Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Natural Deodorants: If I Can't Eat It, Don't Wear It

Over the last five years or so, I have been working off the philosophy of "If I can't eat it, don't wear it." Slowly I am finding alternatives for a lot of the products I put on my body in the past, but it feels like it is a constant job. I often refer to the Environmental Working Group for ideas on safe products and although Dr. Mercola's site can be a little over the edge sometimes, he provides a lot of good information about the safety of chemicals we put on our body.

Deodorant was one of the first things I decided to change. One of the articles Mercola shares regarding antiperspirant mentions how the aluminum in antiperspirants can mimic the estrogen hormone and since it is so close to the breast, it can cause breast cancer. Scary! My first attempt with natural deodorant was with the crystal body deodorant which works great most of the time and is very economical, but found it doesn't do so well in stressful situations. Next, I turned to baking soda. With baking soda you can just dab a bit under your armpits. You can even add an essential oil if you want something scented. It is that easy. Baking soda works pretty well but recently I have noticed a little scent making its way up to my nose - usually when I am in class teaching and have to stand close to students. So, I have been going back and forth between the crystal body rock and the baking soda thinking maybe if I mix things up, that will help.

Anyone else out there trying natural deodorants and care to share your experiences? I would love to hear what you are trying.

If you haven't tried natural deodorants, please don't be scared off by a little scent every once in a while. About 90% of the time the rock and baking soda do work wonderfully. Also, I have found some benefits to using natural deodorants. One benefit is I don't get stains in the armpits of my shirts that I used to get when wearing antiperspirants. Another benefit I have enjoyed with natural deodorants is how much I have learned about your own body. Antiperspirants stop sweating, which is a natural thing for our body to do. Once I stopped using them I was surprised to find which situations made me to sweat. Now, when I feel the sweat coming on, I think to myself, "What's going on? Are you nervous? Scared? Or just hot?" It really is fun to learn more about yourself this way.

Here is one more interesting article regarding body odor from The Natural (like Mercola's site, sometimes they have great information and other times I could do without them.) I did find this information from the article kind of amusing:

And above all, if you want to eliminate body odor for life, avoid cheese, milk and dairy products. They make you smell like "milk and butter." The smell of these products is so bad that when U.S. soldiers were shipped off to Vietnam in the 1960's, the Vietcong could actually smell them thanks to their American diets. New arrivals were often put on new diets based on local cuisine simply to rid their bodies of the milk-and-butter smell, thereby reducing the risk of being literally sniffed out by the enemy.

Although I have eliminated dairy from my diet, maybe I still need to work on eliminating some other food choices so that I can eliminate the bacteria I smell during stressful situations.


  1. I've just recently switched to natural deodorants. I've tried several natural deodorant sticks in the past, but just the type that's similar to regular deodorant sticks, minus the aluminum, and they didn't work well at all. I only recently started using the crystal deodorant, and it works ok... Could be better, so I'm still looking around for other alternatives. :-)

    By the way, I actually found your blog in a search for unschooling! Cool stuff. :-)


  2. Hmmmm, I've never thought about natural deodorants but have used homemade cleaners before-mainly for glass/surface cleaners- and been really happy with the results. I say anytime you can eliminate unnecessary chemicals is a good time!

  3. I use the crystal as well, and also SilvaFresh deodorant.
    It looks sticky but it doesn't feel sticky after you put it on. It works pretty well.

  4. Hi Idzie,
    You have a great blog. Lots of interesting stuff that is fun too! It seems as if the crystal is popular.

    Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I have really enjoyed your thoughts on RA. We have also tried switching to natural cleaning solutions. Now, when we are out at the library or stores, I can smell the chemicals in the cleaners.

    Hi Heather,
    I haven't heard of the SilvaFresh. I googled it. Do you buy it online or is it available through Whole Foods or other health food stores? Thanks for the information and for mentioning me on your blog.


  5. My mom is a demo representative and that is one of the companies that they represent so she has tons of samples. Trimedica SilvaFresh. Some whole foods and other health stores should carry it.. but it is also available online.

  6. I've never tried it. I know when I worked if I forgot to put deo on I would use lotion or baby powder and it would help. Maybe I'll try it though.

    Thanks for the tips!

  7. Oh Cathy, edible deodorant, I just had to laugh! We tried the crystal for my sons feet...stinky! The crystal actually absorbed the odor of the feet so had to toss it. I haven't tried baking soda. People will say women perspire, they don't sweat, but girlfriend, let me tell you, I sweat! Thanks for the interesting article on the soldiers! WOW!

  8. It is funny that I am just now finding this post of yours. I just broke down yesterday and bought Secret. It is what I used to use, but switched to using Tom's natural when I discovered aluminum was in what I normally use. For a while I just didn't use anything, because I never smelled, and I figured that sweating was a good way to detox. Anyhow, the past few months I started having some BO, I don't know why I am suddenly having an issue with that, except I have not been following my diet like I should since I moved to ID. Would that cause the sudden smell?? Well, Tom's just doesn't cut it, so I broke down and bought Secret and used it for the first time today. Maybe reading this post today is a sign that I need to switch back to all natural. I'll try the baking soda tomorrow.