Happy 1st week of summer!
This post has been a looong time coming… but is SO very appropriate for the first week of summer, no?!
After spending this weekend dripping in sweet sweat from the HOT sun, I’m happy to disclose that I’ve finally found the natural deodorant of my dreams… LOL.
For real though, if you’ve tried the all-natural aluminum-free deodorants before, then you know what I mean when I say it can be a total nightmare to find one that actually works. I’ve tried at least 8 brands over the past year. Some were tolerable, some were absolutely terrible and some actually burned my armpits… but there is one that continues to work like a charm. I’m sure there are others that would work fine, but I wanted to be sure this was “the one” before I shared my thoughts… I’ve re-purchased this magic miracle stick 3 times now… you couldn’t pay me to go back to regular deodorant.
BUT… this natural deodorant didn’t work at first.
You can’t go from using conventional Dove or Secret deodorant to a chemical-free, aluminum-free natural deodorant immediately and expect it to work. NOPE. That’s not how it works and is the exact reason for why people think natural deodorants suck. Trust me, I learned the hard way. This is a process, hence the armpit detox, which doesn’t take long (only a week or two) and is SO worth it, I promise.
You might be wondering:
- What the heck is an armpit detox?
- Why should you switch to a natural brand?
- Do they actually (like, actually) work?
Before we get to my holy grail of deodorants, let’s rewind and have a little chat.
If you’re anything like me, you grew up using Teen Spirit (ahh! remember?!!) and then graduated to either Dove or Secret or Mitchum or some other big name brand. Maybe you tried them all, until you found one that seemed to work best, that is, until it didn’t and things started to get funky. You began to notice it just stopped working after x amount of months, sorta like shampoo. So, you either switched to a different brand, switched to the clinical strength or switched to your boyfriend’s deodorant and kept up that process of bouncing around to different kinds.
You’re maybe (probably) still bouncing around and wondering why nothing works anymore? Or why it only works for a couple hours?
At one point in time last year I was so desperate that I started rubbing lemons on my armpits (yup) in place of deodorant which was absolutely ridiculous… and back to regular deodorant/anti-perspirant I went, even though it was ridiculous as well. I was so tired of this deodorant debacle that I started wondering what was wrong with my pits, (lol, don’t judge) until I began to research and go back to reference Jessica Alba’s book called The Honest Life (which I LOVE and refer back to all the time).
**Deodorant was the last on the list for me after going vegan and switching to all cruelty-free makeup and beauty products… mostly because I was reluctant. Here’s what I learned after some research:
1) Sweating is NATURAL and good for you!!
You guys, we all sweat. Obviously, sweating is normal.
Truly, honestly, I never once questioned why I used anti-perspirant… it’s just what everyone used and I didn’t know anything else. Now, anti-perspirants freak me out. Sweating is our body’s way of cooling down, of detoxing, of ridding of impurities and expelling toxins. We are taught that sweating is gross and don’t want to be smelly so we try to prevent it from happening by stopping the smelly sweat in its tracks BUT this isn’t healthy or natural AT ALL.
Anti-perspirants clog our pores and block our sweat glands with aluminum (ew) so you sweat inside the body instead of outside, keeping all that bacteria and chemical crud in your tissues… while deodorant attempts to kill any odor-causing bacteria with harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Now, picture years and years of preventing your body from ridding of all these nasties by clogging your sweat glands and applying chemicals that are easily absorbed through the skin… SO CLOSE to your lady parts and lymph nodes too… Think about it, we sweat out of our armpits for a reason. It’s not glamorous, no, but we most definitely should NOT be interrupting or interfering with this natural process, let alone keeping all the junk inside the body to have a bacteria party.
Our bodies need to sweat… so it’s really the smell we are concerned about. Deodorant on it’s own does a fine job of handling the stink. I understand that some of you can’t be going to an important event and run the risk of having pit stains… but on regular days – go with the natural deodorant, please!!
2) Conventional deodorants and anti-perspirants contain an impressive amount of chemicals, additives and fragrance.
This wasn’t shocking to me, especially after going vegan and learning what ingredients lurk in our food, let alone our toxic beauty products. I figured anti-perspirant/deodorant would be just as bad as any other big name beauty product. Indeed, I was right!
We’re basically applying carcinogenic chemicals & harmful toxins right on top of our lymph nodes. UGH, WHY DO WE DO THIS. Lymph nodes are a major part of our immune system; their job is to help rid the body of toxins/cancer cells/ viruses/ bacteria/ etc., so if you have ever felt a lump or bump in your armpit, or have felt them enlarge when you’re sick, those are your precious lymph nodes trying to get you better or rid of something nasty.
Common Conventional Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant Ingredients:
Aluminum: toxic, irritating, has been linked to lymphatic cancer and Alzheimers disease
Parabens: a preservative thats found in everything and is easily absorbed through the skin, disrupts hormones, traces have been found in biopsied breast cancer tissue, can cause skin rashes and may be toxic to our reproductive, immune and neurological system
Triclosan/Triclocarban: antimicrobial agents that kill bacteria and fungus to prevent odor, absorbs and piles up in the body, disrupts hormones and helps to create dangerous bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics
Formaldehyde: a well-known carcinogenic substance… used to kill/prevent bacterial growth, triggers allergic reactions, rashes, nosebleeds and asthma
Phthalates: found in anything that lists “fragrance” in the ingredients to give a “fresh” scent, hormone disruptors (backed by 20 years of research) and causes hormonal imbalance, often found in plastic and nail polish, can damage reproductive system and cause infertility
Propylene Glycol: also known as: antifreeze, a common additive in personal care products, carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergic reactions
Antibacterial Substances: endocrine disruptors; adversely affect the immune system function and hormonal balance
These can be found lurking in most of your conventional beauty products.
3) What now? First, do an armpit detox.
Time to let your armpits breathe!! An armpit detox is when we let our bodies rid of the built-up gunk from all the years prior of using conventional anti-perspirant and chemical-laden deodorants. One you detox and correct the bacterial imbalances in your pits, you will sweat less AND any odor will naturally decrease because consistent use of Dove or Secret has actually made your sweat smellier… due to overproduction of bad bacteria.
**An alkaline body naturally tends to smell less (go vegan! check out my vegan starter guide)
This armpit detox will help to pull out whatever is stuck in the tissue and skin under the armpit, which in turn, helps to prevent unpleasant reactions that can come with the switch to a more natural deodorant.
Make this bentonite clay mask at home and apply it daily (while in the shower) until your body has adjusted to the natural deodorant, it non-irritating and the unpleasant odor is gone. Don’t deter back to your regular deodorant during this time! Give this a chance to do it’s work!
Bentonite Clay Mask Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon healing bentonite clay
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons of water (to get right consistency)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a wooden or non-metal spoon, until creamy.
- Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. Start slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjusts. If it burns, wash off immediately. This may cause some redness as it increases blood flow to the area, but will quickly go away.
- Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
- Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.
4) Primal Pit Paste – My FAVE and the Best Natural Deodorant!
You guys, this stuff works wonders.
No, this is not sponsored (but is should be!) Instead of masking odor with fragrance and chemicals, Primal Pit Paste neutralizes odor with aluminum-free baking soda and absorbs wetness with arrowroot powder, while still allowing the body to sweat and release toxins. It’s aluminum-free, paraben-free, has NO added fragrances, NO toxic chemicals, NO fragrances, NO corn, NO gluten, NO GMOs and absolutely NO sucky ingredients.
So it keeps you fresh and dry – but in a all-natural way! I love the calming lavender scent but it also comes in Jasmine, Coconut Lime, Orange Creamsicle, Thyme and Lemongrass, Primal Spice, Royal and Rogue, Coriander Sage (for sensitive skin) and unscented as well.
The convenient stick formula contains beeswax, but the jar formula does not, which means the jar is vegan-friendly! I’ve tried both the stick and the jar (just scoop out small amount with fingers and apply) and they’re both equally amazing. Obviously the stick is more convenient and less messy but the jar is suitable for vegans.
5) Extra Tips & Suggestions:
- Sweat it out: Remember that a little sweat is good for you; if you’re not sweating, you’re not efficiently removing toxins from your bod! And by now, you probably understand the importance, I hope?!
- Stay hydrated. Drink more water. Water helps to flush out toxins, so drink up! Make my Turmeric Glow Lemonade for flavor.
- Eat well: lots of whole plant based foods like organic vegetables, fruits, plant protein (beans, lentils, quinoa, tempeh etc.) and high quality fats like avocado. Skip the fast, processed, and packaged foods.
- Practice good hygiene, obviously. This deodorant will last throughout the day, but don’t expect it to last through a sweaty workout after a long day too. Shower immediately after exercise and daily. Dry off completely before applying the Primal Pit Paste. You can apply the armpit detox mask whenever you feel the need to!
That’s it! Hope you guys find this helpful.. or maybe you just think I’m a total weirdo now!
Let me know what you think or if you have any tips?!
What are your go-to natural vegan deodorants?! Or any DIY homemade recipes?! Leave a comment below!