This past summer I wrote about my initial experience with a natural deodorant. You can read about my excitement here: That Sweat Don’t Smell.
I had wanted to get away from my long term use of aluminum salts in commercial deodorants. I wanted a more natural option and I wanted to make my own, but I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in the raw ingredients if the end products wasn’t successful for me. I bought a small local-ish made deodorant that smelled good and seemed to have good ingredients: baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil, tea tree oil and lemon essential oil.
It smelled great and I was amazed that for the first couple days there was literally no sweat smell and no wetness problems in the middle of summer. Huzzah! But, my elation was short lived. By the third day my pits were a bit itchy. By the fourth day they were insanely itchy and there was a slash of red across the pits.
I wanted to give the deodorant a decent trial, so I kept using it for a few days. Perhaps my body needed to adjust. But it didn’t. I made it 6 days and had to give up. The entire surface of my pits were bright red, itching and raw feeling. I had a chemical burn. I immediately discontinued all deodorant use.
It took two weeks for the chemical burns to heal. In that time, I emailed the company to let them know. Their response was really unsatisfactory. They said that it was likely the tea tree oil. “C’est dommage.” I was hoping they would offer to send a sample of a different formulation. That’s what I would do if someone told me my product gave them chemical burns. Certainly there was no warning on the label. I was a little ticked, but I’m sure the rest of their products are great. I’m not going to be giving them another $7, however.
After 2 weeks, I went another week without using any deodorant. I was sort of fascinated with my natural personal smell. It smelled strong! And bad! And weird! I kept sniffing my pits and recoiling and then laughing at myself. When my husband started remarking that he could smell my pits without being close to me, I decided to return to the world of commercial deodorants.
A few months later, I’m still a Lady Speed Stick devotee. My first stick back was Summer Citrus and I recently picked up Fruity Melon. I love the silly fruity scents.
I haven’t ruled out making my own deodorant. It definitely won’t have tea tree oil in it. But I have heard some people say that it is the baking soda or corn starch that they react to in natural deodorants. I sure hope that’s not my experience.
Have you tried natural deodorants? What was your experience? Is there a brand you love?