Transitioning Again. And It Stinks. Kinda.

That whole “going natural” thing has taken extended its reach into many facets of my daily life. From the food I eat to the body wash I use, many things have gone the natural route when it comes to my body. However. here has been one area where I’ve been very much resisting going natural: MY ARMPITS. Specifically, the products I use to keep ’em smelling good.

For quite some time I have been reading about the negative health consequences antiperspirant can cause. While some studies have linked antiperspirant to cancer, Alzheimers, and kidney disease, there is no conclusive evidence that proves that antiperspirant is the root cause of these illnesses. Despite this knowledge of potential danger, I continued to slather on Degree in healthy quantities once a day.

But then I took a second to think about it:

When we pick up a stick of “Deodorant” from the store, what you’re really buying is not just something to make you stop smelling, but something to make you stop SWEATING altogether-an “antiperspirant”. The active ingredient in your run of the mill Secrets, Degrees and Old Spices is an aluminum compound that blocks your sweat glands. Sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins, so in blocking that release you’re keeping all that bad stuff in. Cancer or not, when you break it down, it doesn’t sound good to keep all that gunk and trapped in your body, does it?


So about a month ago, I decided to tuck my stick of Degree away (and I freaking LOVE my stick of Degree so this was a very hard separation) and see what it was like to go natural.

Well, frankly, it kinda stinks. You know, stinky in the way that I don’t lift my arm and smell like a bouquet of flora and fauna dusted with baby powder anymore. I just smell like…me.

Turns out, that that stuff really DOES do it’s job in making sure your body odors are kept to a minimum. The first few days, I was pretty alarmed by what I was smelling…but after asking around and submitting some very very close friends to my aromas, I was assured that it was not only “not that bad”, but also normal. And it must be noted that although my mother has yet to experience a D.O.-free Cass, she thinks this is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had.

Every few days, however, I would break out that trusty Degree and get my Shower Clean fix, but over time I’ve been relying on it less and less.

Now that I’ve decided to move away from products that inhibit the natural process of sweating, I’m back to focusing on and finding products that are actual DEODORANTS…the things that keep you smelling good.
While in Africa, I picked up an all-natural deodorant made of desert flowers and moringa oils. Although I may have to reapply it 4 times a day, it does keep the smell down.

I’m pretty sure that this is a lifestyle change that is going to stick so I’m working on finding the best of the best natural deodorants to use. I’ve been doing some research on different brands but want to put them from the ringer in the testing department. If you have any suggestions of your favorite brands or brands that you’d like to see tested, please list ’em in the comments and I’ll be posting reviews as I get through them!

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  1. I experienced te same thing when I switched to natural deodorant and while I was sure that everyone was smelling me they weren’t and once began reapplying the smell was controlled. I’m considering developing my own natural deodorant with extra odor reducer.

  2. Makes sense but I don’t know if that would work down here in the sweltering sauna called ‘the south’, lol

  3. I found 2 companies on etsy that I love, that make awesome natural deodorants. relaxnaturals and soapwalla. I am a massage therapist and I take dance classes, I have never had to reapply during the day.

  4. I found a great DIY deodorant recipe on pintrest and it works better than many of the deodorants on the market. Also, since I can used baby powder as one of the ingredients, I still smell powder fresh.

  5. I’ve been using the crystal deodorant for many years now and have never had to reapply. It is not only aluminum chlorohydrate free, but also paraben free and hypoallergenic.

  6. Thanks for noting that. And yes, this still is one of your worst ideas ever!

  7. Deodorants and anti-perspirants are two different things. Typically, anti-perspirants have aluminum in them, and deodorants, generally, do not. Also, interestingly enough, anti-perspirants are more often targeted toward women (we don’t really have too many aluminum-free deodorant options; men have Old Spice, etc., which do not contain aluminum). Since aluminum is feared to possibly be linked to breast cancer, as a woman, it might be a good idea to look into deodorants (natural or not) vs. anti-perspirants.

  8. Over the years I’ve mostly used Tom’s deodorants. Recently Oyin Handmade’s Funk Butter, Pampered Pits (Almond Elegance scent), EO Organic Deodorant (lavender scent), and just now In Love’s Greece Deodorant. Excluding the EO, the other brands have at times irritated my skin, sometimes a burnin sensation. Rule – never apply to freshly shaved armpits and don’t over apply.

    So would be interested to see what you think of these brands. And during east coast humid summers, I do at times reach for the Dove!

  9. I am actually allergic to the aluminum compounds in antiperspirant. I got the rude awakening in my armpits one summer at college band camp IN THE SOUTH. After unsuccessfully going through every brand in the store, I started using Burt’s Bees alcohol based spray, but it was really expensive at the rate I was using it. Your body goes through what seems a stinky detox period while it adjusts to being able to sweat. I was washing my pits and reapplying two to three times a day. I switched to Tom’s of Maine aluminum and propylene glycol free formula (only available in Beautiful Earth scent so far). It was okay. Now I make my own: a mixture of coconut oil and Shea butter, some aloe gel, arrowroot powder for dryness (cornstarch was too harsh) and baking soda. I use Lavender EO. I store it in a jar and apply with my fingertips. Sometimes in the winter, I find my skin a little sensitive and prone to getting dried out so I always wet my pits before applying. It makes my armpits extra soft and is soothing after a shave. I’m a “sweatter” and I live in New Orleans. It works for me.

  10. I tried to make the switch from Degree to Tom’s last year in the middle of a hot Carolina summer. I gave it the old college try, but I could smell myself an it wasn’t pretty. I put Tom in a dark corner and picked up my Degree again. Maybe I’ll try again with another brand.

  11. I’m used to be that “smelly girl” when i used natural deodorants but not with this recipe. It beats any store bought ones! If you decide to make your own, I hope you’ll try this first.

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