Healthy Beauty: Deodorants | Ask BEAUTYCALYPSE #2

Deodorants: Y U so cruel? Is it really either aluminium or skunk? Let’s see why natural deos fail and if we really have an alternative that’s all roses.

But first thing: THANK YOU!

Last month I’ve asked you guys to, well, ask your beauty questions and you did. It was amazing! There were new questions I haven’t really thought about, and some I actually did have myself and some I even do have an answer to! Thank you! Keep ’em comin’!

So today – looking at temperatures rising – I will pick a very sensitive (and sensible) one: Deodorants.


A standard deodorant product is based on aluminium (which studies linked to Alzheimer’s in early 1990ies and to breast cancer in mid-2K), perfume (problems discussed here), preservatives (BHT or parabenes that aren’t really cleared yet as we remember from here), some may contain triclosan (an antibacterial, antifungal agent with addidional and less sexy properties such as: hormone disruptor for example but you are cordially invited to jump here to find out more), silicones, alcohol, talc,… and much more, plus of course derivatives from palm oil.

Deodorant, a product with that many side effects! Seriously, if it was a pill – I wouldn’t take it.

Some “wallet wisdom” I’ve learned the hard way to begin with:

Never believe what the ads or the glossy packaging/stickers tell you. Real Adventurers skip the ad, ignore the beautifully designed packaging, but ALWAYS CHECK THE INCI – and do some research before buying stuff. Bless you, Internet.



What do we expect from a deodorant? We expect to smell good “from shower to shower”, we expect to not ruin our clothes with product staining. It doesn’t go amiss if the product has a nice scent (but it shouldn’t kill our perfume, neither). Easy, right? So why is it so hard to produce a good deodorant, then? All those labs and science out there! Heh?



There is a pretty bunch of alkohol-free, certified organic, green, pure, in short: wonderful, clean, and safe products.

They’ve got great scent, mostly lemony or otherwise natural (no sea breeze or red berries, for example). They leave the clothes stain-free (most of them at least – I’ve never experienced yellow or white or other stains with any of natural deos I’ve used – so far). Sadly, they’ve got another common ground, too: they seem to work for maybe a week. But sooner or later, arriving at your office in the morning you start wondering whether you’ve hit a skunk with your car. Ooooops. The natural deo fails you – often within just 60 minutes.

Why is it so? Since natural deos do not contain pore clogging aluminium all they can offer you is cover the smell.

NOTA BENE: our body is designed with sweating as a feature, not a bug – except for health conditions, but then it’s up to your doctor, not to The Internet, to deal with it. Clogging up or botox’ing the pores clearly wasn’t part of the natural design.



And the best news it’s not “stink away!” Apparently, both baking soda and coconut oil are nature’s very own deodorants. Three cheers for DIY* because:

The best deodorant is a homemade baking soda + coconut oil concoction with the essential oil(s) of your choice! It’s not just clean and pure if you pick the right ingredients, it’s also vegan and palm-oil free (unless you pour it in of course, but why should you). Yay! Recipes follow below, let me tell you about how wonderfully the stuff actually works.

PROs & CONs PURE BAKING SODA: To me, pure baking soda is a pain in the a… armpit, I mean: armpit! to apply, but if put in a pretty vintage-looking jar and solemnly applied with a beautiful, lush, pink powder puff… Sporty types (or guys) can try and use empty talkum dispensers. Just get creative and make it work for you!

PROs & CONs PURE COCONUT OIL: Pure coconut oil is my weapon of choice only if my armpits are meant to be visible – the mixture of soda and oil, while highly effective (hold on), is white like toothpaste. Other than that, pure oils tend to stain fine fabrics.

PROs & CONs DIY DEO based on SODA and COCONUT OIL: Good news first. This stuff is worth a mint! It’s solid in its jar (gets liquid during hot summer days without losing its powers) but melts in your fingers. It smells fantastic, well, depending on what you add of course. The deodorant I use is effective >48 hours!!! You can either buy a ready-made product or mix and blend your own, making it scent-free or perfumed with your fave essential oil(s). It doesn’t cause stains or fabric damage, except with black clothes, especially if they rub in the armpits. And if it sits in your shirt, it stays. Since it looks white on your skin when applied, it also doesn’t look good if you go sleeveless. (View above, coconut oil.) And another word of warning: baking soda is a natural scrub. Just don’t rub it too harsh or you risk irritated skin.


  • Two formulas by Wellness Mama here.
  • One recipe by Jessica Jones of HowAboutOrange here.
  • HomesteadRevival got one to share, too.
  • Find a recipe for a dry formula here on the SunWarrior blog.
  • One DIY reader’s recipe found at NoMoreDirtyLooks (yes, it’s from the authors of the eponymous book I reviewed a while ago here)

I think any of those is really, really easy and require little time to make. But…

* …lazy people like Yours Truly prefer to surf the web and to find a shop that offers baking soda based products, like this German Pin-Up Shoppe. I used to try all of their scented versions, but since it’s not a certified organic company, I finally settled with the “sensitive”, or perfume-free version.

So, what do you think? Any more questions?

Jayne, Lyss, is this an answer that helps you or not? Any additional questions? Teaming up for a Skype deo-DIY’ing session, perhaps? 😀


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

8 Responses

  1. ah yes, the deo question is a Very Hard one.

    scary stuff.

    didn’t ladies in the victorian era put paste on that completely blocked pores – at night – not to “offend” their husbands?


    but there again when we went to INDIA it was clear that the body really does need to expel its toxins but oh-dear-god – and then again in CHINA where deo (young chaps in tech) was not a known feature of grooming – sheesh.

  2. BLYSS chocolate

    “Real Adventurers skip the ad, ignore the beautifully designed packaging, but ALWAYS CHECK THE INCI “…. YES!

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