Today is all about your underarms and what you're putting on them to keep them fresh as daisies. I was inspired to write this post for two reasons:
1. The dangers of conventional antiperspirants and
2. Reader requests on "what actually works"
So let's get down to business, what's wrong with the drug store stuff?
I am sure you've heard time and time again, avoid run-of-the-mill antiperspirant (think Degree, Lady Speed Stick, Secret, Right Guard, Old Spice, Axe etc. etc. - yes, men need be aware too). If that is news to you, it is time to get acquainted with the ugly truths in your speed stick - aluminium, BHT, Disodium EDTA and triclosan, among others.
Aluminium (the ingredient which blocks sweat) is a neurotoxin, and is an ingredient that has been found in cancerous breast tissue - no surprise that your arm pit is pretty darn close to your breast. Further, studies have shown linkages of aluminium to Alzheimers. In addition to this ingredient, we should also be concerned with Triclosan - a compound that has been known to change the sex of fish (seriously) - and Propylene Glycol which helps to absorb all that nasty stuff into your skin and blood stream.
What's a Girl (or Guy) to Do?
Fear not, I have the solution(s):
Truth be told, this wasn't one of the more glamorous tests I've done. I mean, there were days where I tested products that clearly did not do their job... but since I'm a utilitarian at heart, I figured this sacrifice was only for the greater good in the end.
With all that being said, here is the long awaited answers to: what natural deodorant actually works, is mostly (if not all organic) and does not test on animals.
So, in order of effectiveness and wonderfulness, I present to you the best natural deodorants to date:
#3 Lafe's Roll-On Lavender
I've actually blogged on Lafes before, because it was the first natural deodorant I came across that was relatively effective. In fact, it's packed in my bag for Norwegian Easter Vacation, as I know I will be partaking in a lot of skiing and outdoor activities over the next week. It is great it terms of keeping things fresh and is scented with essential oils. I like Lafes for when I'm being more active as it doesn't prevent sweating (no deodorant should) and it keeps things "smell neutral". It's clear, so leaves no clothing marks, but is quite wet so make sure you have some time to dry your underarms before throwing on your shirt. You can purchase Lafes Deodorant at many retailers in Canada & the US, as well as online for about $6 USD.
#2 Sanoflore 24H Deodorant Roll-On "Cloud of Freshness"
What first sold me on Sanoflore was it's pretty, light and feminine smell... and the fact there was only one bottle left on the shelf at Madamoiselle Bio (one of my favourite natural shops in France) meant that it was likely high in demand. What's nice about this deodorant is, it's free from the chemicals and parabens - using clove and lemon catnip to kill bacteria - but still comes luxuriously packaged. Further, it feels like I'm using a high end, good quality product - that's probably because it is. While it says it has 24H "protection", I would bank its efficacy at about 6 hours, and would recommend a reapplication to ensure you are staying fresh throughout the day. It left no marks on my clothing and kept me relatively dry so long as I wore non-synthetic clothing. It's worth noting that if you wear synthetic fibers (i.e. acrylics or polyester) you will find that "smell" makes its way into your day. Ensure you're wearing natural fibers such as silk, cotton, bamboo, wool to ensure your skin is able to breathe. Sanoflore deodorant retails for about $9 Euros and can be found online as well as at many retailers in Europe.
#1 Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
This, my fair friends, is the crème de la crème in natural deodorant. The holy grail in fresh pits, naturally. I first heard about this brand from my NY-based bestie who told me this little gem was getting some buzz in her neighborhood. Well, thank goodness she did. After testing Soapwalla's natural deodorant cream and putting it up against "big brand names" I was blown away. I put it on in the morning, (around 6:30 AM) went about my crazy day, went to power yoga (around 7:30 PM), did groceries, made dinner, did laundry and crashed and burned around 11 PM. The next morning, still good. I kid you not.
The Soapwalla Chef herself is a wondeful gal named Rachel who lives in Brooklyn NY, and creates this line of products herself. She sources organic and food grade ingredients and as a result, you will see zero questionable line items on the list of "what's in this product". Made out of fine vegetable powders, clays, as well as lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils it is quick to absorb moisture and inhibit bacteria, aka "effective". The one thing I would mention is be sure not to shave your armpits right before putting it on, as it can sting a little bit. But this is no different than putting on anything that kills bacteria on freshly razored skin. This product is going to blow up, but while you're waiting for it to hit stores in your neighborhood, you can beat the punch and order it on one of the many e-boutiques or even at Soapwalla Online. It retails for about $14 USD for a 2 oz jar. I'm already panicking for the moment I run out...
Stay fresh naturally, beauties.