Journey to Natural Deodorant
My switch to natural deodorant was my first leap into the world of natural cosmetics. My interest peaked as I wondered why this substance, that I applied daily, still seemed to be under my arms even after I washed it off in the shower. My gunky, clogged razor let me know it was still there in addition to the area under my arms that barely lathered upon contact with my loofa and bodywash. This lead to a search for deodorants without Aluminum chlorohydrate, the main ingredient in most commercial antiperspirants.
*Fun Fact, deodorant is classified as a cosmetic and regulated by the U.S. FDA while the it classifies deodorants with antiperspirant as drugs.*
What Worked For Me:
Tom’s of Maine, the only brand name that I knew and recognized. Natural. Aluminum Free. Simple enough right? At first, Yes. Until the slight burning feeling (Don’t Ignore This) under my arms. When I finally decided to look, there it was. Large, dark circles under both arms. It’s safe to say this was in the trash can almost immediately.
A local brand whose ingredients consisted of beeswax, arrowroot powder, essential oil, bentonite clay and coconut oil was my next stop. Some days I loved it and some days I wasn’t sure about my decision. It was oil based so it could be used sparingly, thus lasting longer. For the most part, it met my list of criteria:
*Does the deodorant wash off completely? *check*
*Does it smell great? *check*
*Underarms free of burns?? *check*
Downsides? There were good days and bad days. I had days where my deodorant gave me no worries and days where I wouldn't dare raise my arms higher than handshake level to prevent anyone from getting a whiff! I became much more diligent about always have my deodorant in my work bag every day.
*The coconut oil (or other oil used as a base) can stain your clothes
*Inconsistency. I never knew which day would be the one it would fail me
*Be very careful with black clothes, it’s hard to rub in
Overall I’d say I had success with the oil and clay based deodorants but I still wanted to try another brand that would give me an even better peace of mind. I wanted that confidence that when I put my deodorant on at 7am,, I’d be fine until I returned home at 6pm. Another trip to my local health and specialty foods store brought me to Nubian Heritage. I’d seen this brand around social media and sponsored ads on Facebook. So I gave it a shot and I said to myself, THIS IS IT! It smells great (so far I've used the Coconut & Papaya and the Honey & Black Seed ). It does not stain my clothes and it leaves me smelling fresh throughout the entire day.
So there you have my almost two year journey to finding the right deodorant for me. As your body changes, so might your need for a new deodorant. Switching to any new product, especially natural ones, call for patience, trial and error, and an open mind. But it’s worth it. Let me know what you've tried in the comments!
Brittany Waters is a health educator in Raleigh, NC. A self-proclaimed product junkie and obsessed with DIY projects, she's always looking for her next travel adventure, a glass of wine and is known for putting on concerts in the car. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @missbrittanymadison.