I get asked this question every single week: “Can you tell me which natural deodorant actually works?” And I understand this question because a lot of them don’t do a great job of both dealing with odor and wetness. The other issue is that some of the more “natural” brands use a lot of baking soda, which can be a little irritating to the delicate underarm area.
So, first off, there is a big difference between a deodorant and an anti-perspirant. A deodorant simply deals with odor. It doesn’t necessarily stop you sweating. And this is probably why a lot of people think natural deodorants don’t work. Let’s be clear, sweating is natural, and sweating is healthy! Our bodies are supposed to sweat. And it’s not the sweat that’s stinky, it’s the bacteria that breeds in the wetness if it’s left unattended. Yep, my friends – bacteria doesn’t generally smell good. So, many of the more natural brands use essential oils and such to neutralize the odor, and absorbent powders to soak up the moisture.
An anti-perspirant typically contains aluminum salts, which stop up your sweat ducts so you can’t sweat! There are times in my life when I do really need something to stop me sweating – gotta be honest, when I’m stepping onto a TV set with all those hot lights beating down, a good old baking soda-based deodorant doesn’t work. Get me my aluminum salts now!!!! But here’s the thing, when I know I’m going to use a full on anti-perspirant I don’t shave that morning. Studies have found that shaving removes a layer of skin, and this way the aluminum can be absorbed readily into the tissues. And remember, the lymph nodes are plentiful in your arm pits, and the lymph itself is carried back and forth between breast tissue and your underarms, so you want to be careful not to use an anti-perspirant on broken skin – and freshly shaved skin is the same as broken skin.
So, now onto which of the available brands to a good job. Since I haven’t got time in this blog to review a ton of brands (and you can look at some of my past reviews), I’m going to go with two Tom’s Of Maine products. I love Tom’s because they are readily available in drugstores, grocery stores, and health food stores. They are cruelty-free, and they walk the walk as far as giving back to the environment – this year they’ve donated one million dollars to The Nature Conservancy to help keep our precious water clean. They have a ton of different scents to choose from, and they carry both deodorants and anti-perspirants. Most importantly for me, the fragrance is phthalate-free. I went to a party the other night and tried the Tom’s Coconut Lavender anti-perspirant. It smells amazing, and worked like a charm – my silk top did not have to go straight to the dry cleaner – yep, it kept me dry and smelling sweet.
Oh, and btw, Tom’s Of Maine are doing a “bathroom takeover” at my upcoming weekend retreat in Los Angeles
Couldn’t be more excited!