The Great Deodorant Dilemma


Over the years, I’ve tried various methods of deodorizing myself after switching away from conventional deodorants. Finding a deodorant, especially in the natural beauty  world, is definitely not a one size fits all kind of deal. Venturing away from familiar territory is scary when it comes to our signature natural aroma. A scent is worth a thousand words: you just hope they’re good ones.

My initial experimentation brought me to a mineral/crystal stick. These are popular so they must work greatYou simply take the dry stick, wet it with a little water and swipe the way you would normally with deodorant. Simple enough. I used this for a few months, and really appreciated the fact that I never went through the dreaded ‘pit detox’ so many people experience. The thought is that your armpits essentially purge everything that has been long trapped by antiperspirants. While I never experienced this phenomenon, I found after a few months that I started to get a little stinkier as the day went on. Hm. Maybe I need a new stick! I bought a new one, and eventually it followed the same path as the initial stick. At the time, I was working as a hairstylist literally with my pits in peoples faces all day. Definitely important that I didn’t smell funky. Next, please!

Tom’s of Maine. We’ve all seen their products in drugstores and supermarkets. They are an incredibly popular brand (I personally enjoy their fluoride-free toothpaste) so I figured I’d give them a shot! I grabbed the aluminum-free lavender variety and swiped away. Decent odor neutralizing qualities, and I love lavender. But then something very odd began to happen. My pits felt slimy when I’d sweat. Oh no girl, this is gross. Cute shirts? Forget it. Talk about pit stains…and because of the texture, it wouldn’t dry so it just felt damp and slimy. EWW.

Next up, I tried Living Libations Poetic Pits. They’re comprised entirely of oils (predominantly sandalwood for it’s odor neutralizing properties) and they come in a small glass vial which you swipe on with a small roller ball. The first scent I tried was the Petal Poetic Pits. It’s made with sandalwood, ylang, lavender, and chamomile. It’s a lovely, woodsy floral blend and while it kept my body odors under control, something about it pulled more masculine on me than I’d like (and I like androgynous scents oftentimes). It’s wonderfully grounding, but my body chemistry pulls out some unique notes in this. Fragrances are very personal, and when they’re natural they mix even more uniquely with your body’s natural scent than a traditional ‘fragrance’.

Because I believe in the power of the Poetic Pits (quite simply, they’re extremely natural, non-irritating, and they work), I decided to give the Rose Poetic Pits a try. I usually love anything and everything rose so I had a feeling this would be a hit! Much like the Petal Poetic pits, this worked wonders in keeping body odor at bay, but the Rose mixed with my body chemistry so much better! It only takes one little swipe and I’m set for the day. I love this as a deodorant, but I will say it can be a very strong scent (almost like an EDP) so sometimes I like to opt for something a little more mild.

Being the rose fan that I am, the Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla caught my eye. I absolutely loved the scent, so I bought the stick variety. The actual deodorant itself appeared very dark, and if I wasn’t careful when applying, you could actually see where it was on my skin. I was always nervous to wear this while wearing lighter colored clothing in case it would stain. Eventually I bought the tub variety which was much lighter in color; this type you scrape out, warm with your fingers, and schmear it on. I was able to use this for probably a year or so, but one day out of the blue, I had an allergic reaction and my pits were very red and sensitive. This particular formula is made with baking soda, which I knew a a lot of people are sensitive to, but my reaction came after using it for such a long time. I was incredibly sad as I really loved the scent of this one!

Refusing to be a quitter, I learned that Schmidt’s has deodorant for ‘sensitive skin’ (read: does not contain baking soda). I didn’t see the Rose & Vanilla, but I did see Jasmine Tea! I love love love jasmine scents-they’re on par with rose for me- so I snagged a stick and headed home. This isn’t a heady, personal-space invading jasmine; it’s actually very light and fresh thanks to the tea component. The scent kept odors at bay and actually smelled very pretty and left me with zero irritation. If you’ve had reactions to natural deodorants with baking soda, this is a great alternative!

Kaia Naturals makes a beautiful deodorant! I love Cold Pressed Rose (again, I can’t get enough of the rose scent). This deodorant is baking soda free instead utilizing charcoal to naturally deodorize and let me tell you…it works. Charcoal acts like a magnet drawing out toxins and odors leaving you fresh smelling. This deodorant glides on and feels very similar to a gel style deodorant if you’re familiar with those, and once dry I find this to be very comfortable and leaves me with zero underarm odor! While Kaia mentions users typically needing 2-4 weeks to detox under the arms, I have had zero issues with breakthrough stink which I am guessing is because I transitioned to natural deodorants quite some time ago.  I also really love the rounded shape of this deodorant, not to mention the super cute packaging! All around, this is a winner for me.

Speaking of sensitive skin and deodorant, Saige and Ivy makes a spray on deodorant with no baking soda. It instead contains water/apple cider vinegar/coconut oil/& essential oils. Apple cider vinegar kills odor causing bacteria, leaving you fresh. You simply spray, let dry, and go. Initially I could smell the vinegar, but once it dries down it’s hardly detectable (similar to that of using a vinegar rinse for your hair in the shower) and you’re left with the essential oils. This one definitely passed the sensitivity test for me-zero irritation whatsoever. I also didn’t have any b.o. after hiking which is pretty impressive! You can use code whollydeo! to save on your order.

If you’re a fan of spray on deodorants, you will love Purify from Provision Scents! This one is formulated with enzymes to gently deodorize you all day. The scent is formulated with clary sage and vetiver oil with a touch of oakmoss – it’s truly a unisex scent so this will work for a wide variety of people. The vetiver pulls pretty strong on my skin (as vetiver typically does) but the clary sage adds a nice balance to it. It’s earthy and grounding in all the right ways. It’s a change of pace from my normal floral fragrance wardrobe, but I really enjoy it! I get a solid 8-10 hours odor free wear out of this before needing to touch up!

The truth is, finding a natural deodorant isn’t easy. What works for one person may be a total dud or allergy inducing for someone else. You have to learn your body and what it needs. Trial and error are the greatest teachers in this, despite how frustrating they can be. There are so many options, though; don’t give up!

Life doesn’t have to stink.



3 thoughts on “The Great Deodorant Dilemma

  1. Omg. I have been using Schmidt’s for over a year and recently had a crazy reaction to it as well. My husband has a terrible rash after just one use. Needless to say, I switched to a different brand, but I was so shocked.


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