secret: i stink.

June 6, 2013


Extra! Extra! Read all about it! That’s a cheap title for a post. I know. But I needed to get your attention. I’ve got some serious news for you.

Going the eco-route with beauty and bath products has always met a sticking point for me when it comes to deodorant. Over the course of the past ten years I have bought no fewer than ten (fifteen?) different natural deodorants. Roll-ons, crystals, clays, lavender-scented sticks, tea tree-scented sticks, unscented sticks. You name it, I have tried it. And with all of them I have finished the majority of my days stinky, sweaty, and generally uncomfortable.

In a shameful admission, lately I have been using an unscented stick from Dove. I know better. I do. But what’s a girl to do when she stinks by 10 am? I’ve tried not to care about being a little musky. I’ve told myself that it’s natural and fine and maybe a little bit badass. And then I find some strangers’ nose stuck in my armpit on the subway and I squirm.

But. I found a miracle product. I’m a true skeptic when it comes to finding a natural deodorant that actually works, so I hope you take my word on this one. The Soapwalla Cream Deodorant is a little on the expensive side, and it took two different friends recommending it and nearly a year before I took the plunge and placed my order. But now, I’m NEVER. LOOKING. BACK.

Run don’t walk, or whatever the equivalent would be for the internet…

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  • Reply Linda Zimmerman June 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Ordered! plus a deliciously sounding lavender soap! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Layla Guest June 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Seriously! You have no idea how glad I am for this post this morning. Here's to a stink-free summer!

  • Reply monique June 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I tried this out last summer but found my sensitive pits couldn't handle it. (Does it tingle a bit for you?). I'm sticking to the crystal/rock for now… and being a bit stinky.

  • Reply Cindy June 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I too have had issues with stink. I've tried so many natural deodorants and had the same issues as you. Until I discovered this one: It's amazing! Should you choose to try another, I highly recommend this one. And thanks for the Soapwalla review. It's good to switch it up every now and again.

    • Reply Erin June 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      ha! I've tried it! Smells so good going on, but didn't do the trick for me in the longterm!

  • Reply sweet harvest moon June 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Finding a natural deodorant is so hard. I may order this one! Thank you for sharing

  • Reply Molly June 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Awesome find! I, too, am familiar with that mortifying moment of "oh my god, I'm the one that smells??"

    Side note, is that a tray that the deod. is sitting in? and if so, where is it from? I've been looking for a nice one..

  • Reply Brianna June 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Oh my gosh. I have to try this! Yesterday we had our first hot summer day in Portland ,OR and I got a whiff of myself. Time for a new deodorant!

    • Reply Anonymous July 17, 2013 at 1:52 am

      Brianna, I recently discovered this natural brand that works amazingly well and is actually made in Portland! (I live here too!)

    • Reply Erin July 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing! This looks lovely, too!

  • Reply emily @ cabin fervor June 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I've tried all sorts of natural options, but in the end full-strength, chemical-ridden antiperspirant will be darn near impossible for me to give up. If I don't use it, I WILL soak through my shirt. At that point, the "deodorant" part of things is hilariously useless. During puberty I used the prescription stuff that basically cauterizes your sweat glands with acid (at least that's what it felt like, but it worked). I currently use Arm n Hammer unscented. I try to tell myself that I'm making up for it by having replaced all my other products with more natural ones… If I live to see the other side of menopause, maybe I'll be able to try this stuff with success. šŸ™‚

  • Reply forefrontfash June 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    alrighty! i am going to try this one. this has been a point of contention for me and my armpits for some time now. i've found an OKAY all natural one from whole foods that keeps me a little less stinky but i'm always on the hunt. i will report back!

  • Reply Roxanne June 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for this! I am the same way and am hanging my head every time I use Dove, but none of the natural ones work!! So excited to try this!! XO

  • Reply KW June 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Ahh! I have the same problem and use the same unscented Dove as a compromise. The days (called college) of just being a little stinky are long over, but I don't like the aluminum. Thanks so much for the tip!

  • Reply lisaathome June 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I use the same one! It's fantastic and the only natural product that works for me.

  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    so the deodorant works. but after two weeks i got a giant rash from it. big red areas in my armpit, that were burning. not so good. i have read about several people being allergic to it on different blogs. a shame indeed. i am gonna try it again in a month or so and see if the same thing happens again

  • Reply Jessica Kleoppel June 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I use this, too! But after a week or so it sadly starts to irritate my skin, and I end up going back and forth between Dove. Maybe if I didn't use it directly after shower/shaving . . . ? (Thinking aloud here.) I'll give it another shot!

    • Reply Erin June 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      I've heard that sometimes helps! Happily, no rash for me so far!

  • Reply Amanda June 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Verily, it is the best.

    Re rashes: I have to give myself a break from it about once a week, usually after shaving. If I do that, I'm all good.

  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I recently started making my own natural deodorant (following these instructions: and so far, so good. For anyone looking for a slightly cheaper alternative (and one that is customizable), the ingredients in the DIY recipe are very similar to those in the soapwalla deodorant.

  • Reply omoriala June 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Checkout for lots of other natural product recommendations! They have a wealth of knowledge and a great community that shares products tips. Some might find Soapwalla's high baking soda content can build up and irritate or create a rash…just use it more sparingly or take a break for a few days if that happens.

  • Reply Erin June 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I haven't any trouble with rashes after the first week, but fascinating to hear that you guys have had issues! Incredible how everyone has such different body chemistry!

  • Reply Hannah June 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I just ordered this two days ago after hearing about it from Of a Kind. I really hope it works since the past few weeks in connecticut have left me stinky! I have used the roll on crytstal stick for about a year and it used to work really well but now I seem to have become resistant to it – wonder how that happens?

  • Reply Emily Rose June 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    The best and most affordable deodorant ever: Mix coconut oil, corn starch, and baking soda. I smell faintly of coconut and I never stink. It is the best thing I have ever made.

  • Reply Hilary Alter June 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Also try out Schmidt's Deodorant!
    I love her aromatic combinations and I have been using the unscented for about a year now with no smelly issues!

  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this post makes me. I finally made the switch to natural deodorant and in the hot, sticky last few weeks in Houston, I've been embarrassed, but I told myself there was no going back this time. I recently read some reviews on Soapwalla and have been curious if it would meet my nose's approval, and my body's challenge.

  • Reply Ashley June 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    i have this same problem! i've tried for years to find a decent natural deodorant with no luck. i've actually resulted to using a prescription strength one from the drugstore that i know is just horrible for me…giving this a shot!

  • Reply Charlotte F June 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I've been using alum stone for a long time now, but this one definitely catches my eyes! Might have to try this! šŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply BettySaturn June 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I've heard good things about this baby!

  • Reply marissa (stylebook) June 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    this is very good news.

  • Reply Special Scout June 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    hey there, mindreader! i was just reflecting this morning about how powerfully successful yet shameful my current deodorant is. i'll definitely be giving this a try! i hope my subway peers support the experiment …

  • Reply Megan June 7, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I'm allergic to the aluminum in antiperspirant, so I've been though ALL the natural ones.

    The Soapwalla one is great. It's the closest thing to "real" antiperspirant I've found. My only gripe with it is that the oil in it can stain silk blouses, which I wear a lot for work.

    Right now I'm using the Kiss My Face liquid crystal, which I find works just as well BUT really irritates my skin. Just can't win šŸ™

  • Reply Anonymous June 7, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I've been going through the same problem šŸ™ I used Soapwalla for a while but started having symptoms like some of the others have mentioned.

    I hesitated to do a DIY for a while but then finally bit the bullet and tried one I saw on NMDL (linked above by someone else): it took 5 minutes: 1 tablespoon arrowroot (I don't recommend substituting baking soda- too harsh for use on the skin), 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted so you can mix it up) + 15-20 drops of whatever essential oil you like. I chose 10 of juniper berry, 10 of eucaplyptus and 2 of vetiver. It's pretty unisex and foresty. The vetiver definitely is the strongest of the three. So far it's been lasting all day- even after workouts. Hopefully it'll keep working 6 mos down the line…

  • Reply Inge June 7, 2013 at 4:09 am

    This one sounds like it smells lovely! I'm not a fan of creams though. A while back I found a natural deodorant that works for me and is a roll-on: liquid deo crystal by Urtekram (I use the rose-scented). It really works with the stinky-ness!

  • Reply Little Miss Know-it-all June 7, 2013 at 7:24 am

    OK, I was going to ask about the shaving issue šŸ™
    For the last year or so I have taken a leaf out of my 97 yr old granny's book – she never used deodorant and is always sweet-smelling…!! Thorough washing (no shower till a couple of years ago) and Talcum powder; she has always used lily-of-the-valley and I use rose šŸ™‚
    When I researched this issue, I found that deodorant was only invented in the 40s and didn't reach Europe till the 60s – I'm sure not all our ancestors stank!!!
    I also think over-sensitivity and over-perfuming are very North American traits ;o

  • Reply abroadathome June 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Ordered! I also heard about this on A Piece of Toast and one of the sisters highly recommends it as well. Looking forward to trying it out!::fingers crossed::

    Thanks for the great review!

  • Reply Jasmine Brink-Li June 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    This sounds so great.. but I feel like I'd forget to apply it??? Haha so used to and engrained to use a stick.

  • Reply Evelyn June 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you so much!! (ordered)

  • Reply S Deeley June 8, 2013 at 5:34 am

    I've been using it for the past year and it's A-MAZ-ING!

  • Reply Sarah Dee June 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I've been using this for a while and I switch it back and forth with my favorite natural: (don't freak out I totally got it on sale!)


    x dotti dee

  • Reply Anonymous June 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I tried this one last summer and absolutely loved the idea of it, but it was too much for my sensitive skin. Someone suggested Elizabeth Arden green tea deodorant to me, so I am going to give it a try.

  • Reply dervla @ The Curator June 11, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I'm so glad to read this…i've tried a few different ones, and unless i constantly apply I find nothing works. I too have been shamefully using a dove stick and just swiping it quickly and hoping not too much is on my skin! Thanks for the tip, will try this out.

  • Reply Rebecca June 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

    I *emphatically* second making your own. It is BEYOND inexpensive – no rashes, no issues, can put it on after shaving. You WILL sweat (it's deodorant, not antiperspirant), but you will not stink. I am sure the Soapwalla is awesome, but you do mention it's expensive, and the homemmade stuff is not. (If you're prone to moisture, a little extra pat of arrowroot powder can help, too.)

    Equal parts baking soda and arrowroot powder, mixed with enough unrefined coconut oil to mix it thoroughly. I add a drop or two (depending on batch size) of olive oil which keeps it more malleable when it's chilly outside (and in the house). I add lavender (10-15 drops) and a few drops of peppermint and a few drops of tea tree essential oils (lavender and tea tree and coconut all have anti-fungal/bacterial properties and smell amazing). The peppermint can tingle if you use too much, but I find it lends a lovely sweetness to the lavender (I mix them for my vinegar hair rinse, too).

    At the end of the day, I am okay with sweat. I dress appropriately, and frankly, I really generally only sweat excessively when I'm in a public-speaking position (I'm an attorney, so yay! That's often), or working out (and then it's my head/back/etc, more than my pits). I used to sweat through clinical-strength/aluminum-laden antiperspirants (and then stink!), and figured if I couldn't beat it, I'd embrace it and just make sure I don't smell bad. I can rewear my tops (even in summer), and no more yellow pits in my white tops. If the oil stains something, it comes out in the wash easily enough.

    Feeling nervous about the state of your pits is…the pits! Best of luck!

  • Reply Amanda June 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Erin, I have been battling underarm stench for years and feel your pain. I must share one tip with you about the crystals, because after years of trying everything out there and nothing working, I now swear by them! When I first starting using the crystal it didn't work for me either, but then I realized I wasn't taking my time putting it on. I now rub the crystal under each underarm quite a few times, I usually count to 60 quickly for each arm, and it finally works! Try it – you may have success!

  • Reply Ashley June 22, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Thanks for sharing! I've tried every natural deodorant under the sun, and I'm in the same predicament. I will look into this one!

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