Friday, July 27, 2012

The Quest for a Natural Deodorant, or, The Stinky Pit Conundrum Part 1

Why This Topic?

One fact I learned through my research on natural products is that commercial deodorants and antiperspirants have aluminum as their main ingredient, because of its antiperspirant properties. There is much debate out there concerning this ingredient, because it has been stated that it could be linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease. However, many companies and government entities have stated that there is no proven link between aluminum zirconium/aluminum chlorohydrate and health problems. 

Even though the danger of aluminum has not been proven, there are still plenty of other chemicals in commercial antiperspirants and deodorants that are not good for us: parabens, propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, tricolsan, artificial colors, and talc. 

You can read about the debate and more information about these ingredients from the following websites:
Natural Cosmetic News
Truth in Aging

Above all, you have to decide what you want to believe. For me, I feel that even though the dangers have not been proven, I'd rather not take the risk. I just feel better when I know that the products I rub on my skin are free of harmful chemicals. 

What We Do Know:

Deodorant and Antiperspirant are actually two different products, but many modern commercial brands combine the two. 

What's the difference? Well, antiperspirant is meant to stop or minimize sweating so that you stay dry. Deodorant is meant to stop the growth of bacteria from your sweat, so that you don't stink. Antiperspirant works because the aluminum particles actually go inside your skin and clog your sweat glands, thus stopping your body from the natural process of sweating. Deodorant contains ingredients that don't stop you from sweating, but instead inhibit the growth of the stinky bacteria when you do sweat. 

Now don't get me wrong -- I hate sweating!!! It's especially horrible in the summer here in Las Vegas, when temperatures reach 118 degrees and I feel like I'm roasting in an oven the second I step outside. I know when I go somewhere that I'm already going to be sweating and feeling gross, so the last thing I want to do is stink! So I set out to find a natural deodorant that works. The following is my review and experience using a product called Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal.

Review:  Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal - Fragrance Free Roll-On

The last time I was at the Sunflower Market, I checked out their selection of natural deodorants. Even though I love the toothpaste from Tom's of Maine, I was hesitant to try their deodorant because I have seen reviews online that said it didn't work, so I didn't want to take the risk for $6.00! 

Instead, I chose to try the Roll-On Fragrance Free from the Naturally Fresh Deodorant line since it was on sale. Regular price is $3.99, and it was on sale for $3.19 for a 3 oz. container. Normally I would go for a scent, but the fragrance free was the only one on sale, so I decided to give it a whirl. I have used it now for just about a week, because I wanted to give you some good feedback. 

natural deodorant, deodorant alternatives


1. Easy to roll-on and has a nice big roller ball.

2. Very little scent. It is fragrance free, but it still has a little bit of a fresh scent to it, probably from the chamomile or phenoxyethanol that are the last two ingredients.

3. Lasts throughout the day if I am indoors and not sweating. If I am working out or outside sweating, I'd say it works well a max of about 5-6 hours and then I need to reapply.

4. Paraben-free, propylene glycol free, and not tested on animals.

5. Hypoallergenic.


1. It's very wet when you roll it on. You really have to wait until it dries before you get dressed or do any moving, or it won't work as well. I made this mistake and thought the deodorant wasn't working, but then when I let it totally dry, it worked fine.

2. Scent - I think next time if I buy this again, I will go with a scented one. I like my deodorant to have a little bit of a pretty smell to it.

3. Freshness - I'll be honest here, it took me a few days to trust this deodorant and I kept checking myself to make sure I didn't smell. Because it's not an antiperspirant, I did sweat, so I didn't feel quite as fresh out in the heat. 

4. Wearing off - Before I learned to let it dry COMPLETELY before getting dressed, I was annoyed that it seemed to wear off quickly whenever I was active.

5. It contains potassium alum, which there is some debate about as well. Potassium alum is a type of aluminum, but supposedly the particles are large and do not absorb into your skin. This is okay with me, but it may be a point of contention for some people.


I will definitely continue to finish up this bottle, but I'm not sure if I'll buy it again. However, it definitely is a reasonable price, even when not on sale. 

Honestly, I've never really liked roll-on deodorant, so I think that's part of the reason I'm not as enthused. I will buy a different brand in a stick next time and write another review at that point, and then keep trying them until I find a keeper!

Where to Buy:

As I mentioned above, I bought mine at Sunflower Market, but you can order it through their website, I have also seen it on, but only in packs of 3 or more. 


I have given you my experience with this deodorant, but it's true that everybody's individual body chemicals are different and will react differently with various products! I have tried a plethora of commercial antiperspirants/deodorants over the years and I still haven't ever found one that I absolutely love. My body also tends to "get used to" deodorants after a few months of use so I tend to buy a different one each time. 

Which deodorant do you currently use and are you happy with it? Please send any questions or comments my way! Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,

Other posts you might enjoy:
Natural Body Lotion
My Favorite Toothpaste


  1. Very interesting. I found you on Ellie Speaks, she and I follow each other. It is so nice to see so many young people interested in healthier ways of living. Somewhere back around the late forties our world turned plastic and man-made. Before that more people cooked from scratch and used whole foods. Items were not filled with all the chemicals that they are piled with today.
    My daughter is a vegetarian (I'm not, but I do eat more vegetables than meat and more than most Americans) she does not smoke or drink, she limits TV to movies and she bikes everywhere except long trips. I think that my granddaughters are stronger and healthier both physically and mentally because of her choices. I applaud you and your husband for your healthy life style. I am putting your site on my front page Blog-List. Come on over and check it out, I would be honored if you follow me back. Connie :)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and I'm so glad you found me! It's true that I am still in the middle of my quest to make changes to a more natural lifestyle, and I'm finding it fun to write about it as I go. I absolutely love cooking from scratch; I feel so proud of myself and just feel better overall when I do! Last night, I made pizza dough from scratch and it turned out awesome. It's so much fun to experiment with new recipes.

      It sounds like your daughter and I are similar. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't drink, smoke, or subscribe to a TV service. I watch shows only occasionally on Hulu or rent them from the library. I love reading actual books and I don't own a digital reader. I wish the weather was better here and the city was more attuned to walking and biking. It's unfortunate that they built Las Vegas so spread out that it's necessary to have a car to go anywhere!

      Anyway, I will definitely check out your site and follow you too! Thanks again!

  2. I use Dove gofresh cool essentials. It's ok, it's the best I've found. I honestly never gave any thought to the ingredients in the deoderant, I just hate sweating and getting pit stains on my shirts. If you find something that is natural and you really like it, I'll probably give it a try too.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Dove unfortunately never worked for me. Before I decided to try some natural ones, I'd switched back and forth between Secret and Ban. Hopefully I can find a natural one that works great and smells great! :)

  3. It's always wonderful to read about other people's deodorant trials! I was just like you and used to use the crystal as well and when I found the aluminum it contained was just as bad as the aluminum in commercial deodorants, I kicked it to the curb! I found a phenomenal deodorant which will remain my favorite by Real Purity. The only thing you might not like about it is that it's a roll on and does go on have to let it dry a bit! For a more conventional type deodorant stick, you can go for Pit Putty by Bubble and Bee. I am testing out their latest scent: vanilla orange and by what you said about how you like your deo to have a pretty scent, this one is for you! If I'm wearing a tank top, I smell it throughout the day and it's not overpowering but fresh and pretty! I really think you'd like it! :)

    1. Hi Robin! Thanks so much for your comment. I'll have to try out the Real Purity one! I want to order the Pit Putty, but the weather is so miserably hot right now that I know it would be melted in my mailbox before I could enjoy it. I'll wait until winter to order that one! :)

  4. Its quote scary how many chemicals are in deodrants! Found you from beauty blog boosters x

    1. It is scary, isn't it? Thanks for your comment!

  5. Never really thought about all the chemicals I'm smearing under my armpits everyday D: I think it's time I looked into them a little more, great post! xXx

    1. Thanks for your comment and visit to my blog! If you want to know what other products you might want to switch out, check out my other post here:

  6. I've been using JASON Apricot Deodorant, but again it takes a while to dry under the armpits, you have to wait a while. It's effective though i'll give it that.

    1. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for your comment. Yep, roll-ons can be effective, but I prefer a stick because I'm always running late and don't want to wait for my deo to dry! :D

  7. Dear Jamie
    I know you are busy now with school starting and all, but while you are researching at school check into The New England Journal of Medicine archives for articles on Aluminium research connected to cancer. When I was a child in the 60's I remember mom talking about one of their articles linking aluminium to cancer. To be honest I was thinking about that research again in the last several years, because I notice that the cut-rate aluminium that I have been using comes off on my food when cooking or refrigerating the food.

    1. I will check it out. It is still being researched today!

  8. Hi, have you tried Aloe Ever-shield Deodorant stick? It contains no harsh aluminum salts. It glides on smoothly, does not stain clothes, and maximizes the deodorant properties of aloe vera while eliminating ingredients that could be harmful. You can order it at all natural health and beauty products