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I seem to have developed an allergy to a few different
deodorants/antiperspirants. I get really itchy, red rashes on my
underarms. The latest I can't tolerate is Tom's all natural
unscented. I've also tried the ''naturally fresh deodorant
crystal'' and Secret, as well as a JASON product. I'm just kind of
lost as to what to do next. I know some will say I should just go
without deodorant, at least until my rash clears up, but then
I'll STINK -- I've tried it. I should say that I'm 11 mos
postpartum and this started a few months ago, so my guess is that
it's something hormonal.
Has anyone else dealt with this, and did you finally find
something that worked? What about herbs or something else I could
take to counteract the hormonal issues? Acupuncture? I'm open to
don't want to stink
I had the exact same problem -red, itchy underarms that I hever had
experienced before. I tried a bunch of different ''natural deodorants''
and the only one that hasn't given me an adverse reaction is the one of
those solid deodorant stones. It looks like a big chunk of salt. I got
it at Trader Joes.
My mom refused to buy me deoderant when I was in hs because she said
deoderant was bad (it would make me smell worse when I didn't use it)
and left stains on shirts (ewww). Her remedy was a paste made from
baking soda (Arm and Hammer) and lemon juice. It actually worked. It was
a little embarrassing but later that year I was participating in the
senior fashion show and the cool Mexican girls that were in the show
were applying this same mixture. I have not doubted my mom on
homeopathic remedies ever again.
Just pour a little bit of baking soda on the palm of your hand and
squeeze a little bit of lemon juice, mix it together into a light paste,
smear it under your arm and you should be good to go.
I would personally recommend that you wait till your rash clears up. You
might be a little stinky for a little while, but if you give it enough
time, you won't be so stinky anymore.
One that has worked for both my dad and husband is Almay
(hypoallergenic, fragerence free, clear gel). Places we've found that
carry it are Longs Drug Store and Walmart.
In my attempt to find natural deodorants, I had the most success (ie I
didn't smell) with deodorants from Lush located on Powell Street in San
Francisco. Check out www.lush.com. I love all their products. Good
Hi. I had a similar problem with deodorant, but then I found LUSH, they
make everything from lotions, to shampoos, conditioners etc, all
amazing. The deodorants are great, they have a web site where you can
order but I would recommend visiting their store in SF on Powell. Stay
away from the Krystals (powder based) go for the aromarant or aromaco,
they look like blocks of soap. And for irritated skin they also have a
facial soap called Fresh Pharmacy with calamine in it that works
I get a rash when I use deodorant and always have. Here is what I do
and it works for me--I just wash with soap every day and then sniff
afterwards. If I smell anything I splash a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol
under each arm. It is usually about a week or two until I smell
anything offensive again and need to repeat. For super important things
(e.g presentation in front of an audience, job interview) I use anti-
perspirant just on that one day.
Try corn starch. It'll keep you dry. Or you can mix corn starch with
There is a brand of baby powder at the health food stores (cylinder
shape pink/blue container) that has both ingredients.
Also there is a JOhnson and Johnson Baby Powder that has CS and BS. NO
I use this all the time as i''ve always hated the stickey feeling of
deodorants. I've never had a problem with odor. Try it.
It may be that you are allergic to the antiperspirant part and not the
deoderant per se. You might try old spice deoderant WITHOUT
antiperspirant and see if it makes a difference.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. You'll need to pour it through some sort of
sieve or tight strainer (because this vinegar has all- natural chunks)
and into a spray bottle.
Works very well as a deodorant though it takes many minutes to dry and
the vinegar smell to dissipate. Spare yourself and don't use it
immediately after shaving - ouch!
Try a mix of baking soda and corn starch and apply it with a poofy thing
of some sort.
I found I became allergic to deoderants early this year. The likely
stimulus was using scented laundry detergent when I had been using
''Free and Clear'' kind of detergent before. That said, deoderants were
causing a rash which didn't just disappear with the change of detergent.
I have found that almost all the time I can use Crystal Stick Body
Deoderant which is natural mineral salts and has been available in the
past at Trader Joes and at health food stores. The stick itself lasts a
long time (at least a year).
Additionally, the first thing if you haven't already done so is to get
the rash to clear up. It took a prescription for Clotrimazole and
Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream 1%/.05% for my rash to go away. I also
changed bath soap to unscented Dove and tend to only wear cotton or
cotton blend shirts. I have had a couple minor re- occurrences but
overall seem to be okay.
Hi, I get a rash from Tom's too, and so does a friend of mine, but I
have not had a problem with Avalon Lavender roll-on deodorant or alba
botanica clear enzyme deodorant stick. My son uses straight Tea Tree
oil, or garlic oil mixed with tea tree. After appying the garlic
mixture, he smells like garlic bread (not like the breath of someone who
garlic) but the smell wears off after about an hour. The recipe for
garlic oil is: about 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, crush 3 or 4 cloves of
garlic into it, add 1 rounded tsp. mullein (an herb available in bulk at
Whole Foods - optional) let soak 12 to 24 hrs, then strain. You may be
right about it being hormonally related, or maybe even systemic yeast;
changing hormones can make that flare up, and it can cause a terrible
I had the same problem, probably also related to hormones. In my case,
it started during pregnancy, but has not gone away even 12 months
postpartum (I am still nursing). Tom's and Jason products made me itch
*violently*. It was embarrassing.
The product I found that worked is called __Queen Helene Tea Tree Oil
They have it at Elephant (Cedar x Shattuck).
no more itchy pits
does it make you feel ANY better that you're not the only one?
it's soooooo frustrating!!! my kiddo is over 2 and the ''allergy'' is
still with me, unfortunately. i found that Almay Hypo-Allergenic
antiperspirant/deodorant (clear gel) is
the only thing i won't break out to. at first i used the
natural ''crystal'' roll-on, right out of the shower, let that layer
dry, then applied the almay over that. i've since cut out the
''crystal'' step. the natural stuff isn't anti- perspirant and i
wasn't comfortable using it alone (not effective). And for some reason
I can't find Almay
everywhere. I think Longs and Walgreens regularly carries it,
but Target doesn't (so it isn't too hard to find). And I've found for
me that *only* the clear gel works, roll on and solid are useless.
itchy armpits too!
I am looking for advice about this problem: A few weeks ago a friend told me I
should definitely stop using the deodorant/anti-perspirant I was using (Secret - it
contains Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly.) because it will give me breast
cancer. Granted she is not a doctor, I believe she could be right - so I stopped
using it, and started using a natural ingredient deodorant. This has not worked for
me at all - Even if I carry the natural deodorant in my purse and reapply every few
hours, I end up with pretty bad armpit odor. With the Secret deodorant there was
absolutely no odor problem at all. So what I want to know is - 1. Does anyone else
out there have more info on whether this stuff causes breast cancer? and 2. Does
anyone know of safe alternatives that actually work?
--Don't like to stink
Here is the page about this at snopes.com (urban legend website)
To be blunt, your friend's attitude smacks of ignorant and
fearmongering. Your deodorant won't _give_ you cancer! If you
are concerned about the relative safety of ingredients used in
deodorants, you'd be better off going to a source of reputable
scientific research, such as the Environmental Working Group's
searchable list of cosmetic products:
You'll see that one of the Secret anti-perspirant/deodorants is
actually one of the products out there with the least number of
potentially problematic ingredients.
There's a product called Lavilin has worked well. It's mostly herbs but does have a
base of petrolatum and zinc oxide. You spread a small amount on your armpit and
it kills the odor causing bacteria for a few days to a few weeks. You reapply it again
at night when you notice any odor returning. It can be hard to find but Berkeley
Natural Grocery on Gilman usually has some. It costs about $12 but lasts me 6
months or more. Sorry I don't know about any studies re: aluminum and breast
cancer but I had heard the same thing and figured that Lavilin was so easy that it
wasn't worth the worry.
Alcohol swabs used on the armpit after a shower work very well.
Probably they kill the germs that make the odor. In any case,
the effect lasts throughout the day.
If you are feeling slightly more aggressive about the situation,
I have heard from friends who have had their armpit hair removed
(some procedure involving lasers, I think? Haven't looked into
it, myself) that they no longer need any kind of deodorant once
the hair is gone. The prospect somehow disturbs me, but, hey, it
might work well.
I remember when I first heard that antiperspirant would give me
breast cancer. And that cooking with teflon would give me
cancer. And eating movie popcorn would give me cancer. And
that breathing non-filtered outdoor air would give me cancer
(not really...but who knows?). My point is...sure, there
certainly is a risk that your Secret could kill you. And your
cell phone can give you a brain tumor. And your computer
screen will make you blind. And on and on and on, but what you
have to ask yourself is at what point do you say ''enough!'' I
bet if you eat too many carrots, you'd probably get cancer from
that too. But how many people use antiperspirant and DON'T get
I believe that ALL antiperspirants have aluminum in them, in
fact I think that's the active ingredient. To avoid that you
would need to use a deodorant only...which as you've found
isn't really very effective. Personally, as I get older I find
that I become more and more sensitive to things, my
antiperspirant was one of them. I can now only use Almay
because it's hypo-allergenic. All other
antiperspirants/deodorants make my armpits break out in a
rash. I've been happy with the Almay, but it still contains
Whole Foods has a great selection of deodorants, I've had good
success with one called LIKEN.
I've never used deodorant cause I hate that sticky feeling.
I've always used either natural baby poweder or a mix of corn
starch and baking soda. It's dry and absorbs odors.
I should say too that I don't often shave my armpits (I do in
the summer) but don't have a lot of underarm hair and also don't
sweat profusely under my arms. I've never noticed that I have
underarm odor and no one seems to be offended being around me....
Give powder a try and see if that helps you...good luck.
dry and non-smelly
Go to this link to see what the American Cancer Society has to say about this ''email
There is an awful lot of fear-based misinformation floating around about health and
body issues. I'm not in the least saying that Western Medicine has all the answers- I
rely on help from several alternative therapies as well as Western practitioners. But,
while we are all rightly concerned about the effects of the careless use of chemicals
on ourselves and on our planet, I see what I myself would call hysteria in some
people about any and all chemicals.
I say, never take one person's opinion about this sort of thing (or anything
important), always do your own research! I found the link above by doing a pretty
quick Google search of ''breast cancer'' ''anti-perspirant''.
This is an answer to the second question on the post. I stopped using anti-
perspirants about 5 yrs. ago due to skin reaction I was having. I've tried many
deodorant-only products - Tom's, the rock, Mennen's, Origins, etc. The one
I've been using for the past year has worked the best for me. It's a product by
Clarins called Doux Deodorant in a red bottle that has a pump spray. It is
expensive, around $20, but it lasts a long time and you can get it at the Clarins
counter at Nordstroms.
Also, I found it took my body a while to get used to no anti-perspirant. I felt
sweatier and smellier than ever but after several weeks, it seemed to be less of
an issue. In the meantime, plan on reapplications and changing your shirts if
I am a toxicologist and I use deodorant. That said, I'd really
like to know where your friend got her information that
deodorant causes breast cancer. I'd actually like it if
everybody asked their friends who tell them ''oh, (whatever
common product) causes (some kind of horrible illness) so don't
use it'' before they go and tell a whole bunch of other people
the same story. I mean, really, if you're going to be skeptical
of what a trained scientist has to say about something, you
might as well put your nonspecialist friends and acquaintances
claims under the same kind of scrutiny.
I use mineral salts deordorant, and it has solved my odor
problem. It works by inhibiting bacteria, which is the source of
the odor. And it's completely safe. Good luck.
my husband can't use deodoarant due to some sensitive skin
issues. he is a big hairy man that sweats A LOT- so giving up
deodorant was a biggie! instead, he uses Hibiclens
antibacterial cleanser in the shower- apparently it kills the
bacteria that makes sweat stink in the first place. drs use it
to scrub in. you can find it at Walgreen, Longs, etc. they
ususally only stock small bottles, which is expensive & also
wasteful, but you can ask them to special order a gallon or 1/2
wife of a good smelling non-deodorant user
I am unaware of any link between deodorants/antiperspirants and
breast cancer, however, the phthalates commonly found in these
products are toxic.
Some people have recommended using baking soda. That makes me
smell worse. I use cornstarch. That seems to work just fine if I
shower every day. Some people like Kiss My Face deodorant.
Experiment until you find something that works for you.
OK - so when I was pregnant with my second child I developed a
significan persperation problem. Sorry if this is too much
info but my armpits litterally dripped sweat when I was not
even doing anything more exerting than sitting on the sofa!
Yuck. Now that my little one is almost 1.5 years the problem
has abated some but I still feel my sweat glands are very
overactive. Can anyone recommend a non-prescription strength
heavy duty antipersperant that works? I have tried Secret and
Mitchum but before I go buying more of these things I thought I
would ask you all.
I have had armpit issues as well. Not perspiration so much but
smell. My left armpit only, weird, isn't it? Anyway, I have
gone through so many: Lady Mitchum, Secret, Dove, my
boyfriend's Old Spice Red Zone, etc.
I found one that really works. Almay, hypo-allergenic,
fragrance-free roll-on. I don't know if it is as effective for
excessive perspiration as it is for smell, but it's worth a
shot. Good luck.
Hi. My ex-husband had a big sweating problem (not the reason we
divorced!) and our doctor recommended a product called Dri-Sol
(I hope I've spelled that correctly). It was available at drug
stores but I remember having to ask the pharmacist for it. It
was in a white package with black writing and was a roll-on.
The product really worked for him and for two other women
friends I have recommended it to since. Both said it is
important to follow the directions carefully (especially the one
about not using the product immediately after shaving ones
underarms - OUCH!) Good luck!
Try Arrid antiperspirant crem. It's the only one that really
works for me...
I have found much sucess in staying dry with Avon's 24 hour
duty antipersperant. I got is as a freebie at an Avon event
and I am really impressed by it. I also noticed that it
doesn't make my white shirts yellow in the armpit area like
others had done before. I also suffered from the wet pit look
but not anymore. I beleive this product is only 99 cents from
Avon. If you would like to buy some and don't know an Avon
consultant, email me and I put you into contact with someone
who sells it.
SweatSolutions.org is a great website w/tons of links to products for people w/
overactive sweat glands. The site is run by medical professionals who were
frustrated by the lack of information on hyperhidrosis for themselves and their
patients. A specific product that I've used is called ODABAN. It's not sold in stores
and is made in the U.K. Go to Odaban.com.
I would recommend Dry Idea. While I don't perspire as heavily as
you're speaking of here, Dry Idea has consistently been the ONLY
anti-perspirant that works effectively for me - it keeps my
underarms totally dry.
Happy with my Dry Idea
Hi, try Body Series deoderant. Worked great for me when nothing else
did. I get mine through a friend who sells Artistry products (I don't, so
you can be sure this isn't a sales plug!). If you can't find this product,
contact me and I'll put you in touch with her. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We're looking for recommendations of aluminum-free deodorants
that really work.
We've tried Tom's of Maine, Kiss My Face and the ''crystal'', but
none of them really work for us. I guess we just need something
more potent. Any suggestions?
Speed Stick deodorant by Mennen works fine. No aluminum or any
other obviously antimicrobial chemical. It just works.
I believe that ALL deoderants are aluminum free, it's the anti-PERSPIRANTS that
have the aluminum in them. If none of the ''natural'' deoderants work, you can
still use regular, commercial brands, as long as you make sure they are
That being said, I tried most of the ones you listed and also found them to be
ineffective. Finally, I discovered ''Desert Essence'' Tea Tree oil deoderant, and I
really like it. The only thing I still can't wear is nylon clothing. Even with
Dessert Essence, I start to smell bad when I wear nylon, so I just stay away
from nylon clothes (unless they're sleeveless)
However, I've recommended Desert Essence to other people, who have found it
to be ineffective for them, so you may not have luck with it. In that case, check
out the commercial brands - just read the labels!
Best of luck,
Burt's Bees' is fantastic - as is the Weleda one (they are both pump bottles). I
haven't been able to figure out which one is my favorite because they are both so
great. So we alternate.
no alzheimers for me either
After trying a few I came to like one by Pure & Basic called natural green
tea deodorant, green clay. Works pretty well.
This isn't a recommendation for a specific product. A couple
of months ago someone suggested to me that I use the deodorant
not just right in the armpit, but also all around on the
surrounding skin - the side of the arm and the part of the
breast right below the armpit. Turns out that odor comes from
there too. Ever since it was suggested to me, it has worked
like a charm. I use Toms, and occasionally Desert something
Tea Tree deodorant for a change.
No Longer Stinky
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