Six Eco-friendly Deodorants for Clean Hippies.

Via on Jul 7, 2012
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I like using natural products as much as possible.

I also don’t like to smell like a sweaty armpit.

I know, I know, it’s natural. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. I had a favorite eco-friendly deodorant from a regional company, but it was discontinued. So, over the past few months I’ve tried a few different brands with a wide range of results.

My criteria:

No aluminum. (Scary!)

No parabens. (Also scary!)

No phthalates (essential oils instead please!)

Smells nice. (Otherwise…what’s the point?)

The contenders:

Tom’s of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant in Beautiful Earth

Pros: Easy to find (really…pretty much any grocery store in the U.S. carries Tom’s products), inexpensive, long lasting scent.

Cons: This particular scent, which is a great unisex clean scent, gave me a horrible headache. In my case, the long lasting scent was a bad thing!

Verdict: I wouldn’t repurchase.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Pros: Smells great in the jar, awesome Brooklyn-based Etsy company, helped with dryness.

Cons: I wasn’t too sure about a cream deodorant at first. Then, a few days after using I started smelling this odd smell. Umm…it was me. Since these are made in small batches, maybe I got a bad batch or it was older and went bad?

Verdict: I had high hopes, and will try to use up the rest of the jar (on days I don’t care if I stink!).

JASON Purifying Tea Tree Deodorant Stick

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to find, great fresh tea-tree oil scent.

Cons: Stings and itches! I have not had this problem with a deodorant before—eco or not.

Verdict: Might be a good fit for anyone with less sensitive skin.

The Body Shop DeoDry Dry Effect Fresh and Floral Deodorant

Pros: Though they aren’t as eco and animal rights oriented as they once were, I like supporting The Body Shop. They source many of their ingredients through a community trade program. Also, a pro about the product itself, it did help with underarm dryness.

Cons: Scent was awful. I smelled it in the store and it seemed to be the better of the two offerings. The other was something called “Chilled and Breezy” and smelled like whatever ubiquitous men’s cologne they are pumping into the malls these days. “Fresh and Floral” quickly morphed into rancid bouquet.

Verdict: Effective product but the scents weren’t for me.

Nature’s Gate Tea Tree & Blue Cypress Deodorant Stick

Pros: Awesome over-all. Great product, scent, price and availability.

Cons: Slightly too unisex for my taste.

Verdict: It’s a great basic product. I’m sure I’ll buy again, but sometimes I like a more feminine scent.

Lavanila Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender

Pros: Wow. Great company, beautiful scent, amazing lasting power, love it.

Cons: Expensive for such a small product and only carried in specialty stores/online.

Verdict: This is my winner of the bunch.

I may look at some of the other Nature’s Gate scents to find something lighter (once I have used up this huge collection of deodorants) simply to find something less expensive and more widely available, but the Lavanila Healthy Deodorant is definitely my favorite.

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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34 Responses to “Six Eco-friendly Deodorants for Clean Hippies.”

  1. mccubma says:

    Have you tried any of these yet: http://www.lushusa.com/Deodorants/deodorants,en_U… (I haven't, I'm interested though.)
    Thank you for the article! I need to stop using chemical antiperspirants…

  2. spiral_dancer says:

    The best I have found is from Hugo Naturals (I like Mexican Lime and Bergamot). http://hugonaturals.com/ Its the only natural deodorant I have tried that actually works! Its also Cruelty Free and Vegan.

  3. cph says:

    When the smell gives you a headache, it is usually synthetic. Many of the "natural" brands are highly scented with "natural fragrances" which are NOT essential oils, but are made in a lab. Also, many "natural" deodorants have a base of propylene glycol, which can be very irritant to skin, especially for women who shave. The most natural deodorants out there are simply sprays of alcohol, water and essential oils.

    • Agreed. That particular one didn't have synthetic oils, just a particular blend of essential oils that didn't agree with me. Most synthetic fragrances also contain phthalates, which among other problems, is a frequent migraine trigger.

      Another thing I love about the Soapwalla, Nature's Gate & Lavanila products–no propylene glycol!

    • Louise Brooks says:

      Not always. I can't even walk by a LUSH store without getting a headache and watery eyes. That store just stinks to me. I once braved the developing headache and walked inside. Nausea began and I left.

  4. Aunty says:

    I wash my underarms with white vinegar (keep a spray bottle in the shower. It also works for dandruff), then use baking soda on my underarms. I cannot use aluminum. Even if it were safe, I’m allergic to it. Works like a charm!!!

  5. vita says:

    …have been using baking soda in water solution for 2 months now – fantastic & cheap!!…

  6. SueM says:

    Great article! I've actually found the unscented Tom's of Maine to be quite effective. Not as powerful as conventional anti-perspirants, but surprisingly, good enough for average daily activities. Quite a good find, especially if you live with someone who is sensitive to scented products.

    • I like to have a bit of a scent, but good to know. Thanks!

    • Louise Brooks says:

      I was so disappointed after I tried Tom's "new formula" a few years ago. Tom's began adding hops to their deodorant. I'm really allergic to hops and the deodorant gave me a nasty, painful, red rash. Too bad, as I loved using Tom's up to the time they changed their forumula.

  7. Hannah says:

    Try Weleda. Its amazing and totally non-toxic. As well as even using many biodymaically grown ingridients in their products. “Flavors” are rose: http://usa.weleda.com/our-products/shop/wild-rose…. Or citrus: http://usa.weleda.com/our-products/shop/citrus-de…. And no I’m not a Weleda sales rep! Lol :-) Just wanted to add this great one to the list. Also thanks for all your great work on EJ <3

  8. Didi says:

    I have found that a spray deodorant is much better, because if you do re-apply throughout the day, the bacteria that caused the stink to begin with are not deposited on top of the deodorant like in a stick or roller-ball type applicator. This makes a huge difference! I like the Weleda brand personally, but it is quite expensive! like 14 bucks!

    • Never thought of that about rolling bacteria back on (ick) but you're probably right! Nice to hear positive stuff about the Weleda. I don't mind spending a little more for something that works well, but tough to want to shell out $14 if you aren't sure it's going to be any good. (On that note though, I've found that most places have good return policies. I returned The Body Shop one above that I didn't like and they were fine with it.)

  9. Anna Sheinman SOFLY_Anna says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for the post! I am going to try a few listed here. I am having a really hard-time finding a good natural one. I have been using some free chemically over-packed samples after "Tom’s of Maine" embarrassing hyper stinky moments…

    xo
    Anna.

  10. scott says:

    Lush is the only way to go.

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    HelloJust joining. I hope to learn and enjoy! Michele

  13. PitStik says:

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  14. Deodorant says:

    You probably never thought about all the junk the deodorant companies put in their products. Its recommended to confirm the ingredients first as aluminium is very harmful.

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  16. Debra Kraus says:

    Plain old baking soda…..works like a charm, inexpensive and non-toxic.

  17. Kami says:

    Hickory Ridge Organics is the only product I’ve used for years now that works perfectly. I live in Phx,AZ so I sweat about 9 months of the year AND im a massage therapist so I’m in close quarters with people all day long working hard physically. I never have to reapply and I have plenty of return clients ;) One container lasts at least 6 months!!! The deodorant is made from arrowroot starch, coconut oil, Shea butter and esential oils. Vegan, Eco friendly & lots of scent combos to choose from. My faves are Vavavanilla and sea breeze. Do yourself a favor and order some from hickoryridgeorganics.net just $8.

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  19. JenniferR says:

    I use this recipe from ingredients I keep on hand anyway. It's easy and less expensive, and highly effective: http://wellnessmama.com/1523/natural-deodorant/

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