I’ve tried making the switch to natural deodorant. So. Many. Times.
It’s been a journey.
But I’ve finally found a natural product that works – even for me.
Some people make a seamless switch from conventional deodorant (which is loaded with questionable ingredients such as aluminium, propylene glycol and phthalates).
Others (me) end up scrubbing their armpits into an irritable mess, trying to smell nice for more than half an hour, and eventually switch back to chemical deodorants.
Why bother to switch to natural deodorant?
I’m not a doctor or a chemist. But to me, smearing chemical products on my underarms has never made sense.
I already use natural shampoo, makeup, cosmetcis and household cleaners.
So why would I put a harsh chemical deodorant on such an important part of my body, where there’s a major clump of lymph nodes?
Because I hate to smell!
Does natural deodorant work?
Yes and no. Here’s my take on it.
It was with a sense of resignation that I embarked, once again, on the pit product switch.
I tried salt-based deodorants (again). I tried roll-ons (again). I tried the creamy white stuff that smooshes all over my clothes (again).
I was smelly. I felt sticky. I was washing my underarms more than once a day.
I switched back to my standard brand, temporarily defeated (again).
After a bit of research, I decided to order some samples from the Natural Deodorant Co.
I was cautiously optimistic, but became disappointed once again.
Their Active Orange + Bergamot Deodorant Balm smelled great, but didn’t really work – at the time. (It works well for me now – see below.)
I tried their Clean Deodorant Balm for Men – the sample pot I had bought for my husband, and it all changed. It smelled great and worked so well that I ordered samples of all the Clean Balm varieties.
At first, I was cranky that the men’s deodorant worked better than the Active variety. Are women not allowed to stink? But then I realised that the men’s version was a Clean Balm. Turns out, all the Clean Balm varieties work awesomely for me.
My pits felt drier than they had with the natural roll-ons I had been using (which left my underarms feeling unpleasantly wet), and I smelled great!
At the time, I was working at a café as well as freelance writing. I spent a lot of time in a hot kitchen and dashing around to serve customers while wearing a hefty uniform. One day, a couple of the customers complimented me on how great I smelled – like ‘aromatherapy oils’ (thank you, Grapefruit + Mint). I knew I was onto something.
What I found was that after a few months of using natural deodorants, the effectiveness increased and my underarms were fresh, even after exercise or a hectic day. Now, I can use the Active Balm for tolerable results, but I much prefer the Clean Balm varieties, which work better for me and feel great on my skin.
The Natural Deo Co products come in a glass jar. I love the logo and the packaging in general – especially because it’s not going to end up in landfill like a plastic roll-on bottle. And don’t get me started on anti-perspirant sprays.
Would I recommend switching to natural deodorant?
I’ve been trying to switch for years, but now there’s a product that can stand up to normal, smelly underarms, like mine.
If you’re thinking of making the switch, be prepared for a few things:
- Your underarms will feel a bit wet
- They’re likely to get worse before they get better
- Your new deodorant will be more expensive
- Application will not be what you’re used to
When I made the final successful switch, my friend Katy from Wild Rose Holistics advised me to go without any deodorant as often as possible, and to give my underarms a good rub to get things moving, as well as occasional breaks from shaving. But they still got worse before they got better.
After nearly twenty years of using pore-clogging synthetics, it’s not surprising that I got a sore, spotty rash under one of my arms (underarms often get lumpy due to the lymph nodes). This side was also a bit smelly. It took a long time for my underarms to calm down, but they now smell better than they did when I used normal deodorant and the rash is almost gone – not bad for a few months’ recovery from synthetics.
Naturals do tend to be more expensive, which makes sense. They’re produced with better ingredients and more sustainable packaging – on a smaller scale. No mysteries there.
A 60g jar of the Natural Deo Co’s superb smelling gunk is £11 plus postage (postage is free on orders of more than £30), which is a far cry from the £1.99 I’m used to paying. Still, one pot lasts me about two months. Best of all, you can buy the little sample pots to test the deodorant for yourself – and choose your favourite scent.
What’s it like to use?
In the morning, I gouge out a pea-sized lump for each underarm. It’s creamy and moisturising with a lovely smell (all the scent combinations are amazing) and just a hint of graininess. It can rub off on clothes but it’s very far from being the worst deodorant for white marks.
Last week I accidentally went to work without any deodorant on. I was convinced, as I wended my long way to Bath from deep, dark Somerset, that I would need to dash to the shop at lunchtime to buy some of the hated synthetic stuff.
But after a while, I forgot about my pits. By the end of the day, I hadn’t thought of them (or smelled them) once.
I would never have been able to last a day without deodorant before. And I don’t think I could have done it without the Natural Deo Co. They are pure awesome.