I’m officially the stinkiest girl you’ll ever encounter in Starbucks….BUT searching for a new natural deodorant may be just as painful.
After undergoing a complete health and wellness paradigm shift with food, personal care, cleaning and beauty products this past year I’ve been feeling pretty great lately about my new safer choices; especially my deodorant which is free of harmful chemicals, minimizes stink and had me doing the Hip Hop Hooray arm sway every time Naughty by Nature played on my beloved 90’s Hip Hop station.
But in came the hormone shifts, night sweats, and foreboding feeling that the slight men’s locker room musk emanating from the line at Starbucks was not the dude behind me. 🙈
Insert RPF (Resting Panic Face).
I found myself in quite a predicament, as anti-perspirants are chalk full of harmful chemicals like aluminum, which is used to block sweat glands and reduce odor. And walking around like Mary Kathryn Gallagher with my hands in my pits all day is not a viable option for me. It would make my girlfriends at kindergarten drop-off laugh so hard they would wet their pants, but I’m guessing the general public would not appreciate.
So….I was on the hunt for a new safe and effective deodorant. And let me tell you, searching for a natural deodorant that ACTUALLY works…STINKS!
Finding one that tames the stink, doesn’t leave white residue on your clothing or red bumps on your skin and feels somewhat better than rubbing Elmer’s glue underneath your armpit is very difficult. But because your MY reader and I love you (strictly for your personality), I’ve decided to do a test run on five of the most popular and safe deodorants to hit the market and provide you with a full report:
Testing conditions include one morning application of each natural deodorant, followed by this daily list of activities:
Wake up, remove pee from toddler potty, rip covers off of two kids, get them dressed, smelling decent, fed and off to school, inhale fresh pressed juice (from last night), clean up more pee, do some writing (translation: two sentences) before changing a diaper full of pee, pick kids up from school and help them pee, make dinner, put kids to bed (translation: purgatory), go pee ALONE (thank you), write some more (translation: two more sentences), fall into bed.
Natural deodorants are analyzed according to four characteristics:
- Stink Factor
My sophisticated testing standards:
😒: All aboard the “Nope Train.”
1. Soapwalla deodorant cream (www.soapwallakitchen.com), $14 vegan
A combination of lavender, tea tree and peppermint essential oils give this clay-based formula a subtle, minty scent. After I wore it around for a couple hours I hardly noticed a scent at all, which is great because I would actually rather smell like sweat then some other rank deodorants I’ve tried that smell like a cross between cherry flavored moth balls and granny. And at least with B.O. people will actually think I did something “active” in my active wear as oppose to hanging out next to a Glade plug-in all day.
Full disclosure here: I’m partial to roll-on deodorant. And not a huge fan of the paste application. The word paste in and of itself is so disturbing. It takes me back to that episode from Friends, where in attempt to free himself from the confines of his newly purchased leather pants, Ross pours baby powder all over his nether region. The baby powder mixes with his own sweat to form a thick, mucous like paste and he spends hours in sitcom time trapped in his own pants while his hot date becomes increasingly impatient. Pure hell. But I digress.
While Soapwalla is what I like to call a “craste” (cream + paste), you do have to use your fingers to apply it. However, I am using it everyday and LOVING it. The fact that I’m willing to overlook the craste application says a lot about the quality. Plus, after you apply it you can rub the excess into your skin and it absorbs very quickly. This will come in handy when I’m furiously rubbing it under my armpits with no time to shower and hot night on the town with my girls. Or who are we kidding? An 8 p.m. Whole Foods run. Let’s get crazy.
Stink Factor: 😄
Made from super fine vegetable powders and clays, along with other simple ingredients, I did not have high expectations for Soapwalla to keep me dry and sweet smelling. But it was effective. No residue, no stink, washed right off in the shower. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!
I’m digging Soapwalla—their company, vibe and commitment to partnering with small farms to ensure their ingredients are of high quality and ethically harvested. Cool tidbit—they make each batch by hand in their NY studio. Now that’s quality control!
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince…Soapwalla’s my dude on the big white horse. Yes it’s “crasty,” but there is something magical about this formula—it’s the perfect blend of dry clays and earthy essential oils that give it that simple yet satisfying consistency and scent. Slaying in the natural deodorant department!
- Agent Nateur (www.agentnateur.com), $19
Made from a combo of coconut oil, lavender, eucalyptus and traces of raw honey, the scent is subtle and pleasant. I put this on after a workout and got not one, but two compliments on my sweet smellingness. I’ll take five please!
Did I mention that I hate paste? Agent comes in an easy roll-on and leaves no residue on either my armpits or clothes. For a natural deodorant without synthetic materials, its actually kind of magical.
Stink factor: 😃
Given that the scent is so light and unassuming, I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me dry and stink free all day!
Founder of Agent Nateur began whipping up her home made, holistick (get it?) deodorant blend in West Hollywood kitchen after years of battling an auto-immune disorder. This quickly turned into a unique business which has mastered the art of beautiful, simple, elegant packaging with a safe and effective product. She’s easy on the eyes too.
You can order directly through the company or the Goop site. I ordered through Goop and it took a week and half to be delivered, which may be Goop or another issue, not sure.
This is my second runner up–loved the easy application, light scent and ingredients kept me dry and odorless. I love that they use food grade ingredients so you can keep it in your purse for a healthy snack. Lol. Oh and this one is pricey, but there is a ton of product in just one tube. Should last you awhile.
3. Ursa Major Hoppin’ Deodorant (www.ursamajorvt.com), $18, gluten-free, cruelty-free
Okay the woodsy tea tree scent is not horrible, but a bit too masculine for me.
Kept me reasonably dry for a couple hours, but the stink returned by the end of the day.
Roll on makes it easy and seamless. Leaves no residue.
Ursa Major is dedicated to using sustainable ingredients and seems to work with their formulators throughout the process to ensure ingredients are pure, mostly organic and free of toxins. They developed a “never list” of those ingredients that will never be in their products—list could be longer in my opinion. And some questionable ingredients like sodium benzoate, however if they use proper testing standards may be okay. Also company provides a 30 day money back guarantee.
While some will find the scent refreshing and the stick goes on light and leaves no residue, it did not pass the 12 hr. stink test and not worth the $18 buckaroos.
4. Meow Meow Tweet (www.meowmeowtweet.com), $14
So the lavender/bergamot smelled great on the stick, it didn’t fare so well when it mixed with my body chemistry. Plus for whatever reason, it gave me rash under my arm. And only one armpit which was even weirder. Insert M. Night Shayamalan-ish creepy as sh%t music. The fact that it gave me a rash doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of a product, but this one just did not work for me.***
***The lemon eucalyptus scent was way better but for the reasons below is not worth a huge write up.
Stink factor: 😒
Kept me decently dry, but did not enjoy the smell of my armpits by the end of the day which reeked of wet dirty gym socks sprinkled with a couple of lavender seeds. No Bueno.
Roll on. Should be relatively simple, BUT it was difficult to push the product up through the tube. It also left a bit of residue that I successfully rubbed in, but now we are in paste territory. And you know how I feel about paste.
I do heart this “Cool Cat Company”…as all their products are made with organic, unrefined plant oils and butter and steam-distilled essential oils. They pride themselves on their 100% vegan products and their strong commitment to using only the most sustainable ingredients (the packaging is a testament to this as it’s a biodegradable paper roll on stick). And the design on the product is too cute.
I want so badly to love this one because any company with a name like “Meow Meow Tweet” immediately goes into my creative + adorable = ahmazing file FOREVER. And must admit a bit of nostalgia there too—as I called my childhood cat “Meow Meow.” RIP. Adorable biodegradable packaging aside, the scent did not mix well with my stank and it left streaks on my clothes. Bad kitty.
- Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick in Ylang Ylang & Caldendula (www.schmidts.com) $8.99, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free
Even though I adore both ylang ylang and calendula essential oils, I did not appreciate the scent on this stick. And by this I mean I threw up in my mouth a little when I opened the package.
While the scent on the stick was doody, I was pleasantly surprised to smell that it mixed well with my body chemistry and was actually pleasing by the end of the day. See this is why I test run these products people! It didn’t have the longevity as some of the other deodorants I had tried, but overall I would give it a B.
Schmidts’ application is similar to the more traditional anti-perspirant sticks—which I know will give many people the warm fuzzies. I also didn’t notice any clumping and minimal white streaks! And I feel like most of the time I’m bringing my C game so with white streaks it pushes me up to the B- range. I’ll take it.
This company was started by a concerned pregnant entrepreneur (aren’t those the best type?) who was determined to make a stellar natural deodorant without all the harmful chemicals. Well her commitment to making a great natural products paid off–as they went from a kitchen based mom and pop operation (more mom than pop) to a rather large and successful company.
While the scent grew on me over time, I would say overall this one is fair. However, Schmidt’s deodorant comes in a wide array of scents, both roll on and paste applications and they even have a formula for sensitive skin (which may be great for those of you who are constantly in the rash zone). And to be honest, it was a stellar review by InStyle magazine of Schmidt’s paste in Cedarwood and Juniper which prompted me to try this brand in the first place. I’ll give this one the benefit of the doubt and say that I may have selected the wrong product to test run.
But after literally spending four months on this project, I refuse to extend my testing window. It may be worth a shot to give the Schmidt’s a go….but this Essential Lady is taking her Soapwalla deodorant craste home and calling it a day. Peace!
Do you want more information about other natural deodorant brands on the market?
Check out this incredible article from Review.com, where they put 155 different natural deodorant brands to the test and provided the most comprehensive review I’ve ever seen!
So what are my favorite products, health and lifestyle tips, recipes and kid-related stuff?
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