You can easily find arguments on both sides of the “is conventional deodorant bad for you?” debate. Some (mainly within the natural community) will claim the aluminum used in most mainstream deodorant brands poses a danger to users’ heath, potentially leading to diseases like breast cancer. (In traditional anti-perspirant deodorant, the aluminum ingredient is used to block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface.) Other sides cite a lack of research specifically tying mainstream deodorant to any increase in disease.
I’m not one to tend to get overly paranoid about this kind of thing, but at the same time when you consider all the chemicals we expose ourselves to — via beauty products, household cleaners, the air we breathe, even some of the foods we eat — it does make me take pause and wonder if I should try an alternative. After all, there are SO many natural deodorants on the market now. If I can find one that works for me — minus the aluminum — why not go that route, right?
Since coming to this conclusion, I’ve tried three different kinds of natural deodorant and wanted to share my thoughts on each, in the event you’re also contemplating making the switch:
I’ve tried two Native scents, Unscented and Fresh, and like both but think I prefer Unscented.
In theory, I like that Native is applied like regular deodorant. However, I’ve found that the consistency is a little different than standard deodorant (it doesn’t glide on quite as smoothly), and so I end up having to use my fingers to apply it anyway. (This happens more frequently with the Fresh scent, for some reason.) Coverage-wise, I felt like it keeps me feeling fresh throughout the day.
You may have heard of this natural deodorant if you’re a Shark Tank watcher, as it was featured on the show. This version is a charcoal-based deodorant that you rub directly into your armpits (just a pea-sized amount on each pit). I was impressed at how easy it was to rub in, and even though it starts out gray, it quickly turns clear upon application. (Whew!) The charcoal ingredient is key, as activated charcoal can absorb 1,000 times its weight in moisture. You can see where that might come in handy in this instance!
My third natural deodorant pick (like Piper Wai) has one scent option: eucalyptus. It smells so refreshing, and glides on the smoothest of the three (like a standard roll-on deodorant). With odor-neutralizing ingredients, this stuff is formulated to keep you smelling so fresh and so clean, clean.
My overall recommendation? The Piper Wai ended up being my favorite of the three. Yes, it’s a little weird to rub on deodorant with your fingers, but once you get over that new approach this stuff works really well. Go, activated charcoal! I plan to keep using it in lieu of regular deodorant. (My next pick is Malin + Goetz, followed by Native. But I do like all three brands!)
For others who have tried natural deodorants, what have your experiences been? Any favorite brands?