What’s in Your Deodorant?

By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!


While we’re normally all about food on this blog, we also touch on the idea that what you put on your body is just as important. So in today’s sponsored post, I’m happy to share a deodorant with you that I personally use and love.

Primal Pit Paste was started by Amy Cazin who, like many others, was seeking a natural and safe personal care product that actually worked. When one of her young daughters came home with noticeable body odor, the importance of “safe” became that much greater. But Amy’s research also unearthed more concerns. “After finding out that aluminum and parabens are found in the outer quadrant of the breast tissue of cancer patients, I was very concerned,” she says. Thus the story of Primal Pit Paste began.

What's in Your Deodorant? on 100 Days of #RealFood

Unwanted Ingredients in Your Deodorant

There are numerous articles written on potential harmful ingredients in conventional deodorant. Here are some in question:

  1. Aluminum
    Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredient in antiperspirants. They work to block the body from sweating and research has suggested that these compounds are readily absorbed through the skin and have the capability of causing changes in estrogen receptors.
  2. Parabens
    These preservatives are used in deodorants and antiperspirants (as well as other personal care products) to prevent bacterial growth. Parabens have also been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells.
  3. Triclosan
    Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent which has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and it is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen.
  4. Propylene glycol
    This petroleum-based substance is used to create a soft and sleek consistency. It’s a low-cost ingredient with a versatile function, which is why it is so common in self-care products. Though propylene glycol is said to be eliminated from the body within hours, there are questions about it being a potential carcinogen and endocrine disruptor and causing developmental abnormalities, among other things. Our philosophy is – why take the risk?
  5. Phthalates
    Another class of chemicals often used in deodorants and antiperspirants, phthalates help to create a better consistency, but they have also been linked to a variety of health issues and have been suggested to be a hormone disruptor.

Yes, all of these ingredients can be argued, but my personal opinion is, why take a chance when there’s a good option that actually works without any of these questionable additives?

The base of Primal Pit Paste’s deodorant is organic coconut oil and shea butter. Together they provide an antimicrobial action when applied to the skin – sounds much better than the alternatives above, right? Baking soda is also added to neutralize the bacteria that causes odor, and organic arrowroot power wicks away the moisture. It’s important to note that it won’t stop you from sweating, with good reason. Did you know that sweating is your body’s intended natural process of releasing toxins and cooling you down? You sweat for a reason!

How to Sweat Less

Amy sheds light on antiperspirants and her experience with them:

Most people sweat more when they are on aluminum antiperspirants, as its role is to clog the glands kicking them into overdrive so the sweat glands are trying desperately to sweat more, thus creating increased sweating over time and leaving you feeling drenched, thinking you need a stronger clinical strength alternative. By getting off the aluminum for a few months, one will most likely start to notice they are not sweating nearly as much as their body was working so hard on overtime to do, but that they are sweating a normal healthy amount.

When you stop a body’s process, it will do anything it can do to continue that process. I used to have very bad almost hyperhydrosis levels of embarassing soaking wet shirt perspiration for 20 years. After 3 months of making and using our deodorant, Primal Pit Paste, I noticed a life changing difference in the amount I was perspiring. I could finally wear t-shirts with no sopping wet or yellow marks! I could wear nice silky fabrics that for over a decade I could not even wear.

Natural Deodorant That Works

I mentioned that we have worked with Primal Pit Paste for years, but I honestly didn’t start using it until a few months ago. When they first came out with it, I tried their stick, and I honestly didn’t love it. Also, I didn’t want to do the jar thing since I didn’t want to get it on my fingers. Let’s face it – I was being lazy and was used to my Dove deodorant. But then I learned that I had a sensitivity to triclosan, and I wanted to find something more natural to use.

I kid you not – I went through four different deodorants that I purchased from the health food store and none of them worked. One of them dripped badly and got all over my clothes …yuck! While packing to move, I came across one of the Primal Primal Pit Paste Natural Deodorant on 100 Days of #RealFoodPit Paste jars they had sent me years ago, and I finally gave it a go. The rest is history. It worked, and I realized that using the jar was seriously no big deal when weighing the safety of the ingredients. (Sidenote: jars do come with a stick to apply it.)

I also learned that not every scent works for every body. Some people’s pits don’t work well with essential oils, so you may have to experiment or try the unscented version. There are actually three different strengths to choose from, so there’s a good fit for everyone. I am officially hooked myself and hope you’ll give it a try, too. Our friends at Primal Pit Paste are offering a discount just for our readers – 20% off all jar and stick deodorants with code 

Now I’m curious to know, what natural deodorant do you use and how does it work for you? Please comment below!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

118 thoughts on “What’s in Your Deodorant?”

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  1. I’ve been wanting to try something new. The coupon code expired Jan 31 unfortunately.
    Still going to give it a shot though.

  2. I’ve tried a number of ‘organic’ deodorants, and none of them have worked for me – usually after about 1-2 hours, I smell like I’ve been out plowing a field. Considering trying the pit paste or making my own, adding a probiotic to it, like someone mentioned in a comment above.

  3. I have been using pit paste for a while and it really controls the odor (and I’m a sweater). My only trouble comes with chaffing, the moisture causes chaffing in my underarms. I’ve used their powder and it has helped some. I’ve also tried bumble bee organics, they claim they stop the chaffing. The chaffing might be a little better with bumble bee, but I don’t find the odor control all that great. so, I mostly resort back to the pit paste!

  4. Oh my, I thought I was doing well with a tea tree and lavender until I read your article. Now I’m going to look into the primal paste and see if it works for me. Thanks. I’ll let you know. Only problem is I have just opened anew tube and I have a back up. That’s about a years supply,

  5. Thanks for the discount code! I order the sample 6 pack to give this a try. I have tried Ava Anderson but it broke me out pretty bad. Hopefully this will be gentler :)

  6. I make my own with coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, Vit E oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, probiotoc capsules (which i empty into the mix), and a variety of essential oils. Its the second recipe I’ve tried, and it works great. One tube lasts a couple months, and I use all of those ingredients in other stuff or in other ways, so I make out all over the place :-).

  7. I’m make a Bentonite clay detox deodorant that is for sensitive skin, i love it . I broke out with bad rashes with other homemade or store bought natural deodorants. This one pulls out impurities In about two weeks. Try Pinterest for recipe.

  8. My husband and I use a roll-on deodorant called Alvera. We buy the unscented version with aloe Vera as the main ingredient. We love it and it works for us.

  9. First off, i have to say thank you to Lisa! Your page has helped me to change the way I live and eat. It was a great resource for me. I have been using Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant. It smells great and it works. It is aluminum and paraben free. Nothing but the good stuff! All of Arbonne’s products are vegan, gluten free, free of artificial flavours and colors, no mineral oil or parabens, and the list goes on! You can order it directly to your door at http://AshleyParker.arbonne.com

  10. I have used Crystal Body Deodorant Roll-on or spray for years. It has no aluminum chlorohydrate, is hypoallergic, fragrant free, and paraben free. Its ingredients consist of water, Potassium Alum (natural mineral salts), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), benzoin acid, and zinc gluconate. It is not sticky and leaves no stain. It works great for me.

    1. My husband and I also use Crystal roll-on. It works very well for both of us! It’s affordable, and it can be found at Walmart.

  11. I use the Ava Anderson Non Toxic spray deodorant. The toner also works for a different scent. There’s also a stick option. Uses lots of essential oils. I also became a consultant because I love the products and message.

  12. I use the Ava Anderson Non Toxic spray deodorant. The toner also works for a different scent. There’s also a stick option. Uses lots of essential oils. I also be came a consultant because I love the products and message.

  13. Oh how I wished the Primal Pit Paste worked for everyone! I’ve tried multiple variations of their products and I am always left with a red, painful rash in my pits :( Even after trying all their suggestions on the website and using the primer. It’s the pits! My quest for a natural deodorant that works for ME continues. Any other suggestions from others??

    1. I had the same problem :( I even tried the “light” version and gave the product several months (understanding that there may be a transition period) before I could no longer take the red, blotchy, painful skin I was experiencing. It took weeks for my skin to return to normal after I stopped using it. I’m really disappointed. I’ve been wanting to transition to a more natural deodorant, but for the time being I’m back to Dove. I haven’t been able to find an effective natural deodorant that doesn’t cause that terrible reaction on my skin.

    2. I had the same problem of getting terrible rashes with natural deodorants. I finally found one that is baking soda free and works! Try meowmeowtweet.com for their baking soda free deodorant:)

  14. My comment is the same as Courtney’s. I use Ava Anderson Non Toxic deoderant and I love it, as well as the other Ava products I have tried. I have also just become a consultant as I believe in the products and want others to know the dangers in our personal care products.

  15. This works! There’s a reason aluminum is in supermarket deodorants, because it battles smell effectively. Natural products I’d tried previously didn’t work because either I had body odor or it was impossible to apply (some are rock hard). This blog reminded me of the issue, and I decided to try the lavender-scented paste. Excellent. Thanks for the information.

  16. I don’t comment often, but I have to give my 2 cents on the Primal Pit Paste products. I purchased them last year around this time when Lisa had a promo code and I couldn’t be happier with the products we’ve used! I love the lavender deodorant (haven’t tried the other scents, yet). It is so effective, and I love knowing I’m not using dangerous chemicals. My absolute favorite thing, however, is the Orange Creamsicle lip balm. It honestly works better than anything else I’ve tried on chapped lips, and it is DELICIOUS! I’m actually in need of more, so thanks for the promo code! I’ll be purchasing at least another year’s worth of deodorant and lip balm! It is weird that I’m so excited about that?

  17. I make my own. My whole family uses it now. The recipe is on wellnessmama’s website. It is much less expensive and lasts so long.

  18. I had tried everything on the market and even tried making my own. I finally tried Priml Pit Paste about 6 months ago and have never been happier with my deodorant! I was smellier and sweatier using plain old, bad for you, deodorant! My husband has even switched over. So glad to have finally found a healthy alternative that works!

  19. I tried primal pit paste (both the stick and the jar). I had to stop using them because they made my armpits burn and itch and left a nasty red and painful rash. I’m using Arm & Hammer Essentials now. It’s ok, but I hate the fact that I can’t find a natural antiperspirant. I live in Florida, it’s always hot. I hate having wet armpits, it’s gross!

    1. Hi Michelle!
      We do have three different strengths of deodorant (Light, Regular, and Strong) with varying levels of baking soda, we have an Unscented version with no essential oils, and we have a Sensitive stick with no baking soda at all. With all of these options, we truly feel that we have cracked the code on personalized natural deodorant that actually works! Please feel free to email our customer service team, and they’re happy to get some free trials sent out to you of what they feel would work best for your body chemistry!

  20. I switched over to Ava Anderson deodorant and love it. So much so that I became a consultant. It is not just the deodorant but all of the products you put on your skin. The skin is the largest organ and absorbs EVERYTHING you put on it directly into your blood stream.

  21. I was using natural deodorant based on shea butter and baking soda for about 2 years (first buying, then making my own). At the beginning it worked fine but towards the end the baking soda really irritated my skin, even in smaller dosages, and I had to stop and go back to commercial deodorants (no irritation there).

    My daughter, who is 11 years old and does a lot of sports, can only use the natural baking-soda based deodorant on days when she is not too active because on hot days or very active days – it doesn’t help in masking the bad sweat odor (and it’s really strong) so we are still experimenting with different deodorants (haven’t found the perfect one for her).
    I would just like to add that I never buy products that contain Triclosan (which has also been implicated in creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria), parabens or pthalates.

  22. I’m looking forward to trying some of these recommendations. On a different note, I thought you had recommended a line of natural cosmetics but don’t see it when I search the site.

  23. I was getting a terrible itch which lasted up to a week from all the top deodorants. My pharmacist said most of the popular ones are not good for you. He recommended Crystal Essence. I love the lavender+white tea. No more itch!

  24. I want to hear from someone who has teenage boys in their house and then tell me if it works. If it works on them, that would be amazing and I would buy it. Other natural deodorants don’t work with my boys.

  25. I love the coconut lime! Smells like a tropical vacation every day! And to know it is all natural (and works really well!) makes me thankful for this deodorant every morning! (I have the stick– to me, that is how deodorant is applied, and it works like any other stick.)

  26. Hi there,
    I’ve only tired Tom’s of Maine and I was deeply disappointed. I sweat a lot and it didn’t last very long and even when I reapplied, I could still smell my own BO. NOT cool. So I’ve been discouraged to try anything else. Maybe I’ll give some of these brands a try. I know it can be different for everyone and sometimes you just have to find what works for you.

    Thank you everyone for the comments you left with all the great options. :D

  27. I have been really interested in switching to a natural deodorant…so thank you so much for the 20% off! I just bought the sampler pack and cannot wait to try it out. The reviews are excellent!

  28. I just started using soapwalla citrus deodorant and am super happy with it! It’s even kept me fresh through sweaty workouts. I looked at ppp when shopping, but a lot of people mentioned rashes, so I went with soapwalla instead.

  29. I use Lavanilla deodorant it comes in a couple different scents and I like it. Seems to work well for me but sometimes I have to apply it 2-3x a day. I’m interested in trying something new there are some really great suggestions on here! Thanks!