The Best Natural Deodorant

Filed under stuff i like

My hunt has been a long and arduous one, but I’ve finally found the best natural, aluminum-free deodorant for me. I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant for months now. There’s no hard evidence that traditional commercial deodorants cause breast cancer, but there’s enough Internet worrying about it that I took notice. Then there’s the fact that the aluminum in those store-bought deodorants works by blocking your body’s natural attempts to sweat. Then there’s the fact that aluminum is apparently what causes those yellow stains in the armpits of your favourite white shirts. I use natural shampoo and natural make-up and natural oils and butters, so why not natural, aluminum-free deodorant?

Well, it turns out I’m really sensitive to them. I first tried pure baking soda mixed with a little water to make a paste. Then I tried Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant. Then Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Deodorant with Lavender. Then Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Wild Lavender Deodorant. Then an Aromaco bar from LUSH. I even tried a men’s deodorant that didn’t claim to have any anti-perspirant properties at all. All of them turned my innocent armpits into a rashy mess. Sometimes it’d take days for the redness to set in, and I’d be hopeful for a moment, but it’d eventually turn up in every case.

I wanted to give up a couple of times and go back to my tried-and-true commercial deodorant, but I’d been through the two-or-three-week detoxifying period where my body was supposedly getting used to the lack of aluminum and expelling all of its pent-up nastiness, and I hated to lose my momentum. But because of the rashes, I kept trying to go without any deodorant at all, and I was tired of smelling myself at night when I was trying to sleep.

And then I read my friend Cassie‘s blog post about her very sensitive armpits and her switch to Bubble & Bee‘s ‘Pit Putty in Geranium Lime. She’d had all of the same problems I had and swore ‘Pit Putty actually worked and didn’t upset her fussy skin. So I bought two sticks of the stuff (along with a couple of lip balms, because I can’t resist flavors like coconut-lime).

DREAM COME TRUE. I noticed even on the first day of use that something just felt . . . different . . . from the other natural deodorants I’d tried. Over the next couple of weeks, I felt like my body really was getting used to the ‘Pit Putty in a way that it hadn’t with the others. I seemed to stink less every day and to need less of the stuff. I love the way it smells so citrusy, and I love that it instantly deodorizes me even if I’ve been lazing around the house for hours like unemployed people are wont to do. I’ve been applying it two or three times daily as my body gets used to it, and I’ve never had a problem with skin sensitivity.

Bubble & Bee 'Pit Putty

It was going on kind of crumbly at first so that I had to rub in the flakes after I applied it, but I’ve found that if I twist it up so that it’s just peeking over the sides of the container, I don’t have any crumbling. It feels like powder going on, and it keeps feeling like powder all day long. It doesn’t leave any residue on my clothes, and my clothes never come off smelling funky like they did with other natural deodorants. I have no complaints, only praise. I highly recommend that you try ‘Pit Putty if you’d like to make the switch to natural deodorant, and I suggest getting the Geranium Lime or Original scents without baking soda in case you have the same sensitivities I spent so many months dealing with.

After just a few weeks with ‘Pit Putty, I finally feel like I’ve found something that’s not only as good as my old deodorant but actually better. Huge, huge thanks to Cassie and to Bubble & Bee.


  1. thickcrust says:

    Report back in the summer, when you’re actually sweating.

    • katie ett says:

      Yeah, I’m interested to see the differences, too. All of the how-to-make-the-switch sites I read said to start in the winter for just this reason. And all of them claim that once you’ve stopped using traditional deodorants for a while, you won’t need to put on the natural stuff every day, even in the summer. I’m skeptical but hopeful.

      • tasha says:

        So . . . I’ve been trying to do this for the last month, too. And I’ve not been having sensitivity issues, I’ve been just having BO issues – as in, I smell bad before I even get home from work. In the winter.

        Is it unreasonable to feel like I shouldn’t have to reapply? Is this just an accepted evil of natural deodorants?

        My boyfriend just wears Old Spice deodorant and always smells fine, but I can’t find it in any scents that don’t scream “manly” (which I don’t care about, but weird him out).

        • katie ett says:

          Well. I do expect to have to apply it twice a day, at least in the first few weeks. Other people give me the impression that eventually, I might only need to apply it once every day or something, like the lack of aluminum suddenly makes your body stop sweating at all. I don’t know. I can tell you that this stuff, ‘Pit Putty, makes me feel waaaaaay less stinky than anything else did, even after a full day out.

          I used the Fiji scent from Old Spice for a while, but I didn’t feel like it was giving me any wetness protection, and then it also eventually irritated my skin. I really want you to try ‘Pit Putty now.

  2. Cassie says:

    As someone who sweats a TON, I can report it still works! I just reapply. Winnnnn!

    I’m glad your body odor makes you think of me. Well, lack of BO that is.

    • katie ett says:

      Yes! I remember you saying you could go to the gym and still not smell terrible, and that was one of the deciding factors for me. The other deodorants I was trying were lasting only an hour even when I was just sitting around.

      No-BO-friendz 4 lyfe!

  3. Delanea says:

    I have been using Bubble & Bee Pit Putty since 2009 exclusively and I went through exactly the same trials as you with rashes, burns, stinky pits, and horrible sweating, prior to trying Pit Putty. I can say that yes, you still sweat in the summer, just the way your body is designed to do, but you don’t stink. I use the Pit Putty creams now (I LOVE the orange vanilla, but obviously everyone’s body chemistry is different. I use the geranium lime and the lavender creams as well). I carry an extra jar of the pit putty cream to work with me in case I need to reapply (I work near 2300 degree furnaces, so it happens). But I won’t try anything else because I don’t have stink issues anymore, no shirt stains, no rashes, soft, healthy skin, and of course Stephanie is awesome and so knowledgeable about her products as well as others! I love that Bubble and Bee offers a replacement guarantee – if the first Pit Putty you try doesn’t work, they will help you find one that will work with your body chemistry after the initial detox period. You really can’t go wrong! I am a customer for life.

    • katie ett says:

      I’m so interested in your exciting life involving 2300-degree furnaces and sweating but not stinking. I love the idea of the creamy ‘Pit Putty but am concerned that I’d have problems with the baking soda in it. Maybe I’ll have to try the trial size when I put in my next order and see how I fare with it. Thanks for your comment! It’s so great to know that so many other people are devoted to this stuff.

  4. Jessica R says:

    Ok, that’s two great reviews for the stuff. Guess I’ll give it a try!

    • katie ett says:

      Do it! Even if you don’t care about the cancer aspect, it’s amazing having powdery armpits without any gunk.