Are your skincare products toxic? Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Are your skincare products toxic? Deodorant and antiperspirant.

by Chris Kresser

Last updated on


The aluminum found in many deodorants could contribute to diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Find out what you should use instead.

In the first two articles of this series, I talked about chemicals you might want to avoid in your soap, shampoo, lotion, and makeup. In this article, I’ll focus on deodorants and antiperspirants. These products are cocktails of many different chemicals, including several I’ve already covered, such as parabens, phthalates, and triclosan. But the most concerning (and most researched) ingredient in deodorant is aluminum, which is what I’ll focus on here.

Aluminum is the active ingredient in most antiperspirants, and it functions by forming a precipitate that physically blocks sweat glands. (1) Much has been made of the potential link between aluminum and breast cancer, although the limited epidemiological evidence that exists on breast cancer and use of antiperspirants is equivocal. One study found that people with breast cancer who use more antiperspirants were diagnosed at an earlier age, while another study found no relationship between antiperspirant use and breast cancer. (2)

Can aluminum in deodorant be absorbed?

Before we consider the health effects of aluminum in deodorant, we need to know whether it can even be absorbed through the skin. There isn’t consensus on this point, but most evidence indicates that it can be. One 2001 study found that aluminum from a single application of antiperspirant was absorbed, but only to a small extent, especially relative to the amount of aluminum absorbed in the gut from food. (3)

However, a case study of a woman who had used an aluminum-containing antiperspirant for 4 years had toxic blood levels of aluminum, which resolved 8 months after discontinuing use of the antiperspirant. (4) Her symptoms of severe bone pain and fatigue also ceased.

Is there aluminum in your deodorant? Here’s why you should check:

A more recent study using an in vitro model shows that aluminum can be absorbed through human skin, and that stripped skin (such as freshly-shaved underarm skin) is significantly more permeable to aluminum than intact skin. (5) Aluminum is also regularly detected in both normal and cancerous breast tissue. (6) This suggests that aluminum indeed can be absorbed by the skin as well as into the breast tissue.

Can aluminum contribute to breast cancer?

What about the link with breast cancer? We know that estrogen plays a key role in the development of breast cancer, and one study demonstrated that aluminum can interact with estrogen receptors on human breast cancer cells. (7) Additional preliminary research indicates that aluminum might promote breast cancer growth in other ways as well, though more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn. (8,9)

Human mammary epithelial cells grown in media with aluminum concentrations around 100-300µm (which is around 100,000 times lower than aluminum concentrations in antiperspirants, and comparable to aluminum concentrations found in breast tissue), resulted in DNA double strand breaks and loss of contact inhibition, two occurrences that often precede cancer. (10) Aluminum might also contribute to oxidative damage in breast tissue and increase breast cancer cells’ invasive and migratory tendencies. (11)

There is also speculation that the blockage of sweat glands caused by aluminum-based antiperspirants could lead to the dermal absorption of abnormal levels of sex hormones and pheromones, which could contribute to cancer development. (12)

Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease

We can’t discuss the potential health dangers of aluminum without mentioning Alzheimer’s disease. Like breast cancer, the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s has been a popular topic in the media. But does this link have merit?

A review conducted in 2011 says “yes.” (13) The author points to evidence that aluminum tends to accumulate in brain tissue and is capable of producing Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, and that only small amounts of aluminum are necessary to have a neurotoxic effect. If aluminum from deodorant does indeed make it into systemic circulation, this evidence indicates that it could accumulate in brain tissue over time and possibly contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Nontoxic alternatives to deodorant

Conventional deodorant isn’t always the easiest thing to replace, but at the very least, try to find a brand that doesn’t contain aluminum. This means avoiding anything that is an “antiperspirant.” For completely non-toxic deodorants that don’t contain aluminum, parabens, or any other questionable chemicals, you can try Primal Pit Paste or Primal Life Organics.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous (or want to save some money), you can try one of the many recipes online for homemade deodorant. The most popular formulation is based on baking soda, like this recipe from Mommypotamus. Other recipes use diatomaceous earth, bentonite clay, or magnesium oil as the active ingredient, and some people find that simply applying magnesium oil as deodorant eliminates odor. (Plus, you get an extra dose of magnesium – something you actually want your skin to absorb!) Wellness Mama also suggests that using bentonite clay to “detox” your armpits can reduce odor and make deodorant less necessary.

“Crystal” deodorants are another popular choice, although I have mixed feelings about them. These deodorant stones are made of alum, which is a compound made up of aluminum sulfate bonded to either potassium or ammonium (plus a bunch of water molecules). On the one hand, this compound is larger than the aluminum compounds found in conventional deodorant, and is therefore unlikely to be absorbed through the skin, but I haven’t been able to find any actual data on dermal absorption of alum. So while crystal deodorants are a better choice than conventional deodorants, you might be better off forgoing aluminum altogether and trying a baking soda or clay-based deodorant.

What about you? Have you made the switch to a more natural deodorant? Share your favorite product or recipe in the comments!


Join the conversation

  1. It’s one of the first things I got rid of in my chemical detox, but one of the hardest things to replace! Herbal deodorants just don’t work! The best thing I found is Bicarbonate of Soda in a mini spray bottle with water. If you don’t spray it on, but smear it on your pits, it can cause skin irritation. So spraying is the way to go… But I’ve gone through several soray bottles as the Bicarbonates blocks up the nozzle!

  2. Healthier alternative to antiperspirant and deodorant:

    1. Use a bath brush & soap to clean your underarms. I use gentle soap & brush all over, as well, including my oily face.

    2. Wear shirts that breath, like linen and cotton, even in winter. If you feel cold sweat running inside your shirt, it does not breathe.

    3. Use no cologne, deodorant, antiperspirant. Ever.

    4. Throw out old shirts with locked in odors. Deodorants and antiperspirants cause this.

    5. Spray a little OxiClean laundry spray into the pits of shirts you have sweated in, before washing. This is indispensable as well for blood, wine and tomato sauce stains and OK for sweat stains at the neck and cuffs of your shirt that would not be there if you scrubbed your skin well enough in the shower to begin with.

  3. I have been using MOM deodorant (basically milk of magnesia) (you can make your own or get it in a roll on from Peoples Pharmacy) and a spritz of Calgon body mist. The alcohol kills the bacteria that causes odor and the MOM does the same. Works for me. I have had reactions to all, and I mean ALL deodorants and antiperspirants I have ever used. This works for me.

  4. I’ve been using “Crystal” deodorant now for about three years. Although the label says it will last for at least one year, I’m still on my first one.
    The only problem I found is that it should be applied very well, or rather more than just a swipe as with normal deodorants.
    In winter the water to keep it wet is not nice!

  5. I have tried alum salt deodorant and homemade deodorants neither have worked. I keep going back to Lavilin’s, either paste that you use once a week or their new lavender scented roll-on that you apply every 72 hours. This product works best for my husband and I and is easy to use. It can be purchased on or Amazon.

  6. Depression is a really dangerous illness and it must be cured WITHOUT DRUGS!
    I had been suffering because of depression for a long time after divorce and one day I realized how close to suicide I was…
    Also that times I drank antidepressants.
    But then I reversed my behaviour with an anti-depression system (I wrote my full story here (right column) , hope this help), and now I am a happy woman always in a good mood =)

  7. Hi Chris & All

    First of all thank you for what you do! Thinking of Paleo as a framework and not a hard-and-fast dogma has been liberating.

    I have picked up signals online that tea tree oil may be estrogenic. Is there research to validate this? I use a line of ‘natural’ hair care products which features teatree oil but cut back until I learn more.

    Thanks for any insights!


  8. I’ve tried most of them and have now found that the Men’s Deodorant essential oil blend by Veriditas Botanicals is the one the works best for both my husband and me. A couple of drops under each arm and we are very happy with the results. It also comes in a roll-on. We are not having any rash/itching that we started to have with Primal Pit Paste which worked for awhile. Veriditas also has a Women’s deodorant but I prefer the smell of the men’s. All her essential oils are organic!

  9. Hi!
    I just use Bicarbonate. There is a cleaner powder awailable then baking powder, at least in Sweden.
    It is a powder. I just wet my finger, dip it in the Bicarbonate and apply it in my armpit which are a litte but moist after the shower.

    The “Chrystl lStone was quite good too but after I dropped it a few times I got kind of tired of it.

  10. I don’t have an odor problem, I have a perspiration problem. If I don’t use an antiperspirant I sweat and my clothes around my armpits become noticeably wet – very bad professionally. No natural deodorant helps this problem.

    • Zannie I had the same problem for years, ever since I was a pre-teen and started antiperspirant, until 4 years ago when I created and started using Primal Pit Paste. We have many customers with Hyperhydrosis, excessive sweating, that have found success with Primal Pit Paste. It takes some time, but adding our PoPo powder in addition for people with excessive sweating, at first ,with the pit paste, can help while your body adjusts. When you use aluminum antiperspirants it clogs your glands to stop the sweating and your body works even harder to continue to do the job it was meant, to expel toxins through sweat. I never have wet shirts anymore nor my husband and many of our customers say the same. We feel our sweat glands have adjusted and we now sweat the appropriate amount, not in overdrive trying to fight the aluminum clog, and the arrowroot powder absorbs the moisture so we feel dry.
      It has been amazing for me personally, who could never where even a colored t-shirt without huge sweat rings, not to mention any nice silky or dressy outfits. Its been a life changer for sure!
      Good luck on your journey and I know you can find a solution even if it is not Primal Pit Paste!
      Many people have posted great recipes, so give it a whirl and don’t give up!

    • An old folk remedy against excessive sweating is sage in form of tea or bath. Nowadays you can also get sage leaf tablets. I’m not sure how effective the tablets are, but I’ve had good experiences with the tea and the bath (although it takes a lot of leafs – or tea – to make an effective bath). The tea is VERY bitter so I can’t tell how well the average ‘sweet’ western palate would deal with it : )

  11. Has anyone else noticed on themselves that only one armpit smells? For me, it’s just the left one. Any idea why that could be? In steamy Florida, coconut oil and arrowroot just don’t cut it. I’ll be ordering one or more of these suggestions. Thanks for the tips everyone.

  12. Blocking up sweat glands isn’t very wise. Toxins accumulate in the lymph near the armpit because of it, not only because of what is applied to the skin. We need to sweat some toxins out.
    Since I’ve gotten on top of my gut health, and eliminated most bad bacteria from my body, I have stuff all armpit odour. The odour is caused by bad bacteria, not by good bacteria. I can sweat heaps and still not have much odour. My clothes don’t get stinky either. Offensive body odour is an indication of sub optimal health. Though some foods will cause odour – garlic, spices, etc.
    How about himalayan salt bars as an alternative to alum deodorant stones?

  13. MILK OF MAGNESIA…is more effective than any specialized product on the market! A completely non-toxic, non-irritating product that is usually ingested/swallowed for acid indigestion. Topically, it can be applied to underarms, in a very thin layer with a finger-tip — and, if it is allowed to fully dry, it will work as both a deodorant and an antiperspirant for 24 hrs or more. It will not stain clothing either. Got the tip via People’s Pharmacy.

    • Just make sure the brand you use does not contain hypochlorite, which is bleach.
      That is most likely what is inhibiting the bacteria causing odor.

      • Hi Amy,

        My GENERIC brand MILK OF MAGNESIA contains magnesium hydroxide (a natural mineral) and distilled water. It does not contain sodium hypochlorite (a bleach). Moreover, it is my understanding that the odor-neutralising properties of milk of magnesia are due to the magnesium itself.

        Note: the brand name product “Phillip’s Milk of Magnesia” does contain sodium hypochlorite, plus several other additives/preservatives/colorants.

  14. As a fourth generation nutritionist, learning specialist and holistic personal chef, I have been raised to avoid many of the chemicals and toxins by making my own concoctions. regarding deodorant, vinegar works, also, baking soda as well as rubbing a cut potato on the area to deodorize. I have given classes to homeless women on how to use everyday foods to nourish as well as clean or even use as makeup. However, some people prefer the traditional “look” and for those I have referred them to tea tree oil deodorant made by Melaleuca.

  15. Just want to say thanks for all the great shout outs for Primal Pit Paste! We love our customers and their transformation Pit Stories! Its what keeps us going every day. There are some great companies and products listed here.
    We are in the middle of a sale right now for anyone who wants to give Primal Pit Paste a try. Just go to
    coupon code: MADSALE and get 20% off! check out our FB page for more information page and the sale details!
    Thanks for all your passion on this topic! We certainly think it is Pitty Important! GoPrimal!
    Thanks again Chris for the Primal Pit Paste shout out!

    • I started using Primal Pit Paste this week. Took a bit of getting used to but I love it now and it works great.

      I started looking at natural alternatives when I realized that washing my underarms wasn’t removing the antiperspirant which was grossing me out a bit.

      I also use Tropical Traditions body lotion (and on my face) and now just need to switch my hair care and makeup. I think hair products will be a bit challenging since I have fine hair which can’t handle heavy product residue.

      • Avalon Organics products are very light. I alternate between them, Acure, and Desert Essence (coconut) which is a little heavier.

      • For hair care, switching to a sulfate free shampoo does take some getting used to. Your hair kind of freaks out for a few days. But after your hair adjusts you’re golden!! I use Boom Bar by Perfectly Posh ( and follow it up with Its Deep conditioner. Both are sulfate free, paraben free, phlafate free and paraffin free. I have thin hair and Boom Bar works great on me! It gives me volume and doesn’t strip or weigh it down. Love!!!!

  16. I went from brand-name deodorant/antiperspirants to more “organic” types years ago, usually containing Tea Tree oil, then more recently realized that a bit of the oil on my finger direct from the bottle and rubbed under my arms worked just as well. So no more parabens, etc, and I’m still raising a stink about aluminum in baking powder.

    • Rumford Baking Powder is Aluminum Free or make your own:
      Sift 1/4 cup cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons baking soda through fine strainer 3 times into small bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Test-kitchen tip: Homemade Baking Powder may clump after it has been stored, so be sure to resift before using.

    • As all natural products are soooo expensive. I make my own EVERYTHING, lol! Incl. Magnesium oil, which will burn like hell if you shave for women….SO PLEASE DO NOT EVEN GO THERE Chris!!!!!! xoxoxo;-p

      It does not have to be fancy! Some coconut oil or any other carrier oil with a few drops of essential oils (whichever you prefer) and mix and match with other raw ingredients. I will post a recipe soon. I also have amazing recipes for anti aging etc. that show IMMEDIATE RESULTS and looking to sell my brand and need help in every area as don’t know where to start. SO as with anything designed by LOA, karma and fate. Just thought I would throw that out there? xoxoxo

      In meanwhile, sparetime all I do is want to help others and have a passion for research, health, truth, light and love. SO if interested please check out my health blog/website. I have so much info and just getting started with little time that unfortunately is never enough! I have A LOT of knowledge and info to share! God bless!

      Namaste! Love and Light!

      And they still wont admit to Fluoride yet poisoned our mouths for yrs with Mercury???

      No one wonders why Vaccines are killing us and so is everything else. This world needs a wake up call big time. So thank you for your role in this Chris. Your abundance and success from your hard work and dedication to enlightenment and seeking truth is well deserved sir!

  17. I have used an antiperspirant for years and about two years ago I suddenly got a bad rash. I had to stop using deodorant completely, I tried cococnut oil and a few other prescribed creams to get rid of the rash. What finally helped was Trimovate Cream, which I used for about two weeks (not longterm).
    Next I started to experiment with home made deo (cocounut oil, baking soda etc), crystal stone etc, and they helped with smell to some extent, but not 100% and some of them also irritated my skin, ruined clothes etc. I also really want the antiperspirant effect, not just get rid of smell.
    I tried going back to my normal antiperspirant and that was ok for a day or two but then it would start irritate my skin again.
    Then about a year ago I discovered a company using organic natural oils for skin/face care. I use the body oils either in the shower all over body (which is better than lotion) or after I have shaved I apply one pump of oil in the armpits. Most days I use antiperspirant, I wait a little to let the oil set or I apply deo later during the day. I think the oil creates a barrier and protects the skin. If I remember I try to wash the deo off again at night.
    This might not be an ideal solution since I’m using an antiperspirant, but it works for me. I’m still looking for the ultimate non dangerous antiperspirant though! I live in the UK and the oils are from a British company;
    I also use their face oils – which helped me with a rash I had on one eyelid, and the sun oil (the body oil for sensitive skin) which is amazing. Last summer I didn’t burn or develop sun eczema once, I even got a little bit of tan (I have fair skin). If being in the sun for longer I’d still apply SPF on top of the oil.

    Finally – many thanks to Chris for all the well researched and presented information in your newsletters/website.

  18. I have tried so many natural deodorants that control odor just fine, but here in the deep South, it isnt just odor control that is needed when you are sweating buckets for most of the year. I just cant stand feeling wet and sticky and have yet to find anything to be more antiperspirant in nature. Any ideas?

  19. It’s important to get to the cause of offensive smells. The main cause of offensive smells is germs.

    I have found hydrogen peroxide kill the germs, and works as a good underarm deodorant.

    It’s cheap too!

  20. After a lot of frustration trying lots of natural deodoarant brands, I thought it would be helpful to metion that I have had the most success with Schmidt’s deodorant. Really works, and goes on nice and smooth. Ingredients: baking soda, arrowroot powder, cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E. If you get a scented version, they do have essential oils in them.

  21. I have been using 91% or 99% rubbing alcohol as my deodorant for years. A small amount works fine. I use it under my arms and on my feet. I came across this when reading the contents of an odor spray for shoes.

  22. I found using about 1 tbsp coconut oil with 1 tsp (ish) baking soda made into a quick paste and rubbed into my pits have kept me odour and sweat free.
    Thanks for all the great posts. Very interesting to read other options exist.

  23. Both my husband and I sweat easily, and we tried many brands, but the best we’ve found is Ava Anderson non-toxic. This deodorant is baking- soda based like Primal Pit Paste (if irritation comes from the baking soda, just make sure to wipe it off every night), but it controlled both odor and sweating almost all day…

  24. I think the reason why there have been equal numbers of studies that found no link and ones that find a link is because there are other nutrients that affect the uptake and excretion of aluminum. Specifically Silicon is a little known essential element that,greatly reduces aluminum uptake. Malic and Citric acid increases excretion(but perhaps increase uptake). Aluminum is very much like Fluoride, added to water, neurotoxic, highly electronegative, and not an essential nutrient.

  25. My daughter and I have been using Primal Pit Paste since last summer. Suffering with hidredenitis suppurtaiva, we were in search of any and all lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce or eliminate flare ups. After having two surgeries, the last resulting in removal of axillary tissue that would not heal, we were told to avoid ‘antiperspirant’. We followed the recommendations. But it was not until we came across Primal Pit Paste’s natural ingredient deodorant, that she has seen a dramatic change in the very appearance of her armpit. The scarring is less red and she has had no flare ups since using it. We also found that following a “modified” Paleo diet ( have to have some occasional chocolate) has helped tremendously.
    We so appreciate the wonderful advice from Chris Kresser and the awesome products by Primal Pit Paste!!

    • Denise, that is so awesome and why we do what we do at Primal Products! I will share this testimony with our team as they are pumped knowing they are helping to change lives in a significant healthy way! Thanks so much for your loyalty and we appreciate you being apart of our GoPrimal Family!

  26. I recently purchased Ozone Layer. It is oxygen based with shea butter and lavender. It seems to work well and you can reapply it if need be. And it’s made in the USA 🙂

  27. If you grow your own vegetables you may want to pay attention to the PH of the soil. If you have acidic soil the plants uptake a lot more heavy metal, aluminum in particular. A great book to learn about this is by Steve Solomon “The Intelligent Gardener – Growing Nutrient Dense Vegetables”.

  28. Years ago a doctor introduced me to Hibiscrub which contains chlorhexidine gluconate. Doctors use it to scrub up for surgery. The active ingredient is also used in a mouth wash where it seems to have a residual effect. One milliliter scrubbed into armpits during morning shower usually controls odor for a day. I presume it kills odor causing bacteria. I have found stress seems to make it less effective.

  29. I tried making my own (coconut oil based) and more recently using Jungle Man (palm oil). I’m very active and I’d often smell like an ape house in August at the end of the day. My wife got me a powder based bar from Lush and it works perfectly. I’ve been unsure about the ingredients though…

    Sodium Bicarbonate , Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) , Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca) , BlueWax (Specerit Blue C) , Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) , Magnesium Carbonate , Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum) , Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis) , Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon citratus) , Fresh Green Grapes (Vitis vinifera) , Blue Cornflower Petals (Centaurea cyanus) , *Citral , *Eugenol , *Geraniol , *Citronellol , *Limonene , *Linalool , Fragrance

    • Jason, go to EWG to check out those ingredients. Your ingredients look pretty good until you get to the end. The word “fragrance” can mean any hundreds of synthetic chemicals. Always run from that word as these fragrance chemicals are un-regulated and not required to tell you what they are actually. Also, limone and linaool (possible immune system toxicants). In my humble opinion, it’s way better than store bought chemical junk.

  30. I tried several natural deodorants but didn’t like many until I found a roll-on from Miessence and Primal Pit Paste. But I am trying another one (Arborstead) now and so far am really pleased. Arborstead wants me to review their product on my blog (as I did for Primal) and I likely will. They have some lovely scents.

    • I started eating clean and haven’t worn deodorant in four years! It’s only a problem when I eat junk or get really nervous. 🙂

    • I have found that eating clean helps with odour too, but still need some kind of deodorant. Still haven’t found a suitable one yet in Australia. Will have to do more research.

      • In Australia the best organic deodorant ny far is by Black Chicken. Axcilla deodorant paste. or from and next best is a roll on Fresca, fresca

        • I have never stunk in my life except when using Fresca. Even after showering Id still stink. Never happened with any other deodorant.

  31. I tried a homemade deodorant containing baking soda, but after a couple of weeks my armpits became very irritated. Next I tried milk of magnesia, it works but often flaked off leaving bits on my hips and in my pockets. Currently, I am making a magnesium oil/coconut oil/shea butter lotion. It works with milk of magnesia or other brands of magnesium. It can be used in armpits as well as other areas on skin. It washes out of cotton and natural fiber clothing…shows a little on polyester articles. When I get hot, yes there is some smell, but pleasant, not gross.

    • My armpits got irritated too. But if you wait it out it goes away. You can also do the armpit detox ala Wellnessmama and that will make it stop. I promise you it will work.

  32. I have been using the recipe from Mommypotamus and I love it.
    My husband loves it and his friend begs me for it. I have been using her basic recipe for deodorant and have had occasional irritation so I tried the sensitive recipe but I did not like it as much so I now stick with the original. It works great just sometimes have to play around with how much coconut oil to use.

  33. My fav deodorant is Alvera deodorant. It’s a roll on and it’s main ingredients is aloe and almonds. I’ve been using it for almost a year now and it has survived the hot humid weather in Florida. I can apply it in the morning and be stink free all day. It does not stop sweating but I am okay with that because I believe that sweating is good for you. It’s only 3 to 4 dollars at vita

    • Alcloxa, which contains aluminum, is an ingredient in Alvera deodorant. “Fragance” is also on the list of ingredients, which means it can contain any number of unregulated synthetic chemicals (as another commenter already pointed out).

  34. I’ve tried most of the things people are suggesting and they don’t work for me. I can’t even get away with using normal strength products! I had to start using the “clinical strength” stuff but then, thankfully, only need to apply every 2-3 days.

    Spent a lot of money on those crystals too, but they ended up in the trash.

  35. So glad I read this. I have recently been dealing with breakouts in my armpits and have been using the same deodorant for years. I guess my body is trying to tell me something! I’m going to try something different now for sure!

  36. Natural deodorants don’t work at all for me! I recently switched to Lavin and though it doesn’t work the full 4 or 5 days it claims to, it does actually work a full day and a half or so. I am a little leary about the ingredients (I have a bad whey intolerance and it contains milk enzymes). Any thoughts?

  37. My daughter has switched to Schimdt’s Deoderant.‎
    She is a high school freshman and a 3 sport athlete, who is still very much a girl. It is working for her.
    I use AlbaBotanica Clear Enzyme Deoderant Stick, it works for me and had a good rating at EWG, but I am still a bit suspect. I haven’t switched to Schimdt’s simply because it has arrowroot powder in it and I have celiac and tapioca is a known cross reactor for me (are they the same plant?) It also has Vitamin E in it and I do not know its source…

  38. I’ve been using Primal Pit Paste for over a year. It’s a great product and works through the sweatiest of workouts. It doesn’t stain clothes and I’ve been very happy with it. I’ve heard some people will get redness, and a couple times I’ve experienced a little redness but it usually goes away in a day or two.

  39. Chris, have you ever looked into a liquid chlorophyll supplement to reduce b.o.? I’m deLing with some rather significant adrenal fatigue, MTHFR mutations among others, 3 kids with special needs, and hormone fluctuations due to pre-menopause and I need something that WORKS but isn’t time-consuming or harmful to my health. I’ve tried armpit detox, natural deodorants like Primal Pit Paste and others as well as making my own, and I eat really, really clean but I still totally stink!

  40. I have been using the Primal Pit Paste for about a year now, and I couldn’t be happier, it really works. Having tried various “natural” brands like Tom’s, Jason’s without success, I was skeptical, but I really wanted to find an alternative to the Mitchum Smartsolid Clinical stuff I was using – it worked well but ingredients were scaring me.

    The Primal Pit Paste works better! I could use it every other day if I wanted to. I think the coconut oil breaks down the cells of the bacteria, and the other ingredients make it into a nice paste. Highly recommended.

  41. Chris, you should take a look at Beauty Counter. They provide a full line of safe skincare products and I’m sure would love to work with you, as I know you do endorse affiliate programs. They’ve got some talented people backing them! I’d love to hear what you think after researching their products. This is not an affiliate link.

  42. I find that splashing on some isopropyl alcohol on and letting it dry before applying my ‘natural’ deodorant is the difference b/w it working all day or quitting on my half way though. Works for me. I’m done with Secret and it’s toxic ingredients. I discovered that secret seemed to sort of get into my breast tissue while breastfeeding (I’m assuming it was the aluminum). I was constantly fighting blocked ducts until I switched nature’s gate brand deodorant. I wish I had known sooner but I’m glad I know now!

    • Isopropyl alcohol passes through your skin and has been associated with cancer. Perhaps ethanol would be a better choice?

  43. I get the Newsletter from They sell a roll-on using milk of magnesia.

    Personally, I have been using just use regular MOM and a finger to apply. Fast and easy.

    I quit using an antiperspirant a few years ago. I will not wait for the final results of what aluminum is doing to our bodies.

  44. I stopped using commercial deodorants long ago… I have used Primal pit paste and it is AWESOME! As a female, I shave under my arms and you can use this right after without the burn and it actually works.

    Recently I forgot to order some and made my own using equal parts coconut oil, cornstarch and baking soda, and it works better than anything else (although it stings if you just shaved). It lasts over 24 hours and is cheap and easy to make. I also added a few drops of lavender essential oil.

  45. Primal Life Organics “Stick Up” (aka “Pit Stick”) works really well! I also like Lavanila’s line of deodorants. Great scents! And neither one makes a mess on your clothes like drugstore antiperspirants do.

  46. For the past few years my husband and I have used a homemade paste of (rough measurements for a batch):
    5 TBS coconut oil
    1 TBS cornstarch
    1 TBS baking soda

    I usually use more than 1 TBS of each cornstarch and baking soda because I like it to be more solid/crumbly than creamy.

    It doesn’t take much under each arm to last all day long. The only downside I’ve found is that it can create an underarm “shadow”. I think it’s just built up oil. A couple of times a month I easily remove the shadow with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol or apple cider vinegar.

    • I make a similar recipe, but lately have added 1 tsp of ACV which seems to have kicked it up a gear in its effectiveness. I also add a few drops of essential oil. I wouldn’t go back to conventional deoderant now for anything.

    • With this recipe I would think it necessary to buy organic cornstarch that would not be GMO and contain Roundup and other toxins.

  47. While I know it’s bad to use a deodorant with aluminum in it, it’s hard for me to make the switch to natural because I need an antiperspirant. I’m someone who sweats more than the average person (even just sitting I’ll be sweating under my armpits) and I don’t want to keep ruining my clothes with those stains.

    Is there any natural alternative to antiperspirants or is it solely for deodorant? I’ve known for a while that the aluminum in it is bad but I’m at a loss for what to do because I really don’t want to sweat so much. The only one that works for me right now is Degree clinical protection.

    Suggestions welcome!

    • Poona, I have a list of some recommendations. Go to www. Care2/greenliving/6-alternatives-to-toxic-deodorant.html
      The deodorant you are using has very toxic ingredients-petroleum based chemicals, fragrance chemicals, and BHT (possible human carcinogen) GMO corn – Hope the link above helps. We use Crystal. There’s some concern because it still has alum. in it, but due to particle size, it may be safe(r)? Good luck.

    • Have you looked into why you sweat more than average? I had the same problem, and ramping up my iodine intake really helped (kelp 2x a week). I think many people’s iodine intake is a bit low, so it could be worth a shot.

  48. There are two products out there for the ladies that I can’t recommend highly enough. 1. Meow Meow Tweet baking-soda free deodorant cream (for anyone with a sensitivity to baking soda). 2. Nudy Patooty undershirts for women. These sit virtually invisibly under any top and help you make that adjustment from anti-perspirant to deodorant since they provide a barrier between your skin and your shirt or blouse.

  49. My father in law uses a stainless steel roller called De Odor Works. He swears by it and I have never noticed him smelling. I am thinking of giving it a try as I have yet to find an alternative that didn’t make me sweat or stink more.

  50. I have been using Primal Pit Paste for over a year and I love it! I live in AZ and I am quite a sweater. I use a combination of their light and regular paste, because I have found I am a little sensitive to the baking soda. While transitioning I used a little wipe of apple cider vinegar before applying to cut the bacteria….I was a bit smelly. Only took a couple of weeks and now I don’t need it. Cant say enough good things about it!

  51. Thanks Chris for spreading the word about skincare products and the harm they cause our bodies if they contain chemicals! It’s a habit to use the same skincare product every day without even glancing at the ingredient list!

    Deodorant is one of the first products I suggest people change to chemical free- especially ditching the antiperspirants! One of the other products I always suggest switching to chemical free is toothpaste. It’s loaded with chemicals that harm the body AND it does nothing to strengthen the teeth! I just hosted a ! free webinar on how to remineralize the teeth back to health:

    Readers, enjoy 20% off your order at Primal Life Organics with coupon code KRESSER15.

    Primal Life Organics… Because You’re A Natural Wonder!

  52. Alvera works well – I used it for years. I recently found out that it contains Alcloxa, an aluminum compound. Specifically, Aluminum Chlorhydroxy Allantoinate. Not impressed.

  53. I tried everything, literally. Cheap, expensive, most brands in Whole Foods, products I found online researching and nothing worked, my Holistic Dr. recommended a deodorant from herbal and I don’t stink anymore. This deodorant it’s made by a professional herbalist, she creams and remedies, essential oils and tinctures. The deodorant is not listed you you might need to call her to order, her name is Julia Gurlitz and the # is: 510.524.2482. You can be sweating for ours and I promise you won’t stink and it is safe, she uses only organic and non toxic ingredients. I wouldn’t use anything else.

  54. I’ve been using Aubrey Men’s Stock Deodorant for years. (I’m a woman, but no one seems to find the smell particularly manly.) I bought some Green Beaver Tea Tree Deodorant Spray to try it. It doesn’t last as long as the Aubrey deodorant, so I wear it on weekends.

    Homemade coconut oil and baking soda-based deodorant works pretty well on me, but I often want the convenience of a spray.

    I’ve been off antipersperant for about 10 years. I must have tried a dozen natural deodorants before I found one that worked for me. Deodorant crystals don’t work at all on me.

  55. I’ve been using “Kiss My Face” deodorants, which are aluminum free, ever since my blood and hair testing showed high levels of aluminum. The “Kiss my face” products say they are aluminum free. Any problematic ingredients in these products?

  56. I love using pure sandalwood essential oil on my armpits (it has a natural affinity with the armpit area).
    Living Libations make really really great deodorants. They are called Poetic Pits and I use the Radiant Earth on a daily basis and I’m very very happy with it.
    You can also make your own deodorant by mixing coconut oil with baking soda and your favorite essential oils (grapefruit goes well with sandalwood and vanilla I find).
    I have, however, noticed that the homemade deodorant with baking soda tends to stain my clothes. So now I only use the Poetic Pits by Living Libations.

  57. Perfect timing… this week I switched my potassium alum deodorant purchased at the health food store and am instead using a totally plant-based one from Wilderness Family Naturals.

    I’ve also found that optimizing my magnesium levels reduces the need for deodorant.

    • I stopped using regular antiperspirants/deodorants over a year ago and started out using Primal Pit Paste in the sensitive variety – actually bought a large batch, because I was so pleased with it – worked really well. However after about 6 months I found I was reacting badly to the baking soda and was at a loss as to what to do! I started researching and saw that some people used just coconut oil. I tried this and while it worked to an extent, it wasn’t as good as I hoped for. However I persevered and also changed to the AIP. THAT made the difference. On the AIP I can just use coconut oil and be completely stink free all day! LOVE it!

  58. I have started using Lavilin deodorant in the last few months. I have had no problems like rashes etc. The roll on is far easier to use than the cream but both last up to 72 hours and don’t leave residue on my clothes. They even sell a roll on for your feet which I also use and have had a good experience with as well.

  59. Over in Europe, deodorant and antiperspirant are foreign concepts, and don’t exist–they put dabs of perfume under their arms. They sell roll-on stick perfume applicators that fit in a purse or pocket, and they re-apply as needed.

    • I’m not sure why you would say that. I spend time on both sides of the Atlantic and there are just as many deodorants and antiperspirants in Europe as there are in the USA!

  60. By trimming Hubby’s armpit hair, we’ve been able to reduce his need for anti-perspirants to just deodorants. As for me, I no longer sweat like a pig since menopause occurred, and go for days without anythting under my arms except the occasional coconut oil application. Night sweats don’t happen, since I keep my blood sugar under good control.

  61. I log this topic! I tried and tried and tried an amount of different natal deodorants, from crystal type, toms, welleda, do it yourself, lemon, cheap, expensive, etc…I gave up since they would work of a while and then stop working, my armpits were smelly and sweaty. I went back to using secret until a fiend recommended me this bbd that after 6 months I’ve been using I’m still very happy with there results. Is called Alvera all natural roll on deodorant. I like the aloe and almond scent. You can find it at sprouts.

    • Alvera has the ingredient alcloxa, which contains aluminum. Unfortunatly. “all natural” can mean anything these days.

  62. Another idea that seems to work very well is to use Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide). This works MUCH better for me than magnesium oil (Mg chloride), and unlike magnesium oil it is completely non-irritating. Rub on some milk of mag with just a touch of something like Indigo Wild Eau de Zum Frankincense and Myrrh, and you have a nice smelling deodorant that lasts all day.

      • If the sodium hypochlorite is a concern, there are brands that don’t have it. I’ve used both and it works with and without the sodium hypochlorite.

  63. This one will surprise you. Phillips Milk of Magnesia! As a deodorant it works great. I recently heard that rubbing coconut oil first adds to it as antibacterial. When I am going out I even add a drop of essential oil.

  64. I currently use Tom’s natural deodorant. I recently bought natural deodorant from Bumble & Bee. Has anyone tried the Primal Pit Paste, I’ve heard good things about that one?

    • I’ve tried a ton of different brands. Tom’s actually made me smell worse somehow. Primal pit paste is awesome! And no, I don’t get paid for saying that or anything. I liked it so much I bought trial sizes for all my friends for Christmas

    • I just ordered some Primal Pit paste and am waiting to get it. I have been using Dr Mist spray. It’s great but I wanted to try something new.

  65. For the longest time I’ve been wanting to switch out my “aluminum full” deo to a more natural one. I’ve tried off and on to switch but I always still stunk bad with the natural deo. I did a test and tried nothing for a month, during the winter. I reaked the whole time and avoided hugging others. 🙂 But it worked, by the end of the month, even though I still stunk, something had changed. I think the biology of my armpits changed and now I’m able to use the natural deoderant and it works! I don’t smell! 🙂 I know this is all TMI, but wanted to encourage those who are leary or who have excessively stinky underarm bacteria like me. Try a deoderant fast first to change what lives under your arms.

  66. The “crystal” types burn my skin. I’ve been using plain coconut oil for a few years now and it works for me. I don’t play football or work in the sun all day, but it has anti-bacterial properties and can be refreshed as needed. It’s so simple.

  67. Some “natural” deodorants contain the ingredient Alcloxa, which has aluminum in it.

    I have yet to find a single non-toxic deodorant (even homemade) that works for me without giving a rash after a while. However, I stay odor- and rash-free if I rotate my safe deodorants every week.

    I have also tried the armpit detox mentioned above. It worked well, but gave me very itchy armpits after several weeks of once-a-week 5-10 minute applications. My search continues…

    • Hi Erin,

      I maybe able to assist you with your search… I have some great info I’d be happy to share with you !!!
      Being a cancer survivor I’ve needed to be very aware of my toxic load … Which by the way is so low now … It’s fantastic and am really very healthy …. Touch base if you’d like… Am happy to share … CC

    • Just wanted to update… I finally found a safe deodorant that controls my odor and doesn’t irritate my ultra-sensitive skin!! It was recommended by my naturopath. It’s called Body Brew by Zir Yab’s and it’s available on Etsy. Worth every penny and more.

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