The elections had me sweating.

And sweating

And sweating so much making me realize that perhaps it was time to change deodorants.

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I’ve tried many of them from ones where I sacrificed my health in hopes of fresher pits including those with aluminum, paraben, triclosan, talc, and propylene glycol. Because when it came down to it natural deodorants were not my best friends. Long story short, I was either chemically burned by natural deodorants (which takes so much longer to heal than you would think) or I smelled uh, awful – yes, even after showering.

In the smelly cases, I would give up and go back to my regular clinical strength deodorant. I’d read that I was supposed to ‘wait it out’ as one’s body is getting used to it. It gets better they said. But just like Trump’s first month in office, I’d quickly realized that no, it wouldn’t.

While researching brands for a bigger story on the shift to natural deodorant and how even legacy brands are making shifts to cleaner formulas, I came across Primally Pure. Their best-selling Charcoal Deodorant had hundreds of reviews with subject lines like “finally, one that works!” LINK?, “SOLD and will never look back”, and “Love it and I am NEVER leaving it”. These reviews went on, each one praising the product even more as I scrolled.

As a last resort I gave in – I tried the damned thing. I tested this during the peak of summer in an apartment without air-conditioning where I was working from home 12-hours a day. Could it hold up? Would it leave me with open wounds? Would I smell like shit? Show me what you got Primally Pure.

The Backstory

I spoke to Primally Pure’s founder and learned we had a lot in common. For one, we shared a terrible history with deodorant, and a drive to switch to natural.”I knew that it was important to not use conventional deodorants. I found information online about different ingredients and how those might be helpful in preventing odor. Coconut oil and baking soda kept popping up in my searches,” Bethany told me.

She started just using these two ingredients, putting them in a jar, scooping it out, and wiping it on her pits. Not very convenient by any means and she totally knew that from the start. Her journey to find a better way to ‘house’ the deodorant she was making for her and her family ultimately sparked Primally Pure. What started as a passion project and step into a cleaner lifestyle for herself created this meaningful brand unknowingly.

There were 3 things I really learned from Bethany on the topic of natural deodorant.

  • One, you 100% need to find the one for you and it can be challenging.
  • Two, that ‘one for you’ has to have the right balance of baking soda otherwise yeah, you’re gonna get burned.
  • And three, your armpits actually go through a purging period when making the switch to natural.

The purge period discussion got me thinking that perhaps I was being too impatient or just having too high of expectations for the ones I had put no effort in finding and trying other than driving to my local Target. When it came to purging she explained, “initially you’re going to be extra sweaty, oftentimes extra smelly for the first couple of weeks as your body rids itself of toxic buildup that has been building up in your underarms. We’re putting toxins up into our armpits and then the aluminum blocks your pores so you can’t sweat any of that out,”.

Bethany has brought all of this education to the website for everyone to dive into. You can head to their blog for stories and recipes and read faqs on switching to natural products far beyond just deodorant. Plus, they have a satisfaction promise and will give you your money back if something isn’t working for you. Something more beauty brands should really have.


The Charcoal Deodorant is really simple, as all of Primally Pure’s formulas. The anti-smelly-pit-ingredients are organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic beeswax, baking soda, non-nano zinc oxide, white kaolin clay, activated coconut charcoal, organic eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils.

The baking soda is in there to combat odor and kaolin clay detoxifies. The non-nano zinc oxide soothes any irritation from shaving, sweat, etc. The activated coconut charcoal adds to the detoxifying benefits while deodorizing and disinfecting. I think this is the reason why Charcoal is the best seller, it makes it easy to switch. And why I didn’t experience much of a purging period (stay tuned).

The review

I was so skeptical. I had never seen a grey colored deodorant before. And while it smells amazing, I was so ready for it to be like all the others and not work. I didn’t think it would be powerful enough.

Day 1-5, a little bit more smelly than I wanted to be but still not as much as I had been when I tried others. I really liked the texture, it’s solid but it glides on really smooth. It’s pretty soft. The deodorant is grey and looked weird on my skin, took some getting used to seeing. But, it never has stained clothes. Not even white or black shirts.

I’ve been using this deodorant since the end of August, it’s experienced my summer sweat and transitioned into fall. I actually get a little excited when I put it on? I know that seems weird but for someone who’s had a terrible time with deodorant, it’s finally such a relief. It’s a relief that it WORKS but also because I know it’s safe. I finally get to experience natural deodorant and take care of my body in a way I have wanted to for so long.

I’ve tried Primally Pure’s Tea Tree and Geranium scents as well. I’m totally converted to natural deodorant, I’ve thrown away all my others. I like the Charcoal the best and continue to use that one on a daily basis, but the other scents worked for me as well. The purging period was minimal, and as each day passed and I wasn’t smelly…it was a really happy moment of “yes, I found the one”.

Health is so important, we only have one body to carry us through our lives. Taking the time to find the right products to keep you going on your journey of a cleaner way to live has so many ‘worth it’ feelings attached to it. Make the damn switch. Try this deodorant, I dare you. And then, tell me how it changed your life and made you feel more confident in the choice when putting it on.


  • finding a natural deodorant that works can suck for so many people
  • Primally Pure’s Charcoal Deodorant is a best-seller that WORKS
  • Your armpits sweat and detox unlike any other part of your body
  • If you struggle with making the switch to natural deodorant, TRY THIS
  • It’s $22 for 2.5 oz, $16 for 1.7oz


You need to BUY. If you needed a sign to switch to natural deodorant or encouragement to try again after feeling DEFEATED by it…this is it. Buy HERE, $22 for 2.5 oz, $16 for 1.7oz

Illustration// Alicia O’Brien

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