Sunday, 20 April 2014

My final say on 'good for you' deodorants

I've been on the hunt for a 'healthy' deodorant for at least a few years now. Let me share what my search has uncovered...

Why a 'good for you' deodorant you may ask? Well, I'm no expert, but most commercial deodorants contain 2 potentially problematic ingredients (at least!) - the first are parabens, which from what I understand have been correlated with higher incidences of breast cancer in the upper quadrant of the breast (nearest the armpit). I don't think these studies are as yet conclusive, but if there's any indication, why risk it? Second is aluminium, which is what provides the 'anti-perspirant'. Aluminium has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer's. Again, I'd do anything I can to avoid it.

The obvious problem with removing the main anti-perspirant ingredient is that you're far more likely to sweat. Sweat = moisture = an environment for stinky bacteria = B.O. (gross, I know). I feel like I'm always hearing about people trying new more healthy deodorants and constantly being let down by their (lack of) efficacy. I myself have tried many more than what appear in the photo above, but these are some of my main contenders.

Clean Moisture-Absorbent Deodorant (Warm Cotton or Original) - I used this consistently for about 2 years and at that time this was the best 'healthy' deodorant I had found. It's a white stick, which is fairly solid but softens slightly when it meets your body heat. It does leave white marks on clothes so be careful. The scent is of fresh laundry - something I love, and I'd say my sweating was reduced but not absent. If you're not in need of something heavy-duty I think this would be a perfectly fine option.

Kai deodorant - This one is a heavily (but beautifully) perfumed clear stick with the standard kai floral fragrance. I definitely sweat much more with this but oddly enough the essential oils in the perfume do an even better job of counteracting stink. If you want to smell fresh but don't mind a bit of moisture than this is a great option.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant - I had heard that this was a strong contender so I picked up the travel size on my recent trip to the States. For all those non-US readers who have wanted to try this, my reaction was 'meh'. The scents are all Vanilla based and quite lovely. It's a white stick and way creamier than the Clean option, but it has left my underarms super dry and flakey, and I think under-performs in comparison to the first 2 options.

Korres Equisetum Antiperspirant - OK, so this one occupies a middle ground. It is paraben free but not aluminium free. I keep this around for special events or if I have a presentation or other nerves-inducing event where I know I'll be sweating more than usual (sorry for the TMI!). It's a liquid roll-on in a glass container and works as well as an anti-perspirant as all of the commercial options I've tried. Korres DO make an aluminium free version of this and an unscented version for sensitive skins - I can't speak to their efficacy but they are worth checking out.

Finally, a while back I posted a DIY Good for You Deodorant recipe. I've got to say that my hunch in that post stands true today. If you're looking for the ease of a store bought product then look to the suggestions above. But, the DIY version remains the best performing deodorant I've ever used (including ones with tonnes of nasties) and is far cheaper per use than anything you'll find on the market. It harnesses the magic of coconut oil, essential oils and other natural ingredients to create an unbeatable deodorant that has ended my search for good.


  1. I've been on the hunt for a 'cleaner' deodorant this post was really helpful, I'm off to check out your d.i.y post. I tried one buy Welda which did nothing, and I also tried on called 'Salt of earth' I missed my regular deodorant I like knowing something's there that I can rely on but as both of these were in invisible on the skin…I don't know it's trivial but for me it's a biggie i like to see a product apply haha! xx

  2. Glad it was helpful! I'll continue to have one of these on hand because it's a tad more convenient if I'm in a rush, but my DIY works better than all of them! Def try it out :)

  3. Have you tried the Clarins Eau Ressourcante Fragranced Gentle Deodorant? I haven't tried that many deodorants without aluminum so I might not have that much to compare with, but I think the Clarins is really good. It keeps me dry and it's got such a refreshing smell. I would really recommend it to anyone. I used to get cheaper deodorants before so I think the price is a bit high (17,50 here: but its 100 ml and it lasts forever. I also like that it's a natural spray.

    Maria Mui // Beauty Blog

  4. I haven't but I'll def look into it now :) Finally got my hands on some arrowroot powder so I'm going to make a new batch of the DIY recipe I posted but always good to have a properly packaged deo on hand too. Thanks for the rec!