While on a quest to only use organic and natural products on my body and around the home, I thought it was time to road test deodorant. I chose four different brands, which between them have three different application methods. I've been trialling them over the past few weeks under all different conditions. Exercise, warmers days, cooler days, with lots of clothing, and then with light weight clothing... you get the picture. I believe I've found some really great products, but before I get into what I love and loath about them, here's a little bit about why.
Whats the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant?
Antiperspirant contains chemicals that block the production of perspiration. This means you won't sweat, and no bad smells. Deodorant, on the other hand, allows the natural production of perspiration, but helps with any odours by using fragrances to combat the bacteria that causes the smell.
In theory the idea of getting rid of the sweat sounds great right? No sweat product seems the easiest way. It might be the easiest and the most convenient now, but the long term effects won't be convenient at all!
Why should I use a natural deodorant?
By now we're all aware that there are chemicals in almost all of the products we put on our skin that are harmful to our health. Skin absorbs just about everything we put on it, and it's an express ticket to our bloodstream. I know you understand how big of a deal this is, in the same way I do.
Is it really that bad?
Earlier this year I went for an appointment with a new naturopath. She had an extensive questionnaire for me to fill in based on just about any possible health concern I could have. One of the questions was 'Do you experience breast tenderness?'. I wrote ' Yes. Usually when I'm pre-menstrual'.
When we went through the questionnaire together, she asked whether I was using an aluminium free deodorant. At that point I wasn't really aware that they contained aluminium, so assumed I was. On her recommendation I quickly switched to a natural version. Within just one cycle, the breast tenderness had gone. That's right! I had always associated this with hormones, and thought it was completely normal, when it was actually brought on by the chemicals in my deodorant. From then on, I was sworn off chemical laden fragrance.
This is just my personal experience, and is probably the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damage they can cause. Our underarms are a tender area, near our adrenals, and right near our breasts. Who knows what long term damage we could be causing just from preventing odours!
The biggest thing I have found is that when using natural deodorants, you need to apply them more than once in a day. Ok, so you might be thinking 'I ain't got time for that!' Well make time! No, seriously, you need to make it a priority. I just put mine on in the morning, then throw it in my bag, reapply around lunch time, and that usually does it.
All of the products (except one - which you will read further down) were fine when I was exercising, as they were when I wasn't. In fact, I was really impressed.
Here they are
Divine by Therese Kerr - Deodorant $18.95
In one word, beautiful! This is a gorgeous product, with great packaging, which is also important! The fragrance is a lovely essential oils blend of lavender and ylang ylang. It also contains aloe vera to soothe sensitive skin.
When I was trialling this product, I had some broken skin under one of my arms, that had resulted from the drier weather. It did sting a little bit when I used it on the broken skin, but in hindsight it was probably working as an antibacterial as it didn't make it any worse.
Being in a spray bottle made it convenient to apply and re-apply. I also used it as a body spray.
Eco Tan - Organic Deodorant $14.95
I love the fragrance of this product, it's a beautiful coconut smell that reminds me of a tropical island! It packs all the features that I'm looking for, no aluminium, no parabens and it's organic.
To be totally honest, I found this product to be really similar to the Divine by Therese Kerr one. The only difference I really noticed was the smell. I was able to use them both in the same way, and I found them to be just as effective as each other. It really just comes down to personal preference on the fragrance. I quite like having the two to choose from, depending on my mood.
Cleanse Skincare - Soapwalla Deodorant Cream $16.00
Natural with organic ingredients
Until trying this product, I had never used a cream deodorant before. I was really surprised at how well it worked! You just grab some out of the jar, rub it together in your hands and rub into your pits. It's not sticky at all, and just feels like you're applying a heavy moisturiser. It's best if you let it soak into your skin a little bit before you put you clothes on, but I tried it both ways, and it still worked fine.
The only downside to this one, is it's not as easy to reapply on the go. It did last a little longer than the spray options, but didn't have the same 'pretty' smell. It still smells nice, kind of eucalyptus like, but not in the same way as the previous two.
My favourite option is to actually wear the cream deodorant, followed by a little spritz or either the Eco Tan Deordorant or the Divine by Therese Kerr deodorant. Then I throw the spray in my bag to touch up with later.
Crystal Essence - Pomegranate Deodorant $4.45
This was my least favourite of the four. It's a pleasant smell, and the application is easy. However I found that it went on quite wet, and took a while to dry, which isn't very comfortable, or convenient if you're wearing a silk top. I needed to re-apply it more often than the other three I trialled. I've also never really liked the hygiene side of a roll on product . (You pick up bacteria off your skin and send it back into the product with the roller)
On the plus side, it's more budget friendly than the other samples, however it doesn't perform quite as well.
Although this product wasn't right for me, doesn't mean you wouldn't like it. I encourage you to play around with a couple and see what best suits you and your needs.
What natural deodorant do you use?
I'd love you to share a mini review below. You might help someone else in choosing product best suited to them.