If you’re anything like us, upon deciding to make the switch to clean beauty, the first thing we tossed out was our deodorant. It was easy to grab Dove or Secret at the grocery store, so we thought it would be a simple switch to reach for the clean alternative at one of our go-to clean beauty stores as well. As it turns out, not all clean deodorants are created equal. Some are sticky, some don’t hold up, but some actually work way better than their traditional counterparts. We decided to gather a few cult, clean deodorant brands and put them to the test on one of our our 8-hour photoshoots. We figured, of the deodorant could handle us running around under hot lights all day, it could handle just about anything.
Why Go Aluminum Free?
Aluminum in deodorant was previously thought to be necessary as it plugs up the sweat glands under your arm (hence the term ‘anti-perspirant’, as in no perspiration). Overtime, this build up of product can actually lead to an even worse underarm smell as the sweat glands don’t have a chance to work their magic and rid the body of toxins. Not to mention, aluminum deodorant may be linked to breast cancer, Alzheimers, liver disease, and can be bad for those with reduced kidney function. While the jury is still out on finding conclusive evidence, we’ll take the assurance that our deodorant is non-toxic and working with our bodies instead of against it.
Switching To Aluminum Free
There are many resources that advise cleansing your underarms before making the switch from a traditional deodorant to a more natural alternative. Without this cleanse, rashes, discomfort, and irritation may occur as the new ingredients interact with the old metals still stored in your sweat glands. The best practices we’ve found have been masking the armpit with a clay mask (we like this one) 3 or 4 times, or if possible, going au naturel for a week or two to let time do its thing.
For Those Always On-The-Go
We’ve heard so many amazing things about the Agent Nateur holi(stick)deodorant. It’s won awards, comes in the chicest packaging, and now our photographer, Sally, uses it everyday instead of her homemade vodka mix. This deodorant is perfect for someone with normal skin looking for something that works and really does its job. The formula does include baking soda (so those with sensitive skin be warned), as well as coconut oil, which has been known to stain a white shirt from time to time. If you prioritize function and don’t have sensitive pits, this is the stick for you. We passed the stick to Sally, our favorite photographer friend who tested it out on our photoshoot, and after, and got her thoughts:
“Of all the natural deodorants I’ve tried, this one is the closest to “conventional” deodorant – and officially my new favorite! I love the texture and smell, it keeps me fresh and dry, and doesn’t leave white residue on my clothes like other deodorants I’ve tried. I also like that it comes in a stick so your fingers don’t get dirty when applying it like it does with jar formulas. My only real complaint is the packaging – I’d prefer glass jars or biodegradable cardboard. This packaging is beautiful-looking but sadly, not recyclable plastic.” – Sally Griffiths
For The Environmentalist
The ideal deodorant for the environmentalist! We love how Meow Meow Tweet’s packaging is totally biodegradable and created with Post-consumer waste paper. We like the Baking Soda Free stick because it’s super gentle on our skin, and it’s infused with grapefruit essential oil which naturally disinfects and cleanses the underarms. That’s the power of nature, doing its thing! As the Earth-conscious consumer of the group, Kendall has started using this MMT deodorant daily:
“The packaging of the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant is really unique. I feel confident buying it knowing that the product is as good for the earth as it is for my body. I keep a full-size one in my room, and a smaller one in my bag for travel and any needed touch-ups. Most days, I even catch my boyfriend stealing a swipe or two; Safe to say it’s our new go-to.” -Kendall Hill
For Sensitive Underarms
Technically, we already wrote a love letter to the Ursa Major No B.S. Deodorant last month (which you can read here), because it’s an old standby for us; It’s perfect for those with sensitive skin, and it’s coconut-free so there’s no chance of staining. We wanted to hear someone else’s thoughts- this time, a man’s since it’s a popular natural deodorant among the men in our lives. We handed the stick to Paul, our incredibly brilliant prop-stylist. Here’s what he had to say:
“I am a guy who thinks a guy smells best when he showered in the morning, leaves the pits au naturel, and comes home at the end of the day post gym. I am an artist who can often spend the day all alone, working up my own stink, which I love, but I am also an artist who sometimes spends a day on set or with clients who don’t share that love. I call those days Deodorant Days. I think the best deodorant for a Deodorant Day is Ursa Major No BS Deodorant. I was introduced to this stick by a pal who discovered it at a great shop in P-town called Kiss and Makeup. I love it because it’s like wearing nothing: When you put it on, it leaves no visible trace, doesn’t add any aroma, and doesn’t feel wet or tacky. I recently went with some well-heeled friends to the opera and I decided that morning that it had to be a Deodorant Day. After the opera was out, at almost midnight, another pal of mine invited me to go on an overnight campout in a tent in his living room in front of his fireplace. Needless to say, things got warm and sweaty, but the next morning, literally 24 hours later, No BS was still at work— I was so impressed at its effectiveness. One last Ursa Major tip: An Ursa Major Essential Face Wipe can easily take a ripe underarm from stank to swank in an emergency. Keep a wipe or two and an extra NO BS deodorant in your car, tool bag, or office drawer in case you ever need an urgent refresher.” –Paul Moreno
For Those New To Clean Beauty
On a budget but still looking for an awesome deodorant? We can relate. The Schmidt line of deodorant is half the price, but works just as well. We’re partial to Rose and Vanilla, but they have a wide range of scents so the experience feels more personalized to your taste. Like the Agent Nateur, some sticks have baking soda and coconut oil, but there are sensitive skin alternatives in the collection as well. Kendall forwent her usual brand to put the stick to the test:
“Schmidt is perfect for anyone looking for a lot of option at an affordable price. Often times the price of ‘natural’ can be really daunting, so I appreciate that Schmidt takes that in to consideration to make ‘natural’ convenient for everyone. The smell of the Rose and Vanilla stick is addicting and it really held up after a day of running from appointment to appointment. I actually got a lot of compliments! I even bought a few sticks for friends to help them transition into a cleaner routine” -Kendall Hill
Photo by Sally Griffiths
Styling by Paul Moreno