I Dared to Wear a Natural Deodorant During a Marathon and It Really Worked


Ahead of running my first marathon, one burning question stayed front of mind. I wasn’t concerned about the 26.2-mile course, or my sneakers, or even how I should be eating. Instead, I was worrying over which deodorant I would wear.

You see, the deodorant would have to be tough. Race day starts at 4am and goes until I reached the finish line. I didn’t want to lug anything with me at the start—and everything I bring would have to be thrown away, anyway—so packing a stick wasn’t an option. On top of that, the forecast was sunny and in the 50s which actually feels super hot when you’re running, so buckets of sweat were inevitable.

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I heard about Kopari’s deodorant through word-of-mouth praise. Friends loved the scent and feel, but most importantly loved that the deodorant was a natural alternative to aluminum-based ones. I’m not precious about using only organic or natural products, but deodorant is one of the easiest switches to make. Being a longtime user of “clinical strength” anti-perspirants from drugstore brands started making the skin on my underarms feel clogged, irritated, and sucked dry. I hadn’t even considered the alarming facts: That aluminum plugs sweat glands from naturally secreting and, since it is applied near the breast, can possibly be absorbed by skin and have hormonal effects linked to developing cancer.


Coconut Deodorant


I’ve tried several natural deodorants and found none were long-lasting nor did a great job of preventing B.O.—some of them even made the smell stronger. Kopari is the first one I’ve tried that works like a traditional deodorant. It’s aluminum-free, silicone-free, baking-soda free, and doesn’t leave any white streaks on my skin or clothing. Its main ingredient is organic coconut oil, which is known to be anti-bacterial (note: what causes odor in the first place is bacteria mixed with perspiration). I like the familiar feel of Kopari with its solid, moisturizing formula, and easy twist-up application stick. I found it was perfect for everyday use, but would it last through a marathon?

I applied it right before I got out the door at 4:45AM, saying a little prayer because I knew I wouldn’t be able to reapply. I went on with my day, running through all five boroughs of New York City never once getting a whiff of a foul smell from my underarms. (Other runners were not so lucky. The whole course was B.O. city, but thankfully that only makes you run faster.) When I crossed the finish line around 3PM, I triumphantly raised my arms without a worry. I hugged friends and family confidently. When I got home and finally laid down, I did a quick sniff test only to find there was no smell there.

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Behold, the face of a natural deodorant-believer:


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