It may come as a surprise to many (heck, I surprised myself with that one) but I’ve been seriously exploring the green beauty space for a while now. I am not ready to purge the vanity just yet but many natural and non-toxic formulas have recently become part of my daily self-care routine. I’m not certain how long it will take me to find a clean replacements for my favorite fragrances but I’ve managed to switch over from commercial toothpaste and most recently, to aluminum-free deodorant. Side note: I refuse to acknowledge the absurd $53 price tag on the Tom Ford deodorant in my favorite scent Neroli Portofino.
If you’re looking for a reason to ‘go clean’ there are numerous articles on discoveries of traces of aluminum in breast tumors or in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. Though there has yet to be proof that that the metal is the root cause of either condition, I’m taking a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude and see my shift to clean deodorants as part of a bigger initiative. Come to think of it, I should research if drinking club soda out of a can or using tin foil to reheat countless leftovers in a toaster oven can potentially be hazardous… Hmm.
Key learnings based on having tried a dozen options:
- pastes are too cumbersome to use (I have hair FYI)
- liquid sprays leave my armpits a wet swampy mess
- solid sticks work best for me
- it took my body 2-3 weeks to adjust and respond to a cleaner, aluminum-free formulas (and I no longer miss Secret Clinical)
Brothers Artisan Oil
This indie brand out of Boston offers their deodorant in five appealing scents and I am hooked on Tea Tree & Lavender. Using magnesium to control odor and arrowroot powder (organic!) to absorb moisture, the formula also features kaolin clay, which continually purifies the skin under your arms. The creamy texture glides on the skin without any tugging and never stains your clothing. If your generous application leaves a mark on a dark shirt, it will wipe off in seconds. Bonus points for user and travel friendly swivel stick applicator. Its natural aroma is spot on. $25 brothersartisanoil.com
Known for the luxed up coconut oil formulas, Kopari launched a deodorant earlier this year and it’s been love at first swipe for me. The solid stick is clear (or in deo speak: invisible) and completely non-sticky. For those wondering how this coconut oil blend keeps the area under your arms fresh and dry, Kopair uses organic yeast ferment to break down odor-causing compounds. Although the light and sweet scent is added fragrance, I find the smooth solid to be gentle and non-irritating. Also, zero streaks on dark t-shirts. $14 Nordstrom.com
milk + honey
A fantastic Indie Beauty discovery of mine at Neiman Marcus, milk + honey is behind some truly impressive body care. With a mindful approach to wellness, the stick deodorant is available in regular and extra strength as well as baking soda free options. The lavender tea tree scent is much more faint than the Brothers Artisan Oil already mentioned and its consistency is creamy but much firmer — almost solid. In addition to organic arrowroot powder, it also contains Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed, and Beeswax (so it’s not vegan for those who are). The stick formula is new and seems to be available exclusively on the brand’s website. $20 milkandhoney.com
Trapped by the strategic merchandising at Target, I came home with the Bergamot + Lime scent a few months ago. It’s cheaper than a latte and it can happen to you, too. The paste is slightly gritty but it melts into the skin under your arms without leaving a trace of residue behind. Instead, experience its light, pleasant aroma. There are eight or so fragrance variations (including fragrance-free) and a wide range of sensitive skin options in which baking soda replaces magnesium. I consider this one of the best drugstore finds of the summer. $5 target.com