Why You Need: Natural Deodorants

What can I say? I love my armpits… do you?

This post comes from our dear friend, Carlen Altman.

What is the most exciting part of your morning routine? I am sure “putting on deodorant” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when considering that question. In fact, I’m sure you might secretly wish you didn’t even have to think about your armpits. But, the fact that we have evolved to sweat in order to cool down our bodies, instead of having to lie down in mud like pigs, hippos, elephants and other mammalian friends, is actually pretty incredible when you think about it. Imagine getting nervous before a meeting and having to excuse yourself to go lie down in a puddle of mud? It actually sounds kind of fun but that’s besides the point….

As magical as our ability to sweat is, what isn’t magical is the sometimes-concern that you smell like hot garbage and/or are sporting yellowing pit stains on your new white peasant top (I’m not saying you’ve been there, I’m just saying I have…). As wonderful as sweating can be, dealing with our armpits can often be… the pits. (There, I said it.)

Luckily, there is the modern miracle of deodorant to help us cope. The thing is, it has come to my attention — and yours perhaps — that the majority of deodorants for sale out there seem to contain very questionable chemicals that aren’t necessarily meant to be devoured by our armpits (or any other part of our bodies for that matter!)


Although there is no “definite proof” that the ingredients in most store-bought deodorants “definitely cause” health issues such as cancer, there have been many, many studies (in humans, just like you and me) that suggest chemicals like parabens, talc, aluminum, and Triclosan are perhaps not the best for us, to say the least… What’s equally stinky is that most store-bought deodorants are also tested on animals. (And let’s just say this grossly unnecessary process does not involve a tiny mouse in a tophat with terrible body odor who’s late for an exam…)

But don’t sweat it, dear Free People blog reader/best sweaty friend forever (too soon?)…

I am happy to report that there is a way to stay cool without having to worry about either health issues or jump in a pile of mud. Introducing Free People’s exciting variety of all-natural, cruelty-free deodorants, for all your wildest armpit needs and desires… Whether you enjoy an unscented roll-on or want a cream to apply under your arms that smells like delicious key lime pie — without the use of synthetic fragrance — FP has you dried and covered.

With straight-from-the-Earth ingredients like baking soda, shea butter, lavender and so much more, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are using ingredients that are good for you and make you smell great (or smell like nothing, if that’s what you’re into…).

I never thought I would be this excited about deodorant but, since having the opportunity to explore Free People’s new deodorant selection, I honestly look forward to putting on the Schmidt’s Bergamot and Lime Deodorant Pot, and sometimes switching it up with the Takesumi Detox in Juicy Bamboo. Schmidt’s brand is neat because it comes with a tiny spatula to apply (but you can always use your fingers) — and Takesumi is great because it is gray-colored but rolls on clear! Magic!


Have you ever thanked your armpits or body before for the wonders of sweating? Now’s the time! And check out our selection HERE! Let us know what you think!

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Karen Martin
4 years ago

Would love to see the ingredients on the detox deo. I’m allergic to baking soda.

Carlen Altman
4 years ago

Hi Karen!

I checked it out and the ingredients of the Detox Deodorant I use (In Juicy Bamboo scent) — there doesn’t seem to be any Baking Soda – the specific ingredients are:
Propanediol, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Saccharomyces Ferment, Citrus Aurantifolia, Citrus Sinesis, Aloe Leaf Juice, Sodium Benzoate, Capryhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Magnesium Hydroxide, Allantoin, Charcoal Powder.
It says it is 99% natural!
Hope that helps! :)

4 years ago

Schmidt’s gave me the worst rash after about a week of using it : ( Piperwai on the other hand, is absolutely amazing. Check it out if you haven’t already!!!

4 years ago

Note to anyone switching to “natural DIY” or store bought natural deodorants- often times your pits will get “worse (stinkier)” before they get better. Many times the baking soda or clays used in them draw out a lot of toxins when you start using them and people think they aren’t working. Give it a few weeks and it goes away!

4 years ago

Switching to natural deodorant was one of the best things I ever did for myself. As Kelli noted above, yes, you might be stinkier and sweat more at first, but after a few days it all clears up. I actually sweat far, far less now than I ever did with antiperspirant, I don’t stain my peasant blouses, and when I do smell it is far less foul. Just getting real.


4 years ago
4 years ago

I have been using the Schmidt’s deodorant for a while now and it is the best! I quit on commercial deodorants years ago, too many toxins that are actually known to cause many health issues. I also have one of those crystals you wet and then apply to your arm pit, but it doesn’t handle my sweaty days like Schmidt’s does. I’m a heavy sweater, and sometimes will use corn starch as an alternative, but Schmidt’s does the job for me like the old nasty kind used to and even smells better! I’m wearing the one with lavender & sage today… it’s become my new favorite after the bergamot and lime.
It’s vegan, not tested on animals, not full of toxic crap, and actually works. Plus, the scents are true heaven. So glad FP is carrying these now!!!

4 years ago

I love using my salt stick deodorant, but I will have to check this kind out! Also, just ’cause we’re talking about armpits, I recently stopped shaving for a “social experiment,” and I have noticed that my pits are a lot less smelly than when I shaved regularly. I don’t know if the hair helps wick away the moisture from my skin and that’s what helps, but there for sure has been a significant change. I will definitely look into this brand, though, it sounds like something I’d love to try!


4 years ago

I love this post! This is the best Natural Deodorant I have found https://blackchicken.com.au/products/body/axilla-deodorant-paste/ – you are right, you do sweat more to begin with (and I even developed a bit of a rash) but internal health comes first and I stuck it out and I am so happy I made the change! No problems at all anymore! Dry and rash free :) Much love!

4 years ago

This is awesome! I’ll have to purchase this. I made the switch to natural deodorant a while back and it’s awesome! I actually make my own using rubbing alcohol and essential oils of any choice put into a spray bottle, or create a concoction of witch hazel, rubbing alcohol and essential oils. These definitely work. If you try this, you’ll still sweat like a normal person, but even “antiperspirants” can’t stop the body from doing what it naturally does. On occasion I have used commercial deodorants, but to little avail. They just cause that buildup that’s hard to wash off in the shower and they don’t make me smell any better than the natural stuff. Natural for the win!

4 years ago

Very cool, Natasha! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I am very obsessed with the uses of witch hazel at the moment. Let me know if you try any of the deodorants on FP! xoxo Carlen

Glad to hear so many share my passion. Between my husband and I, I’m the more fragrant. I wore men’s deodorant and cologne in an attempt to hush-down my aroma. Out of frustration, we experimented at home. Now, 4 years later we are the makers of BEDO Holistic Armpit Detox Deodorant. It is specially formulated to benefit breast cancer survivors and kidney dialysis patients. In addition, we seek to meets the needs of the intrinsically health conscious as well as individuals who have been advised by their medical doctor, to avoid use of conventional deodorant/antiperspirant. I fought 2 bouts of breast cancer from my mother’s bedside. She has been in remission for over 20 years and serves as our inspiration for doing what we do.

From one natural deodorant maker to another, I salute you! Let’s change the face of deodorant together.

4 years ago

While most people use the terms antiperspirant and deodorant interchangeably, the two are not the same. Antiperspirants work by preventing perspiration from occurring. Deodorants allow perspiration but block odor. Deodorants accomplish this by killing the bacteria that cause odor. From a purely natural standpoint, it makes more sense for us to use deodorants, as it is a more natural process.

Penny Ruiz
3 years ago

Hi there!

Love your post. I was hoping I could get your opinion on a natural deodorant brand I came across. Humble brands (www.humblebrands.com) is offering $1 for natural deodorant. The ingredients are:
-Baking Soda
-Organic Olive Oil
-Organic Corn Starch
-Essential Oil

Do you have any thoughts on the brand of ingredients?


3 years ago
Reply to  Penny Ruiz

I love this post too! Even if you use natural deodorant, give your pits a break. Aulternate using spray to limit manipulating the breast tissue. Would love to hear your thoughts on BEDO Armpit Detox Deodorant by Bander Sonk. http://www.bandersonk.com

3 years ago

As much as I love the idea of natural deodorant, none of them actually make a difference for me. Especially during the summer months, my sweat is out of control. I’ve always had issues with over-sweating my entire life. A few months ago I read an article about different deodorants and junglejuice was listed on there. I was hesitant to stray away from the all-natural but I knew I needed a deodorant with an extra kick to it. I’ll tell you this stuff is amazing. It stays on even after my outdoor workouts in the summer heat! Now I can work all day and then run to happy hour with the girls without feeling self-conscious the entire time. It’s worth a look into for sure: https://www.junglemannaturals.com