Deodorant Pros and Pit Falls

Conner Keyeski, RN, BSN

Transitioning to a deodorant that is free of aluminum, parabens and other chemicals can be a daunting, drawn-out and expensive process. Both my wife and I have made the transition to cleaner deodorants, and have had varied experiences.

The first deodorant I tried was Every Man Jack. I chose this brand based on ingredients, reviews and the variety of scents they offer. Unfortunately, my sensitive skin did not agree with my decision and I developed a rash (I even tried a different scent but the rash came back). The next brand I chose was Herban Cowboy. Luckily, this is the brand I have been using now for over two years! I have tried both their Dusk and Forest scents. The scent is not too overpowering, and yet I feel like I don’t need to reapply unless I am sweating a lot from exercising or working outdoors. I have also noticed that it does not leave a lot of residues or sticky feeling. Herban Cowboy is easily found online and in natural stores.

My wife, on the other hand, has had a more difficult time finding a deodorant that works for her. Here is what she has tried:


  • Pros: blocks odor, multiple scents, and fragrance-free option, made with essential oils, natural ingredients (including baking soda, arrowroot, coconut oil, jojoba and vitamin E). Long-lasting, only have to apply once daily, fairly easy to find in mainstream and natural stores. My wife still uses this brand and her favorites scents are charcoal & magnesium, and lavender & sage.
  • Pitfalls: thick and can be hard to apply. You have to let it sit on the skin for a few seconds before dressing as the essential oils in some of them can cause stains on shirts if they come in contact with the material prior to drying on the skin.

Herban Cowboy

  • Pros: Easy to apply, non-greasy and dries quickly, doesn’t leave residue on clothing, vegan and cruelty-free
  • Pitfalls: on an active or hot day my wife may have to re-apply and there are limited scent options.


  • Pros: mineral antibacterial, one stick can last up to a year, dries fairly quickly and doesn’t leave residue on clothing, great for detoxing, fragrance free and hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty free
  • Pitfalls: learning curve when first starting to use it. My wife had to apply this at night and still had to use a natural deodorant during the day (during detox period).

Tom’s of Maine

  • Pros: Easy to find in stores, cheaper than other natural deodorants, multiple scents to choose from
  • Pitfalls: after trying different scents and specific kinds of Tom’s, she never found one that worked for her personally. She had a skin reaction and did not feel that it blocked any of her odors.

Kiss My Face

  • Pros: Natural Man neutralized her scents better than the women’s ones, reasonably priced in comparison to other natural deodorants, vegan and cruelty-free, roll-on and spray options
  • Pitfalls: she was able to use for a few months, and then noticed that it no longer worked, and was having to reapply multiple times a day.

Brands and products we would like to try in the future are: Native, bentonite clay, and magnesium oil.

When switching from traditional deodorants or antiperspirants to natural ones, it is a good idea to detox from the chemicals. What we found that worked well was cleaning with apple cider vinegar before showering and then applying coconut oil after showering.

DIY Deodorant recipe:

3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp shea butter
2 tbsp arrowroot (optional) or organic cornstarch
10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice (lavender, tea tree, sage, patchouli are some good options)


Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. Another option is to combine the shea butter and coconut oil in a quart-size glass mason jar with a lid and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. (You can designate this jar for these types of projects and not need to wash it out). Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (if you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda or omit).

Mix well. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. It does not need to be stored in the fridge. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use. Because it has a base of coconut oil, keep in a cool environment or it may melt in the summer!

Primal Pit Paste: A Review

Krystal Dinkel, R.N.

I have been using Primal Pit Paste for well over a year now. I began using it after a co-learner recommended it to me. This is a frequent topic of conversation during our Thermography appointments, as eliminating aluminum from your deodorant is one of the first recommendations we make to a co-learner with an abnormal scan, or for anyone who wants to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Primal Pit Paste is available in a stick or in a container for applying by hand. It is available in a wide variety of scents, or unscented. As a runner, it had been an ongoing battle to find a more natural deodorant that actually works! In my experience, Primal Pit Paste does not go on thick or heavy and does not leave you with a moist (the dreaded M word) feeling under your arms that makes you feel like you want to air them out all day long. It never causes any rashes or irritation for me, and I finally have the odor control from a more natural deodorant that I had always hoped for! I would highly recommend this product for anyone, but especially for those of you who are active or feel that you are not getting the odor control that you would like from your current natural product.