Beauty

Tried & Tested: Natural Deodorants

By Julia O'Driscoll
30.08.19

Don't know where to start with natural deodorants? Our team put some of the best to the test and share the results.

We’ll be honest, when we first suggested running a Tried & Tested piece on natural deodorants during this summer's heatwave, we were met with a few less-than-enthusiastic looks.

Despite the potential health risks associated with wearing a deodorant that contains aluminium (known to be one of the most effective ingredients for reducing underarm odour), there is some scepticism about switching to a natural alternative for fear of it being less effective than a chemically-packed product. Some natural deodorants also come with a higher price tag, which can be off-putting if you aren’t sure which product you’ll get on with best.

Luckily, our team are willing to give anything planetarily-positive a try. From pastes to roll ons, we put a range of the best natural deodorants to the ultimate test (even putting them through summer on the central line) and shared our experiences to help you determine which is the one for you. 
 

Earth Conscious Cream

Sophie tried Earth Conscious's cream deodorant in grapfruit and lemon scent, available on the website for £7. Having seen this brand in bulk shops, and being a fan of the plastic-free packaging, she was excited to give it a try and suggests re-using the metal tin for a DIY beauty recipe - or recycling it, of course. 

Tell us about the product:

The smell of the product in the tin is lovely - a fruity grapefruit and lemon, which makes a nice change from the usual floral scents of most deodorants. The ingredients are natural and almost all organic, which is a massive selling point - though the bicarb can be irritating for sensitive skin. 

How do you apply it?

As it is a cream deodorant it is best applied by rubbing into your armpits post shower. I would definitely recommend applying a bit more than is suggested; a little bit of trial and error will determine which amount works best for you.

How did you get on with it?

I found that it didn’t take as long to dry as my normal roll on, which was great and meant getting dressed was a lot quicker than usual. Unlike most conventional deodorants, this isn't an anti-perspirant so it can leave you feeling a little clammy on a hot day. 

Did you put it to the test?

I went on multiple runs wearing this deodorant and was pleasantly surprised to arrive home still smelling good. Likewise, I survived hot yoga classes and many a sweaty journey on the central line without feeling too concerned of how I was smelling.

Any further thoughts?

A great deodorant that is a lot easier to apply than I initially feared! My only comment would be that it perhaps requires topping up throughout the day, as by the end of the day its effects can begin to wear off.

 

Earth Conscious Stick

Fiona was really excited to try this deodorant - the tube is small, light and super easy to carry around, making it a handy product to suit her busy lifestyle. Also £7.

Tell us about the product:

The product smells great when you open it, with delicious tones of jasmine and rose. The smell isn’t too strong and once applied it lasts all day.

How do you apply it? 

You just push up the base of the tube to expose some of the solid bar and roll on. It couldn’t be easier. 

How did you get on with it?

I had a great experience with this deodorant. The application made it so easy to use, it is super light to travel with, and the product itself smelled great and kept me fresh all day. 

Did you put it to the test?

I really put this deodorant to the test and I have to say, it really surprised me with how well it worked! I ran, swam, surfed, paddle boarded, played netball, went camping and went on the central line while using this deodorant, and I smelt fresh throughout.   

My first day wearing it I went for a run, and the only downside I found was that as I had just applied the deodorant, it did not stop me from sweating and it slightly dissolved while running, meaning my sweat under my arms was white. However, when I exercised after the deodorant had been applied for a prolonged period, I did not have this issue at all. And despite the slight melting on one occasion, it continued to smell great.

Any further thoughts?

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a deodorant that keeps pace with an active lifestyle, and who wants something really easy to apply. 

 

Evolve Beauty

Kelly tried Evolve Beauty's natural deodorant cream, available for £10. Having tried other Evolve products before and being a fan, she was excited to give this deo a go.

Tell us about the deodorant: 

It’s vegan, cruelty free and made in the UK with 99% natural and 61.5% organic ingredients - all of which sounded perfect to me. The glass jar is small and ideal for travelling or carrying in your handbag - although I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t need to reapply during the day at all so could have left it at home. It’s made with a blend of organic shea butter and coconut oil, so it feels really nourishing, while the subtle ‘cotton fresh’ fragrance is 100% natural and smells clean and delicious, without being overpowering.

How do you apply it? 

As a cream deodorant, you apply onto underarms with your fingertips post-shower. It’s tricky to know how much to use at first, but I would say don’t be too sparse when applying - it recommends a fingertip size amount, which I found to be about right if I used a relatively generous fingertip - even though it felt like I was scooping out quite a lot sometimes. 

How did you get on with it?

It passed the central line at rush hour test, even during a heatwave - so it’s a winner in my eyes. I would 100% recommend this to anyone looking for a natural deodorant.

 

Fit Pit

Robyn was intrigued - if a little sceptical - to try out The Green Woman's Fit Pit, having never used a natural deodorant before. She found the little pots very useful for travel, and liked that it didn't need to be squeezed into a hand luggage liquids bag for her bank holiday getaway. Available for £10.

Tell us about the product:

The smell (rosemary and bergamot) is heavenly - it smells more like you’re applying an expensive moisturiser than a deodorant, and the size is ideal to carry in a handbag in case you need a top up. 

How do you apply it? 

Using your finger to apply to skin - I always use slightly more than recommended to be safe on smell.

How did you get on with it?

It was great - I was rather nervous wearing it to work in case it didn't work and dreaded the idea of smelling around clients, but it didn’t let me down once.

Did you put it to the test?

I cycle to and from work, and despite the warm weather it worked wonderfully - I’m never going back.

 

Neal's Yard Spray

Lori had heard good things about Neal's Yard, and loved the minimal packaging and luxirious look of her spray deodorant, available for £8.59. She loved that all the ingredients are displayed on the front label, saying "it’s a delight to be able to see exactly what i’m spraying on to my skin." 

 

Tell us about the deodorant:

My scent was lavender and aloe vera, which was a dream. It was so well balanced that I could apply just deodorant and smell divine, but it wasn’t so overpowering that it would have masked any perfume. The ingredients are made 100% from natural origin - as someone with sensitive skin, this was a massive benefit. It felt cooling and calming after application. 

How do you apply it?

The interesting thing about this deodorant is that it’s actually a spray! I’d never tried anything like this before, but I found that it gave good coverage without leaving any marks and I feel this would be the perfect deodorant for those with sensitive skin. I would recommend two or three sprays though. 

How did you get on with it?

In regards to fighting odour, Neal’s Yard have got it down - its bacteria-fighting ingredients and use of organic essential oils mean that with every spray you’re going to smell delicious. I would recommend carrying the bottle with you to spray throughout the day to top up if needs be. 

Did you put it to the test?

Fitness is a big part of my professional and personal life; most days I am doing some form of physical activity so having a deodorant that supports that is important to me. I was worried about how a natural deodorant would fair in my routine but I was pleasantly surprised. While this deodorant did not survive the workout itself (neither did I to be fair…), one spray before and one spray after meant that I had coverage when I most needed it. 

Any further thoughts?

My first experience of a natural deodorant was a great one and I will most definitely be continuing this going forward. I was so impressed with the way that the Neal's Yard deodorant reacted with my skin and the way that the brand communicates their ingredients is just fab.

 

Neal's Yard Roll On

As far as Julia's concerned, Neal’s Yard can do no wrong when it comes to the aesthetic of their products and having used several of their facial skincare products in the past, she was intrigued to try the rose and geranium scented deodorant, having never used a natural alternative before. Available for £8.

Tell us about the product: 

Clearly labelled, the organic ingredients include grapefruit peel oil and aloe vera juice powder. It smells beautifully fresh - rose is one of my favourite scents anyway, and the compact size of the roll on made it perfect for travelling with just a weekend bag

How do you apply it?

A standard roll on, it dries relatively quickly.

How did you get on with it?

I love the smell. I’m used to using a powder stick, so had forgotten that you have to wait for it to dry (!) before getting dressed for the day… Once I’d resolved that mind-blip, it was easy to use and no white marks. Winner-winner.  

Did you put it to the test?

I took it with me to Green Man Festival and wore it through the sweltering August bank holiday weekend, so I’d say so! Apart from a very sweaty Shy FX DJ set, I didn’t notice too much difference between my usual deodorant and this one. I did find that it helped to re-apply on very hot days, but on the whole I’d say this deo held its own. 

 

The Natural Deodorant Co.

Liz loved the simplicity and sophistication of the packaging and the fact that the deodorant comes in a glass tub with a metal lid - she gave top marks to The Natural Deodorant Co. for cutting out plastic. Available between £2.50 to £11 depending on size.

Tell us about the deodorant:

The smell of the balm is dreamy: orange and bergamot are lovely scents, fresh, clean and not too sweet or too strong - just what my armpits were after. The tub is relatively transportable and ideal for flights when you have a set liquid allowance. At first I was a little worried about the glass jar smashing in my bag, but after a week of lugging it around on the tube with no breakages I dismissed those fears and carried on as normal. 

How do you apply it?

I was initially a little sceptical of a deodorant balm having used roll-ons and sprays for most of my life. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the balm wasn’t sticky and was pretty easy to apply. The only word of warning I have is don’t use too much of it as you’ll end up with white marks, as you would with any other deodorant. 

How did you get on with it?

Really well, actually. When I’ve tried natural deodorants in the past I’ve always felt as though I was sacrificing some aspect of the functionality of the product - be it effectiveness, smell or transportability. However, with The Natural Deodorant Co’s balm, I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing a thing.

Did you put it to the test?

The first major hurdle my natural deodorant had to get through was my summer holiday to Rome and the surrounding coast. The hot weather and constant walking around provided the perfect shock testing conditions for the balm (a little unfair, I know). I’m pleased to say that this beauty from The Natural Deodorant Co held up pretty well. It didn’t stop me sweating, no deodorant could have done that in those conditions, but it definitely stopped me smelling, for which I’m very grateful. Back in London, this nifty little balm continued to work its magic, taking me and my armpits comfortably through rush hour, busy days at the office and HIIT classes after work.

Any further thoughts?

Dear Natural Deodorant Co., I think you’ve converted me. To borrow your own words, you’ve finally created ‘a natural deodorant that works’. Gone are the days of choking on excessive aerosol spray and relying on roll-ons… natural deodorant balm all the way!

 

Cacao Pow Deo Bar

Charlie switched to natural deodorant a little over a year ago but hadn’t come across this brand before. She was a bit sceptical to use a deo bar at first, as she'd previously found the deodorant pots easier to apply and longer lasting. Cacao Pow Deo Bar is available for £10.

Tell us about the product:

The packaging is gorgeous and colourful, very 1980's “Saved by the Bell” inspired! There are clear instructions for application and ingredients listed. It comes in a glass jar, which could be reused or if you collect four jars and send back to cacao pow, costing roughly £3 in the UK, they will send you a free 100g bar. The only downside is the additional paper and sticker covering the bar inside, very pretty but not sure how necessary (or recyclable) this is? 

This product smells A-MAZING, I swear I’ve never wanted to lick my own armpit before (self-love or too much information?). The deo bar is made up of cacao butter, bicarbonate of soda and zinc oxide. I prefer deodorant with bicarbonate of soda as it definitely keeps me fresh for longer, however this may be a little harsh on your skin if it is sensitive. As the bar comes in a glass jar, there’s no risk on any leakage in your bag, and the 55g size is perfect to carry around with you.  

How do you apply it? 

The instructions recommend using the bar to make a paste in your hands and apply it from there, but I found it much easier and less messy to use the alternative method and apply direct to my skin. The bar is soft and creamy; it glides on much easier than previous natural deodorant bars that I've used but is still sturdy so you don’t need an applicator, and it doesn’t transfer on to your hands when you hold it. 

Did you put it to the test? 

I can’t emphasise enough how good the deodorant smells; I would eat it if I could. It also feels lovely on your skin, the cacao butter is moisturising, and I felt no irritation as I have with some other deodorants I’ve tried. 

There’s very little I could fault with this product, I applied it before a 75-minute cycle ride in 30 degree Italian sunshine and still smelled good after. I only had to reapply after a swim, and it still holds up the next morning. You do not need to use a lot of this deodorant for each application, so I’ll be interested to see how long the bar lasts. It’s a little more expensive than your standard deodorant but aside from a little too much packaging I can’t really fault it. Good enough to sit on Kelly Kapowski’s dressing table – 9/10! 

Take a look at a few other natural deodorants to help find the one for you.

Find out which beauty product packaging is the most eco-friendly.

Check out these easy plastic-free beauty swaps to make your wash bag more eco-friendly.

Tried & Tested: Natural Deodorants