At Siren Snacks, we like to think that we’re pretty on top of our game when it comes to natural beauty. We remove our makeup and moisturize with coconut oil, rely on Dr. Bronners soap to suds up in the shower (the peppermint scent is our favorite), and get a genuine thrill from raiding the beauty aisle at Whole Foods. But as my makeup bag have gotten a clean and green makeover, I've struggled with one beauty staple: deodorant. As much as I'm eager to jump on the natural beauty bandwagon, it was difficult finding an effective alternative when I've been using Secret Clinical Strength for my adult life. I'm wary of the aluminum, parabens, and chemicals lurking in many deodorant brands, but I'm almost just as wary of B.O.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard (not to mention smelly) place when it comes to natural deodorant. To save you time and money, here’s what we learned after testing four of the most popular brands. Plus, find out which stick we’re sticking with for the time being.
The first thing I noticed about this deodorant was the scent. There’s something undeniably uplifting about citrus, especially first thing in the morning. The deodorant was slightly uncomfortable to apply—it felt rough and dry on my skin. After about an hour of wearing it, my armpits started to itch. Google informed me it could be the amount of baking soda in the product, which may irritate more sensitive skin. Despite the itching, it did keep me smelling like freshly-squeezed OJ and feeling dry the entire day without reapplying.
Later that evening, when I stretched my arms behind my head after a big dinner, a friend remarked, “What’s that white stuff in your armpits?” After investigating in the bathroom, I saw the deodorant had clumped up into tiny white balls in my armpits. Honestly, it kind of looked like porridge. Unfortunately, the porridge covered the inside of my silk blouse, too.
I had high hopes for this deodorant since I love the Weleda Skin Food moisturizer. While this smelled like walking through a rose garden and felt refreshing to apply, the scent only lasted about 10 minutes. After a trip to the grocery store, I gave my pits a whiff and realized I already needed to reapply. There’s no way this spray could get my through a sweaty HIIT class. This was especially disappointing because the label reads it lasts 24 hours. A more accurate label for this product would be “body spray” rather than “deodorant.” Plus, after shaving, the alcohol in the spray made my armpits sting.
I’ve been devoted to Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste for years, so why not give their deodorant a try? The drugstore price tag was great on my wallet and the lavender scent was subtle. While this did a fantastic job at preventing wetness, it did not mask B.O. As I lifted my arms during a yoga sun salutation, I noticed a rather off-putting smell. One downward dog later, I realized my armpits were responsible for stinking up the studio. I blamed it on Tom.
I almost purchased the Unscented option, but swapped it for the Coconut & Vanilla at the last second. This. Smells. So. Good. I had a hard time not eating it. (Good thing it’s natural.) It’s sweet-smelling but not cloying—what Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar always wanted to be. While some deodorants feel like rubbing sandpaper on your pits, this is incredibly moisturizing because it contains shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax. Because of its buttery consistency, it left a few white marks on our camisole after pulling it over our head.
This continued to smell awesome and keep me dry from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., which included a nerve-wracking presentation and post-work gym session. My boyfriend, who has supported (and smelled) me through our many trials and errors with natural deodorant, even approved.
Though all of these natural deodorants had positive attributes, from invigorating scents to refreshing formulas, Native Deodorant is the only one I’ll likely repurchase. It’s effective and smells like vacation and dessert in a stick. The primary perk? I'm happy and confident that the ingredients in our deodorant are clean, just like Siren Snacks.
We’d love to know: Have you tried any natural deodorants that work? Share an excerpt from your own natural deodorant diaries in a comment below, along with which brand is your favorite.