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natural deodorant?

1605 Views 22 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Verity
I want to start using a natural deodorant? I've been putting it off because I'm afraid it won't work. Tell me of your good experiences and your favorite kind, please.
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Crystal!!!! I swear by it. Either get the deodorant that's a big hunk of crystal that you just wet down and rub under your arms or get the liquid pump you just spray on. I've always been heavy, sweaty and smelly. This stuff really works! You can get it at Target or Trader Joes.

I reccomend if you get the hunk of crystal you get the one shaped like a deodorant that comes in a container. It's easy to drop a regular piece of wet crystal and it's a mess if you do. The spray is easier but the hunk lasts for like a year. Literally.
Baking soda. A little on the finger tip, mix with a little lotion and I have been stink free for months. And it only costs pennies because a little goes a long way.
We had a great discussion about this earlier this month:

There are different remedies: Crystal Deo, Baking soda lotion as kewb mentioned, baking soda scrub and vinegar rinse (as I do), herbal remedies (using commercial herbal products or making your own).

The trick to keep the stink away is to kill the bacteria that causes the odor. Sweat doesn't cause odor, but bacteria mixed with sweat is offensive. Killing the bacteria with vinegar, witch hazel or even some antiseptic essential oils like Lavender, Rosemary, tea tree oil, etc can help.

One thing I have used recently that's really nice after my shower baking soda scrub, water rinse and then apple cider vinegar rinse, is that Burt's Bees Facial Mist with Lavender works great as an astringent and antibacterial spray. It has Lavender, Bergamot, and Cedarleaf essential oils in distilled water. The facial mist is great as a face mist, body spray/perfume, light moisturizing curl-mist for your hair, and it works nicely as an astringent (helps evaporate extra moisture).

I've been doing it for a few weeks and I haven't had any problems. I'm really hormonal, eat foods with onion, garlic, ethnic foods all the time (which I won't give up) and tend to get stinky too. I am having a hard time even trying to get stinky and boyfriend doesn't smell anything either (he would tell me if I reeked).
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I use GSE (grapefruit seed extract). Just rub 2 drops under my pits and I am good all day. It doesn't keep you from sweating but it keeps you from smelling. I love it!
I am not sure what the difference between grapefruit essential oil and grapefruit seed extract. I see both of those terms in online articles. Do you know?

Also, some products oddly enough, proudly say "contains no grapefruit seed extracts." Why would anybody NOT want grapefruit seed extract?
I'm another devoted crystal user. I bought one a few years ago and didn't have much luck but recently dug it out again and have been using it for a few weeks. It is the ONLY thing that keeps me from stinking. I just rub a bit of baking soda or cornstarrch under my arms if I'm going out because it doesn't cut wetness.

Spastica- IMO the difference between the two might be that grapefruit essential oil may just be for aromatherapy purposes where grapefruit seed extract is consumable. I have a bottle of grapefruit essential oil that I use on my skin and hair but I wouldn't think of consuming it.
Ohhh, I see. Thanks!

I have grapefruit essential oil too, it makes me SO happy because the smell is just so yummy, fresh, and vibrant. What kind of benefits do you think it has on skin and hair? I found just a little bit of info on it, but not a whole lot.

Originally Posted by Spastica
I am not sure what the difference between grapefruit essential oil and grapefruit seed extract. I see both of those terms in online articles. Do you know?

Also, some products oddly enough, proudly say "contains no grapefruit seed extracts." Why would anybody NOT want grapefruit seed extract?
It is actually not natural.
I love GSE, I use it for everything. Are certain brands ok? I use the original GSE in the red and white bottle and it says certified organic on it.
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Big Bummer! I might have had a hard time believing it if I hadn't recently been searching for chemical free products and I was realy impressed with terressentials.
Nobody's mentioned this, though it might've been mentioned in the x-referenced thread, but when you quit using conventional deodorants, especially if they had antiperspirant in them, your body will probably stink to high heaven for a couple days as you readjust. Everyone I know who's quit conventional stuff has had to go through this "detox" and it only lasts a couple days, but it stinks (haha, literally!). But it does go away. Baking soda helps. And if you ever go back to your conventional stuff, if even for a day, for a special occasion or whatever, you will smell badly the next day.

I thought you should be warned, so you don't think you're uniquely funky once you get off the conventional stuff. You're not! The chemicals make you seem that way, though!

I second the crystal. I also put on a natural deodorant stick...mine's a lavendar tea tree oil organic something I bought. I also dust cornstarch to sop up moisture if need be.

Hi gals,

The link from mamajessica from Terraessentials posted the information about grapefruit seed extract - if they (the Terraessentials company) know it's supposedly unnatural and not that great of a by-product, they wouldn't put it in their products. Companies won't advertise or write information about certain topics if it doesn't justify using their own product line.

So if you're happy with Terraessentials use it! More than likely they don't put it in their products if they're so blatant about writing information about how bad Grapefruit Seed Extract is. See what I mean? Also, sometimes product companies plant information like that as an added justification for you to buy their product. Don't fall for it.

This is just coming from somebody who's in marketing and advertising

Also, note that even natural product companies feed off public fears, whether they are backed by substantial evidence or if it's just an urban myth, which helps with their sales.

I talked about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate before in these forums. Many people think it causes cancer, but there's no evidence of it. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate CAN be a skin irritant, so that's a just reason to avoid it. What made me happy is that Tom's of Maine actually wrote about this topic - but at the same time, they still want to make money so they avoid using Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in their products because people cling to their beliefs. Sodium Lauryl Sulfates typically don't bother the mass public, but it can bother people prone to canker sores.

Same with the Fluoride issue - Fluoride helps build healthy teeth, but if you swallow a large quantity of it, it can irritate the lining of your stomach or in large quantities, can be toxic. So again, most people don't have a problem with it - when I was a kid, I didn't swallow my toothpaste, but a lot of kids do.

Don't mean to sound all preachy, but I get really hot and bothered about people getting into a tizzy over certain topics and believing bad information. I'm an advocate of doing research! Yay!

The other day, we discussed on another thread about some of the products listed on There are products that received poor marks because it has certain chemical compounds that MAY be harmful. Somebody (Tinuviel, thanks girl!) made a good point that they were not allergic to whatever was in a certain product so that kind of information was not relevant to them.

Just because somebody you know (assuming that person is not in your immediate family) is allergic to peaches, wheat, peanut butter or whatever, that shouldn't make you ban those food products as evil and think whoever grew or created those items has conspired to make people sick, you know what I mean?

So - to sum up, do what's best for you, based on what's right for you and based on correct info.

Thanks for reading my rant on this...
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Just so you know the crystals have aluminum in them but its of a size that supposedly doesn't go through our skin.

The typical deo's have aluminum but its a size that does go through our skin supposedly.
I'm still experimenting with this, but so far I've had good results. A friend of mine recently visted Costa Rica where she found a lot of people rubbing limes on their pits. Low and behold, it works! Now, if you're a shaver you can imagine it can burn a bit. Also, too much can be a bit sticky. Nonetheless, I just use a slice and rub it on there. Then I rub on a tiny bit of 100% shea butter with lavendar oil. It helps keep it soft. Like I said, I'm still experimenting. I might try to make shea butter-lime juice mixture. It's not summer yet, so the real test will be if this works in my un-airconditioned apartment.
I put rubbing alcohol w/ a few drops of essential oil in a very small spray bottle and spray four pumps under each pit. I don't smell and I don't sweat any more than I did w/ conventional deo/antiperspirant. And I didn't go through any "detox" or adjustment period when I switched. It remains to be seen (or smelled, I guess) if this approach will work in the humid summer.
earthgirl/sidshappymamma: Lime or rubbing alcohol should work exactly the same as apple cider vinegar - they both kill bacteria that causes odor.

Anything that has a combination of rubbing/scrubbing (to get rid of dead skin and trapped bacteria) should help tremendously with the odor problem.

In fact, earthgirl, you can rub the lime (or use lemon or apple cider vinegar) and rinse it off. That's what I do with the apple cider vinegar and it works all day. (I start out by scrubbing with baking soda and water to cleanse my armpits first).

This way, you don't have to keep lime on your armpits all day, and you won't have any irritation.

Originally Posted by Spastica
earthgirl/sidshappymamma: In fact, earthgirl, you can rub the lime (or use lemon or apple cider vinegar) and rinse it off. That's what I do with the apple cider vinegar and it works all day.
Does it really work all day? I would have thought that if you're sweating, it would wash away the vinegar (or whatever you rubbed on) and then you'd have to reapply your vinegar several times a day. I'll have to try this.

I found that a certain brand of conventional deodorant used to work great for me, until I became pregnant. Then my hormones changed my body chemistry or something, because that deodorand did not work AT ALL. I got a crystal (out of concern for the aluminum thing, more than any other reason). And that worked pretty well throughout the pregnancy. But if it was a really hot day or I was working out, the crystal would fail me.

So does the vinegar/witch hazel/baking soda (etc.) thing work better than crystals?
I've never used the crystals but a lot of people in these forums swear by them.

The reason why the apple cider vinegar works is because it kills the bacteria that causes odor. It also is astringent, (kind of like the rubbing alcohol sidshappymamma uses - rubbing alcohol also kills bacteria), so it helps with keeping dry. I can still sweat, but it's not smelly.

Here's what I do:
- While in the shower, scrub armpits with baking soda paste (baking soda and water). Scrub area well. Rinse. The baking soda does a great job of cleaning and exfoliating. The idea here is to get rid of oils, sweat, dead skin, and other stuff that can trap bacteria.
- Spray apple cider vinegar from spray bottle. Apple Cider Vinegar is diluted so that it's 1/2 water, 1/2 apple cider vinegar.
- Rinse
- Get out of shower, pat dry

- I feel good using lately because it's spring and warm outside: If needed or want to feel especially prissy, spritz some Burt's Bees Lavender facial mist (has Lavender, Cedar Leaf, and Bergamot essential oils and distilled water only), which is used as an astringent, but I've found that it's great on armpits, hair, and body too.
- Rarely use: If I feel like I'm going to be in the heat outside and I'm wearing a light colored t-shirt, some baby powder cornstarch.

As for why your deo didn't work - hormones change your body chemistry, so you have different chemicals pouring out of your system. With the bacteria in your body, sweat combined with bacteria produces nasty odors (i.e. like in teenage boys).
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I'll have to try the apple cider vinegar. It seems like it would be cheaper and less messy than limes. Thanks for the tip!
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