Natural Deodorant 101

How to prevent natural deodorant rash and other problems and pitfalls that often accompany the use of natural and non-toxic deodorant. This post is a must when making the switch to natural deodorant! | Primally Pure

When I first learned about the yucky and potentially dangerous ingredients found in conventional deodorant (aluminum, parabens and phthalates – oh my!), I knew I couldn’t continue to use it.

The first place I turned was grocery store brands. I tried many of them with little to no success. As much as I wanted them to work, they just didn’t do the trick (far from it – none of them gave me lasting odor protection and I even developed a natural deodorant rash from a few of them). In the midst of my search for the perfect natural deodorant, I read something about the powerful odor-busting effects of coconut oil + baking soda.

I filled up two tiny little honey jars (you know – the free ones they have at restaurants and hotels) with baking soda and coconut oil. For the next few months, I would dab my finger in the coconut oil jar and smear it on my pits followed by the baking soda. It worked great! When I urged my husband to adopt my new method of odor control, he was not about to give up the convenience of a stick for dabbing and smearing his pits with 2 separate substances.

I couldn’t exactly blame him. It wasn’t the most convenient process and despite my success with it, even I had to admit that it was kind of annoying. So with no background in chemistry or cooking/baking, I decided to try my luck at formulating a natural deodorant stick.

It took me over a year of research, experimentation and testing on friends and family members before I finally came up with a stick that both my husband and I LOVED. And it wasn’t just us who loved it – my testers did too! After a ton of encouragement from friends and family, I started selling it on our family farm’s website along with a few other natural skincare products I had been working on, and BAM! Primally Pure was born.

Despite how much success most people have had with Primally Pure deodorant, there are still some pitfalls (ha ha) that can occur when using it. The good news is, most of them can be fixed quite easily! The purpose of this post is to help guide you through potential problems and solutions with natural deodorant.

Natural Deodorant Problems + Solutions

    • Pitfall #1: I’m sweating too much! Sweat is a HEALTHY and NORMAL part of being human! And since this product doesn’t contain any of the toxic chemicals found in conventional deodorants, it won’t interfere with your body’s natural and necessary detoxification process (also known as sweating).

      After making the switch from a chemical-laden deodorant or antiperspirant, you may be extra sweaty as your body rids itself of toxins. This should normalize soon enough. And once it does, you may find that you sweat even LESS than you did before!

    • Pitfall #2: I stink! Our deodorant formula protects against odor pretty darn well. But just like the sweat issue above, you may find yourself extra smelly during the first few weeks of use.

      The good news!? This WILL get better. Much better. And if it doesn’t, it may be time to consider making some dietary changes and eliminate processed food. Regular exercise can also help the body to detox and minimize BO!

    • Pitfall #3: My armpits are red, bumpy and irritated! Some individuals experience irritation from the baking soda in our deodorant. The good news is, this can be worked through in most cases. Your pits may just need some time to adjust to the rough or alkaline nature of baking soda. If irritation persists or becomes painful, please discontinue use of our deodorant and consider switching to our Everything Spray (an effective underarm refresher that doesn’t contain any baking soda). Another few simple solutions that may help are as follows:
      1) let the deodorant warm up to your skin before applying to reduce friction, 2) never apply more than 2 swipes per pit at a time (a little goes a long way), 3) try dabbing it on instead of swiping, 4) shave at night + apply deodorant in the morning (and never use a dull blade),5) keep your tender underarm skin well-moisturized (preferably with our body butter), 6) give your pits a day to rest + heal in-between uses if signs of irritation appear, 7) apply apple cider vinegar to balance the pH of your pits.


  • Pitfall #4: My armpits are getting dark! Underarm darkening is another potential side effect of using a deodorant that contains baking soda. We only hear about this on occasion and it usually occurs in individuals who have darker skin tones to begin with. This issue is completely painless and reversible, but can also be very annoying for those who experience it.

    If you fall into this category, try sprinkling a lemon wedge with sugar and gently rubbing it onto the affected area a few minutes prior to bathing/showering. The exfoliation combined with the brightening properties of lemon may help to normalize any pigmentation issues and allow for continued use of our deodorant. And if that doesn’t work, fear not! Your pits will return back to their normal color after you stop using the deodorant.

  • Pitfall #5: My clothes are getting stained! Staining is a rare and unfortunate result of using a deodorant made with natural oils. In almost all cases of staining, the user is applying too much deodorant. Primally Pure deodorant is very concentrated, made with only a few pure ingredients and no cheap fillers. Two light swipes per pit should be plenty to keep most individuals fresh all day, which usually isn’t enough to cause any staining issues. Letting your pits air out after applying deodorant and before getting dressed can also help!

    However, some fabrics are particularly vulnerable to oil stains even when a very small amount of deodorant is being used. Tops that cling tightly to the underarm area are also susceptible to stains. In most cases, these stains easily come out in the washing machine using just about any type of detergent – but a more heavy duty stain remover may be necessary for tougher stains. Please keep this in mind when wearing our deodorant with any tops that you couldn’t imagine parting with. The chances of them being ruined are VERY rare, but the possibility is still worth mentioning.

We hope this helps! Please feel free to share any feedback and fill us in on any additional tips + tricks in the comment section below.

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Bethany McDaniel

Bethany is the Founder of Primally Pure and lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. Having used all sorts of harsh prescription creams to treat her acne as a teenager and young adult (and dealing with red, raw, irritated skin as a result), Bethany was blown away by the effects she eventually experienced after ditching the harsh chemicals and replacing them with natural ingredients. Bethany’s journey inspired her to start Primally Pure (with an initial $250 order for ingredients + supplies) to help others experience the benefits of using clean products. In addition to leading the PP Team and envisioning new product ideas, Bethany is passionate about all things clean living, biohacking and personal growth - as well as taking regular tropical vacations with her family to reset + refresh.