Yep, we are talking about deodorant today on JLB. I mean, it’s not the classiest of subjects, but since we all smell, and we all need deodorant, I figured I should also throw it in here.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that I try to keep my body products pretty clean. I.e. I try to avoid the most controversial ingredients such as parabens, sulfates and aluminum.
You may have also noticed that I am a lot more lax in terms of ingredients when it comes to makeup.
Ultimately, it’s about balance. The way I see it, I use body products in much larger areas of my body – therefore I try to keep the ingredients deck pretty clean. If, on the other hand, there are parabens in my brow gel, I don’t really care.
One of the most challenging body products to keep clean and natural is deodorant/antiperspirant since quite a few of the nasty ingredients are actually what makes them effective.
I’ve been using aluminum free deodorants for probably around two years now, and let me tell you it’s been a ride. And as my husband can attest to, often times, it’s been a smelly ride.
The truth is that there isn’t an aluminum free deodorant that will ever work the same as one with aluminum.
Aluminum temporarily plugs sweat ducts and literally prevents you from sweating. Without it, your only hope is that another ingredient will be a REALLY GOOD deodorizer.
The point of this post isn’t to demonize aluminum. I’ve read enough things about the links between aluminum and breast cancer, hormone disruption and Alzheimers to run for the hills. However, I’m sure if you did enough digging you could probably find enough contradictory evidence to feel ok about your aluminum use. I just have enough hormone problems with my PCOS to take a chance with aluminum and parabens, so my choice is to avoid them at all costs.
Anyways, back to sweaty arm pits… Despite trying at least over 15 different aluminum and paraben free deodorants, my conclusion is nothing will ever be as effective. That being said, I have found a few different products and methods that are almost as good. Or at least as good to prevent my husband from holding his nose when I greet him.
Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla – $14
I’ve mentioned this product on the blog before. It’s by far the best natural deodorant I’ve come across, which is why I’ve repurchased it countless times.
Even though there is a “Sport” version of it, I still find the Pure Vanilla scent to be the most effective one. And trust me, I’ve tried ALL the other scents.
This deodorants smells delicious and keeps me from stinking a solid 6-8 hours.
SAY WHAT? Just 6-8 hours? Yep… that’s the reality of life (or maybe I’m stinkier than the average person) but I have yet to find a natural deodorant that can stand the Texas summers longer than that. Most other brands I’ve tried barely last 3-4 hours.
Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes – $8.99
Given the lack of antiperspirant properties of natural deodorants, life is a bit… stickier. Also, once you start nearing the 6 hour mark in the day, the paranoia starts to set in. Do I smell? Can other people smell me? OMG I have spin class this afternoon.
You know those moments when you realize you already smell, but you know applying more deodorant on top isn’t going to remediate the smell situation? That’ when these amazing Pacifica Underarm deodorant wipes come in. I found these by chance at Target and decided to give them a shot. They are like a baby wipe, except they help neutralize any odor and contain odor fighting ingredients. Of course they are made without SLS, sulfates, parabens and aluminum.
They seriously leave you smelling amazing and help control the odor for a little while.
Note: These WILL NOT replace actually using deodorant. They will probably only control odor for an hour or two (if you aren’t in a particularly sweaty situation).
I keep one bag in my bathroom and one in my gym bag for when I need a refresher.
Think of them as emergency (temporary) deodorant wipes while you get to your actual deodorant and reapply.
There are three scents of these wipes – my favorite are the ones in the blue packaging.
Tips When Switching to Natural Deodorants
+ Honestly… apply several times a day. I wish I could tell you it’s not a big deal and you can just apply in the morning and be done, but I haven’t found that to be the case. I usually reapply 2-3 times a day.
+ Apply just after showering when your skin is still damp, and then again right before getting dressed. Usually your skin will absorb product much faster when it’s still damp so you can sneak a second application in.
+ If you shower at night, apply at least once before bed and again in the morning.
+ Try a few different brands. Lavanila is pretty popular (and for good reason), but different things work for different people. Pay attention to the ingredients (some common ones are tea tree oil, coconut oil, baking soda, aloe, etc.). If you find a brand you like, look at what ingredients are in that particular deodorant and then try finding alternatives with similar ingredients.
+ Start slow. You probably don’t want to throw away all of your regular deodorants. It’s quite the smelly experiment to try natural alternatives. Before fully transitioning to aluminum free I stuck to using natural deodorants during the winter when I was less likely to get sweaty, and then regular deodorant during the Texas summers. You could also just try it on days you know you will be staying home.
I also still keep a Dove deodorant/antiperspirant for days where I really can’t risk smelling and I won’t be able to reapply.
Have you tried using aluminum free deodorants? Are there any brands you really like. ANY and all recommendations are welcome 🙂