The Best Natural Deodorant May Be None at All : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Monday Jun 25 | BY |
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do you need natural deodorant
If you get it right, you can lift your arms carefree — all the time.

It’s Q & A time here at Renegade Health…

Today, I’ve a question from a reader that I’m going to address in classic Renegade Health style.

This question asked about what natural deodorant I use, when I use it and — as I said above — why I think you might not need deodorant at all. (Except in extreme emergencies — which I’ve explained below.)

Let’s get started…

Robert wants to simply know the best product to frangrancize his pits…

“I need to find a nontoxic deodorant that contains a clove, lemon, anise, peppermint or raspberry perfume. Do you know of such a product? I would like a shave lotion made up from the same ingredients. If you know of any shave lotion containing of these, let me hear from you.”

Thanks for the question Robert…

In terms of the shave lotion, Annmarie’s Peppermint Body Wash is made with rosemary, peppermint and lemon balm. This is what I use to shave with a razor — when I choose to — which is quite rare. LOL!

It’s completely non-toxic, contains none of those nasty foaming agents, isn’t tested on animals and uses the highest quality of ingredients.

You can check this out here: Annmarie Gianni Skin Care Body Wash

On to the deodorant…

I personally haven’t used deodorant regularly in more than 5 years.

What’s even more impressive is that Annmarie has approved of my endeavor. The reason why? My armpits just don’t smell often any more.

As I’m writing this, I just confirmed this by taking a little sniffy-sniff and nothing but roses.

Well — to clarify — not roses, but no offensive smell at all.

So this obviously brings up the most important question:

“Do we need deodorant at all?”

First up, let me say that being in the personal care industry now for almost 3 years, I’m scared to use anything that I haven’t personally seen on the production line. Deodorants contain aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol and dozens of other chemicals that may or may NOT be listed on the ingredient label. So if there’s a way to avoid using them altogether, I’m in.

So to answer the question above — do we need deodorant — I say “yes and no.”

Here’s why.

I say no, because over the last 5 years, I’ve followed my nose and determined what foods actually make me smell — which surprisingly enough — has been quite successful.

For me, it seems when I eat a high amount of fat in my diet, my armpits smell all sorts of nasty. When I cut back and eat a higher protein and carbohydrate diet, the stench subsides.

I admit, there was a year or two when the cat wouldn’t even come over and lick my armpits (which he loves to do) because they were nearly radioactive in their emissions.

When I cut back on the fat, this seemed to go away quite quickly.

If there is a time that my armpits do smell a little riper than usual, I can usually link it to something I normally don’t eat or over-ate the day before.

My armpit smell also has subsided at the same time my hormones have come back into balance. And while I have no evidence that hormones are a factor contributing to armpit odor, it’s almost essential that you get your hormones checked and in balance regardless of a link or non-link to your underarms.

It’s just smart, health advice.

(NOTE: I almost feel like I want to link all health issues to our underarms, since it may even motivate the most stubborn of us all to do those hard things that are much easier to ignore.)

Anyway, the thought is that with a proper diet (one that works for you, not one concocted by some pseudo-expert) and balanced blood markers you shouldn’t smell.

I’d recommend you put it to the test.

Take a two week, do-I-really-need-deodorant challenge.

Just stop wearing it and see what happens. Take note of the foods that you eat and if they cause you to smell or not. Play around with your diet and see if you can get them to not smell at all — and on the other end, see what it takes to get them to a 10 on the offensive scale.

If you want you could even journal what you’ve eaten and if your armpits smell 6, 12, or 24 hours afterwards, but be sure to burn that diary after you’re finished in case a future guy or girlfriend discovers it.

So my thought is that maybe you don’t need deodorant, you just need an adjustment in your diet. (Please run this by your friends and close family members before attempting your experiment. Renegade Health assumes no responsibility for you having to sleep in another room.)

Here’s where I think “yes” is appropriate.

Now, the above is why I say no, but — I confess — there have been about a dozen times I have worn deodorant or antiperspirant in the last five years.

These are usually times when I’m required to wear a full three piece suit and hug a lot of people — read: weddings.

I’ve done this usually as an emergency application than a precaution, but now that I think about it — secondarily — it could be used in a preventative manner as a way to maintain credibility with friends and family to ensure them that you haven’t fully gone off the health nut deep end to forget about your own personal hygiene.

Your question of the day: Do you wear deodorant? Why or why not?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

118 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Don says:

    Yeah I don’t need it either until I eat onions or garlic.

  2. Tooth Soap® says:

    Kevin, I basically stopped using deodorant and haven’t used it for a few years. We make one that is non-toxic and I rarely use it, unless I know I need it for some event and in that case I am glad to have it. But I don’t use it regularly and it is not a part of my lifestyle to put anything near my armpits except fabric. And absolutely, whenever there is an offensive odor, I can relate it right back to the food! Heavy protein and oily foods leave a trail when they exit through the sweat glands. If the diet is basically clean, there isn’t a great need for it. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  3. Mickey says:

    My husband or I don’t use deodorant either, and haven’t for five or so years. We recently transitioned from a vegan to meat-eating diet with more fat, and to our surprise, still don’t need it. 🙂

  4. Louise Butler says:

    I stopped using deodorants/antiperspirants about 15 years ago when I couldn’t find one that didn’t give me a rash. Regular bathing and a little cornstarch w/kaolin and zinc oxide (baby powder) after shower seems to do the job. I’ve had no complaints…yet…

  5. Katheen says:

    In answer to the original question by Robert…

    Q: “I need to find a nontoxic deodorant that contains a clove, lemon, anise, peppermint or raspberry perfume.”

    A: Bubble and Bee Organics has organic deodorants made out of those exact ingredients.

    http://www.bubbleandbee.com/servlet/the-Organic-Deodorants/Categories

  6. Bob says:

    Try a little fresh lime juice on the armpits. I learned that trick in Tahiti about 8 years ago and haven’t used deodorant since!

  7. Al says:

    No deodorant for 5+ years. Since I cleaned up my diet there is no need. The key for me was eliminating dairy products, specifically milk & ice cream. I have tested this theory a few times and they are definitely the culprits. Some raw cheese periodically is my only dairy “vice”. Don’t miss the rest of the dairy products and not having BO is well worth it.

  8. Dottie says:

    Only when I need to…I use a Crystal Stick that has no alum in it.

    Otherwise I don’t use any. I bathe with Dr. Bronners Soaps, and also Dr. Woods Soaps…because they are Organic/Pure. These soaps actually have almost healed my Rosacea… It’s almost gone!

    Jesus Saves!!!

  9. Sam says:

    I really don’t think that smelly pits = a bad or inappropriate diet. Making them smell nice by potentially missing a useful food source it terribly bad thinking, and nothing approaching science.

  10. ANNIE says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I thought this was an interesting discussion. I stopped using deodorant about 6 months ago, and discovered initially, that I needed to sponge-wash my armpits a couple times during the day. But now, I’m noticing that washing my armpits thoroughly when I take a shower is sufficient, especially when I keep the growth of hair under my arms to a minimum by shaving about once a month. They still do tend to “flair-up” during my usual vigorous exercise routine, but, after a shower, I don’t have to think about them anymore, until the next day or two!

  11. Hi Kevin,
    In my search for a healthy deodorant a couple years ago I found one that has worked well for me.
    It’s called Mu Shang and you can order it online at http://www.sensiblehealth.com
    the ingredients are: distilled water,
    inula, chyrsanthemum, acetic acid and citric acid. It’s not expensive and works well.
    Thanks for all the helpful information you pass along.
    Best regards,
    Trudy

  12. Eve says:

    No…and yes!

    I work with peoples’ bodies, and my smell is important.

    I like a Burts Bees spray that smells like sage – most days I use a bit of that, often followed by a dab of baking soda. (Burt’s ingred’s: sage, lemon, lavendar oils plus alcohol and water.) Probably the ingredient that works in there is the alcohol killing the bacteria. I like t he scent but its a bit masculine.

    Later in the day, I might do a little baby powder.

    Rarely I will put on something “official”.

    Haven’t kept track of the food conenction, but there are definitely some fabrics and fabric dyes that create a bad smell. I used to think it was only synthetics, but a couple white cotton tees I have are the worst!

    Like the idea of experimenting w/ foods.

    I think Americans are ridiculously uptight about body odor. Some sweat smells awful, some just smells hones and clean and human. Most people don’t distinguish – any odor not clearly manufactured to please, offends.

  13. Valerie says:

    I generally use just coconut oil and lime juice, or when I’m traveling, a salt crystal. But I totally agree with the hormone thing. Now that I’ve hit menopause with the rollercoaster hormones, sometimes I unexpectedly REEK!

  14. Eve says:

    honest and clean and human. I meant

  15. mollie says:

    I haven’t used a deodorant in a long time. I use a Hymalayan salt bar. Seems to work…

  16. Tara Burner says:

    I dont wear it and haven’t for years
    and most people around me already think I fell off the deep end especially when they discover I wash my hair once a week (sometimes it’s gone longer) so I’m not really into being concerned with that aspect! LOL
    so I’m just au naturel here

  17. Donna says:

    Neither my husband nor I have used deodorant for over a decade, and no-one has indicated that we smell bad. We never use any fragranced products, either.
    We try to eat organic when at home, but do eat pastured beef and organically raised dairy.
    My husband use s a litle cornstarch, and I sometimes sprinkle some powdered clay under my arms, but neither of us perspire much nor seem to give off offensive odeors.
    It seems like an equasion: the less toxins in, the less odor out.

  18. Anne says:

    Hey!
    I’m a nurse, and I don’t like the idea of maybe smelling in the middle of a shift.

    I make up a deodorant made of coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda. Works great! you make a batch and scoop it out with a tongue depressor. You have to make sure not to get it too hot though…the coconut oil melts and the baking soda and corn starch float to the bottom.

    I had used quite a few natural deodorants before this one, and they either peeled the skin right off my armpits, or didn’t work after a few hours. I still can’t believe how well this works. I will never buy deodorant again.

    You can also add an essential oil to make it smell pretty.

    Recipe:
    corn starch: 1/4 cup
    baking soda: 1/4 cup
    coconut oil: 6-8 Tbsp.

    that’s it!
    one of these days, I’ll figure out what not to eat to make me smell, but in the meantime…

  19. Kerry Wailes says:

    Hi Kevin,
    We haven’t had much luck with natural deodorants over the past few years. My husband has a thyroid condition and his body odour was not great at times.

    We started using Young Living’s Thieves Dentarome Plus toothpaste as a deodorant, as recommended by a friend. It’s been really impressive.

    My husband is a National Park Ranger in Australia. Even at the end of a long day, with lots of physical activity, there is no smell at all on his shirts, (or on him).

    There are no nasties in it and it contains therapeutic grade essential oils of peppermint, clove, wintergreen, lemon,cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus radiata and rosemary.

  20. Anne says:

    By the way, I didn’t create the above recipe, a friend gave it to me!

  21. Al says:

    Sam, I don’t know if your post was directed at me, but since it directly followed mine & was on the subject of diet, I will respond as if it were. I don’t believe that I eliminated any truly useful food source by eliminating most dairy products. There are many that don’t believe that humans should be taking in many dairy products, if any at all. A subject for a different debate. If you don’t believe that diet affects odor, try eating an excess of garlic some time. For me, eliminating milk from my diet got rid of body odor; I have put milk back in my diet several times to verify this; my results were very conclusive. This is science at its very basic level.

  22. PV says:

    I stopped wearing anything under my pitts 4-5 years ago. When I smell (which most of the time isn’t very offensive) I change my shirt. Recently I’ve discovered “UnderArm Charm” by Living Libations (David Wolfe approved products). Made with essential oils. Just 1 or 2 strokes on my pitts & I’m done for the day.

  23. Dulcey says:

    I like the lime juice idea. I’ll try that. Now I carry a tiny spray bottle with rubbing alcohol on the few days when there is a bit of a smell. It evaporates and the smell usually disappears.

  24. kat says:

    Haven’t used any in more than 20 years. Nor do I use shampoo or conditioner. It’s very liberating!

  25. Maria says:

    Anne I use a similar recipe. Instead of the cornstarch I use arrowroot powder. If you want a higher melting point you can swap shea butter for the coconut oil. I have used the shea butter deodorant for several months now and works just as well.

  26. Liane says:

    I haven’t used deodorant for 20 or more years. I have found that sugary foods and any alcoholic drinks seem to trigger body odor. I rarely ingest either one and have no problems. For times when you may want to use something, try zinc oxide ointment. Rub it into your pits at night then wash it off in the morning. This should keep most people free of odor for 2 to 3 days and for many up to 1-2 weeks before needing to reapply.

  27. liz says:

    This whole question of how we get rid of body ‘smells’ is fascinating. Logic tells me that if they are bad then there is something inside us that is disagreeing with our constitution, and it is coming out in our sweat. This could be food, allergies, toxins, our liver,kidneys are not coping in their elimination roles, or our digestion is not doing its job properly. Like all other symptoms that tell us there is something going wrong, body odour is simply another symptom. As is, BTW, greasy/dry hair, scaly/dry/greasy skin/ dandruff etc.
    For example, my husband decided to stop using hair shampoo some 6 years ago, and it took about 2 weeks for his hair to normalise. Now he just wets his hair under the shower every morning and gently scrubs his scalp with fingertips – and his hair is beautiful with no smell – and less hair loss than in his shampooing days.
    In a nutshell – smells, and abnormal skin and hair condition are all signs of something going wrong internally, so it makes sense to not use any products, even natural ones, to just cover up the condition.
    Liz

    • ggirl27 says:

      Well wait a second. Of course humans are supposed to smell–maybe not badly, but smell, yes! I love it when my husband works up a sweat. He smells like a man! A hot, sweaty man! So, when we are talking about body odor, maybe we should be more specific about what we mean–like making a distinction between really bad body odor that is off being different than how people just normally smell.

  28. Chris says:

    I quit using anything under arms about 4 year ago. I exercise hard 4-6 times per week and then do a sponge off when I am at work. Diet is the key, all organic as much as possible and no red meat for me. Nobody has ever mentioned an issue, even when I ask.

  29. Beverly says:

    Great as usual. I don’t use any and haven’t for years. What you eat matters, what goes in comes to out. LOL I use adult stem cell nutrition from http://jdimlm.com/miracles the best products. God Bless

  30. SS says:

    Mike Ramsey’s Stop Sweating & start Living recommendation is to gently scrub your pits with a loofa to remove old deodorant residue which builds up, as this may be an issue for many. It may take a week or so! Also, Eve, please don’t use baby powder – it’s toxic!! I use Laffe’s spray with lavender & non-toxic.

  31. Holly says:

    I use Sole if I use anything. It’s nice to make a batch once every two or three months and can be used for other things as well.

  32. Faye says:

    I found this very interesting! Thanks for sharing.
    I haven’t used anything for quite sometime, but like you, there are times when I want to go there to be sure I am not offensive. I live in China and it’s humid and hot here much of the year (I live in Southern China) and when I am going to be outside and sweating a lot, I will use a deodorant, but most day, I don’t use it. Sometimes I smell, but usually I don’t and eat about 70% raw and very little meat.

  33. Faith Minier says:

    No deodorant for me for 8 years or more. Before that I used the natural stuff, but never found one I was happy with. I occasionally use a crystal stick or coconut oil for special functions. About the same amount of time I wear makeup. A few times a year! I usually don’t have much of an odor since I went on an alkaline diet about 5 years ago. I used to think the bad odor was from too much meat, but really never tested that thought.

  34. I stopped using deodorant in 2010 – same year I stopped washing my hair. Now I just use baking soda when I need something. Also use it on my scalp and mixed with salt to brush my teeth. My all purpose cheap hygiene in a box. 🙂

  35. norma says:

    no one has mentioned that underarm odor could be the result of bacterial activity under your arms. A daily shower and wearing clean clothes every time you change, should be sufficient.

  36. Bill Murphy says:

    My story is similar to Kevin’s. I just don’t feel the need to use a deodorant so I don’t. I personally do not think I have any odour at all compared to how I used to smell before when I ate meat and dairy products. I have not had any complaints from those around me either. I do have a natural deodorant but only rarely use it in summer when I think I may sweat a little more than usual.

  37. Valesa says:

    I do, but it’s home made out of raw, virgin coconut oil (that I purchased from you!), mixed with baking soda, corn starch, and with lavender and lemon essential oils mixed in. I love it, and it helps keep me dry. The smell is usually not a problem, but the dampness can irritate me if I don’t use my home made deodorant. It’s been years since I’ve used a commercially made type.

  38. CmdrSoCal says:

    I have not taken a shower in 8 months and no stink at all.

  39. robert says:

    Apple Cider Vinegar works great-that is all I use and my wife approves.

  40. lizzy says:

    I definitely find, when i eat sugars, and/or starches, i have BO otherwise, no odor. I recently began using some baking soda, or lemon, but not much. I shower often, and try to watch my diet. I thought i was freaky when I last year, i began using deoderant very spearingly but I just couldn’t stand it, so played around with the other stuff. thanks for the post, I’m going to write down all these ideas people posted. Some sound really good!

  41. sophia says:

    I was amazed that I could go without using anything. It is important to keep my armpits shaved however. Theives toothpaste can help when there is a lot of tension.

  42. Anne says:

    I have never used anything at all. Actually I did try those salt crystals at some time but think they do little and in fact if I smell, I’ve never been told. i shower everyday after training and to be honest am not prepared to wear anything for other people’s sake.

  43. Mateus says:

    I recommend everyone to try it! Just use one tea spoon of baking soda in each armpit and you’ll have jthe greatest protection for 24 hrs. No smell whatsoever. Simply amazing!! I recommend to all my patients and friends.

  44. Chris Wark says:

    Coconut oil works surprisingly well.
    I’ll admit it is a little weird at first, smearing it in your armpits with your fingers…

    I put it to the ultimate test applied it before working out then sniffed my pits afterward… coconut pits!

  45. Kathy says:

    Haven’t used deodorant for must be 15 years! I just make sure to shower immediately before going anywhere “official” and as I’m retired, that’s not often.

  46. Keri says:

    I don’t use deodorant. After I shower I use a salt crystal under my arms which works 24 hours!

  47. I have been using the recipe Ann mentions for months with GREAT results. Better results than even the dangerous commercial deoderants. I had never considered the food factor for some reason. My tween has really started to struggle and doesn’t use deoderant, and of course wants to be like other kids, and I’m sure thinks my homemade concoctions are weird. Hope I can get him to see both the efficacy and safety, but he DEFINITELY needs something. I read him the article and we will together try to make a food group connection. Thanks!

  48. Marcelo says:

    Hi all. Better than baking soda is what we´ve been using for the past year and has done the job completely! Milk of Magnesia! That´s all! It´s cheap, clean, non toxic (after all people drink it, right?) and leaves my armpits without any odors! I recommend 100%!

  49. martha says:

    I moisturize with coconut oil and so I just rub it under my arms at the same time. “Underarm Charms” from Living Libations also work great and I usually use a roll or two as well. I’m a massage therapist and since I work hard and my pits are often right over my client’s nose, it’s important to smell great. I’m going to try the oil/baking soda/corn starch recipe and maybe add my own essential oils and see how that works. Thanks for the suggestions everyone

  50. Linda says:

    Not often but when I do, (especially in summer since I work (hard) outside all day) I use an all-natural herbal one.

    For the proponents of baking soda: it may not need to be said here, but please be sure you’re using an aluminum-free baking soda.

  51. Gini says:

    I used to use a crystal stick and it was very effective but stopped when I found out they do have aluminum after all because alum is a form of aluminum. I sometimes use a natural deodorant but not every day. I am going to try the himalayan salt crystal like someone mentioned. Also the zinc oxide.
    I never thought about not using shampoo so will experiment with that. I can’t imaging not showering like someone mentioned. I use a little bit of Miracle II soap but not all over my body. I love to spray rose water on my face, hair and body- not so much to smell good for others, but because I love the way it makes me feel.

  52. Jeff says:

    Eating fresh live raw foods has mostly eliminated the need for deodorant. I get a good amount of coconut oil and avocado in my diet and don’t notice it to affect the need for deodorant. Synthetic shirts however, do bring on that unfriendly smell during exercise. Cotton or hemp doesn’t seem to. When I ate animal products, I needed a deodorant…period.

  53. Donaji says:

    Today, I do the same thing as Mateus, just use baking soda and it works perfectly…nothing has worked this good. I’ve tried different deodorants, making my own, organic/natural, etc and baking soda has worked the best hands down. I only wear it if I’ll be going out all day though. I don’t wear anything if I stay home to give my arm pits a “break” from it. Eventually I will stink if I wear nothing, and I have not linked food to arm pit smell but it’s definitely something I’m willing to try, even though I don’t eat dairy or meat.

    Thanks Kevin!

  54. Lori says:

    No commercial deodorant for at least three years, just aluminum free baking soda, works great!

  55. Collin W. says:

    I have used baking soda for years. I used the crystal stick until Dr. Mercola mentioned that alum was short for aluminum. He used baking soda instead. It really works. I wear a vest at work and am outside most the day. Sweat, yes. Odor, no. Easy to use. Put the dry power in you palm, add a little water, and apply to pits. (Watch the water, it acts like powered sugar when adding a liquid.)

  56. Late bloomer says:

    I am amazed that so many people have stopped deodorant. Like so many, I have stopped years ago. Initially I did notice some bad smells whenever I was upset about something but a bath and splashing on some alcohol cleared it up just fine. Now I don’t notice any bad smells ever. Maybe meditation and stress relief have prevented any days of smelling bad. I think stress hormones caused the problem.

  57. Mary says:

    Those of us in the Chicago area can easily get Life Stinks deodorant made locally by the Duggan sisters. It has 3 ingredients: tea tree oil, sodium bicarbonate (aluminum free, unlike baking soda!)and lavender oil. It is is a powder and takes only a small amount. I gave it the ultimate test in Costa Rica ziplining and it came through with flying colors! For more information and to order online visit http://www.theduggansisters.com.

    P.S. I don’t know the sisters personally and I have no personal involvement in their business. I just think it’s a great product.

  58. Jim Barger says:

    I quit using commercial deodorants several months ago due to the added chemicals already mentioned. I have good success using Baby Avalon Organics Zinc Diaper Balm with organic aloe, chamomile, calendula and sunflower. Yes, it leaves the skin white with zinc oxide, but not much more than some of those deodorants.

  59. Diane says:

    Diet definitely has an effect on the way we smell. Lately I’ve been using just coconut oil, and not only do I not smell, but I barely sweat. Also I just discovered Poetic Pits by Living Libations (http://www.livinglibations.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=poetic+pits) which uses only organic essential oils.

  60. O says:

    What about people who do sweat a lot? I sweat like a faucet and these ideas sound great if you don’t sweat. But what about people who do?

  61. Viviane says:

    I have not used any for many years but I don’t sweat much.
    I am sure a good diet as a lot to do with how much toxins get out there and what you smell. But here are other causes.
    I noticed many years ago that if I wear non-natural-fibre clothes, I sweat and tend to have BO. So I have been wearing natural-fibre clothes ever since.
    I also recall taking an exercise course with a man in his 70’s who healed himself out of a wheelchair with his 20 minutes daily exercise routine. He would brag about the fact that he could eat whatever food he wanted, his armpits never smell anything, as long as he did his exercises every day.

  62. Gerry says:

    Did anyone mention Tom’s? Works for me.

  63. I have a VERY clean diet.. but (still) suffer from thyroid problems and hormonal problems. My underarms are a lot better than they used to be, but I still need deodorant. My favorite it Living Libation’s “Underarm Charms” It’s only essential oils, and I don’t know how it works, but it does! By morning, I will need to wash my underarms again.. but they smell divine. I need more than the one or two swipes that they recommend, but it really does work. (My favorites are: Vetiver, Rose, Gingerlily so far).

  64. Susan says:

    Onions are the culprit for me so what works at any time is to dab baking soda onto either dry or damp underarms. It is safe and works not only for underarms but in your shoes or wherever you need to get rid of a bad odor. I have not ruined any clothing either. I also use it to freshen my mouth or to brush my teeth.

  65. Catherine says:

    I use magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) because a lot of deordorants are made from aluminum chloride, this way you get something you probably need (magnesium) and not aluminum. Works great. I just take an old liquid vitamin d bottle with a dropper and fill it half way with magnesium oil and then top with water. Then just squirt some into my hand and apply.

  66. Oh, I’ve also made my own, with the recipe posted above, but there’s something about baking soda under my arms that just rashes me RIGHT up! Plain coconut oil works for a little while for me, as well.. but not if I’m exercising or if it’s very hot out. Living Libations has been my go-to.

  67. Lawrence says:

    Fully addicted to drug store deodorant. I have no doubt that I could reduce toxicity if I eliminated or replaced my deodorant. After all, if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.

  68. Mona says:

    Hi, For the last 8 months I too am using Magnesium oil in a spray bottle…never an oder and no perspiration..for days. Magnesium oil is essential for healthy cells,it can be used as a body spray daily to keep you well. I believe I order from magneticlay.com.

  69. BOB says:

    ‘Never used any in my life so far, and I’m 78 years old. I was a career military officer and had to meet high standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

    For occasions when you want to be really sure of yourself, use some colloidal silver in a spray bottle. It will keep the bacteria count down. You can use the same colloidal silver for a mouthwash and a lot of other things as well.

  70. Laura says:

    Underarm odour is caused primarily by resident bacteria, no matter what you ate. Most (non-aluminum) mineral salts will create a hostile environment where the critters cannot thrive. For the past quarter-century or so, I’ve used nothing but plain old baking soda–the same stuff I used in cooking and cleaning. Cheap, multi-purpose, and works a treat!

  71. Samantha says:

    I love the smell of coconut oil! I’m vegetarian and I eat more carbs and protein than fat and I find that my pits only smell when I eat something smelly like onions or garlic. I used to be stinky back when I still ate a lot of processed foods, refined sugar and dairy but cutting out all that crap did wonders for my pits and my mouth. (Among other things!)I’ve also cut back on showering this year b/c my skin was getting really dry. I thought I might have to shower more with the summer weather coming, but everything is A-OK! I’m down to once a week with no stink so now I’m going to play around with oils and essential oils and see if I can cut back more. It’s mostly nervousness that’s holdng me back- I don’t want to be the “stinky person” at work because I deal with customers.

  72. Cherry says:

    I used and loved Burts Bees Carrot Seed Oil complexion mist but they discontinued it. Was told they would bring it back if enough people complained. I now use Vetiver and Spice by Common Sense. Nothing bad in it. I am wondering about the coconut oil. Doesn’t it stain your clothes like most oils do? I have used it on my body many times but finally quit because toward the end of the day it seemed to get an old oil smell and it also made me feel like my skin couldn’t breath if I got warm at all. I was wondering if anyone had this issue using it on the underarms as well as with the staining concern.

  73. Cam says:

    I stopped using deodorants/antiperspirants over 20 years ago when I noticed that everyone I used, or tried to use caused a rash. As well, I do not wash my long hair but once per week….sometimes that stretches to 10 eays. I am not sure why there is no smell associated with my underarms but it could be due to my high raw eating life-style.

  74. Nurse Jon says:

    Years ago I found that certain foods cause me to have foot odor. Especially dark tea with sugar (consumed in a past life).

    Not only is foot odor no longer a problem, neither is underarm odor as, like you, I realized it seems to be regulated by diet.

    I carry a deodorant stick in my glove box for just in case but almost never need to use it.

    As to the anti-perspirant…well that should be high on your list of things to avoid. Why would you want to make your body not do something it was designed to do? More importantly, what is in the anti- that is bad for you.

    In the health care industry, there are those questioning bathing and how often it is done for our older loved ones. Every time we bathe our bodies, we strip it of natural oils.

    Of course, some parts will need regular cleaning, but most of us should be just fine with, of course, a healthy diet based on what our particular body needs are.

    Good health to you.

  75. Maurice Horn says:

    Comment 67? To me this is pretty weird. OK you got the mother load of comments this time. What’s living down there? Amazing. We are so sensitive about BO? What about all the other pits too? Like all the way down to feet?

  76. LynnCS says:

    A year ago, when I started this raw food journey, I read that eating all these greens and healthy, pure, fruits and vegis, would lead to not needing deodorant. I tried it and except for one time, I haven’t noticed any problem. I do believe it is connected to what I eat. All the chlorophyll in those greens along with the elimination of foods that create a lot of metabolic waste is what creates the smell. I eat lots of onions every day. they are so essential for a healthy diet, so that’s not it. Lots of greens in smoothies, juices, and salads is the key. IMO! If I ever need something, you all have given me lots of good ideas. Thanks.

  77. Kate says:

    I started using coconut oil and baking soda 3 years ago, and that was worked like a CHARM. I only put it on if I know I’ll be sweating a LOT during the day. It’s great because it lets you sweat without the stink. AND if you already stink, you won’t after you put it on (yay baking soda!)

    I also like the idea of checking out the food. I saw one comment from someone saying that that was unscientific and nonsense. I wanted to throw my shoe at her.

    I’m glad you posted this! It’s fun getting ideas from all the awesome comments!

  78. doris says:

    I use a product from the health food store called, ‘Lavilin.’ It kills the odor, but doesn’t stop me from sweating, which I do profusely because I’m a pita person and our element is water. I bought a jar last July and still have some left, so even though I pay $17 a jar, it lasts a long time. You only apply it every 7-10 days. It kills the bacteria that causes the odor. http://www.lavilin.com/products/deodorant/

  79. Joanna says:

    Just a few drops of lavender essential oil has worked for me for years. I agree with the bacteria theory. Keep those pits clean.
    Stress sweat is the most smelly so deal with the stress.

  80. Lea says:

    I’ve been using rubbing alcohol and burt’s bees baby powder. It has been working fine for years but recently I’ve noticed my right pit is getting awfully smelly in the hot summer weather. I don’t know what my body is trying to tell me but I think I will try some of these other regimens. Obviously a good diet helps and I am approaching the age of “change” so hormones could play a factor. But what I do know is that I hate it when I am stuck on a train or in a room of people that have smelly sweat. Sometimes you don’t even know who the culprit is, not that you would confront them. I just know I don’t want to be the smelly bugger, so thanks for posting so many options:)

  81. Madge says:

    In a future show, you might want to address this aluminum-free baking soda issue mentioned in some of the comments. Isn’t baking soda simply sodium bicarbonate and therefore, by definition, free of aluminum? Are they just confusing baking soda with baking powder? On what basis did Bob’s Red Mill name its Aluminum Free Baking Soda? Clarification on this would be great!

  82. Gaby says:

    I agree! <3 Peace

  83. Rebecca Cody says:

    Years ago I used Lavilin, a natural deodorant imported from Israel. It worked great, but I never liked the texture, which was very stiff and hard to apply, because it was full of potato starch. It finally got to be ridiculously expensive, so I started making my own using zinc oxide, a squirt of calendula oil and another of comfrey oil. I add lavender or another oil for scent once in awhile, but not usually.

    These items kill the bacteria which cause underarm odor and, after using it for three days in a row, you can then use it once every week to 10 days. Now Lavilin has totally changed to lots of questionable ingredients, but I haven’t bought it for years.

    And I recently found a more natural form of zinc ointment, Calendula Diaper Care by Weleda, which doesn’t have any petroleum products. I use a tube with the above squirts and it lasts close to a year because I only use it 3-4 times a month.

    With all of you telling me you don’t need any deodorant after cleaning up your diets, it makes me think I’ll experiment skipping it. Maybe I don’t need it, either!

    I, too, only wash my hair every week to ten days because it’s always been dry. And I only bathe a couple of times a week, unless I’m doing something that actually makes me dirty, like back in my hay-baling days. Nobody complains. I really think most Americans are over-washed.

  84. Makaela says:

    I too have not used any commercial deodorant for several years. I use instead coconut oil as I use this on my skin or spray with colloidal silver. Both are effective.
    I only was my hair every 7-10 days too or else it just gets dry – also rub a little coconut oil in 2hrs before.
    Re showering there is plenty of evidence that all the natural oils are washed away and the skin is very susceptible to bacteria after a shower until the natural oils build up again – so once a week for me.

  85. Dionna says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I must say, I haven’t worn commercial deodorant in at least 3 years. I started making my own when I read studies of deodorant’s possible link to breast cancer. Having two daughters, I wanted to give them the best start.
    Since I’ve incorporated more traditional food preparation and lacto-fermentation, I find that I don’t even need my deodorant mix. Maybe 2-3 days a week or more on high activity days.
    My kids, on the other hand, must use it daily. It may be due to hormones for my 13 year old daughter or 9 year old son, but my 7 year old daughter may only need it a few days. It could also be the active lives my children lead.
    I don’t mind my children using my mix daily because I know what’s in it and its benefits. My mix consist of aluminum-free baking soda and cornstarch, clay, coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils. It helps the whole family keep fresh, it’s economical and a little goes a long way!

    Big ups to freedom and self-sufficiency! 🙂

  86. Jeff says:

    A few people have mentioned that it’s not the sweat that smells, it’s the bacteria that colonize the moist areas. Just because certain foods might feed the bacteria more than others doesn’t mean they are not good for you. Remove the bacteria and you can sweat freely with no odour.

    One simple way to do that is with a splash of ethyl alcohol after showering. I can follow that up with a little splash (1/4 tsp) each day and can go without showering for an embarrassingly long time, and no one knows but me 😉

    Purell will do perfectly in a pinch, but much better for you is something like Thayer’s Medicated Superhazel which contains aloe, calendula, clove oil, ethyl alcohol, eucalyptol, peppermint oil, water & witch hazel.

    For even more health benefits and longer staying power, add 30-50% liquid magnesium chloride. Been doing this for many years, and not just for pits either!

  87. Sam says:

    Al, my comment was on the article. I apologise if it seemed to be a reply to your post. My point was not that food doesn’t affect the way we smell – from personal experience I know it does. And I don’t consume dairy either so we’re on the same page. My point is that we can’t necessarily conclude that a smell is an indication of a malfunction in the body.

    We also need to consider that some smells are offensive to some people and inoffensive to others – who is correct in that case? My concern is that somebody might well find they can control their body odour by removing foods that have, say, sulphur in them but that may actually be a really, really bad idea for their actual health. We just don’t know.

    I’m sure there’s not a diet in the world that will make a bowel movement smell good enough to capture and turn into a room spray. Does that mean we are in some way ill or toxic? I don’t think so.

  88. Constantina says:

    I have been using Pure Pits by Purely Lisa. Works great and it smells amazing!
    We wouldn’t eat alcohol so not a good to put on your skin. Our sweat glands are a natural way of eliminating toxins so best to keep those pores open. Love all the comments.

  89. mary says:

    My husband and I use ancient minerals magnesium oil. At the same tome we absorb this great mineral transdermally. See Dr. Sircus at IMVA.

  90. Toni says:

    No one mentioned this issue…when I am not around people I smell fine…when I am around people and I get stressed, have a fight with my husband or any other stressful event…I tend to smell as I put it “skunky”…why does THIS happen???? Wish I could get a real response to this. Anyone else with this problem??? I carry a small deodorant in my purse in case of “emergency”.

  91. Catherine says:

    I don’t wear deodorant. Back in my long-ago meat eating days, and even in my lacto-ovo-vegetarian days, if I forgot my deodorant, I couldn’t even stand to smell myself. But no more. Now, I do occasionally use a crystal deodorant stone during the summer, as I find it impossible to be totally consistent with my preferred low fat, vegan, high raw diet.

  92. Cindy says:

    I hate all the chemicals in skin care products, so I very rarely use deodorant. If I have an occasion where I feel I might need some, I use Tom’s of Maine.

  93. Andy says:

    Haven’t used deodorant in almost two years. I rub a little baking soda under the pits every 3 or 4 days. That does the trick for me.

  94. Daniel says:

    I’d really like to know when and why we came to the conclusion that smelly armpits = unhealthy eating. the concept is interesting, any science on this?

  95. I haven’t used deodorant for years. One thing in addition to diet that I’ve noticed is that some supplements can cause odor. When I was trying to balance the minerals in my body by supplementing those I lacked I noticed that my armpits would stink during and after an intense yoga class. Once I stopped supplementing the odor was gone. Jim

  96. Well I have been using the Crystal deodorants for years… just now understanding that they are not safe either… great! I don’t use it much, as I don’t smell a great deal. But will consider some of the other options here..

  97. Jennifer says:

    This article excites me! I recently started down the path of true raw eating over a month ago and have noticed that my pits just don’t smell unless I eat certain foods (I was away on business for 10 days and had trouble eating all raw). I love it! Now I just need to get the rest of my hormones in line.

  98. Mist says:

    My armpits don’t smell so I don’t wear deodorant. I am aware of the various remedies mentioned and just wanted to add borax (21 Mule Team brand carried in the laundry detergent aisle at Walmart) and Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the list of mineral salts. Both could be ground further in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender to obtain a finer textured powder for better application. Just like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), borax and Epsom salt could be mixed with water and used as a hair/body/mouth wash solution. For the hair, one could follow with a vinegar/water solution as conditoner.

    Another stronger product one might consider is Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath, which contains the following ingredients: English mustard powder, oils of wintergreen, eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme and powdered gum benzoin in a base of sodium carbonate. Vitacost.com and other online stores carry this.

    Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) and clay powder, as mentioned, also work well. It’s too bad that activated charcoal stains clothing; it is the ultimate deodorizer.

  99. micki says:

    I am an on and off user of deodorants as well. Some days it’s more needed than others. Daily Showering/Bathing usually is enough, but when I feel I need a little extra, I put a little baking soda in water, and rub that under my arms, letting it air dry. Seems to do the trick and is VERY inexpensive.

  100. Josie Grace Ritsema says:

    Our chlorinated water is drying our skin and hair and is absorbed into the blood stream quickly–in a warm shower. This toxic, treated water is dangerous–inside and out. Be sure you have a filter on your shower head–inexpensive at Lowes or Home Depot and last 6 months…I use it to fill the tub, for a nice relaxing soak.’Surprised’ the chlorinated water hasn’t been mentioned. Has anyone noticed how ‘clean and white’ your toilets stay—it’s the high chlorine content! FILTER ALL CHLORINE TREATED WATER….for your family and your pets! Showering with ‘good old water’ doesn’t strip away body oils. It’s what’s in the treated-water that’s the killer.

  101. Elizabeth says:

    I have found a wonderful deodorant that I make myself. My daughter found this recipe on the internet. Cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil and tea tree oil. It works great. You still sweat but no smell. Have been using it for about a year.
    1/3 cup cornstarch
    1/3 cup baking soda
    4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
    2-3 drops tea tree oil
    Mix together and put in a glass jar.

  102. Julia says:

    I do not use any underarm products even though I live in Phoenix, AZ, and commute by bike! I do wash up before changing into my work uniform – with dr Bronner’s peppermint soap.

    Since I’ve read it’s not the sweat that causes the stink, it’s the bacteria on the skin – doesn’t it make sense to consider rebalancing the gut/body flora?

  103. Jean says:

    I agree with Donna: the less toxins in, the less odor out.

    When I was a raw vegan, it was when I ate junk food that I smelled. Now I eat a lot of coconut oil, ghee, raw cheese, sardines, mackerel, cod liver oil, butter from grass-fed cows–and I don’t smell.

    I generally use a crystal stick when I shower (once a week, which is also when I was my hair).

    I may give up the crystal stick because I just don’t smell.

  104. M. Paterson says:

    This is in reply to comment #90 at the time of this posting. It is about stress and major stink. Well, I definitely have that issue. When I am at home, no stinky, but out with people, stinky. Which leads me to believe that hormones are a factor. I just make sure I have a back up plan ready for action, like washing and then applying something. There are many factors and it is more complicated than we can understand. So I just say, no need to know everything scientifically. Just take note of your own experience and do what works.

  105. Maria says:

    I use Indiumagic deodorant.
    It’s ingredients are: Indium Sulfate and Bioactivated H20

    You can read more about it at:
    http://beyondhealth.com/indiumagic_deodorant.asp

    There are some mixed reviews, but most are very favorable. It works great for me! It doesn’t stain, doesn’t build up (s far as I can tell), and doesn’t make my armpits sore (which even many health food store deodorants do)

    I am environmentally sensitive and this is the only deodorant I have been able to tolerate for a long period of time.

    Thanks, everyone, for all of your suggestions. I am intrigued by some of the “make it yourself” recipes and will try some out, as the Indiumagic is costly and I have to mail order it from the site noted above.

  106. anthonym says:

    Thanks for all the comments and thank you Kevin for tackling this one. where was this discusion 2 years ago when i embarked on this journey!! lol!! After many trials and tribulations i have found 2 that work remarkably well and since i have no time or desire to make my own i trust that these are what they claim they are-truly all natural, organic, and effective. the 2 that i use are Liken plant and aurasensory.com’s natural deodorant. Since i like to support others in their endeavors i also am in the process of trying out Simply Divine’s Crystal Ally and Frugally Sustainable’s own homemade version. I will report back on their effectiveness soon.

  107. Nubia Jordan says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I have a question on deodorants. I have been using milk of magnesia (Phillips) all my life as my underarm deodorant, this information was passed to us from my grandmother and a lot of my friends are using it now.
    It drys very fast, doesn’t stain the clothes, no marks, sweat or smell. Your armpits are dry for 24 hrs. Do you have any information on this method and if you do, are there any side effects?
    Nubia

  108. Kathryn T. says:

    Wow, awesome comments! I didn’t realize this was such a hot issue. I, too, have given up deoderants – as well as most moisturizers, and other body products. My favorite for keeping down the body odor and staying clean (with soft skin) is a rotation of apple cider vinegar (with the mother) and coconut oil. In the summer it is just too hot for oil on the skin, so I use a combination of ACV with chamomile tea infusion – for hair and body. It leaves my hair & skin soft, and most of the “vinegar” smell is gone after the first 30 minutes. I am currently trying to find a way to get rid of the ACV odor – as some folks just don’t like the scent of it! No odor problems using the coconut oil on pits, but I like the baking soda idea as well.
    Interesting (and obviously entertaining) ideas here…….. Thanks for all of the comments – I enjoyed them!

  109. Liz says:

    I’m with commenter #5: Bubble and Bee make an AMAZING deodorant — Pit Putty — which has been my sole deodorant for about 6 yrs now. There are only TWO ingredients in it, not including the organic essential oils she uses — organic coconut oil and organic arrowroot powder. They smell heavenly (she has a bunch of different scents) and work phenomenally.

    When I started using it, I was purchasing the strongest OTC anti-perspirants and STILL smelling. The company’s owner is brilliant, knowledgeable and so friendly; she has ALWAYS taken the time to answer all my questions, even those not having anything to do with her products. I, obviously, can’t say enough about her, her company or her super effective products.

  110. anastasia says:

    I heard somewhere that baking soda with popcorn florins remained a good deodorant t veliefe about it;thank you

  111. anastasia says:

    I heard somewhere that baking soda with corn flour remained a good deodorant what do you believe about it;thank you

  112. Civilator says:

    hi all,
    thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I have been using “Thai Deodorant Stone in Basket ” which i bought from amazon and i have been very pleased with it. it is a daily solution, though, i apply it everyday before leaving the house. i usually damp the stone under running tap water and rub it in my armpit for about 10 seconds in total.
    i also have to say my diet is vegetable heavy but not as refined as most others who would not need a deodorant at all. maybe the crystal can be a solution when you need an emergency aid, and i can tell you it really works great. and as long as you dont drop and break it, you can use the same crystal for at least a few years or maybe more even when you use it everyday.

  113. Could you tell me which company you think is superior Young Living or Living Libations? Really appreciate your response. Thank you.

  114. FancyFace says:

    Bubble & Bee has one that has Clove, Lemon and Coconut Oil in it.
    http://www.bubbleandbee.com/servlet/the-92/natural-deodorant%2C-organic-deodorant%2C/Detail

  115. Odor Man says:

    Just wanted to comment on the section about “Do we need deodorant at all?”. I think this is great that you mention it because I don’t think a lot of people realize how much diet can affect the way they smell. I don’t know if I agree that you need NO dedodorant, but there is truth here backed by science. In fact, foods high in protein and fat often are high in sulfides, choline and carnitine.

    Sulfides in particular are found in garlic and onions as well as meats, beans, etc… which is generally why people who consume high amounts of protein rich foods have bad breath. In additoin, choline and carnitine are broken down in the gut and the by product is something called trimethylamine. This has a distinct fish or ammonia odor when found in high amounts.

  116. Cindy says:

    Much agreed with a lot of the comments regarding deodorants!

    I’m a dancer, and nothing’s worse than rehearsing with someone who stinks. I’m not a naturally odorless person, but I’ve been using Lavilin for years and it is so great! I’ve gotten most of the girls in my class to start using it too. All you have to do is apply it once and it keeps your underarms fresh for days! It’s also all-natural – no aluminum or parabens! If you have an odor problem, you MUST try Lavilin!

  117. Bobby says:

    I switched many years ago to the deodorant cream from the Shaklee Corporation. Just a pee-size dab under each armpit. No chemicals or toxic agents(which Shaklee has always avoided).

    Also, IndiuMagic is a spray deodorant that will last 6 to 12 months; basically a salt that prevents the bacteria under the pits from smelling.

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