Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorants That Actually Work for Me

I am on a seemingly never-ending search for the perfect aluminum-free, natural deodorant. And while I haven’t yet found my holy grail of armpit freshener, I have found some pretty damn good options that I want to share with you guys because who knows, one of them could end up being your holy grail. As with all skincare products, there isn’t a single concoction that’s going to work perfectly for everyone. We all have different skin types, hormonal balances and genetics, so you kinda have to treat any product search like you’re a human science experiment.

Skincare, hair care, anything beauty related–not my forte. I stalk follow countless wellness and beauty influencers on social media and am honestly just completely overwhelmed by their seemingly endless supply of all-natural, superfood-charged products. They’ve got under eye cream made from the organic nectar of rare indigenous plants plucked off the peak of Mount Everest by a world renowned Shaman and I’m over here using some clumpy-ass mascara I found on sale at CVS that probably expired in 2013.

Womp. Womp. Wommmmmmmp.

Rather than be overwhelmed by replacing every single product in my bathroom with all-natural versions at once, I like to focus on the stuff I put on my body every single day. Just like eating a Twinkie once in a while isn’t going to give you cancer, wearing red lipstick with artificial dyes in it once a year on New Years isn’t going to kill you. It’s the day-in-day-out stuff that makes a difference. Like deodorant. I wear it every day so I do really care what’s in it.

A few notes about my experience finding a good-for-you deodorant…

  • Embrace sweat. I feel like a bit of an a-hole preaching this because I work from home and at a fitness studio–two places it’s perfectly acceptable to be sweaty. I also have never had an issue with excess perspiration which I know is an extremely frustrating condition for a lot of people. In general though, sweating is a healthy bodily function and very few aluminum-free natural deodorants are also anti-perspirants (I think Tom’s has an anti-perspirant option?).
  • Be patient. When you try a new product, it takes time to truly know how it works with your body. And especially if you’re switching from an aluminum-containing anti-perspirant to an all-natural deodorant–there’s going to be a serious adjustment period. For me, things got worse before they got better. I felt like I sweat more and smelled worse for the first couple weeks after I ditched the “bad” deodorant. And Joe made sure to remind me of it every day (LOL). Eventually everything balanced out and I could accurately gauge if the natural deodorants were working for me.
  • Baking soda isn’t my favorite. Not because baking soda is bad, but because I hate what happens when I sweat. If I’m wearing deodorant with baking soda in it and I start sweating during a workout, I get these crusty white streaks down the sides of my body (so hot right now). Does this happen to anyone else?? Baking soda also causes a lot of people to get rashes. I notice some minor red bumps occasionally but nothing too bad.
  • I avoided pastes. There are a lot of paste deodorants out there but I don’t like the idea of needing to wash my hands after applying deodorant. I’d rather use a stick or spray than have to rub something under my pits each morning with my fingers.

Ok now on to my recommendations!

Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorants That Work for Me

These are the two brands (+one other “homemade” deodorant) I’d currently recommend. They each have one thing I wish I could change (I’ll elaborate on that below), but all things considered, they’re fabulous.

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant ($7-10)

Schmidt’s is the bomb dot com. Their deodorant is free of aluminum, phthalates, parabens and propylene-glycol, and is certified vegan and cruelty-free. AND IT WORKS. All day. I put it on in the morning, teach three classes, come back home and work a full day and have no issues with body odor. It absorbs fully so that you’re not left with sticky pits and it contains plant-based powders that help absorb wetness. I don’t think you’ll really get a true anti-perspirant without aluminum, but I definitely notice a reduction in sweating with Schmidt’s versus other natural options.

I’ve only tried the Bergamot + Lime, but there are lots of other scents as well:

The one downside: Causes some mild skin irritation for me. I’m not sure if it’s the ingredients or just that it goes on a little rough, but I get red bumps and some minor irritation under my armpits every once in a while when I use Schmidt’s regularly.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant ($18)

I love love loooove Ursa Major. I use their face wipes and face lotion regularly and it was no surprise I’d become a fan of their deodorant as well. First off, it smells amazing. My four-year-old niece always makes me give it to her before I put it on in the morning so that she can sniff it when I visit (haha). It goes on smoothly (way smoother than Schmidt’s) and feels fresh and cooling. It absorbs fully, too, so that you don’t feel sticky. The $18 price tag is high, but the stick is big and lasts me three months.

The one downside: It doesn’t last all day. I find I have to reapply this multiple times throughout the day and end up carrying it around in my bag. On super active days when I teach multiple classes and then do my own workout I can understand that, but even on rest days I typically reapply 2-3 times to stay fresh.

Limes

No seriously. My mom has been using limes as her deodorant for years (like straight up just rubs lime wedges on her armpits), and while I thought it was just another thing to add to the Weird Things Mom Does list, I gave it a try and it really does work! You cut off a wedge (1/4 lime covers both pits for me), give it a little squeeze to get it juicy, and then rub it on gently. Sometimes little pieces of pulp rub off and you have to pick them off, but other than that you just let it dry and are good to go. It doesn’t feel sticky or anything and it’s really effective at preventing body odor–I was shocked!

The one downside: The logistics. You need to have your kitchen stocked with limes at all times which isn’t so bad but what about bringing your “deodorant” with you to the gym? What about when you travel? It was just getting to be a hassle bringing around my little lime wedges with me in baggies. I was testing out this method while traveling to Palm Springs for my friend’s bachelorette party and I’m pretty sure TSA thought I was insane when they looked in my carryon.

Also, a little tip if you’re going to give limes a try: Don’t apply them immediately after shaving–it stings!

This deodorant works SO WELL but…

Weleda Deodorant ($14)

Weleda products are made in Switzerland and are all free of synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances and synthetic chemicals. The deodorants come in a glass spray bottle and I find 3 pumps per pit is enough to do the job. I like the spray application and it absorbs and dries quickly and then really does last ALL day. I used Weleda for a couple months, but its main ingredient didn’t sit well with me: alcohol.

The smell of the citrus reminded me of flavored vodka (aka bad flashbacks to high school) and the smell of the wild rose reminded me of perfume. Scent issues aside, I had heard products containing alcohol aren’t good for your skin. I didn’t know much more beyond that, so I decided to do a little research on the topic.

Fatty alcohols (common examples are cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol) are A-OK. They’re non-irritating to the skin and serve to keep ingredients stable in products. Simple alcohols (common examples are methanol, ethanol/ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol), which give products an anti-bacterial property, can dry out the skin and therefore weaken its role as our protective barrier. Weleda uses organic grain alcohol which is ethyl alcohol. Bummer.

From what I’ve read, I don’t think it’s the worst thing you could put on your skin, but also definitely not the most nourishing. This article and this article were helpful in explaining the different alcohols for anyone interested.

Other Natural Deodorants I’ve Tried That Didn’t Work

During this deodorant mission, I’ve also tried out a few that didn’t work well at all (for me anyway). They’re worth mentioning because who knows–maybe they’ll be your perfect fit!

  • Tom’s of Maine – I smell worse when I wear Tom’s than I do when I wear no deodorant at all. How is that possible?! I want to like this product because I think Tom’s is an amazing company but it just does not work at all for me.
  • Agent Nateur – I kept seeing this marketed as the “it” deodorant in LA (probably code for: Gwyneth wore it once lollollol) but while I love the scent, it doesn’t absorb well. I’d put it on and then feel like I had a sticky paste under my armpits the rest of the day. No thanks. And at a whopping $19 … Awww HELL to the muthafukkin no thanks.
  • Nourish Organic – I love the smell of their Lavender Mint stick and the formula definitely works for me but OUCH. It is so rough going on! The texture is like an exfoliating scrub and I just couldn’t get over that which is a bummer because the smell is uh-mazing.

Ok your turn! Have you tried any of these brands? Which work and don’t? Any suggestions for other brands I should try? Let’s talk deodorant! 

Links are affiliate.

Keeping Your Skin & Hair under Control: Tips for People Who Love Working Out

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

I mean, I’m just going to get sweaty again in the morning, is it really even worth showering tonight? – Me, every night before going to bed

The next MegaFood product I’m going to feature is their Skin, Nails & Hair tablet, so I figured we’d talk greasy hair and breakouts today! When I transitioned to working in the fitness industry full time, my hair and skin freaked out. I sound overly dramatic but I really did have to adjust my whole hygiene routine, and it was tricky because it’s not necessarily good for your skin and hair to wash them multiple times a day but it’s also not necessarily good to marinate in your sweat. It’d be one thing if I was just doing one workout each day like most people, but I’d do my own workout and then later that day teach workouts so it was just one nonstop sweatfest. What’s a girl to do??

I’ve found a rhythm with balancing daily (often twice daily with teaching) workouts with my hair/skincare routine and thought I’d share some tips. I’d love for you to share your own in the comments!

Skin & Haircare Tips for Fitness Fanatics

Go High, Go Low — Switch It Up!

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

wearing PUMA tank

I started to notice a lot of breakage in the spot where I’d tightly wind my elastic around my hair each day (I used to rock the high pony 24/7). I also noticed a cowlick type thing going on around the top of my head when I’d wear my hair down to go out at night. The high ponies had trained my hair to do this weird swirl thing–no bueno! Switching up my workout hairstyle has helped to fix this. One day I’ll wear a high bun, the next a pony at mid-scalp, the next a low bun at my neck. After binge-watching Kardashians, maybe even a couple boxer’s braids. 😉

Let Your Hair Breathe at Night

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

This goes along with the above tip. I hate having my hair in my face while I sleep but the nonstop hair tie situation was causing breakage. At night, I’ll swirl my hair into a loose bun and secure with a loose clip on top of my head. If a clip makes laying down uncomfortable, I’d recommend using a scrunchie instead of a tight hair tie. Not only does this help with breakage, but it ensures I don’t have a tie crease in my hair the next morning if I want to wear it down.

Water, Water, More Water

Have you ever woken up after a big night out consisting of several adult beverages and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Holy Hell who is this elderly woman?!” *raises hand* That’s because you’re dehydrated AF–and it happens after healthy water-draining activities as well. If you’re working out a lot, you need to hydrate a lot.

Face Wipes FTW

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

I’m never without face wipes in my bag now. I used to teach a row class followed by two megaformer classes and my skin had never been worse. I’d sweat through the row class and then go on to teach two not-so-sweaty additional classes and the sweat would just sit on my face for those hours. I was constantly broken out. If you’re unable to wash your face or hop in the shower after your workout, use a face wipe! I love Ursa Major (but kinda pricey), Acure and the grapefruit ones from Burt’s Bees. All three are great because they clean without drying out your skin or leaving you with a film of soap over your face.

Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day

This is a hard one if you’re sweating heavily during workouts most days of the week but my hair is so much better now that I don’t shampoo it every day! I’ll probably never be one of those girls who can do a week in between washes (I have fine hair and naturally oily skin), but I go every other or every third day if I’m lucky and my hair is shinier and healthier because of it. Be patient with it–I felt like a greaseball for the first few weeks–eventually your hair’s natural oils will balance out a bit.

If my workouts aren’t too sweaty, my hair looks great going three days without a shampoo. Other weeks, well let’s just say top knots, braids and hats are my BFFs.

Monitor Your Hairline for Breakouts

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Especially if you’re in the process of getting your hair to adjust to less frequent shampoos, breaking out along your hairline is common. It was for me anyway! The oil from my hair was wreaking havoc on my forehead. To help with this, I did a couple things. If my hair is on the greasy side, I scrub my face wash about a half inch into my scalp when I wash my face before bed. Sometimes I’ll even wear a loose fabric headband while I sleep to make sure my hair stays away from my face.

Still Having Issues? Look to Your Diet

Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. Your gut could be out of whack (check out the post I recently did on probiotics for more on this), hormonal imbalances could be at work, or you might need to cut back on or add more of something to your diet. A common dietary culprit behind breakouts is dairy. I did an experiment where I went completely dairy-free for a month and my skin has never been clearer. I’ve been eating a low-dairy diet ever since. I’ve heard of people solving their skin issues by quitting coffee as well but I’m just not ready to accept the negative side of my beloved morning cup of joe. 😉

Supplement a Healthy Diet with the Stuff Your Skin & Hair Wants

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Ok let’s talk Skin, Nails & Hair! As with all MegaFood products, the quality of ingredients is topnotch and it’s easy to digest (you can take it on an empty stomach no problem). It’s a multivitamin and herbal blend formulated to strengthen and nourish hair and nails as well as balance hormones and promote clear skin.* Ingredients include:

  • Vitamin E, Folate, Biotin
  • MegaFood’s Skin, Nails + Hair Beautifying Blend (think organic herbs like dandelion root, red clover blossom and chamomile flower)
  • Healthy Aging Antioxidant Blend (organic ginger root, rosemary leaf, turmeric root, blueberry, cranberry)
  • FoodState Farm Fresh Fruit Blend (organic whole oranges, blueberries, cranberries)

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Ok guys, now I want to hear from you! How do you keep your skin and hair healthy? Any favorite products or routines? If you’re a fellow fitness professional, how do you balance the constant sweat with your skin and hair routine?

signature

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This post is sponsored by MegaFood. While I’m a paid ambassador for the brand, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I adore their products and truly think you will, too! 🙂

 

What Was Inside My Summer BabbleBoxx

babbleboxx-product-haul

Aside from a brief obsession with Bath & Body Works that was pretty much a rite of passage for 90’s kids (I can still identify the scent of Juniper Breeze and Cucumber Melon a mile away), I was never really interested in beauty and skincare products until I hit my late 20’s. I guess noticing your forehead start to crease every time you lift your eyebrows to apply mascara will cause your interests to shift. 😉

When I got this fun opportunity to receive a wellness and beauty BabbleBoxx, I was excited because all the brands involved where new to me and I always love discovering new products. I got to try everything from body scrubs to leggings, so let’s look inside my delivery! Some brands are offering reader discounts so be sure to keep an eye out below.

Tree Hut Shave Prep Body Scrub

tree-sugar-scrub

This Shave Prep Body Scrub from Tree Hut exfoliates, removing dead skin and lifting hair. As the name suggests, it’s great as a pre- hair removal scrub, but I also think it’d be perfect to prep your skin for a spray tan. It’s thick and gritty enough to efficiently exfoliate, but I didn’t find it to be too rough. There are oils in it (oat kernel oil and avocado oil among others) that help soothe the skin. Added brownie points for being paraben-free and made in the USA!

2(X)ist Tank Top & Leggings

outfit-babbleboxx

The Square-Cut Tank from 2(X)ist is slim fitting and made from cotton. It’s a good everyday tank and I know I’ll get a lot of use from it when the weather gets cold again and I’m constantly laying with sweaters. It’s $26.

2(X)ist has leggings in prints, ombres and solids. The style I went with has a mesh panel in the back of the calves which is a fun touch and there’s a hidden zipper pocket in back for storing keys or a card. The fabric is super comfortable. If you think of workout legging fabric on a spectrum of straight up spandex to soft everyday-wear cotton, these are towards the cotton side. Solids are $48 and prints are $52.

Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme

vichy-serum-review

LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme is a lightweight anti-wrinkle and hydrating face serum containing Rhamnose (a sugar) and Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid. According to Vichy, this serum improves the signs of aging by reducing wrinkles and fine lines, evening out complexion, hydrating skin and giving it a plumped, lifted appearance. I’ve been using it regularly for only a bit more than a week so I can’t say the fine lines above my eyebrows have miraculously disappeared, but I have noticed a major difference in the hydration department! Air conditioning typically dries out my skin, but I’ve been feeling moisturized all day and night since using this serum (I put it on before bed and then in the morning after teaching). The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly. It’s paraben-free.

READER DISCOUNT: You can get 20% off and free shipping on all LiftActiv products with the code BABBLEBOX (enter at checkout). The code is valid through 11:59pm PST, 06/30/2016. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or gift sets.

Village Naturals Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Products

These Village Naturals products would be the BOMB.COM if you had a cold. Not to say the products aren’t good for other times, but the eucalyptus-spearmint-menthol ingredient combo just screams “cold remedy” to me with its natural ability to clear the sinuses and soothe achey muscles.

Village Naturals Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Foaming Bath Soak with Epsom Salt

aches-pains-muscle-reliever

Epsom salt baths help ease stressed muscles. This one also contains oils and extracts to make a softly foaming bath that’s so relaxing!

Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Concentrated Mineral Bath Soak

village-naturals

This is similar to the above bath soak. The combination of sea salt and epsom salt help to draw out impurities and ease tired muscles, and the concentrated formula means you get relief by using less than you’d need in a traditional epsom salt bath.

Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Foaming Bath Oil & Body Wash

village-naturals-aches-pains

As far as scent goes, this one is a little less intense with the whole menthol-spearmint-yup-I’m-awake-now smell. You can use it as a bath oil or can put it on a loofa as a body wash (that’s how I’ve been using it).

READER DISCOUNT: $1 off any one Village Naturals Therapy product with this link.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara

IT-Cosmetics-Superhero-Mascara-review

I rarely wear a full face of make up because my job involves either sweating or working alone in my apartment, mostly likely sans pants. That being said, I love mascara. It’s crazy the difference just that little oomf to my lashes makes (to me, anyway!). IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara combines strengthening biotin and collagen in its formula to create a thicker, longer lash appearance. I’ll let the before and after pictures speak for themselves!

In the picture below, the left side of my face has no mascara on it and the right lashes have a coat of the Superhero Mascara. And yes, I totally took these using the “pretty filter” in SnapChat so that my skin would look like that of a newborn. 🙂

mascara-before-after

The brush makes for an even application of the mascara and I love that it’s easy to remove (with just my regular face wash it all came off).

Have you tried any of the products/brands in this post? Thoughts?

Have you discovered any new skincare/beauty products lately that you’re absolutely loving?
signature

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible! 🙂