Whether a natural deodorant works for you is one of those very personal physiological reactions, like whether cilantro tastes like soap for you (sorry about your sad life) or whether you like the Grease soundtrack (pls invite me to your singalongs, thanks). So I am aware this information might not be useful to everyone but hopefully it'll at least be partly useful to someone. Like, 10 people?
Trying out natural deodorants can feel like a hobby. New ones come on the market and you want to find out if they're the almost-like-an-antiperspirant deodorant that will never actually exist. Or maybe you just want to find out if it is better than what you have now. I am reviewing 7 deodorants -- some I love and some popular brands that didn't work for me.
I've also tried the following brands, which rate way lower than the ones I'm reviewing: Jason Natural Deodorant in Apricot; Tom's of Maine - all of their gross slimy deodorants; several roll-on crystal deodorants; Thai crystal deodorant; Avalon Organics wild yam roll-on deodorant; Zion Health clay citrus deodorant stick; Earth Science stick; Kiss My Face liquid rock roll-on in Patchouli (it was the strongest smell!); Green Body deodorant; Lush (it may have been Aromaco but I think I also tried another solid they had at the time that was labeled vegan)...and many more from the health food store and food co-op aisles that I'm forgetting at the moment.
Here are the ones I have something to say about:
#1 - Schmidt's ($9 for 2oz) *a vegan brand; palm oil-free
Schmidt's works the best of any natural deodorant I've tried. I've tried the unscented, lavendar + sage and bergamot + lime, although it's possible I originally got the ylang ylang + calendula scent first from a vegan beauty box. It's thicker than most of the other paste pot versions so I imagine their stick is also a good choice. (I avoid because the pot packaging is easier to reuse and recycle.) Like every single deodorant, it's not an antiperspirant so you will still sweat, but I find I sweat (and smell) the least when using Schmidt's. They also give you these tiny gray plastic spatulas that look like they're Barbie-size in case you are too much of a baby to take the deodorant out with you fingertip. I made fun of them but now I use them since I have them anyway. But I kind of wish they didn't bother giving them to you.
#2 - Soapwalla ($14 for 2oz) *a vegan brand
Soapwalla was the very first natural deodorant that I tried. I made my way down to a Gowanus craft fair just to get natural deodorant, even. (There was like one other vendor there, a knife-maker.) It's pretty good stink-wise and I alternate using it with Schmidt's. It does seem to have more oils in it than Schmidt's does so I usually follow up application with a dusting of powder. I ruined many a shirt by over-applying this and not powdering. I think the concentration of oils might be part of the reason it's softer than Schmidt's as well. All in all, a good option!
#3 - Northcoast Organics Death by Lavender ($10 for 2.5oz) *a vegan company
Northcoast Organics was another vegan beauty box find. It came in a tiny push up stick and smelled like, uh, yeah, lavender. Decent de-stinking powers. If Schmidt's or Soapwalla didn't exist, this would be in my rotation. It smells pretty good, although I'm pretty sure none of the natural deodorants have scents that last long enough to smell throughout the day.
#4 - Routine ($20 for 1.7oz approx) *not all vegan but vegan ones are labeled; palm oil-free
Routine was yet another vegan beauty box sample and I really liked its consistency (clay but creamy) and it's scent (Sexy Sadie - worst name though). I actually felt like this one kept it drier than the others and it's possible it's because of the clay base. It did a good job and if it were cheaper I would be happy to throw it in my rotation.
#5 - Primal Pit Paste ($9 for 2oz) *not all vegan
This one is slightly less effective than the others for me but it does work to a certain extent. It's similar to the Soapwalla and Northcoast when it comes to texture. Not really in love with the smell but they do have other options. (This one was also a vegan beauty box find. Who knew they were like my natural deodorant dealers?) I feel like a lot of people mention this brand and it seems to be available widely so I figured I'd include it, even though it's not a strong option for me.
#6 -- Meow Meow Tweet ($14 for 2.4oz) *vegan and palm oil-free company
I know people super love MeowMeowTweet and I have some facial cleanser by them that I really like but this just totally doesn't do it for me. I don't find it that effective (though I like the scent) -- it really only works half the day for me.
#7 -- Lavanila ($14 for 2oz)
I had high hopes for this one! I picked it up at Sephora and I really like the scent going on. The texture is almost more like a creamy stick deodorant, whereas all of the other options listed either have baking soda or clay or something like that in them. This was straight up delightful to apply. However, it's the least effective for me. It works less than the MeowMeowTweet option on me. I don't know how this works well for other people but I'm kind of jealous.