Using a blend of cassava starch, charcoal, and magnesium, this natural deodorant is surprisingly effective -- and it smells divine!
A debate has been raging for years about the potential risk of using conventional antiperspirants and deodorants. While the evidence is not conclusive, a number of studies have raised enough suspicion about commonly used ingredients to make any health-conscious person concerned.
One study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that use of aluminum-based antiperspirants increased the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life by 60 percent. A 2009 study from the University of Reading, U.K., found a correlation between “the increase in cancers of the outside upper quadrant of the breast with the increase in the use of chemical cosmetics, including antiperspirant” (Gillian Deacon: There’s Lead in Your Lipstick, 2011).
Switching to a natural deodorant should be straightforward, since there are countless products on the market, but many don’t work effectively. If you’re like me, you may have a collection of partially used natural deodorants hanging around the bathroom, all of which were promising but failed to keep me stink-free on a regular basis. I’ve even tried making my own (see recipe here), which worked very well until I developed a rash from the baking soda. I still use it occasionally, but it’s too strong for daily use.
So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered a natural deodorant that actually works. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I’ve been using PiperWai Natural Deodorant for over a month now, with consistently excellent results.
PiperWai contains ingredients that are different from what I’ve encountered in typical natural deodorants. Its base is cassava (tapioca starch), instead of the usual baking soda (although it does contain some) or cornstarch. It contains magnesium hydroxide, known as milk of magnesia, which balances the pH of the underarm region to inhibit the growth of bacteria that gives sweat its unpleasant odor. It also contains activated charcoal, or carbon, which is super-absorbent and creates a clear shield between skin and shirt, protecting from stains. A blend of essential oils with anti-bacterial properties gives it a fresh, gender-neutral smell.
The deodorant, which is handmade in Philadelphia, comes in a glass jar. When you apply a pea-sized amount with your fingers, it feels silky smooth; surprisingly, that feeling stays all day because of how dry the charcoal and cassava keep it. I wear it to the CrossFit gym, which used to destroy my other natural deodorants, but PiperWai can actually stand up to the sweaty intensity. That’s enough to sell me on it!
You can order it online here. A 2-ounce jar is $11.99.