In the morning, most of us go through our routine without really thinking about what we’re putting on our skin. It’s our biggest organ and we should be considerate of what we put on it! Despite that, I still rolled my eyes at the “hippie talk” that natural vegan deodorant is better than the stuff with aluminum. With all the health, wellness, and homeopathic trends out there I kind of just wrote it all off. I mean how much aluminum is really in my Lady Speed Stick?! Well you’d be surprised to learn there’s actually 7% aluminum listed in the active ingredients!! That was a heck of a lot more than I was expecting for a small stick of deodorant. I basically picture it as a small sheet of aluminum foil in every stick. Kind of crazy right??
It got me thinking that maybe I should listen to this “hippie talk”… I mean how many times a day do I put on deodorant?? I put some on in the morning (1), before my afternoon workout(2), after my afternoon workout(3), then if I do something in the evening I will put some on before(4) and/or after(5) that too. Basically, I like to smell good, and that means I put on a lot of deodorant, between 3-5 times a day!! HOLY CRAP! Time for a change!
For the purpose of this review, I went through a 2 week natural vegan deodorant detox. It can take about 2 weeks for your body to shed the junk you’ve been forcing on it and to equalize to your new routine so I wanted to be accurate in reviewing. I will be honest – I had never thought my pits could smell like that, I guess aluminum baby powder really covered it up. Once the gross second week was over things started to balance out. I gave each deodorant its own week where I used it exclusively and subjected it to everything from warped tour, indoor concerts, climbing, lifting, running, and daily life in hot hot Utah! I’ve never smelled my own armpits so much in my life haha. Let’s see how they did!!
Things you should know about Natural Vegan Deodorant:
- It is Deodorant NOT antiperspirant. It will not prevent you from sweating but it will help you not stink!
- A little goes a long way, 2-3 swipes should have you covered.
- Typically, they are oil/butter based. If you put on too much it could stain your clothing. Most of the time it will wash out with a hot wash cycle, but be warned.
- If you do notice staining happening, put on your deodorant a few minutes before you put your shirt on.
- Apply to dry skin.
- When you make the switch to Natural Vegan Deodorant it will take 2-3 weeks for your body to adjust. During this time, you may smell pretty bad, but it does get better once your pits “detox”
- It does not contain aluminum!! No tin foil in your pits!
- If your armpits are sensitive, they may react to baking soda. If you notice any irritation/rash switch to a sensitive skin, baking soda free formula.
Tom’s of Maine
Tom’s is a widely available and pretty easy to find which made it a good deodorant to test. I have heard a few things here and there about Tom’s natural deodorant but I tried to stay impartial. I picked up the 24hr protection – Wild Lavender version, which smelled a little more masculine than I anticipated. The texture/look of this deo was different than all the other ones I tested, kind of like a solid gel (not sure how to describe it). At first things seemed OK, it seemed to be working for daily life but once I started putting it to work, it started showing its true potential.
After walking hot laps through the airport I smelled absolutely terrible. I should not stink from walking around the airport! A little embarrassed and anxious about how this how whole natural deodorant test was going to go, I dug out the deo and applied some more hoping not to knock anyone over on the flight. From there it only got worse. I used it during several longer hikes in Portland. I usually wear the same button up over shirt for hikes (over a new clean shirt) but less than 5 minutes into day two’s hike I couldn’t stand the smell of yesterday – I ripped off the shirt and shoved it in my bag. YUCK! 24 hr protection my butt, no wonder it was on clearance. I think I would have been better without any deodorant at all.
- Cheaper ($4.99)
- Heat Resistant (sweats just a little in hot temps)
- Easy to find in mainstream stores
- 10 available scents
- Absolutely does not work.
Bare Bones Body
Bare Bones body is a handcrafted vegan skin care company started by Monica who was basically fed up with all of the toxic and seemingly “all natural” deodorants on the shelves. When I say handcrafted, I mean they literally hand make each batch! Their ingredients are simple and mostly organic and they blend together to make a really smooth deodorant. Bare Bones was definitely the smoothest blend of all the natural deodorants I tried.
They carry 3 varieties of their deodorant Original, Cedarwood, and Sensitive Skin (baking soda free). When I first received the samples, I was relieved to see they survived a weekend in my hot mailbox! The smell of their deodorant is SOO good! The Cedarwood is my favorite. It’s like a coconut/vanilla/dessert-like smell. The Sensitive Skin version has a nice subtle coconut/shea smell. This deodorant kept on impressing me throughout the test. Each time I wore it climbing, running, at concerts, and all day at Warped Tour I never smelled. Definitely my favorite of the 4 brands reviewed here!
- Reasonably priced for Natural Deo ($8.99)
- Survives the hot temperatures (even in a hot car)
- Leaves you smelling fresh
- They switch the formula during the summer months for better heat adaptation
- Moisturizing and smells great
- Unless you live near LA or near their other 3 non-California locations you have to order online
- Could be viewed as expensive (although I suspect 1 stick will last you a while).
- More Oily than the other brands
- You might want put it on a few minutes before putting your shirt on (I’ve waited and just put it on while wearing a shirt, no issues)
Bare Naked Botanicals
Bare Naked Botanicals is a handmade body care company founded by Kimberly. They carry deodorant, body lotion, facial lotion, toners, bars of soap and more! Bare Naked puts a lot of thought and consideration into their ingredient choices. She checks each ingredient through the environmental working group’s search to make sure the ingredients are as low as possible on the hazard scale – striving for zero which means no chance its bad 🙂 I met Kim at the Vegan Beer & Food Festival in LA and after talking with her, I could really tell she was passionate about her products! On their website they have a section called “The Kitchen” where each ingredient is broken down and explained – definitely a great way to learn more about the product!
I received a sample of the Bergamot Lime natural vegan deodorant. OMG It smells like I rubbed lime sherbet in my pits! Climbing is one of my favorite hobbies (and probably the smelliest) so when I’m climbing through a hard section and I go for a hold and smell sherbet its a nice surprise 🙂 It keeps me fresh for my climbing but I have noticed that after longer activities, 4 hrs or more of difficult activity (like long hikes), I can kinda smell a little something but nothing unacceptable for what I’m doing.
The one negative thing I have noticed is that when I’m doing workouts where I move my arms a lot the excess deodorant in my pits will kind of ball up then fall off my armpits. I’ve noticed this after long runs and lifting (arm day) workouts and not every time, but it is something to consider. Maybe its a batch thing or maybe I need less than 3 swipes with this one. That being said – This deodorant is still in my gym bag and I use it during my lunch workouts because it smells so dang good!
- Smells absolutely amazing!! (available in 4 scents
- Seemed to keep my dryer than the others
- Survives the hot temperatures (even in a hot car)
- Non-greasy/oily feel
- All versions are Baking Soda Free
- Covers up/Prevent smells throughout a normal day with some light activity or shorter bouts of more intense workouts
- Can buy a sample size for $3.00
- More expensive than the other brands I tried ($14.99)
- Sometimes after activity the deodorant rolled up into little balls/flakes and would fall out of my armpits
- Might be a bit smelly after longer strenuous activity
- Not available in stores
Florere (pronounced flow-rare) was started by Cynthia who had a fierce passion to design a natural aluminum-free deodorant after finding out her close friend’s mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. After many months, she landed on a great formula, that they still use today. This formula is their only one and it is available in two forms: Stick and a tub. I was surprised when I opened the package that it had been packed so cute 🙂
The smell of their formula is one you’d expect from a deodorant: clean, fresh, and subtle. On top of pursuing a great working natural deodorant, Florere also donates a portion of each deodorant sale on their website towards finding a cure for cancer. I never noticed any stink while using this brand. The fresh smell would fade but B.O. stink never came – win in my book! I was also surprised that I actually really liked tub/cream form! I thought I would only be down for sticks of deodorant!
- Mid range price ($12.99)
- A portion of each sale goes to help find a cure for cancer
- The Cream/tub version survives hot temperatures (even in a hot car)
- Non-greasy/oily feel
- Kept me smelling fresh/neutral
- The Cream/tub came with an application stick
- The stick, even though the same formula, didn’t do too well in the hot car. It sweated out a lot, it didn’t melt of leak out, but it needed to cool for a while before it reached a more firm state
- The stick form seemed a bit hard – definitely need to hold it to your pit to warm it then swipe to avoid irritation 🙂
- Available mainly online and in a few select stores (see locations here)
I will definitely keep using natural deodorant. After a few learning curves and some time, my body has gotten used to using the natural brands.
- Bare Bones Body (highly recommend)
- Florere (highly recommended)
- Bare Naked Botanticals (recommended for more day-to-day use)
- Tom’s of Maine (do not recommend -save your money and buy one of the brands above)
*I received these products to sample and review. All options and views in this post are my own honest thoughts.