Not to toot my own horn or anything, but my current beauty routine is the eco-friendliest itâ€™s ever been. About a year ago, I decided it was time to start paying attention to what I put on my body. I switched to a plant-centric regimen, andâ€”despite NUMEROUS fears and reservationsâ€”saw improvements in both my skin and hair. Fast-forward to today, and Iâ€™ve incorporated natural products into almost every facet of my routine. Every area except oneâ€”deodorant.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I want to love natural deodorant. I know that traditional antiperspirants contain some pretty controversial ingredientsâ€”aluminum, parabens, and triclosan, to name a fewâ€”but Iâ€™ve never found a natural alternative that got the job done. Every formula Iâ€™ve ever triedâ€”be it salt crystals, baking soda, or literal ROCK-looking things you rub on your underarmsâ€”has left me smelly, sweaty and disappointed. I always went crawling back to my extra-strength drugstore antiperspirant.
But as more and more natural deodorants popped up on my radar, I began to wonder if Iâ€™d misjudged them. The latest aluminum-free alternatives certainly looked chicerâ€”a far cry from their weird crystal/rock counterparts. Had they stepped up their formulations, too? I decided it was time to suck it up, face my fears, and give the latest crop a go. (And yes, I am just crazy enough to start testing new deodorants as the weather warms up.) Read on to see how it went:
The rundown: Most drugstore antiperspirants have an ingredient list that requires an advanced chemistry degree to understand. Not so with this spray-on deodorant from Erbaviva. In fact, itâ€™s as pure and simple as it gets, crafted from just herbs, essential oils and organic grain alcohol. Simply spritz on your underarms for a refreshing and safe burst of bacterial and odor protection.
The results: The blend of essential oils and alcohol smelled deliciously zesty, and really did keep my armpits stink-free, soft and citrusy-smelling for about five hours. I really loved that I could spritz this one on, too. (No touching my armpits! Yay!) Since this formula is a deodorant only, it wonâ€™t keep you dry, but it will effectively neutralize your body odor. Plus, the sleek amber glass jar looks beautiful in your bathroom.
Notes: If youâ€™ve just shaved, wait a few minutes before spraying this on. The alcohol may sting a little.
The rundown: This menâ€™s deodorant is highly effective, blocks odor for 24 hours, and features Jack Blackâ€™s signature, citrusy scent. And while some natural deodorants are difficult to spread, the petroleum-free formula has a conventional deodorant delivery with a comfortable glide.
The results: Gents (and ladies!), if you want to give your underarms the best protection possible, I highly recommend Jack Blackâ€™s Cool CTRL Natural Deodorant. The all-natural formula uses potent, time-released odor blockers thatâ€”along anti-bacterial and anti-fungal actionâ€”stop even the strongest, manliest of smells in their tracks. While it didnâ€™t have much moisture control, it kept me cool and smelling fresh all day, which most natural deodorants canâ€™t manage. (Iâ€™m a surprisingly sweaty lady.) Out of all the formulas I tried, Jack Blackâ€™s had the best application, too. It spread easily and dried without tackiness, stickiness, or irritation. And even though Iâ€™m not a man, I really dug the signature scentâ€”it was subtly pleasing without being overwhelming, and totally unisex if you ask me.
Notes: Even though itâ€™s tough on smells, this potent formula is suitable for super-sensitive skin.
The rundown: This gel-to-powder deodorant has the strength and creamy spreadability of a traditional deodorant. The essential-oil infused formula comes in three delicious scentsâ€” Ginger Grapefruit, Lavender Myrrh, and Palo Santo Blood Orangeâ€”and is formulated without aluminum, talc, or other toxic ingredients. Oh, and it will leave you fresh for up to 24 hoursâ€”no lies.
The results: Right off the bat, this deodorant got points for smelling amazing. (My favorite scent is the Lavender Myrrh, with Ginger Grapefruit coming in a close second.) The gel formula goes on creamy and smooth, just like â€śnormalâ€ť deodorant, and has some seriously chic packaging. The best part? This stuff WORKS. Like really, really works. In terms of moisture control, itâ€™s the best natural deodorant Iâ€™ve ever tried, hands down. The absorbent baking soda, plant, and mineral complex keeps me fresh all day long without reapplication, through afternoon workouts and anxiety-inducing workdays. One note: all three formulas smell strongly of essential oils, though not overpoweringly so. However, if youâ€™re super sensitive to fragrance, this might not be the best choice for you.
Notes: A little goes a LONG way with this deodorant, so use sparingly!
The rundown: This decadent deo is blended with oakmoss, bergamot and andiroba tree oil, reducing underarm wetness and odor to keep the most active gentleman dry. It features a subtle scent of black pepper, coriander and vetiver.
The results:Â Odds are, â€śBlack pepperâ€ť isnâ€™t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sexy, delicious scents, but Iâ€™m telling youâ€”this pepper-scented deodorant is to die for. It smells expensive and decadent, like the super-rich boyfriend I never had. Technically, this is a menâ€™s deodorant, but heyâ€”Iâ€™m all for disposing of gendered beauty rules. A delicious scent is a delicious scent, and who wouldnâ€™t want to smell like this deodorant? Beyond the to-die-for fragrance, I loved the formulaâ€™s use of non-irritating ingredients like oakmoss, bergamot and andiroba tree oil to reduce wetness and odor. A lot of non-traditional deodorants canâ€™t keep sweaty ole me dry throughout the day, but this one did the trick.
Notes: Personally, I LOVE the way this deodorant smells, and donâ€™t mind that it errs on the masculine side. However, if youâ€™re into more feminine fragrances, this one probably isnâ€™t for you.
The rundown: Both alcohol and aluminum free, this award-winning deodorant uses refreshing, cooling eucalyptus extract and citronellyl to eliminate odors for up to 24 hours.
The results: Of all the deodorants I tried, the Malin + Goetz one felt the coolest, temperature wise. The cooling action comes curtesy of the eucalyptus-infused formula whichâ€”in addition to smelling greatâ€”offers antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and refreshing properties. I loved the spreadability and the light, spa-like scent. Plus, this deodorant is seriously effective. While it wasnâ€™t the most effective at controlling wetness, it worked exactly as a deodorant should: it kept me stink-free all day.
Notes: This deodorant is perfect for people with sensitive and eczema prone skin.
Final thoughts: Overall, I’m thrilled with my new deodorant discoveries, and I donâ€™t see myself switching back anytime soon. When trying out natural formulas, I do think itâ€™s important to have realistic expectations, however. They’re not going to keep you 100% bone-dry through marathons, and they won’t last for 48 hours like drugstore antiperspirants claim to. But, when you really think about itâ€¦who needs 48 hours of protection, anyway!?