Margeaux Baulch Klein
August 03, 2017 8:24 am
Volkova Vera/Shutterstock

In case you haven’t been keeping up with mega beauty trends, here’s an update: Using natural beauty products is no longer a niche phenomenon limited to hippies and the celebrity set. However, while it’s fairly easy for the average lady to trade in chemical-laden body wash and makeup for Dr. Bronner’s delightful, organic peppermint Castile soap and cult fave RMS’ Living Luminizer, finding a natural deodorant that works is an entirely different animal. It seems like a great organic deodorant is the unicorn of the beauty world. Everyone has read a glowing review of one in a magazine or blog, but few have experienced a stink-proof, aluminum-free deodorant for herself.

We’re here to tell you that it’s OK to give up on organic deodorant and switch back to Suave or Secret or whatever you were using before the natural deodorant industry became a thing. There are just way too many obvious downsides to natural deodorants to keep throwing money at them (and still end up reeking of eau de body odor).

1For starters, there is NO link between aluminum deodorant and diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s.

Despite a rumor that led to people freaking out about aluminum and its potential link to cancer and Alzheimer’s, there is no scientific evidence that links the use of antiperspirants or deodorants with either of these illnesses, reports the National Cancer Institute.

You know what does have a documented association with cancerous tumors? The radiation emitted from cell phones. And yet, cell phones are everywhere. So, if you’re using organic deodorant but still holding up an iPhone to your ear to talk, you might want to rethink your priorities. (And also get a set of earbuds, stat.)

2Let’s face it — chemicals are all around us.

Quick quiz: In addition to giving up regular deodorant, have you also quit using household cleaning products? Designer lipstick? Perfume? Laser printers? Non-stick cookware? Flavored coffee? Delicious, neon yellow mac and cheese?

It’s hypocritical to be so hyped up about using natural deodorant but still slather yourself in chemicals in other ways. So, until you’re ready to give up dyeing your hair and embrace all your gray strands (because most hair dye is rife with chemicals), there’s no reason to switch to natural deodorant just yet.

3Natural deodorant is expensive.

A stick of your average deodorant is typically in the $2-4 range and can be found on Amazon or at your local drug store. Meanwhile, popular natural brands like Dr. Hauschka ($23), Lavanila ($18) and Birchbox’s Arrow Protect ($9) can only be bought online or at specialty retailers. That can be a total bummer when you’re running late and forced to dig out the remaining traces from your empty stick of deodorant with your fingers and then attempt to smear them on your armpits.

Sure, spending a bit more on deodorant doesn’t seem like a big deal in the short-run, but considering that it’s a product you use on a daily basis, that extra money adds up. Personally, we’d rather spend our money on an after-work cocktail or a cute bracelet from BaubleBar, and not on a product like deodorant that no one should notice us wearing.

4Even the best natural deodorant has to be constantly reapplied.

Any inexpensive stick of aluminum deodorant basically guarantees that you can apply it in the morning and not have to think about using it again until your next shower. With natural versions, you are doomed to carrying around your deodorant with you, reapplying it often throughout the day, or else risk coming home in the evening with a not-so-fresh feeling.

Even eco-hero and Honest Company CEO Jessica Alba admits to layering chemical deodorant over a natural one in order to avoid pit-stains and a ripe scent during high-stress situations. It seems that even green beauty fans will admit that so-called “non-toxic” deodorants just don’t last very long. That is, if they work at all.

5Magazines are constantly writing up lists of “natural deodorants that actually work!” and that’s lame.

Unfortunately, no matter how green you aspire your lifestyle to be, natural deodorants just don’t work for some people. (Blame it on your unique body chemistry, if this is the case for you.) However, magazines and beauty blogs would have you believe that you just haven’t found the right chemical-free deodorant yet. This thinking can easily lead someone to spend hundreds of dollars on deodorant, only for none of them to work (or, worse, leave you feeling paranoid during a hot yoga class that the funky odor wafting through the room is emanating from you).

Meanwhile, it’s rare to read articles about “6 curling irons that actually curl” or “12 moisturizers that actually hydrate” because our expectations for other beauty products are that, at bare minimum, they will do what their labels claim they will do. For deodorant, that means de-stinking a person. However, if you read reviews for any natural deodorant, you’ll see many complaints that they don’t work for a good chunk of people who try them.

Until they do and can rival their aluminum-based cousins with their ability to ward off gross odors, we are going to stick with smelling like “powder fresh” or “invisible solid” (or even mimosa and sangria) and not like herbal-scented BO.

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