For about a year and a half I’ve dabbled in natural deodorants. I would define my underarm preferences/type as follows:
- I like a stick (easier to travel both from a liquid allowance and size)
- It needs to be under £4
- It shouldn’t be overly perfumed
- I’m a sweater (i.e. someone who sweats, not a jumper)
- My wardrobe isn’t 100% (or even 10%) organic cotton/silk/cashmere so it needs to work with synthetic materials.
- I don’t want to smell bad
Like most women my age in the UK, I’m guessing we’ve all been on a similar deodorant journey: Impulse body spray (did you also have the Spice Girls limited edition?!), then onto the Dove/Nivea spray that seemed like you threw a whole bottle of talcum powder over yourself, followed by a more sturdy offering in the form of Mitchum- which I still use.
Now however, the market has exploded so much so that it seems every brand from Drunk Elephant to La Roche-Posay has a deodorant offering, many of which promote the ‘no aluminium, no parabens, sulphates, etc, etc’. Now that’s all well and good, but my question is ‘Am I going to smell?‘.
So lately, I’ve been trying a few out to see if it’s worth the full time switch.
When I was in the US last year I bought the Biossance Squalane & Bamboo deodorant from Sephora. Stick form, $14, ‘clean formula helps neutralize odor & absorb moisture.’ First of all it’s more than what I usually spend. Second, the lemon fragrance after wearing it for a couple of hours smelled like actual body odour and finally, my moisture was not absorbed. Fail
Next up, Mancave Eucalyptus Deodorant from Holland & Barrett or Amazon. This was recommended by a friend of mine who had heard good results. It smells much more herbal, like a tonic. It comes in a solid gel stick and you get a lot for your money: 75ml for £7.99. However, going a whole day, the scent had worn off and was left feeling less than fresh. Semi-fail
Bionsen is aluminium and paraben free and one of those deodorants you always see in the supermarket or Boots. For some reason I associate it with an older generation as it’s been around for ages. It comes in a stick, however I bought the roll on. It smells very fresh however in a more floral way than the Mancave. Being a roll on, it goes on wet so you have to wait for it to dry a bit and AGAIN, not all day freshness unless you lie still. Semi-fail.
Korres. Very similar to the Bionsen in that it’s a roll on with a slightly creamier texture. Glass bottle means it’s heavy and a little impractical and only 30ml. I bought it in Greece last year and so was in a daydream of wearing beachwear and cotton shirts and swimming in the sea all day i.e. minimal chance of smelling. However once the UK Autumn kicked in and back to a commute by bicycle, it was clear this was a fail.
Finally, earlier this year, Mitchum brought out an aluminium free deodorant known as ‘bamboo power’. More expensive to it’s aluminium sisters (£4.50 vs £1.50 at Boots), this is in a stick form. It’s not as solid as the original and leaves a cream-like residue under the arms. I bought the coconut fragrance and I’ve just seen they offer eucalyptus which I will most likely prefer. This is the clear winner. I’m currently wearing a synthetic top and after a busy work day I still smell coconut. The only thing I will say, is it’s not as moisture absorbing due to the cream texture. With the original I am definitely drier. Pass
Trying out ‘natural’ deodorants, it’s clear that it’s difficult to find the same level of dryness as traditional antiperspirants. However with my main concern being smell/freshness, Mitchum is the clear winner however there are a myriad of other options test. If you’ve used natural deodorants, I would love to know what you rate and what you don’t.