Toxic chemicals in your deodorant? Choose these instead!

July 2016 Update –

Be sure to visit: Toxic chemicals in your deodorant? Even more healthy options!

I wanted to give an informative article on how to reduce, or simplify, the number of ingredients of the product that most of us use every single day–deodorant.  As with food, the less ingredients/additives/chemicals, the better.

Most of us (in the USA) use deodorant.  Most of us have switched brands due to irritated skin, new desired scents, brands that suck, etc…  I recently switched because I wanted to ditch the deodorant that contains all of the chemicals that may cause health problems down the road (like cancer).  Who wants to put a bunch of toxic chemicals, like PPG-14 butyl ether, right next to a ton of their lymph nodes?  NOT ME.

Here are some of the best natural and effective deodorant alternatives.

Crystal Body Deodorant Rock

I made the move to a very unconventional salt crystal deodorant, called “Crystal Body Deodorant Rock”.  It is a large crystal stone that is made out of natural mineral salts.  Crystal DeodorantThe salts keep the bacteria in your armpits from releasing the smell we all want to avoid. These salts even keep me from smelling which is a tough task–even after a day of work in the yard or other strenuous activity, I am odor free. I have gone over 24 hours without re-application and had no trace of smelling like a caveman.

The Crystal deodorant is hypoallergenic, doesn’t make your skin angry, vegan and is even recommended by many cancer treatment centers.  It does not have parabens, propylene glycol, chemicals, aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium.  It does not have any fragrance and if you use it–you won’t have any “fragrance” either. The only ingredient is ammonium alum.

Doesn’t ammonium alum contain Aluminum?  Isn’t aluminum bad?  Should I be concerned about the safety of Ammonium Alum or other Aluminum products in deodorant?  Yes and no.  Gasoline, Sugar, Water and Hydrochloric acid all contain Hydrogen and/or Oxygen–some will kill us and some are necessary for life.  There are two main differences between Ammonium Alum and Aluminium Chloride/Chlorohydrate/Zirconium (the toxic aluminums). These latter toxic aluminum compounds react with the chemistry in the skin to form a gel which blocks your sweat ducts and glands and keeps you nice and dry. Instead of forming a pore-blocking gel, Ammonium Alum stays on the surface of the skin where it prevents the bacteria (responsible for causing B.O.) from multiplying.  You will still perspire, which is healthy–but you won’t smell.

Applying it is rather easy.  Wash your underarms first–it will not help you if you already stink.  Wet the deodorant crystal with water and slather it on your pits–and do it twice.  I have found two applications (one after the other) works incredibly well. It does not leave a residue like normal deodorant and it really feels like you haven’t applied anything once it dries on your skin.

Crystal Deodorant Stone

Aside from being a much purer product for your pits, a big benefit is that it is cheap and lasts seemingly forever. I was spending about $120/year on “clinical strength” deodorant products.  I bought my stone for $7.50 and have used it for 3 months so far.  I have a friend who has used his for almost 2 years now. If I only get 1 year out of this stone, it will have been a 94% savings for me–and it won’t be poisoning my body.

I hope you will give it a dry and enjoy a deodorant that has only 1 ingredient instead of the usual (Dove Original Ingredients) Cyclomethicone, Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY, Stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, Hydrogenated castor oil, Dimethicone, Polyethylene glycol, Steareth 100, BHT, Citric acid, Alpha isomethyl ionone, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl salicylate, Butylphenyl methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

Primal Pit Paste

Primal Pit PasteThe crystal may not be for everyone, so I am going to give you another alternative I have read about. It is called Primal Pit Paste. At $13.70 (item+shipping) for a 4oz stick, it is much more expensive–and is not sold in many stores. Despite the price, it is also very pure and natural–which can often make up for the problems caused by the more toxic alternatives.

Primal Pit Paste developed their deodorant without aluminum or parabens.  Ingredients in Primal Pit Paste consist of:

  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic raw shea butter
  • Non-aluminum baking soda
  • Organic arrowroot powder
  • Organic essential oils

No toxic chemicals at all, except for baking soda, which is a salt-derived product and generally regarded as safe.

Green Tidings All Natural Vegetarian Deodorant

Green Tidings Deodorant StickGreen Tidings is another alternative to chemical deodorants.  It is priced similarly to Primal Pit Paste, but the size is 50% smaller.  For a 2oz stick, you are looking at $11.99, plus shipping.  They do offer discounts for more than one stick.  You can purchase it here: Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant

Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant (Vegan, Unscented) ingredients:

Organic Virgin, Unrefined Coconut Oil: Anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Contains essential fatty acids and antioxidants, and is very moisturizing.

Organic Shea Butter (Unrefined, Fair Trade): Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Contains vitamins A, E, and F, proteins, fatty acids, and healing minerals, and can help with dry skin without clogging pores.

Magnesium Oil: Anti-odorant. Magnesium is also an extremely important mineral for health. Our absorbable magnesium oil contains only raw, ultra-pure magnesium chloride and other trace minerals drawn from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Northern Europe.

Organic Arrowroot Powder (maranta arundinacea): Deodorizing, healing, and antibacterial, and good for use on dry, irritated, or sensitive skin. Also absorbs moisture and softens the skin.

Baking Soda: Absorbs perspiration, anti-deodorant.

Wildcrafted Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia Cerifera): Natural thickener and moisturizer. The plant has been hand-gathered from the wild, Candelilla Wax, and is not available in a certified organic form. It has been grown in the wild without pesticides, but not under organic certification guidelines. Candelilla wax is a vegan alternative to beeswax, and is used in Green Tidings All Natural Vegetarian Deodorant.

LAVANILA – The Healthy Deodorant

LaVanilla Natural Deodorant

Thank you everyone for the product suggestions.  I just received this suggestion about a all-natural product called La Vanila (commonly sold at Sephora).

What it is:
A clinical-strength deodorant that is 100 percent natural, safe, and effective.

What it is formulated to do:
LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant uses beta-glucan technology to effectively fight odor while soothing, conditioning, and strengthening the skin. It goes on clean, with no sticky wetness, and delivers long-lasting, luxurious results.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petro-Chemicals
– Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This dermatologist-recommended, non-irritating, allergy-tested formula does not contain aluminum or mineral oils.

The ingredients of the Vanilla Grapefruit include:

  • Beta-Glucan technology: Promotes healthy skin and fights odor with a complex of powerful antioxidants, anti-bacterial agents, and polysaccharides.
  • Goji Berry: Provides powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, 21 essential minerals, and 18 amino acids.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle: Acts as a natural preservative and an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Lichen Lemon and Tea Tree Oils: Prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Provide safe, long-lasting protection sans harsh chemicals or alcohol.
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Juice, Water)
  • Propanediol (Corn Derived)
  • Zea Mays (Corn) Starch
  • Sodium Stearate (Coconut Derived)
  • Silica
  • Carrageenan (Seaweed Derived)*
  • Stearyl Behenate (Coconut Derived)
  • Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil)
  • Inulin (Artichoke Derived)
  • Saccharomyces Ferment
  • Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Sugar Derived)
  • Yeast Beta Glucan
  • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract
  • Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract
  • Valeriana Officinalis Root Extract (Valerian)
  • Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract
  • Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry)
  • Botanical Fragrance Blend

*Carrageenan has had some controversial claims about the safety of it in the food supply.  Please do your research and choose accordingly.  The LaVanila product is entirely natural and a much better alternative to mainstream deodorant products.

Be sure to visit: Part 2 – Natural and Effective Deodorant Alternatives

July 2016 Update –

14 thoughts on “Toxic chemicals in your deodorant? Choose these instead!

  • Pingback: Simplifying Deodorant & Natural Alternatives – Update | Matthew S. Gustke

  • Marie

    Very interesting! Thanks! 😀

  • Mistress Susan

    I love Truly’s. I wore it for 3 days with no odor.

    • Matt I Am

      Thank you Susan! I will add it to my next post.


  • Angie

    Thank you for this! I tried them all, and Green Tidings- BY FAR- is my favorite! It actually worked longer than 24 hours for me. I can’t believe it. I’ve tried so many natural deodorants that didn’t work. I did notice that your review for Primal Pit Paste said 4 ounces, but they only have a 2 ounce stick- the same size as Green Tidings. So it’s not double the price! Thanks again for the suggestion- my long, long search is finally over! 🙂

  • Rosaline

    Now Lavilin deodorant cream has been around for decades and works for 7 days. You will still perspire but you will not have body odor. They make foot cream as well. Thank you so much for a great column that set me on a path to keep looking when I was ready to give up on natural deodorant.

  • Max

    Matt can you do a review of Ozone Layer deodorant? I’d love an objective opinion. My sister is crazy for it and she’s tried pretty much everything.

  • Adam

    looks like’s site and BS…the crystal rock deodorant has ammonium alum which after multiple uses is toxic to humans. Ya know the Gov’t says that fluoride in small doses is ok to drink and in some cities the chlorine levels in the water smells like it came straight from the bottle…Safe?
    Maybe ammonium alum is safer than aluminum but I’m sure they paid some cancer center monies for research so they’d sponsor their deodorant
    NO Thanks!

    • Matt I Am

      Thank you for the comment. I agree that anything in the wrong amount is not safe. I have removed the ammonium alum safety information from the blog post so that nobody is mislead by the information that I had provided (from another source).


  • Asa

    Hey Matt,
    I’ve used the crystal for years, but recently read on, that it may be as culpable in Alzheimer’s. Yet your post is suggesting that it’s safe & too large to enter the bloodstream through the skin, etc. Can you please share your source?

    • Matt I Am

      Thank you for the correction. I have removed this from the blog post so that nobody is mislead by the information that I had provided (from another source).


  • James

    I used Crystal Deodorant by Henri Bernard, however food for thought, seems no one is talking or taking into consideration the amount of salt being absorbed into the body.
    Even though there are minerals, salt is salt.


  • Gasper

    Lets learn some chemistry!

    You write:
    “They also have a small molecular mass (typically 250-350 Daltons) meaning that they can readily cross right through the skin/blood barrier and enter your body (not good). Ammonium Alum (in the crystal deodorant) has a much larger molecule (around 650 Daltons) which is too large to be absorbed through the skin (less than 500 Daltons can be absorbed)”

    So lets taka a look. Ammonium alum is short for Ammonium aluminum (bis) sulfate (NH4)Al(SO4)2
    and this by it self has a mass 237.15 g/mol (237Da – Daltons)
    if we take the salt in the crystalohydrate form, that is with 12 H20 bound to it we get
    453.33 g/mol (453.33 Daltons).

    • Matt I Am

      Thank you for the factual correction. I have removed this from the blog post so that nobody is mislead by the information that I had provided (from another source).



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