I had resolved awhile ago to start up on the natural deodorant (and felt subsequently quite guilty when pregnant and nursing and still hadn't made a switch and came upon some horrid parenting web site that took it as a given that no mother would subject her baby to the horrors of second-hand antiperspirants! Whoops.).
Well, after a few fits and starts, I think I'm firmly in the natural deodorant camp now. Of course, with so many more options available now, and everyone's body chemistry apparently adjusting to natural deodorants differently, I had to test out a few before finding one that would stick.
Dead Last: Tom's of Maine. Tom's has a monopoly on my dental hygiene routine, but when it comes to natural deodorant, it's the pits (haha) (sorry). I noticed no appreciable deodorizing effect, and even worse, it made my armpits crazy itchy all day long. No thanks!
Fine for a Cool Day: Piper Wai. As featured on Shark Tank apparently? and made with activated charcoal (side note: when did activated charcoal become the new coconut oil? It's even in toothpaste!). This was . . . fine. As long as it wasn't too hot and I wasn't too busy. I do like the texture - it's a little crumbly (as opposed to the wetter texture of Soapwalla) and rubs in fine and doesn't seem to leave residue behind on my hands or anything like that. But I wore it on a warmer day and by mid-afternoon was pretty stinky, so I guess I'm saving this one for lazy winter days.
Honorable Mention: Soapwalla. I know this one gets all the raves, but a) it costs all the money (it's the most expensive on the list, and also the teeniest tub. No one needs to be going broke over deodorant) and b) I'm not crazy about the application. The smell is a kind of pleasing tea tree oil scent, which is fine. The texture is kind of like a wet, very mild, body scrub, which means there was plenty left on my hands afterwards. I'll also add the caveat - it's possible there was some user error here, since the instructions (which I read post-first application, because it's deodorant - does it really require instructions? Apparently, yes) direct you to stir the little pot thoroughly with a finger first. Which, uh, no, I'm not going to do every single morning. However, at the end of a fairly hot day, I don't think I stunk? So, points there.
And the Winner: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant in Rose + Vanilla. It has a very strong fragrance of grandma soap plus cupcake, but it fades pleasantly after a little bit, and it managed to withstand toting two small ones around by myself in 90+ degree heat and maximum sticky humidity. At the end of the day, I still smelled mildly like a soapy cupcake. Even post-workout (not that my workouts are totally vigorous these days, but I did work up a healthy sweat), I was no more gross than I had been when I used my trusty old conventional antiperspirant. Plus, the convenience of a stick applicator when you're trying to get ready with a baby on the verge of a meltdown (or already in the middle of one) cannot be overstated. (NB: I also tried the Bergamot + Lime version, which made me smell like an aggressive Mountain Dew and I liked it less.). It's also priced similarly to many conventional deodorant/antiperspirants, so I think I'll be sticking to it.
Readers, what about you? Any wining natural deodorants out there that I missed? Let me know in the comments!