clean corner: transitioning to natural deodorant 101 (there's never been a better time)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

About a year ago I decided to hop on the bandwagon and transition to non-toxic products. When I mentioned this to my doctor she said "oh good, that will reduce your risk for some cancers and and the potential for auto-immune flair ups" and I was like, excuse me???? I've been asking you for years for advice and you tell me to eat well and exercise?! But ANYWAY. The definition of 'non-toxic' and 'natural' is debatable and unregulated so it's crucial to do research - which, as someone who doesn't have hobbies, I would say reading/research/useless deep dives are the closest thing to a hobby that I have. So here we are blogging about it.

One of the first products I switched was deodorant because, isn't everyone doing it right now? I couldn't find any definitive research saying the ingredients in regular deodorant will kill you, but I did check my deodorants on EWG (see Using EWG Ratings at the bottom of this post) and saw my Secret Clinical Strength deo was a 5 out of 10. Yikes. So here's my experience (note: all our body's are different and will react differently to deodorants, this is my experience as a sweaty person):

My reviews:

EWG Rating: 2. Cost: $9

  • Can get it anywhere (Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon)
  • Price
  • Gave me a v. uncomfy rash (which taught me I need to search for baking soda free deos)
  • Turned the pits of my white shirts yellow /: 
  • Gritty texture

EWG Rating: 1. Cost: $12

  • No rash!
  • Love the scents

Con: THE only con that matters is that this deodorant was not effective enough for my level of sweat.

Primally Pure Charcoal (the one all the influencers were pushing back in Jan - I gave into the marketing!)
EWG Rating: 2. Cost: $16

  • Pretty effective
  • No rash

  • Can only get it via the Primally Pure website
  • The scent was not for me
  • Once you add shipping it's $20+ 

Native (in my current rotation)
EWG Rating: 1. Cost: $11

  • LOVE the scents (a few of yall on IG said the scent impacted the level of effectiveness for you)
  • Can get it anywhere (well Target and where else matters?)
  • Nice texture

  • Not ALWAYS the most effective 

Kopari (in my current rotation)
EWG Rating: 4. Cost: $11


  • Love the scent
  • Effective
  • Can buy at Sephora so easy to add on to get free shipping
  • Love the texture

  • A lot of people in my IG poll reported that it foams when they exercise - I haven't experienced this (or, I haven't noticed it).

Additional crowd-sourced recommendations: 

Tips for making the switch (mine and crowdsourced via Instagram)
  • The transition can be...smelly (which is why quarantine is a great time to do it). This is because our bodies are essentially detoxing everything the aluminum in other deodorants has been blocking. This lasts a few weeks and then things get back to normal.
  • I alternate. This may be in my head, but I swear my body gets immune and I have to switch it up every few months.
  • Natural deodorant is different - I reapply a few times a day. 
  • Especially during the transition plan for a clean bra every day (wooosh they hold in smells don't they!)

Using EWG Ratings: Environmental Working Group rates products based on the safety of the chemicals in the product. EWG Verified means there is no trace of any possible cancer-causing/dangerous/bad for you chemicals. 1 is the next safest, 10 is the least safe.

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