Deodorant isn’t something I think about a lot. I use it. And I notice when other people don’t. When I’m hiking or camping, I might pack a stick so I don’t offend my loved ones. But I’d never bothered reading the labels. So I’d never considered whether the ingredients were natural or not. I just assumed if I wasn’t grossing people out by the end of the day, my money was well-spent.

In the last few weeks I sampled three different underarm deodorants to see if one was better than another. And to make sure each was thoroughly tested, I applied them before hiking, biking, P90X workouts, and at work during days I had big, important meetings. Plus it’s summer. And I live in Dallas, Texas.

Greenbody Athletic

Deo GreenSCENT (according to label): Wintergreen & Pine

SCENT (according to me): Wintergreen & Pine. (Good job, Greenbody.)

PRICE: $9.00 for a 2.5 oz stick

INGREDIENTS: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Essential Oils of: Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage), Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf.

 

NOTEWORTHY: Company is PETA certified cruelty-free and vegan.

WEBSITE: greenbodydeo.com

PROS

  • Effective as a deodorant
  • Strong, fresh scent
  • Does not cake on
  • Doesn’t leave yellow residue on white shirts
  • Natural ingredients

CONS

  • Twice the price of a typical Degree or Right Guard

VERDICT: Four out of four armpits

If you don’t mind the high price point, Greenbody is a great natural deodorant. It smells great going on, and should keep you from offending hiking buddies and co-workers alike.

Root Beauty

Deo RootSCENT (according to label): none listed

SCENT (according to me): My first impression was strong mint leaf. I guess that’s what arrowroot clover smells like. If so, they should make arrowroot scented candles. This stuff is great.

PRICE: $15.00 for a 2.5 oz jar

INGREDIENTS: Organic arrowroot powder, baking soda, organic virgin coconut oil, organic rosemary oil

NOTEWORTHY: 100% satisfaction guaranteed

WEBSITE: rootbeauty.com

PROS

  • Effective as a deodorant
  • I love the scent
  • Does not cake on
  • Doesn’t leave yellow residue on white shirts
  • Natural ingredients

CONS

  • Due to the coconut oil in the product, it must be kept in cool temperatures. If your home is over 75°, you should refrigerate it.
  • Is not a stick; you dip into the jar and rub it in, Vicks VapoRub style.
  • Almost three times the price of a typical Degree or Right Guard

VERDICT: Three out of four armpits

I love the scent of this deodorant. And I love the simplicity of its ingredients. But its melt-ability, its high price, and the fact that you apply it with a dip-and-rub method make it very high maintenance for a deodorant. If you have certain allergies, this may be worth it. But it’s hard for the common man to put his foot down and say “I am paying a full $15 for my deodorant, and I will not compromise!” Even if it does smell like arrowroot clover.

Old Spice Denali

Deo OldSCENT (according to label): Wilderness, open air & freedom

SCENT (according to me): After whiffing the other two, this smells more like a candy factory.

PRICE: $4.99 for a 2.6 oz stick

INGREDIENTS: Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly 18% w/w, cyclopentasiloxane, stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, petrolatum, talc, phenyl trimethicone, fragrance/parfum, cyclodextrin, mineral oil, behenyl alcohol

 

NOTEWORTHY: Old Spice has some of the funniest commercials on TV. Just sayin’.

WEBSITE: oldspice.com

PROS

  • Effective as a deodorant and antiperspirant
  • Walmart usually has 2-packs for $6.97
  • Has an awesome illustration of Denali and a bear on the label

CONS:

  • Cakes on; I have to wash the residue out of my pits every morning
  • Contains ingredients only chemists and particle engineers will understand

VERDICT: Two and a half out of four armpits

If price is the only thing you care about, a 2-pack of Denali is an easy win. But this is an antiperspirant as well, which means is clogs pores to keep sweat from flowing. Not ideal on the trail. Plus, if you have issues with putting chemicals on your skin, this might not smell as sweet.

On one hand, deodorant is a hard thing to care about. Most of us could justify paying a little extra for furniture or a car or shoes if we really wanted them. But it’s hard for most people to pony up four to ten extra bucks for one deodorant over another, even if the ingredients are natural.

On the other hand, our skin is the biggest organ we have. I wouldn’t skimp on contact solution because we’re talking about my eyeballs. When I take any medication, I want to know how it’s going to affect my heart, my stomach and any other organ that may be in play. So if I can smell nice by putting something natural on my skin verses smelling just as nice putting cheap chemicals on my skin, I’m going to go with Greenbody. At least until I win the lottery. Then I might switch to Root Beauty.

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