Why You Should Throw Your Deodorant Away + The Best Organic Choice


“Hey, can you find me a deodorant that actually works?”

Rewind to a week earlier, when I realized we’d been putting oh, you know, ALUMINUM, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, TERACHLOROHYDREX GLY, PPG-14 BUTYL ETHER (???), and other mysterious ingredients on our armpits (can we say, TRASH CAN?).

Note the warnings: “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Lovely.

Source: drugs.com

Source: drugs.com

Yes, we had been slathering chemicals right near our Axillary lymph nodes. For 1.5 decades.


Okay, so why is this bad?

Lymph nodes play a huge role in filtering out and trapping bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and toxins; draining them away, and making sure they are eliminated from the body (Breastcancer.org, 2013).

Did I mention that the skin absorbs 60-80% of what goes on the surface? No doubt, putting these toxic chemicals so close to this intricate cleansing system exposes us to absorbing some nasty, manmade toxins.

And toxins in deodorants and personal care products can wreak havoc on the body’s systems, like these common ones (amongst dozens of others):

  • Aluminum Zirconium: A heavy metal that stops the skin from sweating because it causes the skin cells to swell and sweat glands to close.  Accumulation in tissues and organs results in dysfunction and toxicity, including a tie to Alzheimer’s Disease and neurotoxicity (Jansson, 2001).
  • Phthalates: Chemicals that help with fragrance and color. Several epidemiological studies suggest that fetal and childhood exposure to some pthalates may perturb normal development and increase risk of allergenic disease (Braun, Sathyanarayana & Hauser, 2013).
  • Parabens: Common preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. These are estrogenic molecules that may exert endocrine-disrupting behavior (Karpuzoglu, Holladay & Glogal, 2013).

Also, although some studies say there is no correlation between deodorant use and breast cancer, one study that surveyed 437 women found:

“Frequency and earlier onset of antiperspirant/deodorant usage with underarm shaving were associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis (McGrath, 2003).”

The bottom line: It is not exactly in our best interest to rub manmade chemicals on our armpits. (Or body).

What’s a person to do, then, to avoid underarm perspiration and/or body odor, especially as a professional athlete doing two-a-days?

Now, you understand why my dear, patient husband, who has gone along with so many of my natural health transitions and experiments, was upset when I replaced our toxic deodorant with a natural brand. That didn’t work.

This kind, to be exact.

Source: veganstore.com

Source: veganstore.com

Hmm… There was always the option to make our own deodorant, but I just couldn’t picture it: Kyle in the locker room, putting on some homemade concoction from a mason jar in front of his teammates. Not happening.

Enter my top result of my Google search: Primal Pit Paste. A truly organic, all-natural deodorant with just 5 ingredients I could actually pronounce.


I was intrigued, so I reached out to the company for some samples… hoping for his sake and mine that we had found our natural answer to clean, fresh pits.

A week or so later, our box arrived. It felt like Christmas in July. :)


I unwrapped the packages as my curious husband peeked on, and found “Original” (unscented) and “Lavender,” both labeled “STRONG.”



Kyle wore it for the first time to a scrimmage that night, and has continued to test Primal Pit Paste for the past four weeks (as have I).


The feedback?

We love it.

We wore it through our 20-hour trek across the ocean and found our pits to be surprisingly fresh and dry. Kyle’s put it to the test during his current pre-season of two, 2.5-hour practices each day, and says it’s kept him dry and body odor-free.

The only two complaints:

  • We’re not a fan that it comes with a wooden applicator (see photo above). We ended up throwing ours away and just use our index finger to apply. However, I noticed that the company does have sticks available, which we would prefer. 
  • Kyle prefers something that has a scent to it. He’s fine with the lavender scent, or other scents that they have.

We give Primal Pit Paste four thumbs up, and hope this brand dominates the toxic brands in conventional stores!

P.S. They have an awesome stick version here!


Helpful Tip: To check for chemicals in your personal care products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database here.



Braun, J.M., Sathyanarayana, S., and Hauser, R. (2013). Pthalate exposure and children’s health. Curr Opin Pedatr. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23429708.

Breastcancer.org. (2013). What are “Lymph” and “Lymph Nodes?”. http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/lymph_node_removal/lymph_nodes.

Jansson, Erik T. (2001). Aluminum Exposure and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. http://iospress.metapress.com/content/wb0qym7m9212er2t/?id=wb0qym7m9212er2t.

Karpuzoglu, E., Holladay, S.D., and Gogal, R.M. (2013). Parabens: Potential impact of Low-Affinity Estrogen receptor Binding chemicals on Human health. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909435.

McGrath, K. G. (2003). An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Volume 12 – Issue 6 – p.p. 479-485. http://journals.lww.com/eurjcancerprev/Abstract/2003/12000/An_earlier_age_of_breast_cancer_diagnosis_related.6.aspx.


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24 responses on “Why You Should Throw Your Deodorant Away + The Best Organic Choice

  1. Save the little jar and go to wellnessmama.com for the recipe using the same ingredients and you’ll save a bunch of money! You are so right, it does work really well, probably better than store-bought deodorant. Plus you can make it any scent you like for a fraction of the cost.

  2. Yes! I learned about this actually from my anatomy professor a few years ago…his recommendation, like yours, is to avoid deodorant with the alum.z and mentioned the link to breast cancer. Scary stuff. Tell kyle thanks for playing along…it will help me to convince my hubby to switch. So what makes the primal pit paste affective?

    • Haha he’s a great sport, isn’t he? 😉 It uses all natural ingredients, and exactly what Judi says; coconut oil and the essential oils are powerful antimicrobial agents, and the baking soda/arrowroot powder help stop odor from smelling!

  3. The coconut oil itself has antibacterial properties, the baking soda and arrowroot are absorbent and stop odor from forming, and essential oils also deal with bacteria and smell yummy. I like to add lavender and vanilla extract for the scent.

  4. So, after a few weeks – how far into the jar are you? It looks good but a bit pricey. But, if a jar lasts a while I’d be willing to try it.

    • Great question! I just peeked at my hubby’s, who uses his 2x a day for practice, and he’s about halfway through in two months. A little goes a long way, really! I’m thinking my jar might last me 4-6 months!

  5. Do you find that the oil in this ever stains your clothing? or do you just make sure you let it dry before you dress?

    I’ve only ever used a crystal roll-on deodorant (I’ve used several different brands) but lately it’s been failing me and I’ve had a lot more issues with body odors. I think I will try this stuff and see how it works!

    • I typically apply after I’m dressed, but nonetheless, it is pretty solid when applying. I usually use just a tad and smear it on my underarms, and it doesn’t drip or anything, or even come close to my clothing.

  6. Some people experience skin irritation from the baking soda because it is very alkaline. To get around this you can balance your PH using water and apple cider vinegar. The recipe for this can be found at http://www.crunchybetty.com. I don’t seem to have a problem with it so far, but it’s nice to know there’s a fix for that – I’d hate to give it up!

  7. Great article! Two years ago I quit using commercial deoderant and went to straight Nutiva coconut oil, which I had in the pantry. It worked great the first winter and I was curious to see if it would hold up in 90° summer heat. It did, although I sometimes renewed it mid-afternoon if I was working outside. I noticed no staining on my clothes. I just use a dab and apply with fingers.

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