As many of you already know, our skin is our largest organ and it protects all of the goodies inside that keep us alive. It is also extremely sensitive, receptive and reactive to anything we put on it and it can suck up the ingredients in lotions, deodorants, sunscreens, perfumes, etc., right into our blood streams. While we may not notice our skin doing this or feel the effects of applying toxic chemicals to our skins immediately, you can be sure your body does notice. Fortunately, our bodies have the will to live and will fight for a balanced state with use of our immune systems. However, with the toxic overload the majority of us in the world are experiencing due to the chemicals added to our food, being sprayed in the air, pumped into the water supply and found in everyday lifestyle/household products, our immune systems are being taxed to say the least. It is a lot to take in and can be very overwhelming to face these facts. It can be hard to figure out where to even begin to clear out some of these toxins to give your body and immune system a fighting chance. I tend to be the type of person who will uncover information about toxic products and immediately want to trash every single product I own that has toxins in it. This is not very practical and can be expensive. So let’s start small and do what we can a little at a time.
Over the past few years, I began to think more about what I put under my arms to feel fresh and smell sweet. My quest to find a non-toxic deodorant that actually works and is not leeching things like aluminum into my lymph nodes through my arm pits was heightened when my Mom was diagnosed for a 2nd time with breast cancer and lymph nodes became a common household subject.
Here’s a quick crash course in lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are the filters along the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins/waste and its primary function is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. The nodes filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other unwanted substances, making sure they are safely eliminated from the body. They sound great, these nodes, but why should we pay attention to them? With all of the toxins getting into our bodies, our lymphs are doing their very best to get rid of them quickly. When our lymph nodes are bogged down with toxins, they simply can’t filter them all out. Similarly the liver, another toxin filtering organ, can stop functioning when it is overloaded. What happens when our toxin filtering superheros can no longer function? A high concentration of toxins, which can lead to cells mutating into cancer or other diseases. We have many lymph nodes throughout our body with a bunch around the arm pit area. Why not give your lymphs a little break and slowly start replacing your products with products with as little chemicals as possible?
To all those who have spent time around me, thank you for your patience and kind noses throughout all of my experimentation. It has been quite the journey to find a deodorant that has little to no creepy chemicals listed in the ingredients list, that is affordable and honestly works. But I am PSYCHED to report that I finally found one that fits those criteria perfectly, as well as a 2nd runner up. Remember, every body is different so it might take some trial and error to find the right deodorant for you just like it does with conventional deodorants. See below!
The Winner: Primal Pit Paste
Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Jasmine Essential Oil, Gardenia Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E derived 100% from Sunflowers
This little jar doesn’t look like much but it is a fantastic deodorant that requires only a pea sized application and stands up, without any sign of stink, for over 24 hours and a 20 mile bike ride in the hot Carolina sun. The company offers a roll on version if that is your preference and many other scents. With shipping, it is pricey for a deodorant compared to the $6-7 for Dove or other shelf deodorants, but it is really worth it for your health. Your lymph nodes will thank you. This small jar has lasted me 3 months already and I expect to get another month month from it. They even make mini jars too which are perfect for your purse or traveling. When I used deodorants such as Dove and Degree in the past, I found I needed to replace them often or try different brands because they would stop working. In the long run, Primal Pit Paste ends up bringing more cost and health savings. The company often offers coupons on their website too. Looking at the ingredient list, there is nothing questionable or that you have to google to translate into human, non-chemistry major, terms. By the way, with ingredients like Shea Butter and Coconut Oil, your skin will feel heavenly. Very soothing after shaving!
Runner Up: Dr. Hauschka Rose Deodorant
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Manihot Utilissima (Tapioca) Starch, Glycerin, Zinc Ricinoleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Eugenol*, Limonene*, Farnesol*, Citral*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hectorite, Xanthan Gum. *component of natural essential oils
Alright so this roll on deodorant is definitely more expensive. I discovered this 2 years into my experimentation when I was OK with paying more because I was not having success with other natural deodorants. It does keep me fresh for most of the day but by evening, a 2nd application is required. There are some funky words in the ingredient list with the common name in parentheses. You can feel good about this deodorant though because it’s free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, preservatives, mineral oils, parabens, silicone, soluble aluminium salts AND it’s not tested on bunnies or any other animals. They offer a Sage Mint version too.
If this topic interests you and you would like to start experimenting with different deodorants, check out the deodorant or natural products sections of Whole Foods, Target, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s, Tj Maxx and Marshalls. You can buy deodorants via Amazon or from the seller’s site directly. Whether you decide to give more natural deodorants a shot or not, thanks for coming along with me on this journey on and through the pits!
Links/locations for deodorants pictured:
Hermann Cowboy– Earth Fare, Amazon
Desert Essence – Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Amazon
Crystal Essence – Amazon, Tj Maxx
Life Stinks (powder)– retailer website