Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Overshare... Natural Deodorant Failure

Sniffle Sniffle... yep the cold has taken over, my body's way of saying-STOP. Guess I've been pushing hard again, a lot of yoga, a lot of work, the funeral last week... stress on all sides. So, I punked out of yoga tonight and will opt for martini's with work friends tomorrow instead of an official class. Sometimes yoga asana really isn't what my body and mind need. Ever feel that way? 

On another topic, I thought I'd indulge in another Overshare, this one being an update. I've debated whether I should write about this, as I know some people who read my blog... but finally my sense of honesty, transparency and basically my belief in the importance of the 'Null Hypothesis' won out. This post is for all of you who have wished when you searched the interweb *someone* had written about what did not work...

The Crystal or Rock Deodorant... a (failed) update.

You may remember my overshare about how excited Andrew and I were about the salt rock deodorant stick. I wrote about how awesome it was, how it actually eliminated my sweat stink!! I was an immediate convert.

This lasted about two weeks. And then... they started to itch... and burn. 'Oh, it's nothing, probably just dry skin'. Uh huh. When my beautiful underarms were angry blotches of pink I sucked up my pride and paid a trip to the doctor. 

To my complete and utter humiliation (which I cannot believe I am sharing with the interweb world) she informed me that... it was... gulp.... fungus. Hide my head in embarrassment, crawl under a rock and squint my eyes shut. Cause? Too much sweat. Seriously.

Sadly, icky, chemical filled cream was prescribed and within a few weeks it was all cleared up. The damage was done though, I had switched back to aluminum, pore blocking deodorant. 'At least Andrew is still a Salt Rock Believer' I thought.

Until... his armpits turned red and stinky and blotchy. Great. 

Now we are both back on the anti-persperant. Honestly, I'm nervous to give it another go. However, it will definitely happen again...

Hopefully this completely embarrassing tale will help someone else out there who may have also experienced something similar.... Or I just officially classified myself as taking one for Team EcoYogini Blog.

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Keep us posted. I've been wanting to wean myself off of deodorant for some time, but one thing at a time. My hair trials are enough for now. Thanks for sharing! Don't be embarassed . . . at least you tried it. How would you know otherwise?

  2. Let me be the first to thank you for not accompanying the armpit fungus discussion with well as for taking one for the team.

    Here's hoping your (and Andrew's) fungus, cold, and humiliation all fade away soon...

  3. Oh no! So sorry that happened to you. :( I've never tried the salt rock deodorant. I hope you and Andrew can find another natural solution that works. Namaste!

  4. Oh no, did your uncle pass? I'm sorry to hear that someone close to you did. My condolences. :( xoxo

    That sucks about your deoderant! My boyfriend and I bought a crystal deodorant a couple of months ago. I thought I'd have a tough time getting him to give up his toxic pit stick, but he has been using the crystal. I wonder if fungus is a common problem?? I wonder if slathering on some baking soda/corn starch on top would help to prevent such problems. I was using that before the crystal, but I bought myself a crystal so that I could convert my boyfriend, ha ha. I'm normally pretty dry though because I'm always freezing to death. I'm glad you shared your problem, you found 2 people in my house using a crystal!

  5. Oh no! I've had great luck with the salt deodorant, used it for years with no fungus problems at all. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you.

    I would encourage other readers to still give it a try. I've recommended it to many friends and they all love it.

    It's worth noting though: it's a deodorant, but *not* an antiperspirant. You'll still sweat, it just doesn't smell bad when you do. If you sweat a LOT, this may not be a good option for you.

  6. so weird. i'm still loving the mineral-rock deodorant!

    in fact, my arm-pits used to get itchy from antiperspirant (probably because i have weird-metal allergies that cause contact dermatitis). i haven't had any more itchy armpits since i started using the mineral-rock, and i'm quite happy about it.

    our bodies are all so individual. i'm sorry it didn't work for you - and i hope you find something else that does work well!

  7. I'm so sorry! I had the same problem the very first time I tried an organic deodorant. Red itchy painful armpits. It took me years to try again. I feel your pain.

  8. Hey, wow, that kind of deodorant irritates my underarms, too.

    just glad i'm not alone,

  9. i just had a thought. perhaps andrew's red-blotchy-stinky pits are the fungus he perhaps "caught" from you? rather than the mineral rock causing him the exact same problem as it caused you?

    or, perhaps it was "his own fungus", not yours. in which case, perhaps you guys are more in-touch then you ever imagined. :)

    and, the fact that i am thinking about your fungus is clearly also an over-share.

  10. I've been using the Crystal salt stick for a couple of years, and I really like it. I do sweat a lot, but it doesn't stink. I have tried going without anything at all, and there is definitely a difference. Too bad it didn't work out for you.

  11. Oh no! I'm so sorry! What a total bummer! But I have heard that some people have various reactions to the crystal salt stuff. Darnit.

    Oh, and hooray to you for putting it out there! Don't be embarrassed - we all have embarrassing health issues from time to time. And I'm over here blogging about pee rags! ;)

    Anyway, have you tried the deodorant recipe I use? I have used it for nearly two years now, and I have NEVER had a problem with it, and only a few stinky moments (during extreme stress). I don't know what I'd do without it - honestly, even the commercial brands NEVER keep my armpits so fresh.

    Good luck! And hope you feel better!

  12. Rock Deoderant sucks, but I do have two alternate suggestions.

    I use Jason roll on Lavendar deoderant. It's not completely natural but it's pretty good and the ingredients are certified organic.

    A bit girly for Andrew perhaps but Himself uses a solid deoderant from Lush which he swears by (and it really really works) - you do have Lush in Canada right? It's the one called Aromaco and it lasts forever!

  13. Really sorry to hear, hope all will be well soon. You're very brave letting us know the grizzly details.

    I use a hemp oil roll on with added aloe vera that contains no yucky chemicals.

    All the best for you both.

  14. That Stinks...hahaha. I am still using the crystal with no fungus to speak of. However, mine does only last one day before it "fails" in the smell dept. I am a sweaty girl can't ask to much. I used to use one in St. Thomas that I loved with aloe and almond oil, I need to find out if I can get more...

  15. The crystal rocks never worked for me. I've made my own that seems to work: 1/4 c vodka, 1/4 c distilled water, 1/4-1/2 tea. vegetable glycerin, a few drops of tea tree oil, and other essential oils if you like.

    Also, because sometimes I'm lazy, I've been using L'Occitaine's deodorant and I think it's all natural.

  16. That's the pits! (ha ha couldn't resist a bad pun)

    Anyway, have you tried the Crystal Spray? I love it. I wonder if the fungus was not from sweat, but cross-contamination from the stick itself?

    Another thing that came to mind, which is only a hunch, is that maybe your skin is "detoxing" from the aluminum stuff? If you still need releif and don't like using the yucky cream, try hot compresses soaked in strong chamomile tea (maybe even some lavender herb thrown in there if you have some) - follow by dusting underarms with cornstarch to prevent moisture build up and stop chaffing. After a couple of days this should help.

  17. Have you tried just dusting on straight bicarb soda?

    I haven't tried it (I'll confess I don't use deodorant much at all, I have very dry skin and don't sweat a lot), but a few friends of mine swear by it.

    Give it a try, and hopefully it will work, maybe. Certainly it works with apple cider vinegar as a combo for hair washing for me, which I've been using for a couple of years now.

  18. Thanks for sharing! Diego is using the rock right now and loves it but it has only been a week...I am still a big lover of my homemade stick deodorant and I have been using it for months now...and no fungus. Maybe you want to give it a try...let me know, I will be making some soon.

  19. Sorry to hear that. I tried the stick after reading about it here, and love it! As for Andrew, if you were sharing the stick, I'd think it was transferred from you to the stick to him (if you had it first)- maybe he doesn't have a problem with it.
    Anyway, have you tried any natural deodorant such as Tom's? They don't have aluminum and are not antiperspirants.

  20. I break out from just about every deodorant I try. Ban unscented roll-on is the only one that doesn't cause irritation. I wish I could find a better option. I have tried the T for Toes powder from Lush. I does work pretty well but I am not so sure about Lush as a business to support. I would love to try making my own when I have more time.

  21. Thanks for coming out...too bad it didn't work for you but sometimes we have to make compromises. I've been using homemade deodorant...coconut oil and baking soda for almost a year and it's been working great for me...hubby not so much...he got irritated and sore so he had to switch back to store bought deodorant.

  22. just dicovered your blog via Daily Cup of Yoga. I love it!! and thanks fr this post.. I was considering the crystal deo but I better stay away, i definitely sweat a lot and do not want fungal pits!

  23. Haha, not too much information---and its a worthy post. I tried using natural deodorants--but each brand I tried didn't work. Eventually, after reading about why it works in a book, I gave up deodorant. Keep in mind I used to underarm sweat a LOT. Ironically a week after I gave it up, my major sweating died off. I still perspired but no where near as much as I had before. And I promise I didn't smell--just standard hygiene...daily shower, regular clothes washing, etc. I did use it on the days when I knew I'd be sweating more based on how far I had to walk, etc. I will admit that I've moved to the hot, humid south I use deodorant more frequently again...

  24. there is a difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. There is nothing wrong with sweating:) I haven't checked how natural it is but I buy the unscented Tom's deodorant for my daughter, it isn't really unscented but the scent is very mild and the deodorant seems to work somewhat.
    My oldest had an allergic reaction to the first "natural" deodorant I bought him about 11 years ago:(
    You have to find your own comfort zone of course but I think people need to move away from the idea that sweating or even to some extent, BO is so terrible. Washing and changing clothes work really well too and don't leave nasty stains on your clothes.

  25. FYI, crystal deodorant does contain aluminum, in a possibly just as dangerous form as standard antiperspirants. has some interesting information on it under "most controversial." I highly recommend making a deodorant out of arrowroot powder and/or baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils. It works surprisingly well. And if you can stand the smell of tea tree oil, it has antifungal properties.


  26. this is what i was looking for.. got diverted and just had a wee rant, on your post about chemicals in perfumes, on the way! I've been using the natural rock deodorant for a few years now and never had a problem, even using right after shaving (no probs) found it worked wonderfully and actually when i do sweat it doesnt smell half as bad as it did when i was using deodorants and all those other products containing chemicals.. same thing for my partner! however, today i used a spray crystal deodorant and instantly whoosh.. underarms red raw and stinging.. so bizarre! i washed it immediately and it's calmed down now afer a few hours! but was quite shocked at the reaction! back to the good old solid rock, after this has cleared up methinks!

  27. try this one, maybe it'll be better.

  28. If you are looking for natural health products including deodorant and all natural lip butter I recommend visiting

  29. Old Spice stick deod. doesn't contain the aluminum salts

  30. Just wanted to toss in there that I too have an armpit fungus that I'm attributing to my natural deodorant. It first appeared a couple months ago & while treating it I stopped using my crystal deodorant spray to keep the pits dry. I just returned to using it about 1 1/2 weeks ago and I have the fungus again. I've used crystal deodorant for about 3 years and had no problem previously. The only change is I've gone from plain to lavender/white tea scented. I can't really make heads or tails of the exact cause but there seems to be a fair amount of people out there using liquid crystal deodorant experiencing pit fungus.

  31. I successfully weaned off deodorant. What worked for me: I made sure to shower every morning. After showers, I used a cottonball soaked with rubbing alcohol. I sweat a lot at first as my body was adjusting. I used rubbing alcohol as needed for stink and baby wipes when I was out of the house, up to every hour. I had to endure a month or more of stink and sweat and using rubbing alcohol until finally the sweat and stink disappeared altogether. Deodorant was clogging my pores and prevented the natural process of sweating. Give it a try. It's one of the best things I've done for myself.


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