Deodorant Reviews

Smell ya later.

Secret Va Va Vanilla Scent Expressions (Procter & Gamble)
I have a hilarious memory of walking into a gas station to pay for some gum when the cashier said to me, “Damn girl, you smell like CHRISTMAS!” I couldn’t help but be impressed at this dude’s odd choice of pick-up lines, more so when I realized that the freshly-baked-cookies scent he was raving about was not a perfume or a new shampoo, but the deodorant wafting from my armpits. Thank you for the LOLs and the dessert-scented pits, Secret Va Va Vanilla. I used you for years, along with your predecessor, Secret Vanilla Chai. Anyway, this was a perfect relationship—until I started exercising a lot and it stopped working! I’m guessing my body chemistry changed? WAH! It’s always my goal to smell like cake and candy, so this was a real heart-breaker. MISS YOU LIKE THE DESERTS MISS THE RAIN, VA VA VANILLA. —Marie

Ban Powder Fresh Invisible Solid (KAO)
So I have been using Ban for over a year now, mostly because it was like a dollar or something in ShopRite, and I lost my Dove one. I wasn’t expecting much, because I have really bad luck with deodorant and antiperspirants. Every one I have tried has given me rashes or irritated my pits, which is a super bummer because I sure can sweat up a joint. This one is good because it doesn’t leave lots of white deodorant stains, and it’s not crumbly or anything. I feel like I have to apply more of this to get the job done than I did with Dove, but at least it doesn’t smell like a baby’s butt (which I personally do not love, no offense to babies). Unfortunately, after a year, this, too, has begun to give me rashes! Erg. It was nice while it lasted. —Arabelle

Secret Powder Fresh Invisible Solid (Procter & Gamble)
There is no real reason why I wear this brand. I started buying it because I like rubbing a smooth piece of white whatever under my armpits. Before, I was using the kind where the weird goo comes up through tiny holes like plants growing in fast motion, but it made my armpits feel petrified once it dried. I know nothing about its scientific benefits or pH this or that, it just works. It lasts forever and doesn’t stain your clothes, and sometimes I suspect it’s waterproof, because the only way it’ll come off is when I shave. I never smell bad, and you can’t really smell the deodorant either, so everyone wins. —Laia

Cleopatra Solid Fragrance (Tocca)
Tocca’s solid perfume makes me feel nice and fancy. I hate noticeable marks that sometimes result from using so-called “clear” deodorant on my brown skin, so I avoid the cake-y and flaky options at the drugstore. This smells divine and exotic, with hints of grapefruit, jasmine, patchouli, amber, and vanilla musk. It’s a tropical forest under my arms. And it has a queen’s crown on the front of the compact—regal for a scent named after the great pharaoh of Egypt. The gold-colored compact reminds me of Hepburn-era glamour. Also, it travels well and fits in those little TSA-approved baggies with ease. Its price tag is a little bit too dear at $30 per canister, but I think it’s worth it because a little dab truly goes a long way. —Jamia

Au Naturel (Jamie Keiles)
I don’t wear deodorant, and sometimes that means I smell a little bad. I honestly don’t give a shit. I don’t think I should feel self-conscious about something that my body does naturally, which is sweat. We are all just a bunch of fartin’ and burpin’ bags of skin, and I’m OK with this. In this way, I’m comfortable with my body. There are lots of conventional aspects of beauty that I embrace wholeheartedly (high-heeled shoes!!! Shaving my armpits!!!), and I do these because I like them. But I do not like wearing deodorant. —Jamie

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (Soapwalla)
I’m proudly adding my voice to the chorus of those who’ve converted to what may be the greatest natural deodorant in history, Soapwalla Deodorant Cream. Being what you might call “the nervous type” as well as full of girl hormones, I struggle mightily with underarm sweat—indeed, it’s the most omnipresent manifestation of my anxiety, and one that can create an awfully vicious cycle: I sweat because I’m anxious, then I’m anxious because I’m sweating, which in turn creates more sweat, which creates more anxiety, and on and on. For years I used Speed Stick, which worked just fine until about 5:30 PM every day, and then it was anybody’s guess what might happen. My doctor prescribed Drysol, which I nixed when Google searches turned up what to me may as well have been a skull and crossbones (aluminum, rashes, outbreaks, etc). Desperate for a solution that might make me feel human and relatively non-smelly (I’ve accepted that non-sweaty just isn’t possible), I turned to Soapwalla. It’s on the expensive side ($12), but every single cent is worth it. It neutralizes smells, it’s easy to apply (it’s a cream, so you just smear it on your armpits with your fingers), it leaves no streaks on your clothes, and the little plastic jars are super convenient to carry around and apply on the go. And it’s concocted by an independent female entrepreneur, to boot! Having tried to covertly apply bar deodorant while walking many a New York City sidewalk (not really possible, btw) only to suffer the familiar disgust at its inability to do the job, I can’t express how appreciative I am that this product exists. I’d be lost all over again without it. —Emily C.

UPDATE: After using Soapwalla for six months, I got a terrible rash of red sores and had go to the doctor. She said it could be an allergic reaction, so I can’t shave or wear deodorant for the time being and am marching in solidarity with Jamie. —Emily C.

Fragrance-Free Liquid Rock (Kiss My Face)
I have this theory that if you force some part of your body to stop sweating, the sweat will find somewhere else to escape from, which is why I don’t use antiperspirant—I don’t want some other part of my body to have to take over sweating duties from my pits. So I like this stuff, lets you sweat, but your sweat is magically ODOR FREE, because one of the ingredients prevents the growth of the bacteria that create body odor (or, as a French girl at the perfume store once called it, “body chemistry”—so much sexier!). The downside is that it goes on really wet, so you have to sit around topless, with your arms lifted so your pits get some air, for a few minutes after applying. I use this time to watch television, so for me it’s productive. But it’s a pain when you’re in a hurry, which is why I think I’m gonna switch to Soapwalla after hearing Emily rave about it. But! If you want an unscented alternative (Soapwalla has a smell), this is a good one, in my opinion. —Anaheed

Old Spice Original High Endurance (Procter & Gamble)
Like Emily, I’m trapped in a cycle of sweat-producing anxiety/anxiety-producing sweat. And it isn’t a healthy ripeness (I suspect that I eat too much cheese). Within 20 minutes of a shower on a hot day, or even just a busy one, or even a not-so-busy one, I catch a whiff of faint primal odor, one I’m both fascinated and disgusted by. Loved ones have remarked that they can “smell a bad day” on me. And this deodorant doesn’t really combat it all that well. I wear it because it reminds me of my first boyfriend, and sometimes when I start to sweat, it mixes with that musky, Old Spice scent and creates a pleasant sense-memory. So the results are mixed, but I recommend it if you want to smell like a cute 19-year-old boy. —Phoebe

Tom’s of Maine Wild Lavender (Tom’s of Maine)
My boyfriend in college told me that antiperspirant would rot my pits, because pits are supposed to stink and drip sweat and not be plugged up with aluminum. Other than not creating pit-rot, the main criteria for a good deodorant is that it glides on super smooth and doesn’t feel cake-y or powdery. And also that it smells oppressively of fake flowers. Check one, two, and three. But if you drip a lot and feel super self-conscious about having BO, this stick o’ lavender will probably not do a lot to change that. A little while ago, I was on a date with this aspiring comedian who kept stealing my jokes for his stand-up act, and I was wearing this fine-ass polyester maxi dress from the ’70s. I had to run to the bathroom after 20 minutes of sitting there and smelling myself, get naked from the waist up, and wash my pits with that weird pink soap that they have in every public restroom. Midway through, I decided: fuck this. If he’s gonna steal my jokes, then he’s gonna have to smell me. So Tom’s is a very appropriate deodorant for bad dates with unfunny comedians. —Jenny ♦


  • Cerise April 27th, 2012 7:16 PM

    Oooh. This is great, especially because I’m looking for a more natural deodorant than the one I currently use.

  • Emma Dajska April 27th, 2012 7:18 PM

    Phoebe, good to know I’m not the only one who prefers using fragrances designed for men! And I have similar memories with old spice – it seems a lot of First Boyfriends use it.

    • Phoebe April 27th, 2012 7:34 PM

      I am happy to hear you say that! I worried afterwards that it might have weird connotations!

      • back2thepast April 28th, 2012 2:54 PM

        I’m so happy other chicks use men’s deodorant! I use Degree men adrenaline cuz a) lady deo doesn’t work on meh b) I like smelling like a cute boy :D

      • lylsoy April 30th, 2012 7:57 AM

        I actually mix my boyfriend’s deodorant with mine, so I smell like him, but only a little… He hasn’t noticed yet, luckily! (we are living together(yeah and I am 16) so I’m wondering when he’s going to find out?)

      • Pocket Cow April 30th, 2012 10:07 AM

        I thought this was so funny because my boyfriend uses women’s deodorant. He smells like lavender and baby powder every day! Maybe I should start using Old Spice, just to confuse him a bit…

      • Frannie Lou June 17th, 2012 6:20 PM

        Heh, I don’t think it’s weird at all – I’ve always generally liked the smell of mens’ cologne and deodorant better than womens’ fragrances. I dunno why.

    • mayaautumn April 27th, 2012 8:05 PM

      my dad uses ‘old spice’ and i love it! i think i just prefer mens deodrants in general. this is such a cool/quirky article:)

    • rhymeswithorange April 27th, 2012 8:35 PM

      I also like using men’s deodorant- AXE! My friend turned me onto it in our school locker room.

  • AuntBeth April 27th, 2012 7:27 PM

    My favorite natural deodorant is by Lost River Naturals. (The roll-up tube is new and I haven’t tried it, yet – I just use the one in the pot…) I’ve been using it for four years and can’t say enough good things about it! Plus, I love supporting small businesses.

  • elleminte April 27th, 2012 7:28 PM

    I’ve used Degree Shower Clean since middle school, it was awesome and I didn’t sweat unless I was REALLY active playing handball a lot or something. But after I turned 18, I’ve noticed it doesn’t work as well and my armpits sweat more often now. It’s so weird to me.

    I would try Soapwalla, though!

  • laurenlemonade April 27th, 2012 7:40 PM

    Secret crystal clear gel WORKS SO WELL. Mine will start to stop working toward the end of the stick/tube. When this happens i simply buy a new one and it works!

    No more sweaty pits.

    I can’t be bothered. Aluminum is my friend.

    Also, they smell like heaven. I’ve had so many dates rave about how good i smell. :]

  • Kathryn April 27th, 2012 7:42 PM

    I use Tom’s Wild Lavender right now, too! After it’s gone, I’m totally gonna try Soapwalla.

  • laurenlemonade April 27th, 2012 7:42 PM

    OH OH OH. pro tip: Secret clear gel, apply after you shave in ..sensitive areas and no razor burn!

    • madpie April 28th, 2012 12:49 AM

      I think you just made my brain sweat with that hunk of hot advice. Seriously though. I have both secret gel and razor burn.

  • MissKnowItAll April 27th, 2012 7:44 PM

    Cmon guys! Toms is actually really good! It smells like happiness!

  • Fortune_Goddess April 27th, 2012 7:46 PM

    I told my dad, “Rookie did a whole article just on deodorant!” and he said, “Well, it’s about time!!” I love my parents and Rookie.

  • KinuKinu April 27th, 2012 7:48 PM

    UGH,so perfect.My mother is going hippie. Recycling,10 minute showers,Composting,the whole works.This also involves EVERY beauty I ever used.It’s atrocious.My deodorant is odorless and it works FAIRLY well.And it’s like to liquid kind,so I can’t enjoy putting on my deodorant.I always do…….THIS <———
    Also,I thought Au Naturel was an actual company and I was going to tell you guys the picture didn't show up.And then I read on. :D
    This is really fantastic!! I need new deodorant so I'm gonna have to try the ones that sound good.And I can't let my mother see because then she'll go
    'RED 40,YELLOW 30,HYPERGLUCOSEkja;fuejduglaurjgyugj! You can't have it!!'

  • mwong1025 April 27th, 2012 8:13 PM

    Really appreciate this article because I’m absolutely ~clueless~ about deodorant.

  • DANNI April 27th, 2012 8:32 PM

    Is it true that antiperspirant causes cancer? i use like a “hollistic alternative” from the body shop, but my friend thinks it smells like axe so smelling like CHRSITMAS wouldn’t be too bad…

    • Cerise April 27th, 2012 10:24 PM

      Well, I’m pretty cautious about what I put in and on my body, but I also think there’s a reason that people joke that “EVERYTHING causes cancer,” as in, don’t worry too much, enjoy your life. Caution taken to the extreme=no fun anymore. :(

      However, I don’t use antiperspirant, partly because aluminum is considered by some to be bad for you, and partly because sweating is your body’s way of getting rid of junk that’s not so good for you. Antiperspirants are supposed to block the sweating, so essentially, you’re stopping up one of your body’s ways of cleansing itself. Does it cause cancer? I have no idea.

      Also, there is nothing wrong with smelling like Axe, although Christmas *does* smell pretty good….

  • Pashupati April 27th, 2012 8:37 PM

    Ah! I can buy Soapwalla on Etsy :) Great, gonna try this!

  • irradiatedtaquito April 27th, 2012 9:14 PM

    I use men’s deodorant as well, specifically Degree. My dad and I had to stay at a hotel once, and I forgot my deodorant, so he ran out and got some while getting toothbrushes. He got it from the men’s section without even thinking about it. I was a little weirded out to begin with, but now I love it. And all the girls do too. :D

  • MinaM8 April 27th, 2012 9:45 PM

    Lady Speedstick is the way to go for me! Smells fresh but not an overpowering scent.

  • varnishedjeans April 27th, 2012 10:18 PM

    I use ARM & HAMMER ESSENTIALS deoderant in the “FRESH” scent. I can’t stand major deoderant brands because of the aluminium in them, and I’ve tried ‘almost’ every organic brand (Tom’s, Jason, Homemade). Nothing covers up stank like this does. I am very smelly and sweat a lot, unfortunately. But I like this. It has a unisex scent and is relatively inexpensive ($2-$3 depending on where you live). :)

  • Torrie April 27th, 2012 10:39 PM

    1) Cute 19 year old boys are THE BEST.
    2) I was looking for a new deodorant and so this is very appropriate, THANK YOU FOR READING MY MIND AS ALWAYS.

  • teenager April 27th, 2012 11:01 PM

    I have an odd obsession with buying way too many deodorants cause I’m just like, OOOOH THIS SOUNDS NICE. I really like this and how it adorably goes with the “transformation” theme c:

  • hannachronism April 27th, 2012 11:56 PM

    The best thing is to have 2 or 3 deodorants in rotation so your body can’t adjust to them. It’s like how you always have to change up your exercise routine to keep it working. Using the same deo forever means your body will develop a tolerance and it’ll stop working.

    I love Dove, but secret has the best smells. I do use antiperspirant though, I’d rather have aluminum in me than giant pit stains because I sweat ridiculously for no reason, clinical strength deo ftw

  • vile_violet April 28th, 2012 12:10 AM

    You can make your own deoderant with coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. It’s true look it up!

    • giov April 28th, 2012 7:57 AM

      that’s what I do and it works just fine, add tea tree oil for antibacterial purpose and an essential oil of your choice to make up the scent. cheap and natural!

  • atticus April 28th, 2012 12:20 AM

    It’s a bummer Ban didn’t work for Arabelle, but I have embarrassing sweating and I found it works great as an antiperspirant. With most deodorants you get this clearly deodorant scent whenever you sweat, but Ban actually smells good (the apple one at least)

  • missblack April 28th, 2012 12:24 AM

    mens’ deodorant = the best.

    Also this article reminded me of that one episode of Arthur where the cousin comes to visit and DW gets obsessed with ‘deoooooodorant’ (<— said as if it were some magical creature like a unicorn). haha.


  • cherrycola27 April 28th, 2012 12:31 AM

    I also think that if you plug up your sweatin’ spots somewhere, it’s gonna come out somewhere else! I don’t know if this is true, but when I used Certain Dri (Dry? Too lazy to check) for a while, I sweated on my face a lot and got all broken out! BEWARE!

  • Adrienne April 28th, 2012 1:10 AM

    Yes, I need this so much! Right now I’m using a Dove deodorant with a the “original scent” and it’s horrible! It prevents the odor for like the first 5 minutes, then it’s done. And I still have pit stains on my shirt most of the time. Ugh.

  • ivoire April 28th, 2012 1:16 AM

    Au Naturel’s my favourite PERIOD

  • impromptulove April 28th, 2012 3:02 AM

    Haaay any tips for those of us with hairy pits? I use spray stuff cause I fear the roll on kind will leave gross residue in the hair, but, like…idk.

  • Hazel April 28th, 2012 3:31 AM

    I use Arm & Hammer deodorant! The original is meant for men but they have one that’s unscented which works great. It doesn’t contain aluminum and it’s basically just baking soda so no danger there

  • FlorenceEyre April 28th, 2012 8:22 AM

    I needed this article so much! I am afraid of sweating, but I know that that´s a normal part of my existention. I use antiperspirant, but it doesn´t work (I have tried lots of them, btw). My parents tried to help me to end it (that means, they took my antiperspirant and replaced it whit Au Naturel for a month (it has not hepled)). In the last weeks I sweat not so much as before, because I started to not think allt the time just about sweating.
    This article showed me, that I am not the only person who sweats and that lots of cool Rookie-girls sweat too! Thank you so much!!!

  • TinaBallerina April 28th, 2012 9:55 AM

    This article is so great! Does anyone know about a natural (without aluminium) deoderant that you could buy in like, the Body Shop? This stuff would be difficult to get here in Norway.
    Plus, I have sensitive armpits. Yeah.

    • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini April 28th, 2012 7:11 PM

      I second this. Living in Norway is horrible shopping-wise. We need help, people.

    • emile April 29th, 2012 1:24 AM

      I use (& highly recommend) Crystal roll-on deodorant. It uses mineral salts to neutralize the odor without clogging up your sweat glands, so it’s totally natural. There are lightly-scented versions, too, if that’s your thing. The website states that they have retailers all over the globe – drugstores, generally – and you can also purchase online. Not sure about the cost overseas.. I know in the US, you can get a bottle for $3. Personally, I eat very clean, so I only have to apply it once every few days. (For the record, I’m often outside in 90+ degree F weather, so it holds up quite well!) Check into it and see if it would work for you. :)

      • emile April 29th, 2012 1:28 AM

        Oh, and I have sensitive skin, too, but I find Crystal to be gentle enough to use, even immediately after shaving.

  • starsinyourheart April 28th, 2012 9:55 AM

    Rookie you got me excited about new deodorant. how did you do that?!

  • TheAwesomePossum April 28th, 2012 10:17 AM

    Right now I use Funk Butter by Oyin Handmade in the coco mango flavor and it smells like dessert and works fairly well unless I’m exercising a lot. During the winter though, it’s Au Naturel fo sho.

    You guys make me really curious to try SoapWalla though…

  • Hedwig April 28th, 2012 11:05 AM

    What does Soapwalla smell like?

    • Anaheed April 28th, 2012 2:10 PM

      Like tea tree oil.

      • Emily Condon April 28th, 2012 4:39 PM

        it’s lavender and peppermint and tea tree oil (I love the smell); BUT, it goes away after a few minutes anyway, and then it’s just neutral. For me anyway. Oh, have I mentioned I love this stuff? I LOVE THIS STUFF.

      • Jamia April 30th, 2012 10:16 AM

        Is it a light scent of tea tree or is it really pungent? I like tea tree lite, but the strong really sharp smell of it is too striking to me. I’m tempted to try the Soapwalla so I’m curious. “)

        • Anaheed April 30th, 2012 11:22 AM

          No, it’s light and not sharp — it’s mixed with mint and, er, some other things. And it fades pretty quickly.

  • Jes April 28th, 2012 12:20 PM

    Thank you for feeding my moderate to excessive obsession with deodorant.

  • natalie April 28th, 2012 1:42 PM

    Ahh, aluminum deodorant scares me! Like with the increased risk and breast cancer* and Alzheimer’s Disease**. But thanks so much for some alternatives! I’ve used both a Soft and Dry (that smelt awful) and the Tom’s (which eh, I don’t really feel it does much) so I’m definitely going to try Soapwalla. Everything seems beautiful about it.



  • emilyowls April 28th, 2012 1:46 PM

    does anyone else get build up/residue from deodorant? like, it takes at least 2 showers to remove?
    people who ive asked in person know what i mean and i think secret does it especially. can’t be good for the pits. so i alternate using deodorant and goin natural so that it doesnt build up so much but these other options sound SWEET.

    (i think the build up is relevant to the “does deodorant cause cancer” question… also the pits are close to the breasts and i think deodorant can increase certain hormones which can then lead to a tumor in the breast??? something like that..)

  • hillarwee April 28th, 2012 2:44 PM

    Old Spice Matterhorn.

  • Emily Condon April 28th, 2012 5:37 PM

    Also: truer words have never been spoken about Tom’s.

  • camille April 28th, 2012 10:29 PM

    I’ve been wearing deodorant since I was 8 (yes, hormone disbalancement, thank you), and after trying almost every regular pharmacy brands mentioned above, I can only recommend two for really sweaty people like me: Ban (solid) and men’s Mitchum. But now, I think I might give Soapwalla a try, looks too good to be true!

    On the subject of sweat, I thought I’d share two laundry tips that makes your (my) life so much easier, especially when it comes to 70s maxi-dresses:

    1. If your clothing smells like sweat even after washing, cover the smelly area with mouthwash (alcool kills bacteria) and wash again. I’ve done this on every fabric, including wool, silk and rayon, and I’ve never damaged anything.

    2. Oxiclean is awesome for yellow sweat stains. When I think about living in other eras (a thing I do often), I’m always stopped by the thought: but would I always wear clothing with pit stains/is there a homemade alternative to Oxiclean I don’t know?

  • berglar April 29th, 2012 3:31 AM

    So. I used Soapwalla for two months. At first I loved it. I love the company, heard about it on the nomoredirtylooks blog. I loved the smell.
    Then the baking soda or powder thing what have you, started reacting oddly with my body chemistry and you ladies have called it, and I started sweating up a storm. It also began super irritating my skin. Like full on horrible rashes, ouch!
    I am ok with sweat, but I am not okay with Tons of Laundry which is what I ended up doing with the soapwalla. Perhaps 2 mo was the time it took for the aluminum to wear off?
    I’ve super tried to go natural on deodorant but it really hasn’t paid off the way washing my hair with dr. bronner’s instead of shampoo has. I freaking stink. Going to try the kissmyface crystal based on this review though; my mom swore by her fancy hippy crystal but I never used it because of the aformentioned scratching of my delicate skin.
    Lastly, while I love the nomoredirtylooks chicks, I couldn’t find any scientific paper that legitimately linked the aluminum in deodorant to cancer. So, idk, I feel like it’s one less thing to freak out about. I also take beef with their anti-petroleum stance for lip-care etc. Vaseline is a bi-product of a process we’re not going to give up any time soon and I really don’t think that your really exercising your consumer power against oil/petroleum companies by boycotting vaseline. It’s not like you’re investing in a prius or what-have-you.

    Love this article, this is the procrastination girl site of my dreams.


    • NotReallyChristian April 29th, 2012 11:55 AM

      Can I ask how you washed your hair with bronner’s? I’ve tried it but it leaves my hair really weird, like rough and stuck together. Did you use anything in particular to condition?

      • emile April 30th, 2012 12:33 AM

        I also use Dr. Bronner’s to wash my hair. The best thing I’ve found is to use a conditioning rinse of apple cider vinegar + water after shampooing (let it set in for a few moments while you detangle hair with your fingers, then rinse out with running water). It initially smells strong while wet, but once it dries, it’s odorless. It always leaves my hair super soft, shiny and tangle-free. You could also apply a bit of coconut oil at the ends if your hair is longer, just be careful of adding too much so it doesn’t appear greasy.

      • Vicky Hellhound May 2nd, 2012 12:54 AM

        I’m going to chime in for a sec to say that emile’s vinegar idea is right on the money. it sounds weird but works, like, freakishly well. I have been making my own shampoo out of dr. bronners’ for a few years now. at first I was super discouraged because it leaves a filmy residue, but apple cider vinegar takes the residue off nicely and I haven’t yet experienced that thing where you need to switch shampoos every few months to keep buildup from forming. also this saves me TONS OF MONEY. here are my recipes:


        1 cup dr. b’s (I start with baby mild unscented)
        1 cup herbal ‘tea’ – make like normal tea with boiling water and herbs suited to yr hair type using 1-2 tablespoons of each herb.

        some herbs to choose from:
        horsetail – makes hair shiny – both oily + dry hair
        chamomile – soothing (unless you have a ragweed allergy)
        burdock root – great for dandruff! smells nice
        nettles – dandruff
        rosemary – anti-oil, antibacterial
        sage – anti-oil
        thyme – antibacterial
        lavendar – good for all types (oily, dry, sensitive) +antibacterial

        also I usually add a few drops of essential oils – lemon, tea tree, rose, and lavendar are tried-and-true. tea tree is particularly good for oily skin and acne. diluting the dr. bronner’s saves money and it still lathers just fine, a little bit goes a long way. it took my thick, oily, dandruffy hair about 2 weeks to adapt to this recipe after switching from commercial dandruff shampoo.

        **conditioning rinse:

        4 cups very hot water
        3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (white works too, but it smells like easter eggs)
        2 tablespoons herbs of choice
        no essential oils, they are kind of gooey without soap to wash them off =P

        steep overnight and strain in the morning.

        longwinded I know! I hope it helps.

        one source for my info: “make your place” by raleigh briggs, microcosm publishing

      • EnidEnvy June 14th, 2012 12:23 PM

        Dr. B’s on its own can really dry out your hair, but mixing it with some coconut oil makes a really nice combination that lathers nicely and helps smooth and detangle!

  • NotReallyChristian April 29th, 2012 11:54 AM

    I used to use Tom’s because it was the only natural and ethical deodorant that actually seemed to do anything. BUT now they’re owned by Colgate so they’re not ethical anymore, and they’ve changed their formula. All the reviews I’ve read of the new formula say it’s totally rubbish and is irritating loads of people’s skin, so I need to find an alternative …

  • marit April 29th, 2012 1:06 PM

    this is a clever and practical article! haha

    by the way, if you accidentally get a deodorant stain, you can get it out really easily by rubbing the stained area against another bit of the same fabric, like the sleeve. it’s magic, i swear.

    faux style.

  • berglar April 29th, 2012 3:28 PM

    re: NotReallyChristian
    I had tried to use bronner’s previously but was always hung up on that feeling as well. It feels gross in the shower. Period.
    Lately I’ve been going through a complicated move and am at my boyfriend’s with limited toiletries. He has tresseme and dr. bronner’s. HE started using dr. bronner’s as shampoo because it made his scalp feel better, it was hilarious. I eased into it, occasionally adding a tiny bit of tresseme at the end even though i knew it completely stripped my hair. But really you don’t need to do that. It will feel wet gross but after it dries. Va Va voom I have volume like my thin hair has never experienced. I have chin-length (slightly longer) hair and generally keep a bob hairstyle. For longer hair, I’ve heard you can put coconut oil on first, let that sit while you shave/etc and then clean with dr. bronner’s. My boyfriend also came up with that one which is also hilarious because he has no idea about the clean cosmetics revolution, he is just making this shit up. But I’ve read that on their blogs as well. For my short hair, that weighs it down too much. However I do use coconut oil to shave + moisturize and it is Amazing.

    Generally speaking, natural shampoos are hard to ease into. They don’t do all the things we’re used to from a shampoo. I’ve used naturals as well, most from whole foods are good. John Master’s is especially nice but kinda pricy. I think dr. bronner’s is more minimal and will work for me but I could not have started with it. Experiment around! Natural stuff is great, but is more of an acquired taste. Feel the Glow!

  • berglar April 29th, 2012 3:46 PM

    re: (i think the build up is relevant to the “does deodorant cause cancer” question… also the pits are close to the breasts and i think deodorant can increase certain hormones which can then lead to a tumor in the breast??? something like that..)

    There was a really questionable study that was not science that came to this correlation and then blew up in the news. The fact is we don’t really have enough data to know what the effects are, that is just the complicated world we live in that doesn’t really sell magazines.
    Antiperspirant might have estrogen-like effects (it has been proven that estrogen promotes breast tumor tissue growth), some studies have postulated. In my opinion, those studies are also not really science and if this is the argument, then I’d think taking more estrogen via birth control is much more harmful. That actually has been proven by the way.

    That is not to say that you should not be aware of what is in your products. By all means if the aluminum thing is not your thing, then rock the aluminum-free. Sometimes I think natural companies can be a little over-zealous in their industry-hating rhetoric, and it’s important to stay balanced and not become paranoid.
    Staying out of the sun and not smoking are two ways you can definitely reduce your risk of cancer. Not using deodorant with aluminum, hard to say.

    A great overview:


    • Yani May 21st, 2012 12:21 AM

      Hey Larisa, staying out of the sun is actually really dangerous. we NEED vitamin d and the most effective way to get it is by exposing your skin to sunlight every day. deficiencies lead to lots of different problems. there’s a difference between having so much sun that you get melanomas and having so little that you have all sorts of problems linked to vit d deficiency. if you have moles or sunspots and are worried, get them checked out (like I am in a week). sun is so important and is not the issue!

      in our culture, we apply chemicals to our bodies every day through make-up, skin creams, deodorant or sunscreen. I would say this is more harmful than letting your skin absorb/produce vitamin d.

      being aware that using a by-product of petroleum (which you said in a previous comment is something consumers won’t give up anytime soon) and still using it is your choice. as a consumer and as an individual. but it is still applying to your body, a by-product of crude oil. the smoothness you feel isn’t your skin, it is the petroleum jelly. oil companies and the refineries need to get rid of mass amounts this stuff and consumers buy it, and yet europe outlawed it in use of cosmetics.

      petroleum jelly contains poly-aromatic hydrocarbons – linked to toxicity/cancers. be aware, and know there are alternatives. no one is actually trapped to using petroleum jelly when you need a barrier skin substance. you don’t need to invest in a prius and it’s always -YOUR- choice to make an effort to not put petrol by-products into your body or not let companies take advantage of you or listen to me ;

  • beatricks April 29th, 2012 4:03 PM

    I hate a) smelling like perfume and b) things that cause cancer, so I’ve used like every hippie deodorant, including two different expensive solids from Lush, but my actual favorite is Trader Joe’s unscented cotton deodorant. Highly recommended for those who want to avoid aluminum but also don’t want to be stinky.

  • girlbyjuly April 29th, 2012 6:06 PM

    I totally just ordered Soapwalla! My biggest problem is yellow stains on all my light-colored tops (I guess I don’t do laundry enough), so I’m excited to try it. I’m using a Speed Stick that allegedly prevents the stains right now, but I’m not sure it’s working.

    • camille April 29th, 2012 11:27 PM

      I had that problem too before, and the only thing (magic thing!) that managed to make the stains disappear is a good soak in Oxiclean (powder). You might need a few soaks at first if your clothes are really stained, and you have to apply the powder directly to the stain and fold more fabric around so it remains ON the stain. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

      I’m pretty sure the stain-preventing deodorants only work for those white deo. streaks, because the yellow stains are a matter of body chemistry with the fibers of your clothes.

      Anyway, hope it helps!

  • Jamia April 30th, 2012 10:15 AM

    I also find that diet affects how we smell. Don’t have a deo for that, but I’ve noticed that processed food makes me sweat and smell stinkier.

    • Jamie May 1st, 2012 8:59 PM

      obligatory comment about veganism

  • victoriaaa April 30th, 2012 11:52 AM

    This whole article I was waiting for someone to mention teen spirit

  • armpitchampion April 30th, 2012 7:58 PM

    I’ve tried a whole lot of natural deodorants. I found the crystals to work well as long as you use them when not gross; they’re basically salt so will absorb, but don’t have perfumes so aren’t great for masking smell.
    I am currently WAY hooked on Burt’s Bees men’s deodorant! I’m finding that hippie men’s stuff smells a bit boyish, but mostly just spicey and wonderful rather than cologney. And because companies think that dudes are inherently more active, I think it’s made to work better than girly hippy stuff. Anyways, I couldn’t recommend it more. And it’s available at a lot of places, because Burt’s Bees is around in lots of stores.

  • Sunshine April 30th, 2012 8:06 PM

    I like Secret’s Crystal Clear Gel deodorant in Ooh La La Lavander, but I think all the Scent Expressions are great.
    I hate white residue. =/ Gels are fantastic and smell amazing and last all day!

  • anonymouse April 30th, 2012 9:01 PM

    Wow! I just got way too irritated at Au Natural girl! I think it’s because she was like, people stink! We’re all gross! Which is true, but then she’s like, but I’m still a girl! Who loves girly things! Do you see how much of a girl I am!?!

    “Having tried to covertly apply bar deodorant while walking many a New York City sidewalk (not really possible, btw)”… So it’s easier to smear a cream deodorant on? Or you don’t have to reapply on a city sidewalk w/ the Soapwalla stuff? Cause I’m confused on that one.

    I should get off the internet today, I’m irritated and want to be contrary….

  • tinafigs May 1st, 2012 8:15 AM

    I, too, suffer from the anxiety-producing sweat/ sweat-producing anxiety cycle. No one talks about this, so it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one! I was prescribed something for a while that burned like hell but worked, until it stopped working about 3 months into using it. I use Dove Go Fresh in Cucumber & Green Tea and I have no idea why. It smells really good, but I’m still sweaty, I just smell nice. I definitely think I’m going to try Soapwalla!

  • Liz May 1st, 2012 7:08 PM

    everything you said about tom’s deodorant is true! i wanted to love it so much, but it actually GAVE me b.o. for the first time in my life. burrito pits is what i liked to call them because they smelled like beans and rice.

    im gonna look into this soapwalla business. sounds promising!

  • AFZ May 5th, 2012 7:55 PM

    I bought some Soapwalla and I am amazed. I smell like…nothing. I used to use Lush Aromacreme before they discontinued it, and Soapwalla is way better. Thanks, Emily!

  • laurenmargaret May 5th, 2012 11:24 PM

    axillary-haired ladies out there! crystal is so fantastic, but the roll-on is not the best considering (at least in my experience) the inevitability of hair getting caught in the rolling mechanism. It’s not terrible, but definitely puts a damper on my morning routine. I have also enjoyed the lovely baking soda and corn starch mixture, but sometimes smelling nice is nice, ya know? Anyway, roll-ons and hairy pits are not the best combination (unless you regularly trim).

  • Yani May 20th, 2012 10:34 PM

    Reading this and living in a different country (we have different choices available in Australia), I am not sure if you guys know about alum salt? It is this pretty crystal rock that you rub against your pits as soon as you get out of the shower. When I use it, I don’t sweat at all but I’m not sure if I stop smelling like me. Natural body scents are really important biologically. I heard scientists on the local radio yesterday talk about how important it is and that they want to get the specific reasons why out there (mainly bcos of evolutionary reasons). also, I like it when I can smell the sweat of a boy I like – it makes me more attracted to them, but unfortunately I cannot bottle their smell :’( hah! And lovers have said the same of me. Of course, everyone has their reasons for smelling like a flower or boy perfume, but I actually like the natural smell of people if they shower regularly.

  • isabella July 24th, 2012 6:17 AM

    I like the Garnier mineral one. It smells ok and works well.

  • ninamau5 August 10th, 2012 1:49 PM

    you guys wear mens scents too?! YESS FINALLY PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND.
    i’ve been secretly using my brother’s body wash for months… i smell awesome.
    i forgot the specific name of my deodorant and i don’t feel like running to the bathroom to check, but it’s that dove one that helps reduce stubble. i know it sounds crazy, but it really does help. i mean, it’s not like i stopped growing hair on my pits, but it has gotten less coarse and easier to shave.

  • NotReallyChristian August 14th, 2012 11:56 AM

    I bought soapwalla after reading this article and it worked really well … for about 2 weeks, after which I started to get red and peely armpits. It was really weird because I’ve never ever had a reaction to a deodorant before, even 99p crap ones that smelled like vodka. Not sure what to do now, especially as Tom’s of Maine has changed their formula to something no longer environmentally (or health) friendly.