Nothing worse than a deodorant that doesn’t work.
I’m not a big fan of writing negative reviews, but I feel the need to warn my readers that not all aluminum-free deodorants are made equal. And since I’m writing in favor of ridding yourself of sweat gland plugging, antiperspirant deodorants, I think I owe it to my readers to describe the bumpy road I walked (or in this case…the smelly road) to finding a non-antiperspirant, aluminum free deodorant that worked.
Why use an aluminum-free deodorant? There are a number of reasons, some based on speculation, others based on inconclusive research. You can read about this in my blog, Why I Wanted to Find a Non-Antiperspirant Deodorant. But for a very quick recap, antiperspirants’ main active ingredient is aluminum and using it to block your sweat glands may lead to cancer. Nothing is proven, but I don’t really want to take the chance.
And as one of my Facebook readers pointed out, non-antiperspirant deodorants don’t leave pit stains.
Actually, that’s probably one of the best reasons to make the switch. I mean, how many of your shirts and/or dresses have been destroyed by pit stains? I haven’t had an aluminum-free deodorant leave residue or yellow the fabric, so that is something in favor of all of these.
Ie, the aluminum-free deodorants I’m reviewing here aren’t all bad. Like any other products, they have their positives and negatives. The problem is, the stinky factor really needs to be a positive, or what’s the point?
Before I jump in and analyze each deodorant stick individually, I think it’s important to note three factors here:
- Some people’s arm pits are stinkier than others. And I probably fall on the stinkier side of the scale. If I forget to wear effective deodorant for a day, I can really tell. So what’s not a good deodorant for me may be fine for you.
- Your armpits may take 1-2 weeks to detox from antiperspirant deodorant. I read this all over the internet when I first began this venture. Apparently, the antiperspirant can take that long to wash out of your sweat glands (kind of a gross thought), and until it does, the aluminum free deodorant might not work very well. Part of me feels like that’s just a cheap way of getting you to use the aluminum-free deodorant longer, but some people swear by that. It just didn’t seem to make any difference for anyone I know personally.
- I tried all of these last summer in a 78º avg temp house. So it’s taken me a while to write this, but really, I think I was in ideal conditions to test out deodorant. We were staying with my parents at the time, and since cooling their house cost quite a bit, they only turned on the air conditioning if the temperature crossed into the 80ºs. For whatever reason, the summer really hovered around 78º quite a bit (as pregnant me from the past can attest).
Okay, let’s do this.
This is the non-antiperspirant deodorant I started with. I chose the Barely Sweet scent, which happily reminds me of SweetTarts. The deodorant comes in stick form, similar to a typical antiperspirant, but it glides on very lightly. Honestly, I feel it’s too light. I feel like I have to load it on in for it to do anything at all. The initial scent is pleasing. However, like shampooing your hair, the scent goes away very quickly. I have to keep reapplying for this deodorant to do anything at all. And even then, I feel like I’m just temporarily masking the sweat smell. I don’t care if I sweat all day, just as long as I don’t stink. With pHresh, I stink most of the time.
Since this is the first non-antiperspirant I tried, I gave it a good 2½ weeks and I never found that it got any better.
Tom’s offers antiperspirant deodorants labeled as “natural,” as well as a non-aluminum option, so please note that I’m reviewing the latter (and be careful what you buy).
I’ve read mixed reviews on Tom’s aluminum free option. Some people love it. Some people don’t think it works at all. I gave it a shot hoping I would be in the former because it can be found in local stores. Plus, I’m fairly certain my aunt uses it and I’ve never noticed her smelling so that was something in favor of Tom’s.
I tried Tom’s right after pHresh, so I was already “detoxed.” I chose the Honeysuckle Rose scent.
Tom’s Aluminum-Free deodorant comes in stick form similar to antiperspirant deodorants. I believe there is a roll-on option out there as well. The scent is refreshing, and seems to last longer than the pHresh scent. While the stick claims 24hr odor protection, I find the protection only lasts about a third of the day. If you can have it around and reapply throughout the day, it’ll get the job done and you won’t smell. But it does wear off faster than I think it should.
I found Kiss My Face’s aluminum free deodorant in a health food store and purchased it, hoping that this relatively well-known brand would stand up a little better than the above two deodorants. I purchased the Fragrance Free stick because if I remember correctly, the only other option at the store was lavender, and I’m don’t really care for that scent. However, I have since discovered that Kiss My Face makes plenty of other scents for their Active Life Stick.
Once again, this deodorant comes in a stick form, and I only say that because there are quite a few non-aluminum deodorants that you can purchase online which are not sticks, but pastes in a jar. Kiss My Face unfortunately doesn’t stand up any better throughout the day than Tom’s. They’re very comparable. The Active Life Stick does the job for about a third of the day and then needs to be reapplied. At least, that’s how it works for me. However, as it wears off, the fragrance free stick has no scent to mask the stinky.
So why, after all of this, didn’t I give up?
To be honest, I almost did. I started using antiperspirants again, but I kept my eyes open. Then I read an awesome recommendation for Primal Pit Paste from a source I trust, and I gave it a shot. It worked right away, no detoxing necessary. I hope to get a happy, positive review for Primal Pit Paste up soon because that’s all I use now, and I want to do it justice.
Point is, non-aluminum deodorants that aren’t antiperspirants can work. But none of the three I’ve reviewed here (Kiss My Face, Tom’s of Maine, pHresh) did the trick for me – at least, not all day long.