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When my family first started our natural living journey, we didn’t have the financial means to purchase lots of different products and ingredients. In an effort to maintain both my mental sanity and our financial stability, I had to figure out how to make the switch from toxic products to more natural options. My solution was a simple one: Embrace this makeover as a journey. A slow, steady journey, swapping one product at a time.
I want to help you do the same.
I personally believe the best products to start with are the ones most often used. For me, this meant first swapping out my daily face cleanser, toner, moisturizer, deodorant, body soap, toothpaste, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, and eventually makeup for more natural options. Slowly, as my old (toxic) products ran out, I would search for more natural replacements.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to…
- be an informed consumer and read ingredient lists
- make your own body products using simple ingredients (i.e.cocoa powder, baking soda, oats, yogurt, honey)
- determine what to buy versus make
This time we’re going to talk about one of the most important swaps: deodorant.
Most store-bought deodorant options contain less-than-desirable ingredients, including parabens (look for: methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl) and aluminum. Parabens and aluminum may mimic estrogen and disrupt hormones. According to Cancer.gov, “Because underarm antiperspirants or deodorants are applied near the breast and contain potentially harmful ingredients, several scientists and others have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer. However, no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer.”
I would rather take the safe approach and limit my use of ingredients that may cause harm versus wait for any further evidence. The European Union takes the same stance, leading to the ban of over 1400 chemicals and ingredients in personal care products, including some parabens.
This is why deodorant is one of the most important swaps we can make. Deodorant is used in close proximity to a woman’s breasts, and it comes in contact with the skin on a daily basis. Why not take the safe approach and switch to a deodorant that uses safer ingredients?
There are two things to keep in mind when using a natural deodorant: 1. Do not apply deodorant after shaving if baking soda is used to make the deodorant (check the ingredient list). 2. Natural deodorant is meant to be used as a deodorant (used to mask odor and absorb wetness), not an antiperspirant (prevents sweating). Sweating is 100% natural and good for the body.
A good deodorant should allow the body to sweat without an accompanying odor. Natural deodorant doesn’t and shouldn’t equal body odor. A good deodorant should also absorb wetness, but shouldn’t prevent you from sweating. Also, staining can be an issue for some people, particularly if you wear white shirts often. If you find this to be an issue, try an unscented version of the deodorant.
The deodorant I love may not be what you love and vice versa. Every person is different and it’s important to find what works best for you. That’s the amazing thing about community. We can all share what’s working for us and even what’s not.
Also, as of 2018 I no longer work with sponsors on the blog (to guarantee trustworthiness and authenticity). The products mentioned during our chats are based on what I’ve purchased with my own money and tried for my own personal use.
Switching to Natural ProductsDeodorant
Deodorant is fairly easy to make. If you’ve made any natural products before, you probably already own the ingredients needed: shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, arrowroot starch/flour, baking soda, essential oil.
Price: varies depending on ingredient sources.
This is the store-bought deodorant I’ve been using for years. It’s easy to find (health food stores, Whole Foods, and Amazon) and affordable. It comes in both stick and jar options. I prefer the stick option.
Lavender Deodorant Ingredients: organic shea butter, non-aluminum baking soda, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic arrowroot powder, lavender essential oil, non-GMO vitamin E derived 100% from sunflowers
When I’m not using Primal Pit Paste, I usually go with Schmidt’s (if I’m not making my own deodorant). This deodorant can be found at most retailers, including: Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, Target, and Amazon. Schmidt’s was acquired by Unilever in 2017. At this time, the ingredient list hasn’t changed. Schmidt’s makes a number of different scents, baking-free options, and stick and jar options.
Rose and Vanilla Deodorant Ingredients: maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, cocos nucifera (coconut) Oil, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) Wax, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), caprylic/capric triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, natural fragrance, tocopherol (vitamin E)
This deodorant differs from the other two in that the company adds tallow from grass-fed cows. Non-nano zinc and kaolin clay are also used in this deodorant. Primally Pure also makes a charcoal deodorant. The only downside to this option is the accessibility. The deodorant can only be purchased from the company’s website. This is my current favorite!
Lemongrass Deodorant Ingredients: arrowroot powder, organic extra virgin coconut oil*, tallow from grass-fed cows, organic beeswax, baking soda, non-nano zinc oxide, white kaolin clay, organic lemongrass essential oil *FAIR TRADE
I’ve used the Meow Meow Tweet stick deodorant in the past with good success. I also recently tried the grapefruit baking soda free cream option, and was pleased with the performance. They also make the baking soda-free option in a stick form.
Target just started selling Meow Meow Tweet (both the baking soda free option and regular option). The deodorant is also available through Amazon.
Baking Soda Deodorant Ingredients: *helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *maranta esculenta (arrowroot) powder, magnesium hydroxide, *+theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, *+butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed wax, sodium bicarbonate, *lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot FCF) peel oil, *cymbopogon flexuosus (lemongrass) oil, *mentha piperita (peppermint) oil *certified organic / +fair trade
Baking Soda-Free Deodorant Ingredients: *manihot esculenta (arrowroot) powder, magnesium hydroxide, *+cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, *+butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, *simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, *citrus sinensis (sweet orange) peel oil, *citrus paradisi (grapefruit) peel oil, *citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, *citrus bergamia (bergamot FCF) peel oil *certified organic / +fair trade
If this deodorant was easier to find in stores (I’m a sucker for convenience), I would probably use it regularly. I’ve been super impressed with how well this deodorant works. The deodorant combines the power of activated charcoal, tapioca starch (instead of arrowroot), and baking soda. The deodorant is available on Amazon, the company’s website, and green beauty stores (like Follain).
Ingredients: cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, tapioca starch (Non GMO), euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, stearyl alcohol, sodium bicarbonate (aluminum-free), D-alpha tocopheryl acetate, magnesium hydroxide, activated charcoal, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, eucalyptus radiata Leaf/Stem Oil, citrus reticulata (tangerine) leaf oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) peel oil, salvia sclarea (clary) Oil, cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) leaf oil, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, thymus vulgaris (thyme) oil, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) leaf oil, lavendula augustifolia (lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil
This deodorant reminds me a lot of Primal Pit Paste. The biggest difference is the use of vegan wax and magnesium in the formula. The deodorant is available on Amazon.
Lavender Deodorant Ingredients: virgin coconut oil, shea butter (unrefined, fair trade), magnesium oil, manuhot esculenta (tapioca) starch, aluminum-free baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), wildcrafted candelilla wax (euphorbia cerifera), 100% pure lavender essential oil
When I shared this list over on Instagram Story, reader friends reached out to share their obsession with Native Deodorant. I’ve tried Native and haven’t had great success with it compared to the other options on this list, but a lot of people absolutely love this brand. This deodorant is only available via the company’s website.
Ingredients: caprylic/capric triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), arrowroot powder, stearyl alcohol, baking soda, shea butter, coconut oil, hydrogenated castor oil, polyglycerol-3 beeswax (cera bellina wax), jojoba esters, tocopherol (vitamin E), L. acidophilus (natural bacteria found in your body already), maltodextrin, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate. Scented deodorants include a proprietary blend of oils. Due to FDA recommendations, we use the term “fragrance” to refer to these oils.
Have you found a natural deodorant you love? What are you currently working on swapping out? What do you want to talk about next in the make the switch series?