Now Reading
A Nutreats Sniff Test in Search of the Best Natural Deodorant
The Best Natural Deodorants 2

As consumers we’re becoming more aware of the products we’re using and the ingredients that make them up. We study labels, look at ingredients and want to know that the things we’re putting on and into our bodies isn’t harmful.

 

When it comes to the argument for going natural, deodorant is the product shrouded in the most controversy. It’s also the product that is hardest to switch out.

 

Aluminium is an ingredient found in most drugstore anti-perspirants. It’s an ingredient that has been associated with Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Associated being the operative word, because there is no conclusive evidence to back those claims up. While aluminium may not be harmful per se, this active ingredient essentially plugs your sweat ducts to stop you from sweating and thus from smelling. This is one of the key differences between an anti-perspirant and a deodorant. An anti-perspirant is designed to stop you from sweating and keep you dry. A deodorant on the other hand doesn’t stop sweat, instead it masks the smell of sweat.

 

Is preventing your body from sweating – a natural bodily function, really that good for you?

 

What makes the switch to a natural deodorant hard, is that natural deodorants haven’t always had a reputation of keeping you smelling peachy clean. And no one wants to be walking around with a funky body odour. In fact, most people find that after years of using a product designed to prevent sweat, their bodies now need time to adjust and that time isn’t always dry. Or pleasant smelling. In the words of Jessica Alba;

 

“when it comes to natural deodorants, you’re going to feel wet under the arms, but you don’t need to smell funky”.

 

Really you don’t. And that’s because we did the job of smelling funky for you. Yes, we hit up Wellness Warehouse and tried just about every natural deodorant they sell to find ones that work (they do exist). We then rigorously tested them for one month. As always, our methods were exacting. Each deodorant was judged on the following criteria: price, smell, feel, marks they left on our shirts and effectiveness.

 

They were rated in relation to each other, especially when it comes to price. Natural products are always more expensive than mainstream products. That’s for two reasons. One, the ingredients being used by them are not ingredients being widely used, which makes them more expensive. Two, the companies also tend to be smaller which means they don’t have the same economy of scale to bring down prices.

 

Effectiveness was determined by testing them under the following 3 conditions:

High Intensity Exercise, Low Intensity Exercise and Regular day wear. The most important factor was how they held up in day to day wear. You go into a workout, especially an intense one, expecting to sweat and to walk out smelling less than fresh. But no one wants to be the person walking around all-day with a funky body odour.

 

And so, after a month of sniffing our armpits more than one should, and inspecting every top worn, we present The Sniff Test in search of the best Natural Deodorant. A stinky challenge that reaped some not so stinky rewards in the form of some natural deodorants that work under all conditions. The deodorants are listed in no particular order, but we’ve noted the ones that worked, the ones that didn’t and our favourite finds.

 

Earthsap Deodorant in Lavender and RosemaryEarthsap Deodorant

 

Smell

This deodorant, like most scented natural deodorants has a very fragrant smell. The lavender scent is so strong that I forgot it had rosemary in it too. In the interest of transparency, I must disclose that lavender is not one of my favourite scents. In fact, it’s one of my least favourite scents. I was thus surprised by how little it bothered me. The scent, whilst a touch overpowering when I first put it on, gradually gets milder, until it becomes a slight waft that dare I say, is pleasant.

 

Feel

As to be expected, when it comes to a roll-on it’s wet when first applied and then dries down. It was, however, not gloopy and that is a big win.

 

Effectiveness

Low Intensity Workout – I felt wet at certain moments during the workout, but it dried fast after I was done. I was left with a slightly sticky feel under my arms. In terms of smell, it smelled faintly like lavender with nary a hint of sweat.

 

High Intensity Workout – I didn’t notice a difference in my sweat levels on the run and conclude that I must have sweat as per normal. However, I came home smelling like lavender! My running top smelled like lavender, not sweat and the only evidence that I had used it to do a speed run was a slight dampness under the arms.

 

All Day Wear – The lavender smell to my delight wore off during the day, so that by the end of the day I smelt vaguely like lavender, if you were to sniff close. There were moments during the day I felt a little damp but overall remained dry and fresh smelling. My shirt did have a faint lavender smell to it.

 

Marks on Clothing

No marks left, just a faint smell of lavender. Workout clothing were a little wet but not stained.

 

Verdict

Overall the Earth sap deodorant worked well in keeping me and my clothing feeling and smelling fresh no matter the activity. It was one of the best scented natural deodorants.

Price R65.95 (This was the most affordable of the natural deodorants)

Get it Here

 

Jason Soothing Aloe Vera StickJason Soothing Aloe Vera Stick 

 

Smell

This deodorant has a very clean, quite strong shower gel like smell. Having never sniffed Aloe Vera, I assume the smell is of Aloe Vera.

 

Feel

This was the only stick we tried, and it felt nice and soothing going on. As a stick you also don’t have that wet feeling when applying it. It had the best application feel.

 

Effectiveness

I had high hopes for this deodorant being the only stick deodorant we tried, and myself favouring sticks over roll-ons. It let me down and by the end of my days of testing it, I developed a major complex around my body odour. I have never smelled worse.

 

Low Intensity Workout – I felt wet almost immediately after applying. In fact, before I had even started my workout. I ended the workout feeling dry, but sticky. Worst of all was the smell. It wasn’t a sweat smell that I had ever smelled before, it was a weird and unpleasant smell that was disconcerting.

 

High Intensity Workout – I didn’t notice feeling particularly wet or sweaty on the run, but I came back smelling awful. I would be as dramatic to say I smelled worse than I did after running Comrades. Bear in mind, my run took place in the morning where the temperature peaked at 3 degrees Celsius – hardly a temperature where ones sweat stinks. I shudder to think of the smell after a run in the heat. My running shirt had an awful funk to it. Again, it wasn’t just a sweat smell, it was this weird off-putting smell, almost like my sweat and the deodorant had had a really bad chemical reaction once combined.

 

All Day Wear – By 11am I started feeling like I needed to reapply. By the end of the day I was walking around sniffing myself in panic that I stank. And truth be told I didn’t smell great, I’m not sure if it’s my body chemistry and aloe that do not mix, or a deodorant that doesn’t work. All I know is that I never want to smell like that again.

 

Marks on Clothing

I was left with sweat stains on all tops. They (along with the smell) came off in the wash.

.

Verdict

Overall, this was the least favorite natural deodorant. It didn’t keep me dry or smelling even the least bit fresh.

 

Price R129.95

Get it here

 

Dr Hauschka Sage Mint DeodorantDr Hauschka Deodorant 

 

Smell

Before I even go into the smell, let me just say that the packaging on this deodorant is beautiful, minimalistic and the only one of the natural deodorants we tried that is housed in a glass bottle. Based on looks alone, I was most excited to try it. Once I opened the lid and took a sniff, that excitement turned to fear.

 

I did a double take when I smelled this. It is so intensely overpowering that it quite literally knocked my head back. I credit this to the Sage and must note that it is a very masculine and heavy scent.

 

Feel

Like all the roll-ons, it has wet feel on application and takes a few minutes to dry down. It did however feel the best out of the bunch when applying – it was incredibly smooth and cooling. I attribute this to the bottle and roll on design.

 

Effectiveness

 

Low Intensity Workout

It kept me dry during the workout and left my shirt smelling faintly like sage. I detected no sweaty smell which was a win.

 

High Intensity Workout

I tried this on two different high intensity runs, one wearing a tank top and one wearing a long-sleeved running shirt.

 

When I ran with it wearing a tank top, I didn’t recall feeling extra sweaty and shortly after the run I was surprised by how dry my armpits felt.

 

After my high intensity run in a long sleeve shirt (with a sweatshirt over it – hello JHB winter mornings), my top was damp and had a mixed smell of deodorant and sweat. My actual armpits however didn’t smell sweaty. Overall, I was surprisingly fresh smelling.

 

All Day Wear

The whole day I felt like subtle wafts of the scent were floating up and out of my shirt. Kind of what you would want from a fragrance not deodorant. I didn’t sweat despite my many layers and most amazingly, my undershirt didn’t smell like deodorant at the end of the day. Given the scent I had experienced all day, I was surprised.

 

Marks on Clothing

There were no marks (sweat or white deodorant lines) left on any of the tops worn. They were however a little damp. My biggest issue was that the smell seemed to cling to my shirts with such force that they still had a scent on them after going through the washing machine.

 

Verdict

On first look (and smell) I thought this would be a top performer in our natural deodorant race. And while it does work at preventing sweat and smells, the scent was too powerful for me (and apparently a washing cycle) to love it.

 

Price R296 (This is the most expensive of the natural deodorants)

Get it here

 

Crystal Fresh Mineral Salts Crystal Fresh Mineral Salts

 

Smell

This deodorant has a delightfully clean and unscented smell.

 

Feel

This gives a nice smooth application, but as per all the roll-ons, it has a wet feel. It does dry after a few minutes.

 

Effectiveness

 

Low Intensity Workout

During my low intensity workout, I felt fresh and dry and left the workout smelling and feeling fresh and dry.

 

High Intensity Workout

During a high intensity run, my arm pits felt clammy. After said run, my top was wet under the arms, but it was fresh smelling as were my actual pits.

What truly threw me for a loop and what solidified this as my favourite natural deodorant, was that when the shirt I ran in dried (I had it hanging over a chair) it literally smelled like it had just been washed. I have never had a deodorant leave zero scent on a shirt, especially after such a sweaty run.

 

All Day Wear

I felt fresh during the day and at the end of day, despite the underarm of my shirt feeling damp, there was zero smell left on my clothing.

 

Marks on Clothing

All tops were left without a trace of any smell or mark, almost as if they’d never been worn.

 

Verdict

 

Overall this was the favourite natural deodorant in terms of feel and smell and effectiveness.

 

Price R134.95

Get it here

 

Simply Bee All Natural Roll-On DeodorantSimply Bee All Natural Roll-On Deodorant

 

Smell

The bottle says Classic, which I’ve always read as “odourless”, however it did have a smell. It smelled like Tea Tree – one of the ingredients listed on the back. I thus learnt the important lesson of looking at ingredients – if there is an essential oil listed (especially a fragrant one), that is what the deodorant will smell like. Essential oils are not subtle. While I appreciate the benefits of Tea Tree, I find the smell offensive and wouldn’t choose to smell like it all day. The smell however does fade as the day wears on.

 

Feel

Much like the other roll-ons, it felt a little wet (not gloopy) when applied, but it dried fast.

 

Effectiveness

Low Intensity Workout – felt a little damp during, but completely dry after. I had no smell other than a slight odour of tea tree and felt surprisingly fresh.

High Intensity Workout – It didn’t keep me dry, but I came back smelling fresh. A mix of tea tree with a hint of sweat. My shirt smelled the same.

All Day Wear – I felt relatively dry throughout the day. It doesn’t leave white marks or sweat stains on your shirt and the tea tree smell wears off. At the end of the day both myself and my shirt had a faint lingering scent of tea tree.

 

Marks on clothing

It left no white marks nor stains on any clothing. It does leave the faint whiff of tea tree.

 

Verdict

While this wasn’t a favourite (tea tree is a very polarising smell), it does actually work and the smell does fade.

Price R89.95

Get it here

 

Pure Beginnings Eco Roll On in Revitalising Fresh Mint Pure Beginnings Eco Roll On

 

Smell

This was the best smelling of the scented deodorants. I’ve never tried a mint deodorant before, but the minty smell is really pleasant, like a subtle take on spearmint gum.

 

Feel

As per the trend of roll-ons, this has a wet feel but dries down quickly. I did notice that after rolling it under my arm (perhaps too vigorously) some of the liquid was seeping out of the rollerball.

 

Effectiveness

 

Low Intensity Workout

No noticeable wetness during the workout. Afterwards, my shirt smelled slightly minty with a tinge of sweat. I however smelled clean.

 

High Intensity Workout

I had a normal amount of wetness one has during a fast run.  After the run, the underarms of my shirt were damp and had a mixed sweat and mint scent. My pits surprisingly smelled fresh.

 

All Day Wear

I didn’t notice any wetness during the day, and I couldn’t smell the mint on me. At the end of day my shirt smelled clean. There was a little dampness under the arm of the shirt, but it was not noticeable.

 

Marks on Clothing

It left no marks on my clothing.

 

Verdict

 

Overall this deodorant worked moderately and was a favourite in the scented natural deodorants (but I do like the smell of mint).

 

Price R70.95

Get it here

 

Salt of the Earth Natural Deodorant Salt of the Earth Natural Deodorant

 

Smell

This is truly the most unscented deodorant. A fact which made it more appealing as I prefer to use perfume as a fragrance, not deodorant.

Feel

This is probably the smallest roller ball of all the deodorants. It does have the same wet feel of the others, but also dries down quick.

 

Effectiveness

 

Low Intensity Workout

Both I and my shirt smelled fresh after a low intensity workout. Pits were damp.

 

High Intensity Workout

After a high intensity run, there were wet patches on my shirt, but it was very fresh smelling. Honestly though, who has an intense run and comes back dry? The next day there was no leftover scent on my top.

 

All Day Wear

It smells fresh but during a day I was wearing multiple tops and inside I felt like my arm pits were dripping. My jersey however did not smell sweaty at the end of the day.

 

Marks on Clothing

There was slight dampness but no white marks and no stains.

 

Verdict

While this deodorant doesn’t keep you dry, it does keep you (and your clothing) smelling really fresh.

 

Price R139.95

Get it here

 

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Deodorant Original Thursday Plantation Deodorant

 

Smell

This had an overpowering smell of tea tree which didn’t fade. In my opinion it is just too much.

 

Feel

It had leaked into the lid and was incredibly gloopy. Even after wiping it down it felt gloopy and sticky. It did dry down after application.

 

Effectiveness

 

Low Intensity – I found the smell incredibly overpowering and at points during my workout (during a set of push-ups) as little wafts flew up to my nose, obnoxious and off putting. I didn’t feel dry, but I didn’t smell like sweat. Just tea tree. A lot of tea tree.

 

High Intensity – It didn’t keep me dry, but it did keep smells at bay. I returned from my run wet and sweaty but still smelling like I dumped a bottle of tea tree over my pits. Very effective at hiding odours.

 

All Day – I felt damp at times during the day but didn’t smell bad. The scent of tea tree did eventually fade. A final sniff at the end of the day revealed a mixture of sweat and tea tree.

 

Marks on clothing

It did leave sweat stains along with the faint smell of tea tree and sweat.

 

Verdict

 

Overall it wasn’t as effective as the others; but what did it for me was the overpowering smell of Tea Tree. Too much, too strong, for tea tree lovers only.

 

Price: R129.95

Get it here

 

So after all this testing what is our favourite Natural Deodorant?

 

The Best Natural Deodorant Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

While scent is individual (some of you may love lavender and loath mint. Or prefer scented over unscented), our favourite natural deodorants were Crystal Fresh (the overall favorite), Salt of the Earth, Earthsap and Pure Beginnings.

 

*product was supplied by Wellness Warehouse. All opinions are our own. 

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2019 Nutreats. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top