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This post has been a long time coming, because I wanted to give my experience enough time to make a proper judgement. A few months ago, I decided to switch my last couple of traditional body care products to natural versions. They were toothpaste and deodorant. The toothpaste was relatively easy (although I do actually alternate with a traditional fluoride one  in the morning and the natural one at night – I’ve made it this far with no fillings and I’d rather not rock the boat!)

Changing my antiperspirant deodorant for a natural version was a little daunting to start with. Nobody wants to be that stinky person on the bus. But I figured starting my foray into the world of sweaty armpits was best achieved during Winter. After a bit of research, I settled on purchasing the Black Chicken Axilla Deodorant Paste.

The idea behind a deodorant paste is that after bathing, you apply a small amount of the paste to your armpits using your fingers. It then leaves a film of essential oils to combat any bacterial growth, which is what actually causes the body odour, not your sweat. Because these products don’t contain aluminium, you WILL sweat. This is normal. This is what your armpit is meant to do – it’s the body’s way of naturally cooling you down when you get too hot.

After 2 days of using the deodorant paste, I developed a painful red rash on my armpit skin. A little Dr Googling later and I discovered that some people are sensitive to the bicarb soda in the paste and will get a rash. Thanks to me blabbing about my armpit rash to any friends that would listen, one of them even realised her armpit rash was from natural deodorants containing bicarb, and not psoriasis like she originally thought!

Undeterred, I ordered the bicarb-free version of the same product, called Black Chicken Barrier Booster Deodorant Paste. This one was gentle on my skin and had a really nice smell, however some days I noticed that I was starting to get a bit stinky from lunchtime onwards. This was mostly remedied by reapplying at lunch time.

After finishing a full size tub of the Barrier Booster, and still sometimes struggling with stinky pit syndrome (not a real condition), I decided to try a different brand. This time I ordered the No Pong Bicarb Free Anti Odourant. This product was less scented than the Black Chicken, so I was worried it would be less effective, but luckily so far I have had great results, and haven’t needed to reapply at lunch. Winning!

Considering it is now Summer and I’m happily using the No Pong deodorant paste daily, without reapplying, I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my holy grail natural deodorant. I even use this one at the gym where I sweat constantly for 45 minutes, and can then go out to the shops without offending anyone’s nostrils.

If you would like to venture into the world of natural deodorants, my best two tips are to try the sample sizes of a few different products to get a feel for which one suits you best. As I discovered, sometimes it just takes a bit of trial and error. Tip number 2 is to get yourself some Earth Purities Detox-A-Pit. It’s a black mask that you apply to your armpits, and it claims to draw out any impurities and help to rebalance your natural bacteria when using natural deodorants. When you first make the switch, you can use the mask daily for 7 days, then once per week ongoing. I haven’t needed to use mine recently since switching to No Pong. It could also be that my body has finally adjusted to getting sweaty without the stink.

I know quite a few people who don’t wear deodorant of any kind, and they are pleasant smelling members of society, so it is possible to wean yourself off anti-perspirant deodorants successfully.

I won’t use this article to make claims about the health benefits of making the switch, other than to say I prefer to use natural deodorant compared to anti-perspirants because the body is designed to sweat to cool us down. I imagine my gym classes would be a lot more unpleasant if I wasn’t able to sweat to reduce my body temperature! I also feel a lot better knowing that every ingredient in my natural deodorant is safe and non-toxic. Your skin absorbs everything that you apply on it, so you want to make sure you’re not feeding your body topical chemicals every day.

Have you given natural deodorants a try? I’d love to hear your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.