2 min read

Deodorant Diaries: My Journey to Going All-Natural

It’s been a long, strange trip. Aluminum in deodorant is a much-debated issue in the world of all-natural beauty products. It’s used primarily as an antiperspirant, but the question has been raised about the safety of putting heavy metals so close to breast tissue. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that links the aluminum in deodorant to breast cancer, it most certainly is responsible for those lovely yellow pit stains on all your white summer clothes. For me, that little tidbit of information was enough to set off on a journey to find all-natural deodorant Nirvana. My first stop was Tom’s of Maine. I’m a long-time lover of their toothpaste and we share a flower child approach to beauty, so I figured their deodorant would be a perfect fit. Wrong. The lavender-scented stick was one of the biggest let-downs of my life (second only to hearing Freaks & Geeks had been cancelled). Halfway through the day - not even a gym day, mind you - my armpits didn’t smell remotely like lavender. NEXT! In keeping with the theme of brands with single-syllable male names, I decided to try Sam’s Natural. They have a special formula for women, and though that made me question whether men and women need different deodorants like they ‘need’ different razors, I ordered it on Amazon and rolled it onto my lady pits. It earned a solid score in terms of fragrance - lavender, sage & citrus are an excellent combo - but I never had a chance to rate its effectiveness, as it made my armpits feel like they were on fire. I don’t consider myself to have particularly sensitive skin, so this was a bit surprising to me. I washed it off and vowed never to subject myself to that particular flavor of pain again. Having tested a few stick-form options, I decided to switch things up and dip my toe (or fingers, rather) into the deep end - jars. Though I realize smearing on deodorant by hand is less than appealing to most, rumor had it that this was the key to finding the perfect all-natural formula. After consulting with many friends and co-workers, I ordered a jar of Schmidt’s - the natural beauty staple I never knew existed; everyone I talked to swore this was the one. I’ve never entered a Whole Foods with such a singular focus. Remembering my recent stinging armpit incident, I picked up a jar of the fragrance-free formula and carried my treasure home. I opened the jar and used the tiniest spatula I’ve ever seen to scoop out the white paste, and warmed it in my fingers to get the right consistency for smearing. Applying it while fully dressed was a serious challenge, what with my paste-covered fingers, but I managed to overcome. The smell is pleasant in that neutral, fragrance-free way, and let me tell you… it actually works. I know, I could hardly believe it myself. But even after having to get up in front of my colleagues and speak (cue the panic sweat), I passed the sniff test! So, no, ditching the aluminum in deodorant doesn’t have to mean transforming into a stinky, sweaty mess - you CAN live a #cleanbeauty lifestyle without being the person no one wants to sit next to on the bus.

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