Smells like teen spirit… a deodorant odyssey


One of the things that first got me into green beauty blogs was the endless search for a natural (or at least naturalish) deodorant that works for me – I found reading others reviews really helpful in finding out about potential products to try.

There are many that I’ve tried that have worked for a while, or what I like to call “weekend” deodorants – ones that work ok if I’m just kicking around the house and shops- but I struggle to find one that works for a busy, stressful day at work, even with the careful wearing of natural fibres. For reference, I never had any trouble at all with mainstream deos not working.

Tried and discounted have been (these are just the ones I can remember, there have been more):

Funk Butter by Oyin – this is a cream style deo. I had the coco-mango scent and although I loved the smell, got used to the application and it worked quite well for me (it struggled with stress sweat, though), it made my armpits sore after a while, I guess because of the abrasiveness of the bicarb, which I know doesn’t agree with everyone (although many people get along with it fine). The ingredients are good, straightforward and there is also a scent free option which is even cleaner. At £8.99, it was also quite pricey, although a tub would last quite a while. Also, much as I got on ok with the cream, it’s not so handy if you need to touch up at work (you’d have to wash it all off and start again, really and couldn’t really go over it with something else like a roll on…).

PitRok Crystal Spray – I’ve tried both the crystal and the spray. Both work okish for me, but I found – I don’t know if other people have the same issue – that it is almost like I develop immunity to it after a while… it just suddenly stopped working for me for no reason I can identify. However, whilst it worked, I liked it and found the spray handy for carrying around. The ingredients (especially for the stick, which is just alum) are simple and at around £4.99 and available very widely, including in Boots, it is also reasonably priced and easy to get hold of, which I very much appreciate.

Crystal Essence – this was a real disappointment. It smells gorgeous – delicate and elegant (I had the white tea and lavender scent) and worked amazingly for me for about four months… but then, like the pitrok, it just suddenly stopped working. Maybe it’s something to do with crystal based deos and my own particular bacterial makeup. Perhaps my armpit flora and fauna get tactical after a while and figure out how to defeat the evil crystal based deo after a lengthy seige… who knows, but I was gutted when this one stopped working. At around £3, it is very reasonably priced, the ingredients aren’t too bad and it would probably work well for people with less creative/dastardly armpit bacteria.

Bionsen – this was an emergency buy as I was on my way to London when my crystal essence suddenly stopped working… this was the only thing I could find in the train station Boots without aluminium. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only plus for this, other than the reasonable price (£2.35) – it just smells too strong for me and is hit and miss, effectiveness wise, so it’s relegated by my locker at work for emergency use.

Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant – this was a recommendation from the lovely Sandra at Beauty Balm. I like this very much, at £5.49, it’s not too badly priced for a natural deo and has the advantage of being available in Holland and Barrett… unfortunately, although I like the fresh smell – it really does smell like pomegranate, to an almost disconcerting extent (making me keep sniffing my armpits in wonderment)… this is a weekend deo for me. When I have a really stressful, busy day at work, it stops working by about halfway through the day and the scent mixes really unpleasantly with the smell of my sweat (too much information – sorry!). Told you my armpit bacteria were determined little critters. I do enjoy it for weekends, though.

Finally, I picked up two new deodorants from my local Knights pharmacy yesterday…

Firstly, Fresh Kidz by Keep it Kind – this can also be picked up at some Boots stores for £2.99. Knights had it in stock for £1.99. I have the unscented version. Obviously, this is intended for kids, but I wanted to give it a try as there aren’t many paraben, aluminium, alcohol and fragrance free deos available from high street stores. So far, I’ve only given this one days road test, so I will update after I’ve given it the working day test, but it’s managed a whirlwind, sweaty Sunday roast making session, which is a good start. The ingredients list is longer than I’d like, however, although I haven’t run them all, most of them seem pretty ok on EWG. It is, however vegan and despite the long ingredient list, if it works, I’ll be very glad to be able to pick something up locally and cheaply that looks pretty clean on the whole

Finally, this is my compromise deo… Sanex Zero – the ingredients aren’t great, there is talc in there and BHT, but at the moment, this is the best compromise I can find, given that it is aluminum, alcohol and paraben free, easily available, cheap (£1.26) and most importantly, it works no matter how stressed and busy I am. The fragrance isn’t too strong or offensive either (standard fresh/active deo type scent), so until I can find a truly natural deo that works for me, this is my work day option (unless the fresh kidz one works out).

What do you find works for you? Is it just me with clever pit bacteria that appears to be able to evolve to beat deodorants over time? It’s very annoying, especially as my boyfriend doesn’t wear any at all and smells effortlessly unsmelly.


no mud, no lotus


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