The roll-on deodorant stick has only been with us for a little over a century, its design inspired by the ballpoint pen, but is a primary staple in the modern grooming routine. Before that, people used essential oils, scented fats and mineral salts to keep odor at bay. Or, you know, just stunk. And while aluminum zirconium was banned from aerosol deodorants by the FDA over 40 years ago for being too toxic to inhale, mainstream deodorant and antiperspirant makers haven’t batted an eye at the toxicity of their ingredients, leaving potentially carcinogenic parabens, phthalates and aluminums in their sticks with no interference from the FDA.
While the science may still be out on just how dangerous traditional deodorants and antiperspirants are, consumers have started taking matters into their own hands, or pits really. After all, what part of your body feels more susceptible to entry than your armpits? ...Don’t answer that. Alongside natural body washes, toothpastes and laundry detergents, natural deodorants are helping to usher in a new era of personal grooming using ingredients that have been put to use for centuries with a few new twists. But can they keep the stink off?
That very question has kept plenty of dudes swiping their shoulder caves with unnatural products, sacrificing tomorrow’s safety for today’s stink security. But ONE37pm asked five such dudes to take the plunge and try five different natural deodorants to see if they cut the mustard. Here are the accounts of those brave souls.