Natural deodorants have a bad rep, but is it really deserved? Being a regular fixture at my local health store, I can't help but notice these natural odor-fighters right alongside the essential oils and hypoallergenic soaps I swear by. Being a bit of a flower child myself, I decided to give it a whirl.
The truth is that I've been sketched out by the chemicals in regular deodorants for a while and have been looking for a reason to wean myself off. The catch? I live in Florida, where it's pretty much 95 degrees before the sun even rises. Smelling like a hippie chick is a legitimate concern in these parts.
Throwing my fears (and regular deodorant) out the window, I wore nothing but the natural stuff for one straight week—during a blazing-hot Florida summer. Here's what happened.
The brand: Tom's of Maine
Tom's of Maine, which makes a ton of natural products, was a brand I'd seen a hundred times. (I'd even used their toothpaste once while in a pinch and had no complaints.) To kick off my road test, I started with Tom's natural powder deodorant. The first thing I did was give it a whiff, which smelled exactly the way you'd expect for powder fresh.
While applying it, its slick texture immediately made itself known. Wetter than traditional deodorant, it sort of smooshed on, leaving a moist residue behind. Luckily it dried in no time, but I'd definitely recommend keeping your arms up for a minute to let your underarms dry out before getting dressed. I also found that lightly blotting with some toilet paper did the trick.
From there, I was off and running. My day consisted of running errands, walking dogs, working, and swimming with my kids. All the while, I made it clear to my family to please pipe up if they noticed a stench. The day came and went and, I'm happy to report, my 4-year-old assured me that I "didn't smell yucky." (Score!)
The brand: The Honest Company
Oh, how I love The Honest Company. Being that it's one of my favorite brands, I was definitely excited to give this one a test spin. I settled on their lavender vanilla scent, which smells heavenly. Another thing I loved about it was the fact that it came with a pump spray. So instead of rolling it on like a solid deodorant stick, you spritz the liquid directly onto your armpits. This, in itself, feels super refreshing.
Like the Tom's of Maine brand, it left a little bit of wetness behind, but it dried up relatively quickly. The only drawback was that the smell, while lovely, is very strong. I smelled like lavender vanilla for hours. In other words, wearing perfume with this deodorant might be tricky.
When it comes to effectiveness, the label recommends applying as often as needed. Being that it's summer, I found that I did in fact need a refresher spray during the mid-afternoon. But all in all, this brand is aces.
The brand: Lavanila Laboratories
I'd actually never tried anything from this brand before, but had heard good things as far as their deodorants go. Out of the three that I tried, this one definitely looks, smells and feels the most like regular deodorant. I don't know what they're doing over there at Lavanila, but they make a pretty solid product.
I wore their vanilla coconut natural deodorant to an outdoor barbeque and felt well protected in terms of odor. Another perk was that I didn't need to reapply it because it actually lasted all day long. The only downside is that it comes in the form of a white stick that rolls on. So if you're not careful, you could end up with white-armpit syndrome.
Other than that, I was a big fan.
I have to say that my week on natural deodorant converted me to the other side. (I'm the type of person who makes her own household cleaners, so it's honestly not all that shocking.) As far as deodorants go, I love that all three brands wash off easily without leaving any icky residue behind. They also kept me smelling fine and minimally sweaty.
All in all, not a bad week.