It’s a Miracle: We Found a Philly-Made Natural Deodorant that Actually Works




I’ve been a Dove deodorant devotee for as long as I can remember, mainly because every time I’ve strayed toward the all-natural aisle, I’ve left the gym regretting my decision. My Dove cucumber-scented stick might not really go on clear like the label promises, but it does keep me from smelling like I haven’t bathed in six weeks when I’m walking out of a seriously sweaty hot yoga class, and that’s all I really care about anyway.

So when I came across the Philly-made charcoal deodorant company Piper Wai — currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to raise enough money to contract out their orders because they just can’t keep up with the consumer demand because they are just that popular — I was intrigued. The cynic in me just couldn’t believe that it actually worked. So, I put the all-natural deodorant to the test — and on the hottest week of the year thus far, too. And spoiler alert: Much to my surprise, it actually worked.

The deodorant comes in a jar and to apply it, you rub a pea-sized amount onto your armpit until it’s clear. Yes, it is more annoying to apply than my Dove stick, but it also actually rubs in clear, something my trusty Dove stick could never do. Made with stuff like coconut oil, rosewater, shea, charcoal and essential oils — and without aluminum, parabens, triclosan or phthalates —  after applying it, your armpit smells like toothpaste. In a good way.

The first day of wearing it, on a balmy 92-degree day, I found myself shamelessly smelling my armpits in public places: on the subway platform, waiting for the elevator in the lobby of my office building, on my walk home. But each time, I was shocked to find that I did not stink. I got home from a long, hot day to the realization that, unlike that time I tried my best to become a person who uses Tom’s lavender deodorant, I didn’t smell like garbage. It passed the trip-to-work test with flying colors.

The next challenge? A very sweaty bike ride. I took my bike and my freshly-charcoaled armpits out for a sweaty spin. When I got home, my boyfriend dutifully sniffed my armpits — because at this point, I was worried I actually did smell but just couldn’t smell myself — and told me I smelled just fine. And trust me, he would tell me if I didn’t.

I continued to wear the deodorant all of last week throughout my daily life — working out, sleeping in a very hot room without air conditioning, and so on — and as long as I reapplied the deodorant as the directions told me to (after bathing and exercising) I smelled okay.

I was shocked. Shocked. As I’m writing this I am still in disbelief that an all-natural deodorant actually works.

The time limit I’d given myself to test it out was the entire length of last week, but throughout this week, I found myself continuing to use it, because why not? The only thing I find annoying is the application which, pre-coffee, feels like it requires too much effort. But if the Indiegogo campaign is successful, one of the things the company hopes to do is create a stick applicator to which I say “Hallelujah!”

So if you’re trying to cut down on the chemicals in your beauty cabinet — the jury is still out on whether aluminum, a big ingredient in mainstream antiperspirants, is actually harmful — you can grab a jar of Piper Wai’s charcoal variety here.

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