‘You do occasionally smell a bit whiffy’ are not words that you care to hear from your husband, particularly when his expression suggests that he would rather you did smell nicer but is humouring you for your ‘cause’!'
The ‘cause’ was my bid to find a natural deodorant that works, as part of a general move toward using products on my skin with fewer toxins and amidst growing concerns over the use of aluminium in 'regular' deodorant. Growing up my mum instilled in me a natural suspicion of anything containing perfume and synthetic chemicals, due to her gut feel that ‘they just can’t be good for you’. Having read more on the issue in the years since, there is much evidence to prove that her instincts were right, with more than 60% of the products we use being absorbed into our bodies and potentially causing hormone disruption as well as other unwelcome side effects.
Following a year of testing out a variety of natural deodorants, I was feeling disillusioned over their performance. They just didn’t work as well for me as their more conventional antiperspirant counterparts. It's all very well to wave the 'go natural' flag but unless the products actually work, people just won't be converted.
It was at this point that I discovered The Natural Deodorant Company's deodorant cream, as recommended by the Hemsley sisters in a magazine article (and they don’t look like the sort of women who would settle for anything less than smelling lovely!). The company itself hails from Chelmsford in Essex, my home county and a fellow small independent business.
The Natural Deodorant Company has three deodorant types to choose from; each developed for a specific use - Daily Use, Sensitive Skin & Demanding Days. I selected the Gentle Deodorant Cream for Sensitive Skin in Tangerine. There are two sizes; £6 for 15ml and £11 for 60ml. I purchased the bigger size as the most cost effective option.
My delivery arrived in an attractive box which contained a beautifully styled jar of deodorant, looking more like a sophisticated face cream. I was drawn to the wonderfully short list of ingredients on the back (the fewer ingredients, the better when you are keeping things natural). However, was it all just too good to be true?
The deodorant has a creamy and slightly coarse texture, like wet clay (one of the main ingredients which absorbs the ‘wetness’ of sweat). It smells good enough to eat; the gentle scent of tangerine mixed with the subtle aromas of shea butter and coconut oil - a very different aroma to that of the synthetic smell of an antiperspirant.
The Natural Deodorant Company explain how their deodorant works; ‘Magnesium Oxide deodorises, bentonite clay helps to keep you dry and our rich fair trade shea butter keeps your sensitive underarm looking smooth and nourished.’
To use, you pop a small amount on the end of your finger and apply to your armpit sparingly. It sinks straight into the skin, and feels gentle and nourishing, very much like putting on your face cream. I had just shaved too and there was absolutely no stinging sensation.
My first testing day turned out to be a classic betwixt season Autumnal day, with the extremes of temperature exacerbated by a busy day; walking outside in the chill wind, sitting in a hot harvest assembly, hoovering and changing bedding, catching a warm train into London and taking part in an Escape activity afternoon with friends. All finished off with a lively dinner out and late arrival home.
I made sure that I did a ‘sniff’ test every couple of hours, expecting quite early on to feel the need for a shower or change of top (I always work up quite a sweat trying to get the top bunk sheet in place!). However, I continued to smell fresh and there was no dampness at all. With every test the result was the same, and I was genuinely amazed.
It was late by the time I arrived home and jumped in the shower, and even then I didn’t smell at all and neither did my clothes. This felt like nothing short of a miracle and suffice to say I was surprised and thrilled in equal measures!
I have continued to use this wonderful deodorant in the weeks since, and it hasn’t wavered once. I feel more confident and secure than I ever have done in the past, and all the happier knowing that this deodorant is working with my body, and not against it.
I asked Natural Deodorant Company's founder, Laurie Sanders, to explain a little bit more about how their deodorants work;
"It took quite some time to find ingredients that provide the light, whipped texture of our natural deodorants. I love how they melt effortlessly into the skin, and we achieved this with our blend of organic shea butter and coconut oil. By using all-natural active ingredients to deodorise we were also able to create a product that truly keeps the underarms fresh all day, and I believe that is what people have been searching for.”
In summary, there IS a natural equivalent to antiperspirants that not only works as well as, but exceeds their performance. If you’re wondering about whether to make the switch; I would say it is a no-brainer (and no-whiffer).
It's so good, we are now stocking a range of these deodorants at The Wise House shop here. This deodorant lasts for ages, so the smaller tub is a great option if you want to try it first, and it is also the perfect size for your handbag. Customers who have already made the switch give their feedback;
'I absolutely adore the natural deodorant. Being honest I thought that it probably wouldn't be as effective as my usual deodorant but I was amazed at it's performance. So much better than the product I was using before. Love the feel of it on my skin and the scent is fresh and very natural. '(Keeley)
'I absolutely love this natural deodorant - if I'm honest I bought it on a whim, not expecting it to work. I've tried all sorts of natural deodorants in the past but just not found them at all effective. Incredibly surprised at just how effective this is - lovely fresh subtle scents. Just placed my second order and I honestly can't imagine reverting back to anything else - praise indeed! Happy customer, thank you.'(Jo)
'When I first shopped on the Wise House website I was looking for Christmas presents and found lots of lovely gifts for my friends; but the purchase I was most eager to receive was the Active Deodorant Balm.
1 week and 3 workouts later and I'm so thrilled I have finally found a natural deodorant that works. I bought the Orange and Bergamot Active Deodorant Balm after some playground chat and Lucy's honest blog and what a revelation - it's brilliant, smells lovely and really works. Plus it's not filled with harmful chemicals. Thank you Lucy and The Wise House for another well researched and brilliant product!'(Emma)
'I've been a bit wary of natural deodorants since trying those crystal ones in the 1990s! However I was keen to try The Natural Deodorant brand because the Wise House stock it and I'm trying to find natural beauty and health products. I'm so impressed with the product, I brought it back with me to Australia and have used it over this long hot summer, including when working outdoors in 38 degree heat and it held up perfectly. I love that it is not sticky like roll on store bought brands and it definitely works better than them. Another great product!' (Helen)