A few years ago, an awesome story appeared on Care2 titled “The Great Deodorant Debate.” Referencing an (at that time) recent New York Times article, the story pulled together the most recent facts and figures facing the deodorant industry. Some things were (and still are) more apparent, such as the fact that “antiperspirants and deodorants, while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing. Deodorants neutralize our natural odors, whereas antiperspirants close off the pores with astringent, preventing them from excreting sweat.” While no specific studies have come forward and shown an exact link between cancer or Alzheimer’s, we still know the possible dangers and question the presence of parabens. Whether or not you use deodorant at all and how often you use it is, of course, up to each of us personally but it seems the safest best (as it is in nearly all areas of life) is to try and stick with natural options.
One of our readers, Shannon M., commented that she makes her own deodorant from coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda. Another reader, Maria O., says that she loves the products from a company called PrimaJolie. Whichever direction you lean – making your own or buying naturally – most people seem to get there from a trial and error period while they figure out the best thing for their budget and body. Looking for some natural options to check out? Kiwi Magazine did a story a few years back outlining top picks and we still agree with their options:
Try this roll-on in the Fresh scent, which combines witch hazel and sage extract. ($20, peacefulcompany.com)
This line of teen-friendly deodorants boasts bright colors and small sizes. Plus, the Green Apple smells just like fresh fruit. ($6, terranaturals.com)
The perfect scent for men, this spritz-on deodorant features sage, a natural antioxidant. Plus, the metal packaging is recyclable. ($8, burtsbees.com)
These stick deodorants are available in eight scents, so you’re sure to find one you like (we love the calming Chamomile and Lemon Verbena). ($6, natures-gate.com)
Tom’s of Maine
This line of deodorants features hops, an antimicrobial, to inhibit bacteria growth. Try the Sensitive Care Bay Lime for baby-soft skin. ($5.50, drugstore.com)
Made of mineral salts, which slow the growth of odor-causing bacteria, these deodorants come in fragrance-free rocks, sprays and roll-ons. ($2.50-$7, thecrystal.com)
A few more?
Erbaviva Jasmine Grapefruit Organic Deodorant
Essential oils of jasmine, grapefruit, ginger, cedarwood, cypress, sage, and lemon give this spray a subtle, sweet scent. (www.erbaviva.com)
Organic white willow bark and lavender-infused alcohol control odor. The spice-scented blend is USDA certified organic. (www.origins.com)
Arrowroot powder absorbs moisture while organic lemon and clove oils work to leave the skin smelling fresh. (www.bubbleandbee.com)
Terressentials Lavender Fresh Deodorant
The lavender formula helps neutralize odors—even the sulfur compounds that can result from eating garlic. (www.terressentials.com)
Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Roll-On Deodorant
This liquefied crystal deodorant rolls on easily and neutralizes body odors without covering them up with other scents. (www.kissmyfacewebstore.com)
6 Alternatives to Toxic Deodorants gives us three safe alternatives when were checking out the ingredients behind deodorants. Natural Solutions magazine reminds us that “when you swap any conventional cosmetic for a more natural one, you need to give your body time to readjust.”
Ammonium or potassium alum, the ingredients in solid crystal deodorants, work by constricting the protein in sweat so that malodorous bacteria have less to feed on.
Clay and powders
Clay minerals such as kaolin and bentonite and natural powders like cornstarch or arrowroot help absorb moisture.
Witch hazel, sage, alcohol, and other astringents work by evaporating the moisture on the skin and constricting the pores. They are usually used in conjunction with essential oils that have antibacterial properties.