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The "Natural Deodorant" test

anti-perspirant baking soda deodorant natural

Ok, who is using them? Natural deodorants I mean! I have done boat loads of reading to figure out what makes a good and effective natural deodorant. I found 2 things that seemed important in making this product effective. #1 most natural deodorants contain baking soda. The pH of baking soda is 9 while the pH of the skin is 5.5. While the numbers might seem trivial that is actually a HUGE difference. The comments I kept coming across were that prolonged use of deodorants containing baking soda was causing sensitivities in some people. This makes sense to me, using a product that is not pH compatible with the body can cause issues including sensitivities. The second thing I learned was that some companies are using enzymes that are derived from fungus as an ingredient because the enzymes have the ability to "eat" the bacteria from the armpit environment. 

With these two pieces of information I formulated my plan for the natural deodorant trial I wanted to do for myself. My husband ended up being interested in all this as well and so we decided to try this out together. It so happened to be fall/winter when we decided to give this a try which I thought was good because we both sweat less then anyway. After all this is deodorant and not anti-perspirant we are testing. I wanted to select a deodorant that did not contain baking soda and I wanted to find one that did contain enzymes. I chose not to formulate one myself for the trial because I wanted to see what was available on the market and then potentially formulate one at a later time. 

Off to our cute little local co-op I marched with my plans in mind. I settled on 2 different ones to start with. I went big name brand with Tom's of Maine unscented and then another company which I was not familiar with but thought the pricing was reasonable (these natural deodorants can get expensive really fast!)

We kept switching back and forth between the two brands during our trial (not very scientific, I know). I would use one a couple days in a row then the other. What I realized really fast was that Tom's of Maine was completely ineffective for my body chemistry and the hubby felt the same way for his pits. It actually seemed to have the opposite effect of its intended purpose in that is made me feel

less fresh. Here are the ingredients for
deodorant #1 (Tom's): Propylene Glycol (Vegetable Derived), Water, Sodium Stearate, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Zinc Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Laurate, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) (Extracted with Co2) Cone Extract, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Organic Cymbopogon Flexuosus Oil.

The container advertised 24 hours of coverage and mentioned that the zinc salts was what was making the deodorant work. So NOT the case, even with re-applying it was not effective. We ended up chucking it in the bin.


Deodorant #2 I managed to misplace in our recent move and the co-op no longer carries it, unfortunately. So I can give you details of our little trial but I am sorry to say that I can't give the name of the product at this time. Should I locate that deodorant I will update this post with name and ingredients. I selected the citrus scent and it also contained the fungus derived enzymes, it smelled amazing! It provided great coverage and I felt fresh all day. The drawback of this product was that is was super sticky. Not just right after applying either, it was sticky ALL DAY LONG! I felt that we had made progress though, it was effective, smelled great and did the job it claimed to do. Aesthetically though, my armpits did not like feeling sticky.

With this knowledge I have set out to try a third natural deodorant which arrived last week. I saw it on the site of one of my vendors and thought "sure, let's try it!" It meets my criteria of

no baking soda plus contains enzymes. The brand is "All Good" and I selected the Cedarwood and Spruce scent. Ingredients are: Propanediol, water, sodium stearate, saccharomyces ferment, organic aloe extract, organic calendula extract, organic arrowroot powder, organic cedarwood essential oil, organic spruce essential oil, and organic rosemary essential oil.

Both the hubby and myself have been using it daily. It is fall here and the weather has started to cool off but we both tend to do a good amount of manual labor either at home or (in my case) at my job. This deodorant is awesome! It has a lovely subtle scent when being applied but is not overpowering and actually fades away rather fast. It feels a tad wet when applied but dried quickly and feels like nothing. I have not needed to re-apply this deodorant even once yet which is so cool because I worked up a storm the other day then went out after work for family dinner and no one fell off their chair due to me being a little stink bomb (lol). So far this is a huge win for both of us, we will continue to use it and are both curious to see how it will hold up when the weather turns warm (and worse....humid!)

Additionally another great vendor I use has a natural deodorant

base available which contains enzymes, I really like that idea because I can customize it with whatever scent I want. I plan to order some next time I place an order with them. You can read about that HERE if you are interested. 

So what are some natural deodorants you have tried? Tell me about your successes or failures. Have you tried to make deodorant and how did that go for you? Let's start our own little review right here!

April 26, 2020 (update): Since I wrote this post in 2018 I have been working on formulations. I have found some key ingredients that seem effective without being irritating or sensitizing. I am working on refining the skin feel of the product and hope to be able to offer this as a product at some point in the future.

Yours in aromatic pits


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