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October 9, 2013

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural deodorants

A funny thing happens when you start writing natural deodorant reviews.

No, you don’t automatically start smelling better.

You do, however, start realizing all the options on the market.

Since I began my quest for the perfect-for-me natural deodorant, I’ve been fortunate to have companies send me their miracle in a bottle / tube / can / roller for my true, sweaty girl feedback.

I’ve also shelled out plenty of my own money in the search to be stink-free.

Today’s post will be a living, breathing, sweating document of the mini and full reviews of the hits and misses along the natural deodorant road.

I hope it helps you uncover your holy grail of aluminum-free, natural deodorant!

which natural deodorants work best

To recap, I’m extremely sweaty, stinky and could rival a middle school boys’ locker room at the end of the day.

My deodorants go through my typical day (8 a.m commute to work, full work day, arrival home by 6 p.m.) and are often put through a sweaty 1.5-hour Ashtanga challenge to see how they perform in high-humidity and sweaty situations.

I always reapply deodorant before working out or going out, so for a deodorant to pass my “all-day” test, it needs to last from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Natural Deodorants That Work (For Me!)

1. Lavanila Laboratories “The Healthy Deodorant” in Vanilla Grapefruit

This deodorant has been in the natural beauty blogosphere for a while, but I shied away from it because the idea of vanilla on my pits sounded gross.

I was right.

But, somehow the compromise of adding a splash of citrus had me able to take the plunge (I bought it at Sephora), and while vanilla + body odor is quite nasty, this natural deodorant held up for the entire workday, so I really didn’t have to smell that combination!

I experienced very little irritation with this natural deodorant but probably wouldn’t purchase it again.

Don’t get me wrong — it works and is widely available at Sephora and online, but for $14, it’s a bit expensive compared to its competitors that work just as well.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Juice, Water), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Stearate (Coconut Derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed Derived), Stearyl Behenate (Coconut Derived), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil), Inulin (Artichoke Derived), Saccharomyces Ferment, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Sugar Derived), Yeast Beta Glucan, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Valeriana Officinalis Root Extract (Valerian), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Botanical Fragrance Blend.

2. Pura Vida Nutrition Lavender Tea Tree Deodorant

I picked up Pura Vida Nutrition’s Lavender Tea Tree Deodorant at Green Acres Market in Kansas City. Locally made in Missouri, this natural deodorant has the same application process as popular deodorant creams like Soapwalla and Osmia Organics, but it’s housed in a larger glass jar.

The formula inside, though, is not whipped or buttery like the aforementioned deodorants, but it works well at repelling stink. Because it’s made with shea butter, which can harden easily when mixed with baking soda and corn starch, sometimes I had to (in such an Asian manner) mix Pura Vida with a chop stick to “whip it” and get a pea-sized amount ready for my pits.

It did slightly irritate my pits after a few days of use (I can be a bit sensitive to baking soda in my pits!), but it never broke me out in a horrible rash.

I won’t be repurchasing this deodorant because of the inconvenient application process, but if Pura Vida could figure out how to make it a creamier, smoother texture, I’d be sold on this. It’s only $7.99!

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Unrefined organic shea butter, aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate, organic corn starch, organic cocoa butter, organic jojoba oil, organic sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil (vitamin E & safflower seed oil), and organic essential oils

3. Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant in Jasmine

Though I had no business buying a new natural deodorant, when I was shopping at Natural Grocers (a loonnngg time ago), Herbal Magic’s Roll-On Deodorant caught my eye simply because it was jasmine-scented.

I’m a total jasmine whore.

In addition to applying my favorite jasmine essential oils for day, I now had the pleasure of rolling it into my underarms! If this totally boggles your mind (hating on vanilla pits but loving on flower pits?), I’m sorry. I just like jasmine that much.

And I just like this natural deodorant that much!

Besides being sold on the scent, it actually worked, and it was a normal deodorant. No cream, no fuss. Just a wet roller ball that left a clear application of goodness.

Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant did require a bit of patience on my end — I’d need to let my pits air dry a bit after application because the roller is super-wet — but it helped me stay stink-free all day, so the extra few minutes in the morning were worth it.

I did get a slight irritation in my pits from this natural deodorant, but nothing that kept me from using it daily for at least 3-4 days straight.

This is definitely a deodorant to repurchase! It costs $6.50 and was at my local Natural Grocers; it’s also easily available via major online retailers.

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Water, Algae Extract, Aloe Leaf Juice, Witch Hazel, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Alcohol, Fennel Fruit Extract, Hops Extract, Melissa Leaf Extract, Mistletoe Leaf Extract, Matricaria Flower, Achilliea Millefolium Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract

4. Nourish Organic Deodorant in Lavender Mint

Nourish Organic has nailed it with this natural deodorant. It’s in a familiar applicator, it smells lovely and it feels good on my pits — no irritation at all.

To speak to how much I trust this natural deodorant, this was the one I had socked away in my clutch at A Night for Green Beauty in NYC — and for those of you who were there, you know how hot and sweaty it was that night! Plus, we were all crazy excited to meet one another, thus the stink-alert at least on my part.

Nourish Organic’s natural deodorant carries the USDA Organic seal (legit!) and feels creamy and soothing as you apply it to your skin. Sometimes, though, it can feel a bit sticky (especially in warmer weather). This didn’t bother me much, though.

Because I’m super-sensitive in the pits, I have learned to shave these caves at night so that I can decrease risk for irritation; unfortunately, sometimes I forget and am desperate, but I’ve never had a reaction to this natural deodorant, even after shaving. Win!

At $7.99 and widely accessible at Whole Foods and other health food store, Nourish Organic Deodorant in Lavender Mint is a holy grail, highly recommended deodorant. It keeps me stink- and irritation-free!

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Organic Saccharomyces Ferment, Organic Fragrance

5. Iwilla Remedy I Love My Armpits Natural Deodorant in Baby Powder Scent

Similar in texture to Nourish Organic, Iwilla Remedy’s I Love My Armpits Natural Deodorant in Baby Powder Scent is my second-favorite of this bunch.

It protected me from stink all-day and also never irritated my pits.

I received this natural deodorant as a sample for review and haven’t really seen it around the natural groceries in my area, so the only thing that would keep me from purchasing it on my own is lack of immediate availability. It’s just $10, but to add shipping and an impatient wait time to that … I dunno.

With so many great natural deodorants readily available, it’s hard for me to justify ordering something online — but I can be convinced.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Fractionated coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, castor oil, arrowroot powder, brown rice flour, bentonite clay, sea clay, neem seed oil, essential oils of bergamot, geranium and ylang ylang

which natural deodorants work best

Natural Deodorants That Didn’t Work (For Me!)

1. GeoDeo Natural Deodorant with Detox Complex, Invisible Solid, Island Scent

I really wanted to love this natural deodorant.

But my longing for love turned sour the same way I did at about 2 p.m. during the work day.

While GeoDeo Natural Deodorant with Detox Complex rolls on clear and smells fruity (the way I suppose an island would smell), I was left wet, sticky and stinky midway through the day.

Besides just not working well for me, it also contains PEG-100 Stearate, an undesirable and unnecessary ingredient.

While I received this natural deodorant as a sample, it’s going into the reject pile (and I’m not really sure if giving rejected deodorant to my friends and coworkers is really welcomed). Sigh.

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Propanediol (Certified Organic), Water, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Saccharomyces Ferment, Zeolite, PEG 100 Stearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract (Certified Organic), Aloe Barbadensis Extract (Certified Organic), Laminaria Digitata (Icelandic Algae) Extract (Certified Organic), Fragrance

2. Weleda Citrus Deodorant

One word for this natural deodorant: Ouch.

Alcohol is the first ingredient, and sting-inducing citrus oils assaulted my armpits.

I do not recommend this deodorant if you are sensitive!

If you are stinky AND sensitive, this is a double fail. Weleda Citrus Deodorant Spray just got it all wrong for me.

I’m holding onto it for use on my feet during the summer (TMI?), but otherwise, this natural deodorant is useless for me.

I paid $14 for this at Whole Foods and felt too sheepish to return it. So, onto my feet it will go!

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum)*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Farnesol*.

3. Bubble and Bee Pit Putty in Geranium and Lime

I’d heard great things about Bubble and Bee’s “Pit Putty” and had high hopes for this USDA Organic deodorant.

Sadly, it pretty much failed me from the get-go.

Though it’s housed in a traditional deodorant stick, upon application (just 1-2 swipes), it crumbles a lot and you still have to rub it in.

It dries to a powder-ish finish and smells fresh, but it’s a white mess on your pits. Forget discreet.

I just couldn’t deal with this natural deodorant on a regular basis. I felt like I wasted a lot of product because of the inevitable crumbling, and I set myself up for embarrassment with the obvious clumping powder in my pits.

I paid nearly $10 for this natural deodorant at Whole Foods, and while I do remember there being a stink-free guarantee to send it back to Bubble and Bee if it didn’t work, it was just too inconvenient. (I can’t imagine having to deal with multiple rounds of shipping costs on deodorant trials that just may not work for me.)

But apparently it works for other people, and I’m impressed by the USDA Organic seal on Bubble and Bee deodorant.

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Organic arrowroot powder, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic geranium essential oil, organic lime essential oil

vermont sage organic deodorant

{Vermont Sage sent me a sample of its Organic Deodorant for review. It retails for $9.98 for a 2.5-ounce tube.}

4. Vermont Soap Sage Lime Organic Deodorant

I really, really, really wanted to love this deodorant. It carries the USDA organic seal of approval and has a great unisex scent thanks to the smart combination of sage and lime.

Sadly, though, even in the dead of a supposed sweat-free winter, I could smell myself within a few hours of using this deodorant.

It didn’t do much to kill my musty body odor from a regular day at the office, and the sticky, creamy consistency of Vermont Soap’s Sage Lime Organic Deodorant left me feeling a bit uncomfortable throughout the day — think dry, then wet and stinky and then sticky on repeat throughout the day.

If you’re not a heavy sweater and can usually get away without deodorant (I hate you), this would be a nice supplement. Just not for me.

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cornstarch, Organic Lime Oil, Organic Sage Oil and Organic Beeswax

stinkbug naturals all natural deodorant

{Stinkbug Naturals sent me samples of its natural deodorant in Tea Tree and Atomic. They retail for $6.99 each for a 2.65-ounce stick. Photos Courtesy Stinkbug Naturals}

5. Stinkbug Naturals All Natural Deodorant

I feel awkward placing Stinkbug Naturals in the “didn’t work for me category.”

While it’s true that this natural deodorant wasn’t a top performer and isn’t one I’d buy myself, I liked that even though it didn’t last me through the day, with just one additional application, it killed stink and had me ready for the second half of my day.

I’ve easily reapplied this deodorant after work before Ashtanga and made it through class without offending anybody.

If Stinkbug Naturals All Natural Deodorant was just a little bit more powerful (we’re talking stink and wetness by about 2 p.m.), it could be a real winner.

Again, if you’re the type who can get away without wearing much deodorant, this is an excellent natural deodorant to look into; it’s housed in a traditional deodorant stick and glides in smooth without any buildup or stickiness.

Here’s the full ingredients list for the Tea Tree deodorant:

Organic Coconut oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Cornstarch, Baking soda, Organic Tea Tree essential oil

If you can believe it, I still have a few more deodorants left to review. I’ll add pictures and mini-reviews to this page and share it when it’s ready! Until then, enjoy reading previous standalone reviews below:

Read more natural deodorant reviews:

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Osmia Organics Deodorant Cream

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

Every Man Jack Deodorant

Desert Essence Deodorant

Deodomom Roll-On Natural Deodorant

What natural deodorants work for you? Which natural deodorants don’t work for you? Have you tried any of my hits and misses listed here? Tell me in the comments section!

 

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  • Harshleen

    That’s a great post! My current fav is the Lavanila but I am going to pick up the one from Nourish that you recommended!

    • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

      Thank you! Let me know how you like the Nourish … it is my fave! (And way cheaper than Lavanila!)

  • CayMcCoy

    Have you tried DeodoMom from 30SomeWeeks? (http://www.30someweeks.com/index.html) I just got a sample (the “insurance” bottle) from my October Goodebox and it is great! It’s the second time I have tried a natural deodorant — tried Tom’s and that’s the first time I could smell my own BO by the end of the workday — so I was skeptical… but it has lasted through an entire day of class/work and walking through campus in 80 degree weather. I haven’t noticed any white streaks or clumping while wearing it and it only takes a little to work. Definitely buying a jar once this runs out :)

    • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

      I have! My review is linked at the end of the post … it worked for me OK but I think I did have a bit of a sour smell. I am really smelly, Cay. lol :)

  • Sarah

    Lavilin is a very good option. It is the most effective natural deodorant I have come across. Totally eliminates body odor and lasts several days per application, no matter how active you are. Amazing product!

  • http://www.tipsfornaturalbeauty.com/ Dima Al Mahsiri

    Unfortunately, I haven’t try any of these, but I would love to try Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant in Jasmine. It looks a good option for me.
    I hate creamy deodorants, so this one looks perfect for me.
    Hope they have international shipping option :)



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