A little over two years ago I decided I wanted to be more aware of my plastic waste, thus make more conscius purchases.
I did not know exactly where to start, and I knew there was quite a trendy topic going on back then with natural deodorants – they were made of so-called natural ingredients and came in glass jars.
I previously wrote and article about natural deodorants and why they appeal to so many people, but let’s do that again… shall we?
First things first…
Deodorant or Antiperspirant?
Until I started to look into natural deodorants, I literally had no idea that there was actually a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants.
Although their names are quite self-explanatory, I had no idea they are two different things.
Deodorants are meant to hide the unpleasant smell of sweat… just like the name suggests.
While antiperspirants prevent you from sweating as much as you would regularly would.
Now… I went into a little bit of details about which does which and it’s up to you what you chose, based on the desired result. But the bottom line is this:
- deodorants will mask (and slightly control) the sweat odour
- antiperspirants will limit the amount of sweat your sweat glads release and in order to do this, it has aluminium in it
Going back to “what your end goal is” situation. If you have an issue with excessive sweating, probably an antiperspirant would be more suited (and a doctor’s appointment too – if it bothers you too much). But if you’re just looking to get rid of the smell, look into a deodorant.
At the end, make sure whatever decision you make, it’s the best for your needs and health.
Why I Decided to Look Into Natural Deodorants?
As I said in my previous article as well, most people make the switch by being lured into the “natural” part.
Others make the switch to avoid using aluminium-containing products.
My reasoning was waaay more simple: I wanted a deodorant that came in a glass jar.
Of course, now there are roll-on deodorants that come in cardboard packaging, which is fully recyclable. But when I was looking into it, I only knew about this option.
So I wanted them only for the sole purpose of reducing my plastic waste. Deodorant is quite a mandatory hygiene product that you can’t just exclude from your routine, so I needed to find an alternative for it.
Later on, when I started to look into ingredients and formulation, I was introduced to a whole new level of information: aluminium melts your brain, parabens cause hormonal imbalance and much more.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a person that loves conspiracy theories. Not because I believe in them directly, but because I find them entertaining.
Also, I believe there’s a grain of truth in them: usually they start based on the slightest suspicions or evidence that some things might not be as good as we thought they were. But this is a topic for another conversation.
I personally don’t have a problem (anymore) with parabens in my skincare products, nor aluminium. And that is simply because I talked about it with my dermatologist and read researches online too. In the end, I decided I’m fine with both of them. Although, I have to admit that I was lured into the idea to ditch things that could cause hormonal imbalance due to my PCOS. but that’s a another story for another time.
But if you have any fears about these two ingredients, better double check with your doctor.
Making the Switch
Now, a little bit of spoiler alert, I switched to natural deodorants almost two years ago. So I had plenty of time to test it in different conditions: workout, summer, winter, skin reactions – you name it.
Does it really work?
This was probably my main concern and probably yours too – since you’re reading this article.
I’m quite skeptical when it comes to using “natural” skincare products. My vision is that natural ingredients are not as powerful as chemical ones. So I was almost sure that a natural deodorant won’t work for me.
Anyway, I will skip the introductory stuff and other aspects of switching to natural deodorants and I’ll get straight to the point: they work – for me at least and this particular brand.
I have to admit that I was lucky that the first one that I found actually worked really well for me. There are a lot of people who struggle to find a natural deodorant that actually works. I remember that Rachel at The Confused Millennial had a similar struggle with natural deodorants.
Natural deodorants during winter and summer time
Because I used them for a while, I got to test their efficiency all year around. Meaning during sweaty season and during non-sweaty season.
There are a few things you should keep in mind, though.
We have very cold winters here. Or at least, used to have.
So I didn’t have troubles with excessive sweating. I started using natural deodorants during autumn or winter and this helped a lot.
If you’re unsure how you feel or what to expect from a natural deodorant, start using them during the cold season. In this way, you’re avoiding embarrassing situations when your deodorants isn’t working. you can also get used to using it without too much pressure.
For summertime it’s a totally different story. During summer, it’s quite common to have temperature around 35 degrees C (or above). So it is REALLY hot.
Because of that, natural deodorants will melt or become softer, so I highly, highly recommend to keep them in a cool place or even in the fridge overnight. Otherwise it will melt in your hand before you get to apply it.
Natural Deodorants and Workouts
Now, don’t imagine that I’m a workout junkie or anything. But from time to time, my body asks for some workouts.
I tend to focus more on walking, rather than working out quite regularly. but I had a couple of months when I was working-out 3-4 times a week.
It was more than interesting to see how the natural deodorant kept up with intense physical effort and a lot of extra sweating.
And honestly, it did well. I wasn’t stinking after my workout, but I didn’t smell like daisies either. For me, it kept the odour under control and I am more that happy with that.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
While it might take a few tries to find the right formula and brand for your skin, I also want to share some extra lessons I’ve learnt during switching to natural deodorants.
Applying the right amount
It might sound silly that I did not know to apply the correct amount, but the first deodorant I got was delivered without the box, nor the instructions card. So I had no idea how much I should use it.
I was applying about a bean size of product for both armpits.
Later I discovered I was supposed to use about half the quantity for both armpits.
And the problem here isn’t that you’ll finish the product way too early, but the fact that you will ruin your clothes.
This particular brand I use, doesn’t leave white marks on clothes. And since the ingredients are quite the same for all natural deodorants, I would say that other brands shouldn’t stain either.
If you apply too much – like I was, the butters and oils used in the formula, will transfer to your clothes super fast and you won’t get white marks, but oil stains. Which is not cool. I ruined a few T-shirts like this.
So if you use a jar deodorant, make sure you don’t use too much, in order to keep your clothes nice and stain-free. It still works, don’t worry. The only difference you’ll notice, will be the stain-free clothes. 🙂
I mentioned that some people are sensitive to baking soda, essential oils or other ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. That’s why “all natural” doesn’t mean it’s better and safer.
It was not the case for me, but my partner got a nasty rash from the charcoal and magnesium deodorant. He previously used the fragrance-free formula and nothing happened, so we presumed it was something in the charcoal and magnesium deodorant that triggered the reaction. It was a red and itchy rash that leads to a dermatologist appointment, who prescribed treatment and forbid the use of any type of deodorant for a week or two.
My experience was super positive, but my partner wasn’t so lucky, so he eventually decided to get back to his old Old Spice deodorant.
I wanted to mention this because I don’t want to leave you with super positive expectations. Skincare is personal and what is amazing for someone, can be a nightmare for another.
Difficulty of applying
I have to be honest: after almost two years of using a jar deodorant, I’m still not 100% comfortable with the way you apply it.
They usually have a small spatula inside that helps you scoop a tiny amount of product. You rub it in your fingers, split it in two equal parts and rub on each armpit.
The scooping part it still killing me. I don’t know why, but I don’t like it – at all. I do enjoy applying it with my fingers, straight to my skin though – it’s a really nice feeling.
If you have any trick on how to make scooping natural deodorant from a jar more pleasant, please share them with me!
Schmidt’s was the first brand I discovered and luckily it worked very well for me.
They have only 6 formulas for their jar deodorants and my favourites are the lavender + sage and bergamot + lime. One is fresh and vibrant – perfect for summer and spring, while the other is more subtle and elegant.
I saw a lot of different brands that use cardboard for their roll-on formula, or aluminium cases and they provide deodorant refills that are eco-friendly and compostable. So there are definitely a lot of options to choose from.
Personally, I still prefer the jar deodorants – although the application is a little tricky – but I reuse the jars to store condiments or small crafting items.
That’s pretty much it for my experience with natural deodorants. I personally like them – especially the Schmidt’s ones.
I hope you got a better idea what’s like to use a deodorant in a jar and if you already use one, I would love to know about your experience as well!
Last, but not least, please make sure you check with your GP or dermatologist for any skincare concerns!
I want o mention that this article is not sponsored, nor commissioned by Schimit’s. I came across their brand while I was searching for natural deodorants in jars. They are an US brand, and although they’re expanding to Europe, their portfolio doesn’t include their jar formula. If you want to order them in Europe, you can still get them from iHerb (that’s where I got mine).