Can all-natural formulas hold up against the heatwave? Tori Attwood investigates.
“Do I smell?”
It’s a question that my misfortunate friends get asked all too often. In fact, anyone who has spent more than an hour in my company has probably encountered my frantic, pleading eyes and begs to confirm that no, I do not smell. So, it’s safe to say that I have an irrational fear of body odour.
So, when I recently discovered that your average roll-on might be doing my underarms more damage than good, I was left feeling perplexed. The argument is that most antiperspirant deodorants contain an aluminium-based compound that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. Some experts argue that the aluminium can then be absorbed into the skin, raising concerns around breast cancer. Whilst the evidence remains inconclusive, I’m not a fan of blocking pores, even if they are the shady type found under my arms.
Perhaps it’s time I embrace the natural deodorant trend?
Fortunately, the natural beauty market has come on leaps and bounds in the past five years, so natural deodorant stockists now offer far more than the watery formulas whipped up in the bohemian backyard of yesteryear. They look legit, smell great and there’s plenty to choose from. But do they pass the stink test?
Lush Aromaco deodorant bar (£4.95)
Queens of natural beauty Lush have been peddling plastic-free products long before many of us realised the extent of the problem. So, it should come as no surprise that the eco store offers a great selection of alternative deodorants, from loose powders to solid deodorant bars. I reluctantly decided to go with the latter. The shop assistant sensed my hesitation at using a natural deodorant, so eagerly talked me through the basics – the bar won’t stop me sweating as it doesn’t block sweat ducts, but it will stop odour-causing bacteria.
She was right about the sweating – whilst trialling, I was drenched after an arduous commute back in the sweltering heat on the tram. BUT…I was surprised to discover that I still smelt fresh. Not the artificially scented daisy fresh that I’m used to with my usual deodorant, but fresh non-the-less. The subtly-scented antibacterial agents seem to work. The only thing to note about the bar is that it needs to be warmed to get it onto the skin – I found rubbing it on my arm or leg before application worked best.
Score 4/5 -
Jack Black’s Ctrl deodorant (£17)
Not to be confused with the guitar-wielding actor from School Of Rock, Jack Black skincare is an independent range of men’s beauty products that are not endorsed by Jack Black. The range includes a natural deodorant, suitable for both sexes and made without aluminium. The product also features antibacterial and antifungal ingredients to stop smells and aloe vera to sooth sensitive skin. So far, so good.
This is definitely a 24-hour deodorant. The product passed the sniff test even after I woke up the next day. The only downside to the product is that it leaves underarms feeling almost too dry – my skin was completely dry under my arms and as the product doesn’t leave much of a residue or film, it felt a little strange. For me the feeling of underarm skin chaffing was a little uncomfortable, but definitely worth considering for those after long-lasting protection.
Score 3/5 -
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare - Botanical Cream Deodorant (£18)
Powdered plant-based botanicals of Arrowroot and Kaolin clay form the body of this deodorant, offering an invisible layer of protection on the skin that absorbs natural perspiration. Shea butter is used as a moisturising agent, whilst the scent is based on essential oils including tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender extract.
This was my favourite out of the mix. The cream-to-powder consistency goes on like a dream and left me feeling fresh throughout the day. Easy to apply and gentle enough on my sensitive skin but strong enough to keep the floodgates at bay, it’s easy to see why this is a firm favourite with beauty bloggers, editors and experts alike.
Score 5/5 - Shop here
Elsa’s Ocean Crème Deodorant (£9.60)
An energising tinned deodorant with a fresh, sea-salty scent. Made from organic coconut oil, stimulating peppermint and healing antibacterials including Tea tree, rose geranium and patchouli, the natural vegan brand promises to be a game-changer in the natural beauty market.
The ocean-inspired scent is indeed refreshing and smells great, if a little strong – but it’s reassuring the be able to smell the deodorant on yourself throughout the day. The product is quite sticky, especially when used on a sweaty so-and-so like myself, so I found that it left a residue on clothes that are tight around the arms.
Score 4/5 - Shop here
Benecos Deodorant Spray - Sensitive Skin (£6.95)
Suitable for sensitive skin, this gentle vegan deodorant spray contains calming and cooling Aloe Vera, Calendula and Lavender. A couple of sprays of the light formula is advised to keep you fresh throughout the day.
For me, this was a little too light. Whilst the fragrance is refreshing, the product struggled to stay put past lunch and would definitely need topping up throughout the day.
Score 2/5 -
Green People Quinoa and Prebiotics roll-on deodorant (£9.95)
No parabens, foaming agents, aluminium or alcohol – the list of free-form ingredients is a collection of nail-biting nasties any careful beauty addict will be more than familiar with. Whilst the extensive list of no-nos offers comfort to the cautious, the prebioitics formula promises to restrict odour forming bacteria and Zinc ricinoleate acts like a sponge to absorb odour molecules
For some reason I assumed natural deodorants wouldn’t come in roll-ons, so this was a pleasant surprise. The formula is gentle and didn’t dry my skin out, just as promised, and offered a good level of protection throughout the day.
Score 4/5 –
Incognito Natural Crystal Deodorant (£4.29)
An 100% natural, non-sticky crystal deodorant that’s infused with essential oils and suitable for vegans – what’s not to love? It’ll even repel mozzies too.
This worked surprisingly well. Once the crystal stick is wet it glides onto the skin, offering a citrus-scented freshness all day long. Plus, the brand donate 10% of their profits to charity and recently won The Queen’s Award for sustainability – an ethical brand to the core.
Score 4/5 - Shop here