The Natural Deodorant Experiment

I tried 10 natural deodorants. Here's what I learned.

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Recently I made the decision to transition into a harsh-chemical-free–or at least “free-er”–lifestyle.  In order to give myself and my family a strong opportunity to live our best lives, cutting harsh chemicals was inevitable.  Harsh chemicals have been linked to depression, respiratory issues, and countless other health issues. One substance which has recently come into question, especially in regard to a potential link to breast cancer, is aluminum-containing antiperspirants.  

So far, research on whether aluminum in antiperspirants actually causes cancer is inconclusive; however, I prefer to err on the side of caution.  Logically, anything that is designed to clog your sweat ducts may become detrimental with long-term use.

Also, my son is reaching the age at which he *needs* to wear deodorant.  (Help me, Lawd! I’m not ready!)  The idea of him religiously applying a potentially harmful chemical on his body at such a young age terrifies me.  I might be helicopter-ing or overzealous right now, but as a mom, I have the right to be.  When possible, I’m choosing to try to be as natural/homeopathic as possible in an effort to promote health (and to avoid intensifying any ADHD symptoms).  That said, I have decided to switch to natural, aluminum-free deodorant. 

(Exit soapbox, stage left.)

So, I tried 10 different natural deodorants to see which of them worked well, which stained, which smelled delicious, etc. Here’s what I found!

1. Honestly PHresh Sugar Mint Natural Deodorant

Honestly pHresh Sugar MintAbout this product:

Ingredients (according to label): Fair Trade Certified (FTC) Organic Shea Butter, FTC Cocoa Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, FTC Organic Coconut Oil, Magnesium Hydroxide, Rice Bran Wax, Organic NON-Palm Vegetable Glycerin,Candelilla Wax, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Oil, Sage Oil, Triethyl Citrate, Sodium Caproyl/Lactylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Vitamin E

Claims: Gluten free, paraben & phthalate free, vegan, non-irritating, non-staining, cruelty-free, baking-soda free.

*Disclaimer:  Honestly PHresh Sugar Mint was the first natural deodorant I tried.  Many experts on the subject suggest there is a detox period during which your body is overcompensating for the time spent wearing aluminum-containing deodorants.  

Where to buy:

Honestly PHresh Natural Deodorant sticks are available in several different fragrances. Via amazon: Sugar Mint, Tropical Blossom, Barely Sweet, PHree Unscented, Soothing Shea, Hero Herbal Spice (Men’s), Vital Vetiver (Men’s), Bold Wild Oak (Men’s), Active Sea Mineral (Men’s)

Fragrance:

The scent of this deodorant is absolutely delicious.  It smells like mint herbal tea.  I caught myself randomly sniffing my arm pits throughout the morning to get an aroma-therapeutic pick-me-up (awkward).  This deodorant is by far the best-smelling in my opinion.

Texture:

This one comes in stick form and is very sticky.  I found myself having to press relatively hard to get it on.  After application it was very sticky.  Also, it transferred to my son’s shirt when putting my arm around him and made him look like the dog left a sweet-smelling puddle of drool on his shoulder. (For me, the smell made it worth putting up with the stickiness.)

Dependability:

The sweet smell of the deo lasted for about half of the day.  After the first application wore off, I found myself smelling a bit like a spicy meatball. Another application in the afternoon did the trick to bring back that lovely cup-o-tea fragrance.  This stick lasted me a month. I did notice after washing a couple of my shirts that a waxy residue remained under the armpit.  It took a deep clean with my Norwex Laundry Detergent and stain remover to get my shirts looking presentable again. 

2. Smartypits Lavender RoseAluminum-Free Prebiotic Deodorant

Smarty Pits Lavender & RoseAbout this product:

Ingredients (according to label):Arrowroot Powder, Magnesium Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Lavender Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Tocopherol, Inulin.
Rosemary Mint: Arrowroot Powder, Magnesium Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Rosemary Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Spearmint Essential Oil, Tocopherol, Inulin.
Unscented: Arrowroot Powder, Magnesium Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Tocopherol, Inulin.

Claims: BPA Free, Children/Pet Friendly, Gluten Free, Made in the USA, Microbiome Friendly, Natural Fragrance, Non-GMO, Not tested on animals, Nut free, Paraben free, Reusable or Refillable, Suitable for Sensitive Skin, Sulfate Free, Supports Charity, Triclosan Free, Baking Soda Free, Women Owned Business, 3% of every sale goes to breast cancer research & survivor support, Contains probiotics to fight odor-producing bacteria, Lasts all day.

Where to buy:

The Smartypits Aluminum-Free Prebiotic Deodorant sticks are available in several different fragrances. Via amazon: Lavender Rose (Sensitive Skin Option Available), Coconut Mango, Cool Cucumber, Lemongrass Patchouli (Baking Soda Free), Eucalyptus Spearmint, Rosemary Mint (Sensitive Skin Option Available), Sweet Orange Bergamot, Tweed & Spice (Men’s). However, if you’d like to pay a bit less for your Smartypits, I highly recommend joining Grove Collaborative.  They offer the Lavender Rose and Rosemary Mint fragrances. You’ll find that Grove has them at a much lower price, and they have a ton of other awesome healthy, eco-friendly products, too! (Use my link and get a free five-piece cleaning set free of harsh chemicals! Just click here!)

Fragrance:

I ordered Lavender Rose.  I’m not sure why, but I missed that they had Rosemary Mint when I first ordered.  I would have definitely tried that one. This one smells like lavender.  Pretty basic.  I am wearing this one as I type and I just smell like a typical health food store. I plan to order the Rosemary Mint, though, and I’ll get back to you.

Texture:

Much less sticky than the Honestly PHresh stick, this one still required pressure to get on. A little body warmth made it easier.

Dependability:

This stick lasts pretty much all day.  The fragrance isn’t as strong as the Honestly PHresh stick, but it masks body odor throughout the day well into the evening.

 3. Schmidt’s Jasmine Tea Sensitive Skin Formula

Schmidt's Jasmine TeaAbout this product:

Ingredients: Magnesium hydroxide, Cocos nucifera (coconut) Oil, Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), Butyrosperum parcel (shea butter), Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Natural fragrance, Tocopherol (vitamin E, sunflower derived). 

Claims: No aluminum, no propylene glycol, no artificial fragrance, certified vegan & cruelty free, gluten-free.

Where to buy:

Schmidt’s  Sensitive Skin Formula deodorant can be found in several fragrances as well. Via Amazon: Jasmine Tea,  Lavender Tips, Charcoal + Magnesium, Tea Tree, and Fragrance Free.  You can also find it on Grove Collaborative!

Fragrance:

The Jasmine tea is another one that just makes me happy the moment I open the container. It smells. so. stinking. good! I also leave the bathroom craving a nice, hot cup of tea. I fervently recommend this fragrance. 

Texture:

By now, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to how natural deodorant goes on, and this one seems pretty par for the course, if not easier to get on. 

Dependability:

Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Formula lasted about half of the day for me. I didn’t mind re-applying, though, because it meant a glorious second dose of aromatherapy. An automatic mood lift. I will say, that I did notice staining of the underarms of my shirts. Thank goodness for my Norwex! 

4. Primal Pit Paste: Lemongrass

Primal Pit Paste LemongrassAbout this product: 

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Coconut Oil, Candelilla Wax, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E derived 100% from Sunflowers

Claims: Natural and organic ingredients, cruelty free, no harsh chemicals, non-GMO, aluminum free, paraben free, synthetic fragrance free, propylene glycol free, gluten-free

Fragrance:

I LOVE lemongrass.  I love the taste of it, and I adore the smell of it.  For me, this deodorant smells great. Lemongrass also has bug repelling properties, so that’s an added plus!

Where to buy:

You can order directly from Primal Pit Paste’s website, or you can find several different fragrances on Amazon: Lemongrass, Jasmine, Lavender, Coconut Lime, Unscented, Royal & Rogue, Spice, and Charcoal Detox 

Texture:

The texture of this specific deodorant depends on the temperature of the environment.  The warmer it is, the softer the deodorant is and vice versa. I found it relatively easy to apply, but am not a huge fan of having to get it all over my fingers.

Dependability:

The fragrance and odor control lasted about half of the day.  I kept the jar with me so that I could reapply when necessary.  The fragrance made the little bit of extra work worth it for me.  I also used it all over my body at my son’s exceptionally mosquito-infested cross country meet. I definitely wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing that with your average deo.

5. Hilltop Designs Soap: Balance from Scratch Deodorant

Hilltop Designs BalanceAbout this product:

Ingredients: Coconut oil, Shea butter, Beeswax, Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder, Bentoite Clay, Activated Charcoal, Essential Oils (Blood Orange, Ginger, Patchouli)

Claims: Always handmade

Where to buy:

You can find Hilltop Designs products on their website. You’ll find their natural deodorant here

Fragrance:

The fragrance of this little deo is a delightful and delicate hint of citrus and ginger. It’s very refreshing!

Texture:

This deodorant comes in one of the smaller containers that I’ve seen deodorant come in.  It’s got a nice, soft texture, and goes on easily. I haven’t noticed any stickiness, really.  The only downfall of the container is that it can’t be twisted up to access more of the stick.  You have to push it from underneath, and it goes back down when you apply pressure to the deodorant (while applying to underarms.) Otherwise, the texture is spot on.

Dependability:

I have to say, for just being a little handmade deo, this stuff really works! It lasted me all day every use! Hilltop Designs has truly impressed me with this one. My only complaint (aside from the design of the container) is that it did stain the underarms of my shirts. 

6. Norwex Deodorant Stick

Norwex DeodorantAbout this product: 

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, propanediol, water, sodium stearate, calcium carbonate, silica, glycerin, zea mays (corn) starch, saccharomyces ferment, carrageenan, sodium bicarbonate, salvia officials (sage) oil, triethyl citrate, sodium caprylol/lauroyl lactylate, beta-glucan, fragrance, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, sodium benzoate, caprylyl glycol

Claims: Biodegradable formula, aluminum free, paraben free

Fragrance:

Norwex Deodorant stick has a sweet, floral fragrance to it. It reminded me of a scent from my youth, but I can’t quite place it. I’m a bit indifferent to the smell, because I prefer citrus/mint fragrances.

Where to buy:

You can shoot me a message, or you can find it here.

Texture:

This deodorant applied very easily—so easily, in fact, that it left my underarms feeling wet. 

Dependability:

I wanted to love this one–especially since I’m a Norwex Independent Consultant–but I just cannot recommend it.  It started the day feeling wet under my arms, and didn’t last but an hour or so before the body odor came through.  Sad, but true.  I have heard better things about the Crystal Deodorant, but have yet to try it.  (Now, Norwex microfiber and home cleaning products are a different story!)

*Important note!*

After using these deodorants, I noticed my underarms had sort of a blackish tint to them. It freaked me out! I googled it, and apparently it’s a thing. Baking soda in natural deodorants can throw off your skin’s pH, and can cause discoloration. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happened to me; so, from now on it’s baking soda free only!

7. Little Seed Farm Grapefruit Lemon Deodorant Cream

Little Seed Farm Deodorant CreamAbout this product:

Ingredients: Arrowroot powder, magnesium hydroxide, coconut oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, grapefruit essential oil, vegetable glycerine, orange essential oil, lemon essential oil, litsea cubera essential oil

Claims: Aluminum free, baking soda free, made without parabens or preservatives, not tested on animals, made with organic ingredients.

Fragrance: 

In a word: delicious. This deo smells like a Starburst candy.  I love it so much!

Where to buy:

Amazon offers LSF natural deodorant in Grapefruit Lemon and Activated Charcoal.  They also have a sampler pack, and these adorable cream deo applicators! You can also find these and their other fragrances  (lavender, rosemary patchouli, and uscented) on their website

Texture:

Much like the Primal Pit Paste jar, this deodorant cream’s texture is dependent on the environment in which it’s kept.  The cooler the temperature, the firmer the deodorant, and vice versa.  I’m still not a huge fan of getting deodorant on my hands–it’s a sensory thing–but this deodorant makes it worth it.

Depedability: 

This little jar of deodorant worked absolutely wonderfully! It kept me smelling fresh until towards the end of my work day, which is all I can really ask.  I’m so pleased with LSF. They are my favorite so far.

Math is hard.

I know. I know. There are only seven natural deodorants listed, and I promised 10. Honestly, this article has taken me four months to write, and I really wanted to just get the info I’ve collected so far out to you. I have three more deodorants to try, including Lume, Native, and Crystal Mineral Deodorant.  I’ll link to the post when it’s complete!

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