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Tiny Choices Q&A: Natural Deodorant

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | August 5, 2007

Welcome to Tiny Choices Q&A, where we open the floor for discussion on questions which ya’ll have submitted (read the first list of questions here).

The first question was submitted by Meredith:

Is there such thing as an all-natural deodorant that actually works?? I have tried:
- Tom’s of Maine (gave me a horrible rash)
- Adidas Aluminum Free (worked great for the first stick, awful on the second)
- Kiss My Face (worked okay at first, and then was AWFUL!)
I am going to see if I can find the one recommended by treehugger and see if that works.

Well, I don’t have much personal experience with this one. I generally forget to apply deodorant in the first place, and on those days where there’s a bit of an issue I absentmindedly grab the Dove deodorant/antiperspirant from my medicine cabinet, which has lasted me a good 2 years or so, seeing as how I usually forget all about it.

I have tried various natural deodorants in the past– a few Toms of Maine varieties and one of those hunk o’ crystals, which both worked ok, but not great. And there’s the issue of mining the crystals, and the inevitable environmental damage that must be causing, and now that I think about it what the heck kind of crystal is it, anyway? Oh, it’s Potassium alum (they would like you to note that alum and aluminum are not the same). I wonder if Himalayan Rock Salt would work as well as claimed. Also, some people swear by using baking soda, which I’m sure works great at absorbing odors, but there must be white residue, no?

So, what are your thoughts on the matter?

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Topics: Home, Q&A | 20 Comments »

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Comment by HandcraftedbyJanice
2007-08-05 10:36:07

I’ve been using Melaleuca’s Naturals deoderant for years and I love it.

Comment by Jonathan
2007-08-05 11:02:04

I tried Tom’s of Maine, and it didn’t work! I found myself dealing with the horror of deodorant failure by mid-morning. I avoid deodorants that contain aluminum compounds because they give me rashes, which rules out ones with anti-perspirants. We humans are supposed to sweat after all.

Comment by Victoria E
2007-08-05 12:42:15

I had been using the hunk of salt rock for awhile, and while it does remove the smell of sweat, it doesn’t do much else. Now, I’m using Dr. Hauschka deodorant, and though it is more expensive, it lasts so very long and smells fantastic!

Comment by jenna
2007-08-05 16:18:38

I’ve been using Jason natural organic apricot deodorant. I love the smell, and I’ve never had a problem with rashes or BO. I used to sweat a lot, but once I moved away from anti-perspirants (ironically), things started drying up under there.

Comment by Karina
2007-08-05 17:06:20

I find that deodorant will stop being effective after a few weeks for me. I think it’s because the stink is caused by bacteria, right? so after a bit it makes sense that the bacteria figure out what’s going on and adapt to the new deodorant chemistry in your pits.

so what I do is rotate a few different types through. right now in rotation I’ve got tom’s of maine, trader joe’s cotton deo, desert essence dry by nature, lush mr. t powder, and lush aromarant solid deo. I find if I keep it mixed up I don’t stink. which is nice!

I have used baking soda, and it works fine! you just rub it in and there is no residue. after a while, though, it started to give me rash. I wonder if that’s because it’s so abrasive.

Comment by Jenn
2007-08-06 18:09:51

Do you have to apply it slightly moist (as suggested in that link), or can you just puff the powder right on?

Comment by Karina
2007-08-06 20:36:55

I just rubbed it on dry, but then, I also developed a rash after a while. ;)

Comment by Stacey
2007-08-06 09:20:05

I gave up and decided I’m going to smell and that’s life – really
But, in case you want to know, I do switch between Jason apricot and Tom’s of Maine (though, I’m not sure how I feel about Tom’s now that it is Clgate)

Comment by Jenn
2007-08-06 21:10:50

Stacey, I feel the same way about Tom’s… I’m still using their toothpaste (but it’s too foamy for me, actually)… when small groundbreakingly-green companies sell out to towering dominating monoliths… I just get pissed off, and want to find another small, groundbreakingly-green company to support.

Comment by Stacey
2007-08-07 10:24:37

I know – it’s like we want an enviro (vegan, too, in my case) company to thrive and do well, but then when it gets bought out by a conventional multinational and then what? It becomes available to the masses and that’s a good thing. I think I can appreciate that fact, but think that moving forward, I will try to spend my dollars elsewhere – you know, on the next big enviro company.
~~~I am very pleased with this plan that I just came up with…

Comment by Amy
2007-08-06 13:38:28

I used to use the Crystal, which was not so great for sweating, great for preventing stink (even on a nerve wracking plane trip!). I still use it in the winter, when I’m not sweaty. Toms of Maine did not work for me.

I’ve read about spray deodorants you can make with liquid chlorophyll (get it at a health food store), but if I am remembering correctly it can turn light colored clothes green.

Comment by lorelei
2007-08-06 20:58:27

I use nature’s gate organics fruit blend, persimmon rose geranium scent. it blends pretty well with my own smell, and they have some really nice other scents like asian pear.

Comment by lorelei
2007-08-06 21:00:28

oh, and years and years ago I wrote an irate letter to the Jason people about their packaging for the apricot deodorant, that it was sexist to say it was especially gentle for women. I wish that I still had a copy, it was slightly hilarious but very heartfelt. I really do hate all that ‘strong enough for a man but made for a woman’ crap.

Comment by Jenn
2007-08-06 21:23:50

I too wish you still had a copy of the letter. I’m sure it was amazing!

Comment by Sangu
2007-08-07 11:33:47

I feel like this is going to be one of those life-long quests. At the moment, I am using a Lush deodorant bar and Mr. T. (tea tree) powder . It seems to be working for now, but will need to mix it up. A few years ago, there used to be a Jason Wild Yam (for menopause and PMS) and it seemed to be a good one for me to swap in and out with, but i haven’t seen it for some time.

Comment by Crafty Green Poet
2007-08-08 08:37:16

I’ve used Neal’s Yard crystal deoderant for years. One crystal so far. It lasts for ages and is fairly effective.

Comment by cat147
2007-08-15 09:40:19

i like the nature’s gate stuff … but i will use the other stuff for days when it’s just not a good idea to be smelly (like a meeting with the boss). i minimize my use of the other stuff by showering at night and not putting deoderant on until the morning … that way my pits have all night to either breath free or to soak up the nature’s gate. it’s a tiny step …

2007-08-27 06:02:57

[...] we’ve had an interesting discussion here at Tiny Choices about different types of deodorant that we all use, I thought y’all would like to hear about a couple of different cleansing methods I’ve [...]

Comment by Lisa Miller
2009-08-11 14:15:54

I tried all the ‘natural’ products I came across and always experienced that afternoon “Oh, noooo…that smell can’t be me!” but it was. I’m very sensitive to chemicals and fragrances and antiperspirants make my armpits turn dark and leathery in a short time. I recently came across a crazy-but safe-idea and tried it.

And the winner is…………..Milk of Magnesia. That’s right, plain old liquid MOM, works like a charm. I sweat but there’s no odor, no flaky white stuff, no clogged leathery dark skin. After using it for about a week and getting used to having no BO, I forget for days on end and remember if I stink again-just wipe with alcohol and reapply if there’s no shower handy. This is in Central Texas where the temps have been over 100 degrees F for two months-I clean houses and landscape for a living. I think this is a good test for any deodorant.

Good luck to y’all with this one, it solved a big problem for me.

Comment by Debbie
2011-11-16 15:24:42

I make and use a cream deodorant my customers love it! It really works! it keeps me feeling fresh all day! check out purelygreat


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