Talking Stink: Is it time to ditch your deodorant?

Let’s talk about your pits.

E.v.e.r.y.o.n.e  s.w.e.a.t.s. Sweating is natural. It’s normal. Unless you suffer from Anhidrosis, then you should be sweating. 

In fact, if you’re not sweating, then you should be concerned.

Your skin is your largest organ and it really enjoys absorbing anything you put on it, including what goes under your armpits. Let’s use an example of how effective your skin is at absorbing – a Nicotine patch. When a smoker wants to give up smoking, they often turn to the patch to reduce their cravings. They whack it on and it delivers nicotine straight into their bloodstream via absorption through the skin, thereby reducing the urge to light up. The same applies for antiperspirants and deodorants. As soon as you apply these bad boys under your armpits, it’s absorbed straight into your skin. The very delicate skin under your arms is the direct route for toxic chemicals to enter the lymphatic system and this is the last place (along with your vagina – more on that another time) you want to be applying toxic chemicals too.

Now i’m not advocating ditching deodorant entirely. That would be terrible because some people need it. Like, really need it. But I am wanting to educate people on making the right choices and being familiar with the products they’re putting on their skin and into their bloodstream.

So what causes the festy smell under your arms? Well, the sweat produced under your armpits is full of ammonia and fatty acids and the warm and moist conditions under your armpits are the perfect area for bacteria to thrive
, therefore creating an unpleasant ‘aroma’. Most people try and counteract this by using one of two products – antiperspirants or deodorant.

Antiperspirants do exactly as their name suggests – stop your body from perspiring. Aluminium-based compounds are used as the base ingredient for all antiperspirants and these work to create a plug-like molecule in the glands under your arms. Sweating is the bodies way of cooling down and detoxifying itself and when you try and prevent that by using antiperspirants, you are essentially blocking the sweat glands ability to dispel toxins. Ever had a massive night out on the booze (my past life) and woken up in the morning to go somewhere and sprayed your antiperspirant under your arms? Well, a lot of that bad stuff you should be sweating out from the night before is effectively being trapped inside. Bad, bad, bad.

 I don’t like them.

Another reason I am against antiperspirants is because most people spray them up towards the armpit, therefore indirectly aiming them at their headspace which in most cases leads to inhalation. The ingredients in antiperspirants are toxic enough on your skin, let alone breathing them in and there have been a number of fatal accidents at the hands of these cans. For example, 12-year-old boy Daniel Hurley died in the bathroom of his home back in 2008 after having a cardiac arrhythmia caused by solvents in his Lynx aerosol spray. Ten years before that, 16-year-old Jonathon Campbell died after repeatedly spraying his body with his antiperspirant deodorant. He was found to have 10 times the lethal dose of propane and butane in his blood. Although most antiperspirants contain warning messages such as ‘must be used in the presence of adults’ or ‘deliberately concentrating may be harmful or fatal’ (this should be enough to raise alarm bells), most people don’t pay much attention to the warnings.

On the other side, deodorants work to neutralise body odour by providing antibacterial ingredients to reduce the bacteria that causes the stink. They do a fantastic job (in most cases) without the use of harmful aluminium and other toxic ingredients. However, I don’t roll with just any deodorant, I make sure I stick with natural ones and nowadays there are so many different types available. They come in roll-on form, spray, paste or cream, mineral crystal rock and stick, to name just a few.

Below are my cruelty-free picks that have all been tried and tested by yours truly. I’ve mowed lawns, ran, walked, jumped, pruned roses, danced (naked) and skipped in these little rippers and all of them passed with flying colours. So unless you smell like the bottom of a septic tank, these guys will have you covered.

Crystal Essence

Not too sticky, not too wet, this roll-on does the job brilliantly. Crystal essence harnesses the power of natural rock salts to neutralise odour and keep you smelling deliciously fresh all day long. I love the Lavender and White Tea scent.

Approx: RRP: $7.50

Available at most health stores.CBD-31661-4

Kai by Gaye Straza

Free from aluminium, parabens, sulfate, phthalate and phosphate, this impressive little weapon smells like a fresh bunch of gardenias. It is on the pricier side, but it lasts for AGES and the packaging is completely recyclable. Not as ‘natural’ as the other options, but still a much better choice than 95% of the products on the market.

RRP $32.00

Available at Mecca.kai_deo_2

Black Chicken Axilla Deodorant Paste

It took me a while to get used to this one but it does the job and much better than I expected, hence why it is one of Nourished Life’s best sellers. It is completely chemical free and contains 16 specifically chosen remedial and organic ingredients that neutralise underarm odour without inhibiting the sweat glands. A fantastic choice for travelling.

RRP $15.95

Available at

Fresca Natural Deodorant

Made in Australia from food grade ingredients, the Fresca range of unisex deodorants is a great choice for everyone. They contain no alcohol, artificial preservatives, synthetic fragrances or alcohol. The Wild Lavender is my favourite.

RRP $15.00

Available at

Mukti Roll-On Deodorant

This certified organic bad boy contains botanical ingredients and works to eliminate bacteria without blocking your underarm skin and absorbing toxic chemicals. It has a unisex fragrance and is suitable for both men and women.

RRP: $14.95

Available at

Sukin Spray Deodorant

Readily available at most health stores and priceline, this deodorant spray is a good option if your pits are crying out for some treatment and you are on a budget.

RRP $5.95

Available at most health stores and

Make Your Own

You can do this by mixing together some coconut oil, bicarb soda, arrowroot powder and essential oils. I’ve tried this a few times and it does the job, but I find it a little bit messy for my liking.


  • Matt says:

    Hey Anna,

    Obviously sweating is natural and good and I’ve been using natural deoderants for a while now. The only issue is that in more social settings and work what can happen a lot is that I get the sweat stains on my shirt from all that moisture. Is there a natural way to stop, or limit that, without going back to an antipersperant or should I just take a change of shirt (although that can be annoying to constantly do).


    • Anna says:

      Hi Matt,

      Good question.

      Firstly, kudos for using a natural deodorant and yes, sweating is completely natural.

      This may sound bizarre, but I have a mate that uses these things called ‘sweat pads’ under his shirts when he has something important on. Virtually they’re pieces of absorbent paper that stick to the underarm area of your shirt and absorb any excess sweat from the area without showing it through your shirt. They do a really great job! Perhaps they might be worth looking into? They sound worse than what they actually are!

      • Matt says:

        Hi Anna,

        Thanks for the reply!

        It sounds bizarre but sort of make sense so I’ll definitely go looking for some and see how I go!

        Also, keep up the great work – big fan!

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