As we head into summer, the season of sweating, we tend to apply deodorant a little more generously (and a bit more often). Although the people around you appreciate the lengths you’ve made to avoid foul-smelling body odor, using the wrong products can actually result in more harm than good.
To guide you in the safe, smell-good direction, I committed to getting as stinky as possible for one week… the things I do for my job! As part of the VitaVibes blog team, I was tasked with testing deodorants to find out which ones stand up to the heat—all of which feature “natural” on the label.
I ran (literally) multiple trials wearing several types of deodorant, which included a stick, paste, spray, roll-on and crystal. Some were able to mask the smell and others… not so much.
Each test consisted of three activities:
- 2-mile run
- Day at the office
- Sweaty 75-minute yoga class
It’s also worth it to point out that all of these brands are cruelty-free, vegan and free of toxic chemicals such as parabens, artificial fragrances and aluminum, which are the top three concerning ingredients—aluminum being most worrisome. According to cancer.gov, aluminum’s estrogenic properties can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
OK… on with the review. Here's the dirt on clean deodorants:
Made with shea butter and essential oils, this deodorant has a bright citrus scent. It comes in either a stick form or glass jar. I prefer the jar because it can be repurposed once the paste is used up (I like to fill it with coconut oil to bring on the go for chapped lips or dry skin). Each jar comes with a small spatula for clean application, but I prefer to use my finger. Super affordable, a 2-oz. jar is ideal if you endure long days away from home.
Run test: Although the clean, fresh lime scent faded, this deodorant totally passed the smell test. Score!
Office test: See below.
Yoga test: I was actually able to lather on this product in the morning, before work, without having to reapply it pre-yoga—and I still didn’t smell afterward!
Allow me to preface—I’m obsessed. This refreshing spritz acts as a full-body refresher. I actually caught myself spraying it well beyond my underarms. Don’t worry, it sprays on clean (not white). This product basically smells like yoga mat spray because it’s made with cleansing lavender essential oil, water, mineral salts and aloe—and that’s it. Whoever came up with this genius formula can take all my money.
Throughout the week, I kept the spray with me at all times just in case any of the other ones weren’t up to par. It comes in a nice-sized 8-oz. bottle, but the best part about this particular type of deodorant is that it can easily be shared with others. I’m not a germophobe or anything, but I do have an aversion to sharing deodorant. The spray is easy enough for a friend to use if he or she is ever in need!
Run test: Passed!
Office test: Passed the first few times. But those days when sweat did happen midday (we like to take long outdoor walks!), there was need for reapplication.
Yoga test: Reapplied beforehand and passed with smell-free flying colors!
The crystal concept was certainly different. I’ve heard so much about this unique deodorizing technique in the past but never tried it—until now. It’s literally a crystal stick. I actually described it as a rock to my friends. To use, wet the crystal under a running faucet and swipe onto underarms. Made from mineral salts and pure cornstarch, this unscented deodorant was surprisingly effective. It also doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything.
Run test: Passed. Literally zero smells.
Office test: See above… but still had to reapply before heading to the studio.
Yoga test: It’s almost scary how much I didn’t smell after using a salt rock as deodorant.
This stick is, well, sticky. It glides on well, but when I first put it on, it sort of felt like a glue stick. Eventually, the feeling wares off. This product features an herbal scent offering strong whiffs of sage and ginger after application. It lasts a long time, but definitely reapply between activities.
Run test: The sticky sensation remained after my run, as did the herbal fragrance.
Office test: By mid-morning, the stickiness wore off along with the strength of the scent. No B.O. though!
Yoga test: I reapplied before class. Experienced a similar situation as I had during my morning run. Masked any odor that would have typically occurred.
Probably the least “natural” of the five, but still rises well above conventional deodorants, is this roll-on made with organic tea tree oil, lavender and aloe extracts (seeing a pattern here?). Just like the others, this pick was able to eliminate body odor for long periods of time without stopping perspiration. This one rolls on white and wet, which I’m personally not a fan of. But it does get the job done!
Run test: Passed!
Office test: I ended up spritzing over it with the Lafe’s deodorant late in the afternoon.
Yoga test: It passed—still not a fan of the wet feeling, though!
I hope this helps you make a decision when it comes to replacing chemical-laden deodorants with natural ones. And if you want to eschew store-bought deodorants entirely (but still want to smell nice), follow this homemade deodorant recipe to make your own! Conveniently, you can find all the ingredients on, you guessed it, vitacost.com. Have a happy, smell-free summer!