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Tips For Picking A Natural Deodorant & Why You Should Care

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

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With millions of people returning to the natural lifestyle, more and more people are wondering if it is safe to use a traditional deodorant because of ingredients in it. I’m here to help you know the toxic chemicals, how they affect our bodies, reviews on some products, and some good hygienic tips against sweating.

The first thing to understand is that there are two main types: antiperspirants and deodorants.

  1. Antiperspirants usually contain aluminum, which acts as a plug-in sweat glands to prevent body from sweating.

  2. Deodorants kill odor-causing bacteria on your skin with fragrances for an extra layer of scenting.

Antiperspirants are for people who sweat a lot. Deodorants are for everyone else.

Before we dive into details, lets fist see the list of chemicals that are usually mentioned to be used in antiperspirants and deodorants:

List of Toxic Chemicals

I don't even know how to read most of the listed ones! 🧐

  • Paraben

  • Triclosan

  • Propylene glycol

  • Aluminum compounds

  • Phthalates

  • Diethanolamine

  • BHT

  • Isobutane

What About Fragrances??

The chemicals used in fragrance are linked to cancer and hormone disruption.

But what is a fragrance?

Fragrance is an umbrella term for hundreds of different chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been found to cause allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory issues, as well as headaches and fatigue.

The Environmental Working Group EWG has identified more than 1100 chemicals used in fragrance. Many are known allergens, but some have also been shown to cause cancer.

Fragrances may also contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors that can affect the reproductive system and cause birth defects. In addition, phthalates have been linked to early puberty in girls, breast cancer and sperm damage in men.

The EWG's Skin Deep database lists fragrances as a moderate risk factor for allergies or irritation.

I personally have sensitive skin and armpits, so the process of finding natural deodorant has always been important. As I put a lot of time into this research, I want to share it with you.

Brands I‘ve Tried, the Last is My Favorite (non sponsored)

When I started switching to non-toxic brands, I started by using Dove Clinical Protection, then Secret Clinical Strength, where both felt natural and gentle. However reading the ingredients, I found that each had at least one of the above listed chemicals which explains the allergies I recently started suffering from. I tried several online DIYs but non worked as I would like. I continued to research, try, and dump especially that most, if not all, won't have their ingredients shown online. Until I came across Native. On the package it says it is natural, aluminum free, with baking soda, probiotics, coconut, and shea butter. Super, no? I bought it right away and started using it without looking at the ingredients. Coconut scent is nicely strong. But with time wearing it, I started experiencing odor which is completely unusual to me!!! I wanted to see what it contained and then found "fragrance"!!! Like, really????? It made me so upset that marketing a product is being that unclear, deceiving people to buy products thinking they're safe.

A couple days ago I went to Sprouts, decided to look up their products closely to be able to see the ingredients. Amongst the stuff they had which still had on their packages "all natural" yet ingredients contained chemicals, I came across Crystal which is finally an antiperspirant that contains all natural ingredients. Even when they mention "fragrances", they make it clear that it's all essential oils and natural extracts. I got the one with cucumber and it smells so nice and gentle. It won't leave residues on my armpit, and when the scent wears off it still leaves my skin clean and nice with NO ODOR.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe

This homemade deodorant recipe uses coconut oil to absorb moisture and baking soda to neutralize odor-causing bacteria.

You will need:

  1. 1oz coconut oil

  2. 1oz baking soda

  3. 1 tsp arrowroot powder or tapioca flour for extra absorbency

  4. 4 drops of essential oils of your choice (see below)


Mix coconut oil with baking soda and arrowroot powder or tapioca flour until you get a smooth consistency. Add the essential oils and mix again. Add the mixture in an airtight container in a cool place away from light for up to one year.

Good essential oils to use:

  • Lavender

  • Sandalwood

  • Patchouli

  • Rosemary

  • Cedar wood

  • Geranium

​Antibacterial/anti-fungal essential oils:

  • Grapefruit

  • Tea tree oil

  • Cypress

  • Coriander

  • Spearmint

  • Lime

  • Basil

  • Orange

  • Neroli

Or just add 5 drops of essential oils to a 1oz spritzer with spring/distilled water for on-the-go. Discard water after 4 weeks and make a new mix!

Good Practices

  1. Wash under arms with non-chemical soap, rinse, and dry up with a clean towel/paper towel. Repeat nightly at bedtime

  2. Rub under arms with fresh lemon. To avoid feeling stingy, add 2 parts of lemon to 1 part of water and then use a cotton ball for easy application

  3. Use tea tree essential oil diluted in water (4 drops in 1oz water) . Use a cotton ball for application

Lemon and tea tree oil have properties that help tighten pores around your armpits and reduce sweating, in addition to their antibacterial properties.

Now that you're armed with the essential information, you can rest easy knowing the tricks of picking the product that fits your needs. You will feel the difference about going natural on your body every day!

Cheers! ☺️



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The information on this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using essential oils, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications. Essential oils are not a substitute for traditional medical treatment.

Emmila and its contributors do not assume any responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information provided on this blog.

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