Seven Products: Aluminum-Free Deodorants

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We’re in the throes of summer which means that stinky pits are almost a given…ew. 😕Nobody likes stinky pits, so what’s a girl to do? Hunt down the best aluminum free deodorants and put them through the ultimate sweat tests, of course!

But why aluminum free??? About a year ago I finally gave up conventional deodorant; one: because everyone was doing it and two: because the more I looked into it, I found that the risks, for me, outweighed the benefits. I didn’t want to continue taking that chance for the rest of my life when I could simply switch to a natural deodorant.

ICYMI: the ingredient aluminum-chloride is what acts as antiperspirant in deodorants. However, in order to prevent sweating, the aluminum ends up blocking the pores in the underarm area which can lead to blockages potentially forming over those pores. The aluminum also combats odor by killing off bacteria that cause the stinky scent. This also means that aluminum has the potential to kill other living organisms, including your own cells. The underarm area is a large site for your lymph nodes, which are prone to absorbing the aluminum at a higher rate. This creates a risk for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure, and more. Although there is still some debate whether aluminum is a heavy metal or not, I figure that absorbing any metal at all over a whole lifetime can’t be good for you, thus my journey into going aluminum free.

From trendy brands to hippie goop and just some plain gimmicks, over the past year I’ve tried almost every type of unconventional deodorant imaginable; And, just in time to combat the inevitable summer stench and share them with you too!

If you’re looking into switching over to natural deodorant, there’s a few things you should know. The first is that fully dry pits will probably never be a thing again. Since you’re ditching the one ingredient that literally stops you from sweating it’s not really possible. (Don’t fret, though! Remember your body is designed to sweat!) However, this brings me to my next point: there are some natural ingredients that can work to at least absorb moisture. Some of them may be irritating to the skin, so you’ll have to just keep trying out what works for you (which is exactly what I did)!

Normally, I would just share my top 5 products, but for this post I wanted to take you on my entire journey of the aluminum free deodorants I’ve sampled thus far.

1. Tom’s Women’s Deodorant- Beautiful Earth

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Tom’s of Maine is a pretty well-known natural brand that is easily accessible at conventional stores, so naturally (pun unintended) I was inclined to go for something that was the best of both worlds. The formula went on smoothly, it was in an application that I was already familiar with, and the price was decent — what could go wrong? The scent! For whatever reason, the Beautiful Earth scent did NOT mix well with my natural body chemistry and ended up making me smell worse! Tom’s had other scents available, but none that suited my taste. I think that it is definitely worth another look though, because it may just be a fluke for me. I’ll probably end up trying a different scent, eventually.

  • Ingredient list: Propanediol, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Zinc Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Laurate, Natural Fragrance, Ascorbic Acid, Hops [CO2] Extract, Vitamin E Acetate, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Price: $4-$5
  • Green Perks:
    • No artificial fragrance or preservatives
    • No animal testing or animal ingredients (vegan)
    • Tom’s uses sustainable business practices
    • Tom’s strives to make their packaging from recycled materials and make the packages themselves recyclable
    • Tom’s has their employees spend 5% of their time volunteering and 10% of their profits go to humanitarian and environmental causes.
  • Application type: Solid stick
  • Rating: 3/5

2. The Honest Company Spray Deodorant – Lavender Vanilla

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After going through that whole scent ordeal with Tom’s I decided to opt for an essential oil based deodorant for my next choice. This one smells really good! But… it ended up wearing more like a body spray than a deodorant. I found that the scent wore off quickly and needed reapplication frequently. And while it refreshed the underarm area, it didn’t do much in terms of keeping things semi-dry. This one I think is better for keeping in your car or purse for touch ups, rather than something to wear all day.

  • Ingredient list: Alcohol Denat, Water, Witch Hazel leaf water, Polyglycerl-4 oleate. Sodium Glutamate. Aloe leaf juice, Vanilla oil, Roman Chamomile flower oil, Tea Tree leaf oil, Lemon oil, Sage oil, Marigold flower extract, Matricaria flower extract, glycerin, Lavender oil
  • Price: ~$10 (but I think it’s been discontinued)
  • Green Perks:
    • Free of aluminum, zinc salts, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, parabens, pthalates, fragrances, triclosan, talc, stearenth-n, silica, silicones, dyes & most common allergens.
    • No animal testing or by-products
  • Application type: Liquid spray
  • Rating: 2.5/5

3. Lavanila The Healthy Mini Deodorant – Pure Vanilla

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Up next, I tried what seemed to be every beauty blogger’s favorite at the time — the LaVanila Healthy Deodorant. I could see why: it’s very similar to conventional deodorant and smells great! But, it still wasn’t the perfect fit for me. First, I found the formula a bit drier which I found could tug at the skin if it wasn’t moist— it didn’t glide. Second, the price is not my favorite, although I find that a lot of natural brands are within this price range. Either way, this is why I opted to try the travel size first in their limited edition summer packaging. What really killed it for me though was the fact that mine fell apart halfway through using it. I’m not sure if this is because I was taking it traveling or not, but I feel like I wasted a lot of product that was overpriced. I might try this brand again if it went on sale, but probably not anytime soon.

  • Ingredient list: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Juice, Water), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Stearate (Coconut Derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed Derived), Stearyl Behenate (Coconut Derived), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil), Inulin (Artichoke Derived), Saccharomyces Ferment, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Sugar Derived), Yeast Beta Glucan, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Valeriana Officinalis Root Extract (Valerian), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Botanical Fragrance Blend.
  • Price: $8 (mini) – $14 (full size)
  • Green Perks:
    • Not tested on animals
    • No petrochemicals, pthalates, proplyene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or parabens
  • Application type: Solid stick
  • Rating: 3/5

4. Pacifica Deodorant Wipes – Coconut Milk & Essential Oils

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At the time I tried these, I was looking for an affordable alternative to the popular Whish deodorant wipes, although looking back now $9 for 30 uses also seems ridiculous. Anyhow, I found these more effective as a cleansing cloth after the gym rather than an actual application of deodorant. It supplemented, but did not stand on its own. I also felt like they dried up quickly because I still had a few towelettes that are now useless. They still smell nice though.

  • Ingredient list: Water, Alcohol, Zeolites, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Limonene, Glycerin, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Parfum (All Natural With Essential Oils.)
  • Price: $9
  • Green Perks:
    • 100% vegan & cruelty free
    • Formulated without aluminum, sulfates, SLS, parabens, pthalates , and petroleum
    • A portion of the proceeds support clean water
  • Application type: Wipe
  • Rating: 1/5

5. Alaffia Deodorant with Activated Charcoal & Reishi – Coconut Lavender

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So, if you’ve made it this far (kudos) then you may be wondering, “Damn, does this chick like any of these?”. We’re getting there, I promise — starting with this one. I happened to stumble upon this brand in my local health food store. I was drawn in by the cute packaging and the use of activated charcoal as a detoxifying agent. Charcoal is one of my favorite ingredients! The formula glided on smoothly, the scent was divine, and upon further research I found that the brand had a great commitment to all kinds of empowerment models! The brand is committed to many causes including: Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Reforestation, which really impressed me. It doesn’t keep your pits super dry, but I’m okay with that trade off.

My only concern was that it contained coconut oil, which I am actually allergic to if I eat it and is hit or miss with skincare for me. I never ended up breaking out and this was by far the best formula I ended up finding. It even made it into a favorites post! I went back to repurchase it at that same health food store and they were out of stock so I decided to try something new (see next two, below). I will definitely be repurchasing in the future though!

  • Ingredient list: Glycerin, Water, Sodium Stearate, Saccharomyces ferment, Zinc Ricinoleate, Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract, Emulsifying Wax, Activated Charcoal, Phenoxyethanol, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice,  Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil*, Aromatic Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Lavandula hybrida (Lavender) Oil.
  • Price: $5-$8
  • Green Perks:
  • Application type: Solid stick
  • Rating: 5/5

6. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant – Bergamot + Lime

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Schmidt’s is well known for their pot deodorants, which I had originally tried. That one ended up severely irritating my skin due to the high amounts of baking soda in it. Baking soda is one of the ingredients that helps absorb moisture. However, I opted to give the brand another go when they came out with the stick. There still is baking powder here, but more arrowroot powder than baking powder, which does the same thing. The scent is nice and citrusy and the formula does a good job absorbing wetness. It has a weird gritty texture, though and can be rather drying. I find that mixing it with the last deo helps combat the dryness. I think I would like to try their sensitive version as well and see if that is less drying.

  • Ingredient list: Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) Wax, Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil., Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil.
  • Price: $9-$12
  • Green Perks:
    • Certified Vegan, Cruelty-free, and Gluten-free
    • Free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens & phthalates
    • Plant-based
    • Scented with essential oils; no artificial fragrance
  • Application type: Solid stick
  • Rating: 4/5

7. Nubian Heritage  24 Hour Deodorant – Honey & Blackseed

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This deodorant is very similar to the Alaffia one, which is probably why I like it so much. It has this rich honey scent that is long lasting and keeps you smelling sweet. It glides on very smoothly and is even moisturizing to the skin. It doesn’t keep you very dry, but mixing it with the Schmidt’s helps combat that. If it also contained activated charcoal then I would be sold! I’m not sure if I will repurchase since it is so similar to the Alaffia, but if for whatever reason I can’t get my hands on the Alaffia, this is a solid runner-up.

  • Ingredient list: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Proprietary Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa) Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polygyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Mel (Honey) Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil
  • Price: $7-$9
  • Green Perks:
    • Cruelty-Free
    • Fair Trade ingredients
    • Non-Gmo
    • Certified Organic
  • Application type: Solid stick
  • Rating: 4/5

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Are you interested in going aluminum free or are you already there? What brand is your favorite? Are there any others I should try (I really want to try the Piper Wai one… but it seems expensive.)?  Let me know in a comment!

 

All my love,

Megan


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