix it up with a bobby pin. I also have a former small spice jar with a lid that I bring with me when I bike to work. I'd say I go through a box of baking soda about every three months, which also includes other uses.


I created an account just to comment on this post. I've been (almost) deodorant free for more than five years. Exceptions are job interviews and my own wedding. I feel very passionately, tending towards conspiracy theory, that deodorant is beyond toxic. The truth is, unless you are super stressed (stress really does stink) no one can smell you unless they are right up on you. I've been known to do a pit bath in the sink every now and again if I feel I need it, but that happens rarely. I also believe the more you sweat the less you stink, but that's just me. More important than deodorant is looking super cute - if you do happen to reek, no one will ever imagine it's you.


@Pochine Having been confined in small public-transportation-related spaces with those of the anti-deodorant variety, I can say, without doubt, that it is absolutely untrue that no one can smell you unless they're right up on you. We can smell you from the other end of the train car. Sure, we may not know it's you, but we definitely smell it.

Everyone obviously has their things - I pay a lot of money to avoid putting excessive chemicals in my hair (other than, you know, dye - I'm a hypocrite) - and I totally understand and respect your stance on deodorant, but I'm just saying. People can smell you.


@Pochine Not to mention the people who are always close enough to you (friends, partners, family, etc) to generally be constantly aware that it's you, oh my god is it ever you.


@melis Smelling is certainly a possibility, but I like to think that a combination of clean clothes, regular showering, perfume, and adequate hydration make the pit smell just kind of a part of me. I'd just like to say that if anyone out there wears ballet flats, I guarantee they smell worse than me!

Pound of Salt

@Pochine But but perfume is bad too! It's all toxic and soaks into your skin, or something. Unless it's straight up essential oils, I guess.

tea tray in the sky.

@Pochine Oh man, pit smell + perfume is even worse than pit smell on its own. I don't know how you're getting away with it. But I guess you are, so I also guess you're magic.


@Pochine Oh, god, the perfume. No, we can still smell you, and we wish you would take a bath or use deodorant instead of trying to cover it up with fake gardenias or something that smells like Grandma's underwear drawer. I guess my attitude is, if your own smell is such that you think you're better off smelling like flowers, then it's time to do something about your own smell.


@Xanthophyllippa I'm always amused that people who think they don't stink (no pooers, no deoderant, etc...) always DO stink, but haven't realized people are too polite to tell them.


@Pochine I have strangely non-smelly sweat (really! people have told me this! even after the gym!) except as a result of certain foods (garlic, etc) but you can pry my antiperspiant from my damp hands. Ruining shirts is embarassing. I think AP is actually supposed to be more toxic than deodorent, which doesn't stop sweat, but sweat rivers are embarassing and I get them.


@parallel-lines Meh, I went around smelling my hippie friends for months before going no-poo (that was my biggest fear), and the fact that they all smelled good anyhow convinced me.

amateur hour

@Pochine My ex doesn't ever use deodorant, and he really doesn't smell. He showers and puts clean clothes on every day, thus avoiding a buildup of funk. You would never know he doesn't wear deodorant. So, I support you in your endeavor!

I use Weleda's Sage deodorant...their alcohol-based spray deodorants work really well for me.


@Pochine this thread is reminding me of the ones that erupt when an article mentions using bc pills to avoid periods. You have a bunch of women who swear that "natural" methods work just fine for everyone, no matter what their genetic predisposition. The same goes for armpits - I was born with biological weapons (inherited from my dad's side). My mom never suffered this problem, and I remember when she would get angry after borrowing her shirts if I'd forgotten deodorant. So while your "truth" may work for you, don't assume it's a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.


Why all the LUSH hate?? I've tried Tom's and Kiss My Face to no avail, but dude, seriously, LUSH!. I was about to give up and switch back to the Secret one that does that scary thing to your armpits where they not only don't sweat but they become WATERPROOF in the shower, and then I went to LUSH. The lady swiped the Aromarant on my arm and then sprinkled some Coconut powder on it and the girl was seriously raving and wouldn't stop huffing that patch of skin. Maybe that should've turned me off but I'm vain and I like when people tell me I smell a-maz-ing so I bought both like a chump. Until NYC remembers that it's May and it's supposed to be warm, dammit, I've just been wearing the Aromarant alone. Not only does it not really smell like anything (faintly of a hippie lemonade but actually, no, not really), neither do I! And I'm not just talking about sitting in my office all day. I'm saying that I go to work, then go straight to yoga, and then make smelly food over a hot stove, AND then remember that showering would be a good idea, and I don't smell. I'm not dripping in sweat either, just enough of it that I feel like a human. Woo-hoo, for reals.


@cfeezie The LUSH coconut deodorant powder is also awesome as a dry shampoo. I keep it in my bag for that alone.


@cfeezie the Lush store associates are all certifiable crazy faces. fact.


@contrary Hey now, as a Lush SA with a relatively sane face, I am offended. Anyway, my absolute favorite deodorants are from this place: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpaTherapy . They work amazingly well (kept me stank free through multiple DC summers) and you can customize your scent. I recommend the pink cupcake for those of you who want your armpits to smell of baked goods.


@joli I'm sorry. I redact that actually because I remember one girl that helped me that didn't pressure me into buying the whole store/put a bunch of nonsense on me (and gave me some free stuff), but this Lush wasn't in NY. They are just so assertive!

so, MOST Lush store associates are certifiable crazy faces, except Joli and a few others. fact.


@contrary YES! I used to love LUSH (even before they came stateside) but the hard sell is so offsetting, it's like let me sniff in peace and get outta my grill. One shakeoff isn't enough--they'll trail you. Hate it!


@cfeezie the key to escaping the LUSH hardsell is bringing a boy who doesn't understand that it is not in fact a magical combination of makeup and frozen yogurt store and tastes many of the samplers. the sales associates will definitely let you sniff in peace.

crab apple

@cfeezie I don't like LUSH because they tout themselves as all natural, but still use sulfates in their products which make my skin and hair (and frankly, most people's) dry and bad to manage. I feel like a brand that gives off a hippie/natural vibe should know better.


@bodinea RIGHT?! I forgot to mention that fact. Totally works as a dry shampoo. Also, don't judge, but I sprinkle it in my raw denim jeans when they start to smell funky since you're not really supposed to wash those high maintenance bitches. And my sheets. And my running shoes. Shit, now I sound like one of the crazy sales associates.

@heroicdestinysquad Thank you. Thank you very much. Duly noted.


@crab apple This. And they say things are 'handmade' when they are not - or maybe they are made by hand in a factory?

But mostly because I cannot be near any person who is wearing anything from lush, or I feel like barfing and I get a migraine. I know someone who works in a store here, and she is lovely, but I have been known to leave a party because she's arrived and now I can't breathe.


Remember the post a little while back about the new deodorant for women who hate their armpits? Remember how we all laughed? Well, I bought it and my armpits are totally smoother.


Y'all, I don't know, I just don't know. I can go shampoo-less, sure, but I sweat so badly. I sweat so much. I know that you probably think I'm exaggerating, because sure, I do, but I'm really not about this. I have to use prescription stuff (Drysol) at least once a week (apply to clean underarms, wrap with plastic wrap) and that gets me to average sweat levels. Totally not kidding, my sweating is way gross. So Imma pass on this natural deodorant stuff, kay?


@juliannasays I did too, but I've been sweating less and feeling less of a need to use Drysol since I switched.

tea tray in the sky.

@juliannasays That stuff works SO WELL! In high school, when I was apparently going through some nightmare hormonal changes, I used to wear hoodies all the time because I would sweat through all my shirts. Except then I started sweating through my hoodies. And this was just while I was sitting in class, not doing anything. I used Drysol for like, a month, and after that I was a decidedly lighter-than-average sweater. Oh my goodness, I tell you, it felt SO good to be able to wear all my clothes again. Jesus, infomercial much? But seriously, look forward to pretty cool results.


this will probably sound weird but: milk of magnesia.

recently, while applying my beloved lavanila deodorant, i complained to my boo about how expensive it is (i'm running out). he was like "what. i don't even wear deodorant." and explained that he uses milk of magnesia under his arms instead. thorough google-based research has indicated this is a widely used method, and so far it's working for me.

next step: add lavender essential oil and put it in a roller-ball container


@ali Step after that: Sell it for $15, enough to make a crazy profit and still undercut Lavanila.


@ali How do you apply it? Just kind of dab it on? How much do you use?


@Ophelia so far i've applied it using cotton balls (kinda feels gross) and just.. pouring some onto my palm and putting it on. i use maybe a teaspoon (?) under each arm. then i let it dry a little before getting dressed. i think the rollerball will really be the key to lasting success here.


I did a VERY scientific study of this! http://goldteef.blogspot.com/2010/12/pit-juice-thunderdome.html

Tuna Surprise

Botox. Nature's only deodorant.


Just registered to comment on this subject! Happy to be here, by the way. My last two sticks of discontinued (boooooo!) Adidas CottonTech are being hoarded til summer kicks in, so I had to find a satisfying replacement, but Tom's does suck as an above commenter stated. I'm a massage therapist so I can't be stinkin and sweatin all over my clients' faces, ya know? I am now IN LOVE with Arm & Hammer's Essentials Natural Deodorant! Aluminum- and paraben-free; it uses baking soda to do the sweat absorption and coriander, rosemary and lavender to keep the stank away. I use the Fresh scent when I need a little extra help and the Natural when I don't want any other fragrance messing with my chosen scent for the evening, etc. It's not *totally* natural but close enough for me!
This product is great and I am already getting nervous that they will discontinue it as well because no one knows about it. And the best part: only $2!!!! Go buy some now!


@TheRelaxerciser yes! i use arm & hammer natural essentials fresh scent too. this stuff is really good, and i live in the gulf south.


@roaringkitten I'm in Austin and have been puttin my pits to good use and do not smell at all even after a long hot day of massagering and bike riding. Long live Arm&Hammer! (I even like the teeny tiny scent that the Unscented one has but honestly it doesn't smell at all when it combines with my b.o.)


I love the Body Shop stuff. It works for me. Tom's doesn't, not at all. Problem with Body Shop products is that they regularly discontinue lines. I'm also a fan of a combination of the crystal with Lush's powder deodorant. The damn crystal has been with me for years, so finding a way to use it was good.


I used to use Lavanila (smells so fine) but then I found out it isn't as natural and nontoxic as they make it sound and it was losing its effectiveness. Plus, $18. Then I read a bunch of reviews about Soapwalla deodorant so I bought some on Etsy and have been using it for several months and even found it in my local health food store. This stuff kind of has a cult following. It comes in a jar and you apply a little with your finger (it's not weird!) and then I always pat on a little talc-free baby powder before getting dressed. The true test will come this summer. But so far, so good. It's also a good option for people with eczema and sensitive skin.


I tried the new Body Shop deodorant, and I had the same problem I always have with aluminum-free-hippie-sticks: no sweat, terrible b.o. And not just my normal "oh isn't that cute I have b.o." b.o. I'm talking so-terrible-the-stinky-boyfriend-thinks-I'm-gamey b.o. Going back to aluminum-laden Dove. Sigh.


The Body Shop one sucks, and also was possibly the most painful thing ever on post-shave armpits. Also, unrelated: cocoa powder as dry shampoo <|:-V~~


I just registered so I can comment on this post. Naturally Fresh Crystal deodorant is literally the best deodorant I've ever used... even better than the non-natural ones, not just "good for a natural deodorant". It's literally just salt crystals that kill the bacteria that make your sweat smell. I use it on my underarms and feet every time I get out of the shower, and I never smell. Also, I was my underarms and feet with tea tree oil soap (dr bronner's, specifically) because that also has antibacterial qualities. Sometimes the deodorant stings for a few second when I put it on if I've just shaved, but it really is the best thing ever, and is completely clear and does not dye your clothes. http://www.amazon.com/Naturally-Fresh-Deodorant-Crystal-4-25-Ounce/dp/B002JVWU2E/ref=sr_1_5?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1305683295&sr=1-5


I just started using Desert Essence calendula/chamomile deo to great effect. I had just been let down by Alba lavender, and had an Unfortunate Incident with Tom's where it started giving me an armpit rash after a while. So far, Desert Essence for the win! And not too pricey either.


The best natural deodorant: sitting on your ass. Otherwise just use the "unnatural" kind; you'll be fine.


@Kneetoe I like to play a mental game: what's going to kill me first? Deodorant, cell phones, shampoo or whatever is killing us these days. I believe in toxin loads and reducing them, but probably living in a city is worse for our bodies than deodorant. At least that's what I tell myself.

tea tray in the sky.

@DrFeelGood Eating solid foods greatly increases risk of choking. Be afraid! And wear deodorant.


@Kneetoe I guess I need to switch to a liquid diet... DARN :)


Weleda Rose deodorant is THE only one that I've used, liked the smell, and had it actually work. Do try it!


Kiss My Face just discontinued the ONLY natural deodorant I have ever loved (the roll on Summer Scent) and after I wrote to them to express my dismay, they mailed me a cucumber green tea one. It's not the same and not nearly as effective. DISMAY. But I do have to say, I sweat LESS since I switched from mean ol' antiperspirant to natural deodorant. I think it's because when all of my sweat pores (?) were blocked, the sweat worked EXTRA HARD to leave. Which I think sounds very sciencey.

Also, PLEASE do not call it deo. Please?


@Nutellaface just joined just to respond to this. KISS MY FACE ROLL ON. sooo good. i stopped wearing deodorant for a while and just stopped sweating so much, like you said. summer scent was so good! same with the jasmine one...it smelled delish.


@franzia Right? I'm starting to think that antiperspirant is a conspiracy to make us sweat more and buy more antiperspirant.


@Nutellaface & franzia I love the Kiss my Face Roll on too! I even converted my husband, who is normally wary of the "hippie crap"'s effectiveness. So sad to hear about the summer scent, which was divine. But never, ever, going back to the anti-perspirant camp.


@undercoverhippie You should write to them and ask them to bring it back! Hairpiñistas (Hairpiñatas?) unite!


@franzia LOVE the Kiss My Face roll-on! How did I miss a Jasmine one? I have been married to Lavender for years.

Kristi Austin@twitter


It works really well and it's all natural.


Nature's Gate Summer Spice, which has this weird Degree-like effect that the more I sweat, the more the lightly spicy scent kicks in. I had a crystal once, but threw it out the day I spent 8 hours at the boathouse (two workouts, two classes taught, and a stint as a coxswain for a novice boat) and came home smelling like a swamp. The lake water was only a small part of the problem. Also, I may or may not have licked said crystal to see if it tasted salty. (It did.)


I love the hairpin! I've been reading for months but this post made me so excited I had to register to put my 2 cents in. Oyin handmade makes an all natural deodorant called funk butter. It's Amazing and way affordable at 5 bucks. I kinda gave up on natural brands because I'm kinda sweaty but this stuff totally works and I love it. And it's called funk butter which is pretty great.


I use Arm&Hammer Natural deodorant. LOVE IT and its SUPER CHEAP!


@greendrinker I've used this with success, but my armpits are wily and wise up when I'm about halfway through the container.


Okay, so yesterday must have been National Pit Day, because I too wrote a post about deodorant. Unfortunately, I didn't see this post until today or I would have commented sooner!

Anyway, the natural kind doesn't work for me, because I refuse to tolerate wet pits. I require antiperspirant-deodorant. My main problem with most of them is the awful overpowering lady scents they all have. (So I was on sort of a different mission than Edith). Anyway, that's how I found and fell in love with Fresh Sugar Roll-On.


Wait wait wait - Jason's is the best! You just have to get the tea tree one, since it has extra odor-fighting stuff. TRUST. I have tried every hippie deodorant out there. Jason's tea tree smells nice and clean and actually works and doesn't just make your armpits slimy (effin Tom's).


The Body SHop deoderant makes me smell worse than before. After applying it I would smell great for about 15 minutes, and then stink. Couple that with the nasty rash it gave me...waste of money.
Usually I wear 'old spice' deoderant (aluminum free) even though it probably has chemicals and even though I'm a woman, it smells nice and works for me. After reading the other posts though, I'm thinking I'll try the crystal.

Liina Koivula@facebook

I have one I love...and I can't remember the name. That was a really unhelpful comment.


I've been using a jasmine grapefruit deodorant spray by Erbaviva (http://www.saffronrouge.com/erbaviva), which works pretty well. It's organic, made with essential oils and grain alcohol (?), so it stings if I've just shaved, but not too horribly. Unfortunately, it's also about $18. I just bought one by Welleda for $8, so we'll see. Btw, do not, I repeat NOT use any deodorant by Hugo's Naturals. I paid like $10 for one at Whole Foods, and spent the next week hoping against hope that no one could smell my BO. Yikes.

amateur hour

@steph_cathleen I love Weleda! The alcohol-based deodorants have been key for me, they work far better than anything else I've tried. (The crystal was ok too but I'm not a huge fan).


I always hear conflicting things about the crystal deodorants. They don't have aluminum chlorohydrate, but they do have potassium alum and ammonium alum. Are those the same things, just as bad, completely different? Does anyone know?


I'm so sad I'm so late to comment on this. I can't believe no one has mentioned Soapwalla! It's amazing. I've been using it for almost a year and I live in Texas, y'all. It's weird because it's a cream so you apply it with your fingers, but you get used to it in a week or so. It is actually all natural and I think the scent could go for either guys or gals. I'm pretty sure it's won awards and shit. All of the other natural deodorants I've tried have actually made me smell worse, Lavanila included (although I love their perfumes). Try it!



@anknee YES! that is what I came here to say. <3 soapwalla (& spirit beauty lounge)


@messofme SO GOOD


How has no one mentioned Malin + Goetz yet?! It IS actually the holy grail of natural deodorants. Okay, i think it is technically "for men" but it's just eucalyptus, which fights odor and bacteria, won't mess with your perfume and doesn't smell Old Spice-masculine. Yeah, it's $18 like the Lavanila but for nearly twice as much product. I bought some in early January and am not even halfway through it yet. AND I still smell nice.
Here is the product listing: http://www.malinandgoetz.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=128&category_id=2&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=55

And here is their list of stockists. I get mine at Barneys: http://www.malinandgoetz.com/index.php?option=com_contact&catid=10&Itemid=21


A few things: those "hippie crystal deodorants" are not all aluminum free! Some of them contain loads of aluminum. Essential oils—no matter how "natural"—are not necessarily safe for direct application to the skin, and some people who care about such things—the herbalist Susun Weed, for instance—regard them as actively dangerous. As a dirty hippie who has not used deodorant/antiperspirant in more than 20 years, I can offer the following: If you really want to put something up there (I don't) you could try spraying apple cider vinegar (organic, natch). And for all y'all who are talking about people who don't use the proper cosmetics smelling "bad"—who would prefer that people smell like flowers, despite being mammals—consider that it really is cultural conditioning that makes you think so. If you want people to have sex with you, it's probably better to smell like human sweat than like a flower because you're not masking whatever signals your body is trying to send out there.




I want to see a "natural" deodorant article featuring a test subject who can provide three written references from loved ones who have had to wear respirators in proximity to his or her pits. If I forget to apply deodorant, I look forward to a visit from the Secret Service by 11am. As mentioned above, I've had some success with Arm & Hammer. I've also satisfactorily used Lush T'eo. The problem occurs when my bacteria acclimates and mutates, so I have to switch back to a traditional product.


I guess we cannot expect a natural deo to work for longer than 8 hours or so. Lavanila was good for the 6 hours, then - the same effect as Tom's (actually the one with the Rose scent works better for me than the Lavender). So why pay more? Still looking for more recommendations and hoping for this one perfect-healthy-deliciously-scented product that does not burn to magically appear.


@masha I've skipped showers and just worn day-old deo and been ok when using Soapwalla. Not great, but ok.


Life Stinks by the Duggan Sisters. Essential oils plus sodium bicarbonate. For light sweaters (not me) apparently the powder does the job without the oil. If you live in Chicago, where it is made, you can buy it at the Merz Apothecary. Initial investement that eventually saves you money... like the DivaCup!


After years of trying every hippie-deodorant going I have finally settled on a non-hippie-but-still-kind-of-healthy one. The Arm & Hammer Fresh stick deodorant is really effective. It's not organic but it doesn't contain parabens, aluminium or alcohol. I find it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and works really well for the whole day, even when it's hot or you're exercising. The good news is all you Americans out there can buy it in your local drug store; the bad news is I have to ship it to London. But that's how much I love it.


The only one that's ever worked for me is Liquid Rock, made by Kiss My Face. It's a roll-on, you need to give it a minute to dry before getting dressed, but it's SO WORTH IT. Recommended to me by a friend who had also tried EVERYTHING. Works for the entire day, and I am a sweaty stinky lady. I was and am amazed. Been using it for nearly a decade even in hot humid summers. Lavender and Unscented are awesome, only go Patchouli if you LOVE PATCHOULI. Srsly.

Elena Borquist Noyes

Everyone has so many opinions on this! Go deoderant...

Don't even buy any brand. In the Philippines, some people use Alum, a white crystal that you get wet and then apply. You can get it at most asian grocery stores. I've been using it successfully for years.

Completely natural.

Amy Harmon@facebook

Ignore the name, this works wonders although the application is a little weird (its a dry-ish paste that you slightly rub into your underarms. Despite this fantastic newness, or perhaps because of it, this is the only natural deodorant that I've ever used that has any staying power:


i came across this: http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P286202&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5673 (CLEAN Aluminum Free Deodorant) but again, do I want to gamble 20 bucks on something that alas, only one person as reviewed? I use the Body Shop one now, but it's not that great. In fact, I frequently tell myself and others "Natural deodorant is ruining my life." But I don't want it to be, dammit! The milk of magnesia is intriguingly inexpensive.


I use a natural cream citrus deodorant by purelygreat. i love it it works really well!


Hi there. Try dr-frielgood's totally, totally natural deodorant! It's been getting great feed back so far! You can check the web site out at: www.dr-frielgood.co.uk The web site is informative and you can sign up for a news letter too.

P.S. It's aluminium and alcohol free (amoungst everything else that's bad!) and comes in a hygenic spray bottle!


Natural potassium alum deodorant
Natural mineral salts mined from centuries old Asian mines,the ingredients have been used as an effective bacteria retarding body deodorant for hundreds of years. will prevent sweat and odour for up to 24 hours.Hypoallergenic and fragrance free,it neutralises the bacteria that cause odour without clogging pores. It dries instantly and leaves no white residue.It contains no alcohol,emulsifiers or preservatives,It will not stain clothes and is not tested on animals.


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