I have been on a quest for the past 6 years to find an organic, natural deodorant that won’t leave me stinking like a homeless person by noon. I have found some success but nothing that is a real, easy, full-time, rest of my life solution…. until a few weeks ago that is.
Why natural deodorant you may ask? Who cares?
There are all sorts of nasty chemicals in your traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. While potential links between deodorant and cancer are still unclear, the aluminum that does such a bang up job of stopping your pores from secreting liquids (aka getting sweaty) can also have other harmful side effects. Will it cause cancer? Experts still say no. But frequent use of aluminum can cause “estrogen like” effects in the body which simply means that cancer cells are more likely to grow. Not good. For further reading, click here.
Bottom line is that I try to avoid chemicals in all of my health and beauty products whenever possible, but I can’t go to work smelling disgusting, so I had to try something.
Attempts #1 & #2: Purchased Products
I started with Tom’s of Maine. I enjoy their toothpaste and they’re a big name in the naturals world. They’re available in a lot of stores, including Target, so it was easy to find. I enjoy their lavender scent and so I gave it a try. For me, it worked reasonably well in months with more moderate temperatures, but I was always left wondering if today’s going to be an OK day, because when it doesn’t work (and there are plenty of those days), it gets really stinky really fast. At least if you reapply, the lavender scent will do a decent job at masking other unpleasant smells, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence overall.
From there I figured I’d try something a little higher end. I don’t use Origins products but my best friend swears by them and has flawless skin, so I gave their Origins Organics Totally Pure Deodorant, a try. I didn’t love the way it smelled, you’d mist it on and it felt a bit wet, and it wasn’t 100% effective at preventing odors, so with the higher price tag, it certainly didn’t seem to be a good investment. In researching this I’ve found the product is not available anymore so I won’t belabor this since you likely can’t find it and bottom line is- I do not recommend it.
Attempt #3: Mixed at Home Product
Then I took to the internet and found a myriad of recipes online. Many called for obscure ingredients that I wasn’t willing to shell out $20 just so I could use 1/4 of a teaspoon in a recipe, so I went with a simple mixture of approximately 1/2 coconut oil + 1/2 baking soda. That works great and I was overjoyed to use just ingredients already in my pantry. It’s cheap and easy. I usually store it in the bathroom (though when its extremely hot it can be useful to store in the fridge because coconut oil becomes liquid at higher heats).
I have been using that for over a year and I love how effective it is at stopping the stink. BUT when its really hot, and I still give into paranoia that maybe if I don’t apply enough I’ll wind up stinky… I get a little too heavy handed and it clogs my pores– which hurts, and then I need to lay off and go without deodorant for a good week. Not ideal.
The Answer That Just Fell Into My Lap
Just about a month ago I was visiting with friends for a scrapbooking weekend, and my friend Christine carried her lemon wedge out of Panera on top of her cup but never put it inside her drink. Finally I had to ask “are you going to put that lemon IN your drink??” to which she replied in sort of a hushed tone “No… I’ll explain when we get outside….”
We got outside the restaurant and she explained that she uses lemon as her deodorant!
I will admit I was a little skeptical. There are so many combinations of recipes out there on blogs from desperate women all over the world who want a natural deodorant and Christine is telling me that the best deodorant (that I don’t even have to stir together or dirty measuring spoons for) is already in my fridge? She’s never lied to me before and I literally did have a lemon in my fridge at home, so when I got home from our weekend away I tried it.
And guess what? It works. No smell at all! It’s amazing. Simple. Cheap. Requiring almost no time. Brilliant! And if you forget your deodorant on vacation, you can like snag a wedge instead of putting it into your beverage!
A few other tips about what I do:
- Cut off one end of the lemon to expose some of the inside of the fruit and apply to underarm skin daily after you wash up.
- Store your lemon in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- After a couple days, cut a thin slice off the lemon so there is more juice at the surface and continue that way until your lemon is gone. [It will last many weeks]
- Be careful apply after shaving. That may sting a little, but it you give it some time after you shower, it shouldn’t hurt.
- It will take a second to dry, so I recommend applying it before you get dressed.
- I haven’t noticed any staining on my clothing at all, but I can’t say for sure that this will never happen, so just something to keep an eye out for.
- Keep this “special lemon” in a separate, easily identifiable container in your fridge. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that if you’re spouse unknowingly puts a wedge of this lemon into his or her water, he/she may be more than a little annoyed (and grossed out). Fair enough. Don’t be that person!
- I joked about labeling the plastic container I keep mine in with “ARMPIT LEMON” although I relish the idea of how funny that is, it hasn’t been necessary. Dan doesn’t eat lemons… and I keep it in the butter tray area where we keep our teeth whitening, other coconut oil/baking soda deodorant and, yes, butter, so Dan already knows not to eat those other things in that section of the fridge. But if it works for you, please do that (and then share a photo because I think its hilarious!)
Try it out! Maybe on a weekend when you don’t have many plans, in case you’re skeptical about it, but do try it. I feel confident that it will work better than any natural product you can purchase and it’s so much easier. What have you got to lose?
Want to talk more about natural products? What you’ve tried? What works and doesn’t for you? Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!