This post is a little weird! For those of you that know me, I don't have a problem speaking my mind, even if it might be on an uncomfortable subject. But for those of you who are genuinely squeamish talking about deodorant and body odor, we probably won't be good friends HAH!
Over the last few years, I have been experimenting with different natural deodorants. A couple of years ago, I tried out Toms of Maine, and didn't like it at all. It didn't work to stop perspiration, and the scent was not strong enough to block odor. Before I go any further, I should explain how deodorant/antiperspirant works (for those who don't know). There are two types of odor/sweat blocking agents sold in stores today and those are deodorants and antiperspirants. Some of them don't contain both properties, but most do. Certain brands, like Dove, Secret, Mitchum, and Degree all contain the active ingredient, Aluminum Zirconium. This is the ingredient that sets deodorant and antiperspirants apart (There have been numerous studies linking this active ingredient to breast cancer and reproductive issues, but I won't go into that today, you can Google that on your own time). It also is responsible for darkening of the arm pit skin (which many women of color tend to get). It acts as a "plug" for the sweat pores in your armpits; first shrinking them up and then plugging them and leaving a protective "barrier". The problem with this though, is that because your pores are being unnaturally plugged, your body fights even harder to push the sweat out. This is why in recent years we have seen more and more of the "clinical strength" deodorants hit the market.
Deodorant on the other hand, is simply a scent stick that aids with odor control. It doesn't control sweat production in any way, but certain deodorants can place a protective mineral salt barrier on your skin. What I have found is that my body does not like antiperspirants. They don't work, and the artificial scents that come standard with most "traditional" deodorants on the market when mixed with my sweat smelled worse than my natural odor. So after trying Tom's of Maine and finding that it didn't work, I went back to the traditional option. After making the decision to go back to all natural deodorant, I decided to try various options to find the best one. There are people that make their deodorant at home, but I don't think that it would be anywhere as effective as what is sold in stores today, so I won't review any homemade products.
In addition to my own personal reviews below, I highly recommend that you check out this "natural deodorant" review from Reviews.com They evaluate EVERYTHING from toothbrushes, to chef knives, and the guide is really quite helpful. The team on this study hand tested 23 different natural deodorants and found the best and worst ones! Take a look, it's definitely worth it.
Here is what I found!
Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). It doesn't completely keep me dry, but it truly works better than anything on the market. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING!
Cons: Unscented. What little sweat remains does cause odor as the day goes on. Doesn't completely get rid of the sweat. You have to let it dry for it to be effective, and you have to put it on while your arms are wet.
Crystal Essense Spray
Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). What's different is that this salt deodorant comes in spray form (the salt is in water), and is also scented naturally with essential oils. My favorite scents are fresh and natural, so I LOVE their Lavender scented spray. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING! Sprays on easily.
Cons: You have to let it dry for it to be effective.
Arm and Hammer Essentials
Pros: The scent is GREAT! Easy roll on, like regular deodorant. 100% natural. Baking Soda as an odor blocker! Thanks Melanie for introducing me to this one!
Cons: No antiperspirant ingredients, not even natural ones. Limited scent options.
Pros: Great scent options, I chose Eucalyptus Mint. Not tested on animals! Rolls on easily like stick deodorant. I found this deodorant on Pinterest of all places! It is only available to purchase online, but you should totally check them out.
Cons: Expensive! It was $12. It leaves a grainy residue because of the arrowroot powder. After a while, the smell wears off and it mixes with my natural scent and does NOT smell good. My other deodorants do not have that problem.
I like to mix and match my deodorants, and they seem to work for me. It's important to note that when switching, it will take your body's sweat glands a few weeks to adjust to using natural deodorant, and during the transition process you may think the natural alternatives are not working. Just give it time! I promise it will be worth it.