Listen to the podcast episode here!:
Are you a natural deodorant user yet? (If not, I’m guessing you are hesitant to switch because you’re either unconfident that a natural deodorant could do the heavy lifting your traditional deodorant does or you’ve tried a natural deodorant or two and it just didn’t cut it. Am I right?)
This is an experience I hear over and over again, and so I wanted to embark on what I’m calling my “Super Scientific Natural Deodorant Test,” which isn’t at all scientific, but does account for the opinion of both my sister and me as we tested eight brands of natural deodorant over the course of two months. (Want to hear us talk about our experience? Check out the video below!)
But first, why natural deodorant in the first place? Here are just a few reasons I’ve chosen to make the switch:
- Natural deodorants, unlike traditional anti-perspirants, don’t keep you from sweating. (Wait…and that’s a benefit?) It is, actually, because our bodies need to sweat in order to release toxins and help cool your body. (Clogging the pores to prevent sweat can also lead to ingrown hairs, painful irritation, etc. No fun!)
- But they DO prevent body odor, which is caused by sweat coming into contact with the natural bacteria that live on our skin (and natural deodorants work to change that bacteria/sweat interaction).
- Traditional deodorants may be linked to adverse hormonal effects (and are thought to have the potential to increase risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, infertility, and more). The jury’s still out from a research standpoint as to how real this threat is, but why risk it if you can find a great alternative?
- Natural deodorants are good for your skin, too. They don’t block your pores like traditional deodorants do, which means good bacteria (i.e., no odor) keeps working even when you aren’t wearing deodorant. They also aid in keeping your underarms irritation free, which is no small thing. An irritation-free pit means closer, long-lasting shaves, no gross yellow pit stains, smaller pores, and more.
Okay, so the case can definitely be made for natural deodorants. But how to find the right one for you? Well, Susan and I tested a few to give you a place to start, but ultimately it’s best to start trying some for yourself, too. After all, our bodies have different chemistry, and so what works great for me might not cut it for you, and vice versa. The great news is, most natural deodorant brands have awesome return policies, so don’t be afraid to try them out! If they don’t work for you, send them back and move on to another one.
Another thing to mention, before I jump into the brands we tested and our “super scientific findings” related to each one, is that if you’re making the switch from a traditional deodorant to a natural one, expect there to be a transition period. Your body will have to get used to this new type of coverage, and so you may find you’re smellier and/or sweatier at first. To help with this process, consider incorporating a charcoal-based cleanser into your armpit-cleaning routine. (I use the Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar) to help pull out impurities and detox the “gunk” that traditional deodorants can leave behind. (Because I use this bar on my face, too, I just get some lathered up on my hands and use that to clean my armpits.) I’ve also found that taking your natural deodorant with you during the day for a midday reapplication can be helpful.
Okay, here we go — the results! Below, you’ll find a video of Susan and me talking about our experience with each deodorant (because she was in town, and I thought a video would be a good way to hear us discuss our findings) as well as a quick written overview of each deodorant:
Now, on to the written reviews! (These follow the same order we used in the video.):
1. Meow Meow Tweet: We opted to use both the primer and cream version of this deodorant, and loved them both. We tried the baking soda-free grapefruit cream. (Fun fact: baking soda often causes irritation, so if you’ve struggled with underarm irritation in the past, try looking for recipes without baking soda.) Susan and I both really, really liked this deodorant, and the only real negative was the fact that it had to be applied with your fingers. Meow Meow Tweet does make a stick version of this deodorant, though, and I emailed them about it to see if the performance and scent are the same as the cream version. Here’s what they had to say! (I would totally buy the stick.):
2. Fat and the Moon: This cream had a nice, essential oil-like scent, but Susan and I weren’t impressed with the consistency of the product. It wasn’t super easy to apply, and the performance was only so-so.
3. Native: We went with the Coconut & Vanilla scented stick, and I was surprised that I didn’t love this one (because I know many of you do!). The scent was a little too tropical for me, and the performance (at least for Susan and me) just was NOT there. It was a stick, though, so that made the application easier!
4. Primal Pit Paste: Susan and I chose the Lavendar version of this stuff, and I did appreciate that it came with a little applicator stick (it was a tiny version of a popsicle stick) to help with getting the deodorant out of the jar (minimizing bacteria from your fingers being trapped in the jar, etc.). The consistency of this stuff, though, was strange to us. It didn’t stick together, making it tricky to apply even with the stick. Plus, Susan and I didn’t get great staying power from this one.
5. Kopari Beauty: We loooooved this coconut deodorant stick. It’s clear and goes on so cleanly. You don’t have to wait to “warm it up” like you do with some natural sticks. I also loved that the coconut scent was much more subtle than the Native one, which was really nice. It kept me smelling fresh!
6. Piper Wai: We tried both the stick and paste version of this charcoal-based deodorant, but this was a solid middle performer for us. It smells good and works pretty well, but I found others in the test that worked much better (and Susan agreed).
7. Schmidt’s: We snagged the Bergamot & Lime stick, and we LOVED this one. It worked much better for us than the Native did. It was easy to apply, but still did have some white residue to look out for. A great performer!
8. Erbaviva: Susan and I LOVED this Jasmine Grapefruit Organic Deodorant spray. It has a strong essential oil-like scent to it (not in a bad way, but it is strong), and the application is SO easy. It goes on clear and dries really quickly, and Susan and I found that it kept us fresh all day.
OUR TOP 3:
So there you have it — our super scientific natural deodorant review! If you try any of these, please let me know what you think! I’d love your feedback.
Footnote: Since this review was published, I’ve heard amazing things about the Primally Pure deodorant from lots of reputable sources. I haven’t tried it for myself (yet), but wanted to be sure to share that here. (I will say I’ve been using their dry shampoo and like it a lot!)