A Review of Natural Deodorants

Edited to add: Stop the Presses! I have since discovered this homemade deodorant recipe that is a complete game-changer. After one use, Honey and I knew we’d never go back to anything else and we’ve now been using it since 2014.

Original post

I’ve had this post sitting blank for a while now, with nothing more than the photo.  When I lived in the US, I found it a lot easier to find aluminum-free deodorants and actually brought a lot back each time I would travel to the US.  Of course, this meant I ran out sometimes.  After a few years of experimentation with deodorants here (mostly with one option for a lot of that time) I have found a favourite and a few stand-bys. I wanted to write a witty and informative review of some ‘natural’ (to some degree) and aluminum/aluminium-free deodorants that are available here in the UK.  Instead, I am going to just write some observations about each and tell you about my favourites! Read the list to correspond to the deodorants in the photo from left to right; they are not listed in rank order.

1. Bionsen. Available at Tesco.  This was the only one available for a while, so it earns points for that.  Strong fresh-ocean-and-musk smell. Works for me decently if I reapply a few times a day and particularly after running for the train or teaching several classes.  Sometimes, on days I knew would be stressful, I used the crystal first (see all the way to the right) and let that dry before applying the roll-on. That’s a lot of effort.  I don’t use it now unless I’m just staying home or walking into town for a few things. It worked great for ages and then just stopped so it may work perfectly for you.  Another downside: plastic number 5, so it is not recyclable most places.

2. One Planet. Also available at Tesco. Marketed for women so a bit powdery in smell, though not offensively sweet. To me, it still smells nicely planty – sort of like rosemary and sage as it claims, but with a milkiness. Works marginally better than the Bionsen. I would use it, in addition to the above situations, if going to chill with friends but no high energy activities unless I bring it along.  The smell fades fairly quickly but you know it works decently.  Plus side: plastic number 2. Down side: still plastic.

3.  Aromarant, the brown chunk at the bottom of the third ‘column’. From Lush. Sandalwood and lemony.  Scent fades, but it does its job.  Like any bar deodorant, it goes on best to clean, wet skin. Wrapping: paper. I would wear this on any normal day. The only downside: it colours your clothes a bit so I use it when wearing my darker undergarments! I seriously like it.  It is my second choice of deodorants because I only need to apply it once.  It rates at about a 9.5 of the 10 my first choice gets.

4. Aromaco, the white deodorant in the third colum.  Also from Lush. Like the Aromarant, apply this to wet clean skin.  The website says it is patchouli scented, but it reminds me more of lemongrass…? I. Love. This. Deodorant. It does not stain, works very well, gets me through my day of running around, only has paper packaging, and smells nice. Of course, the smell fades, but that’s what perfume is for if you need a cloud of scent following you.  No bad smells get past this one.  So glad I found it!

5. The crystal- all the way to the right.  The original, salt.  It originally came in a cling-film like wrap. Lasts for YEARS if you are lucky enough for it to be all you need.  As I said, I used it to back up the first one and sometimes the second.  If I use it, it’s for those days when I am staying home studying, or just staying in and don’t want to use any products.  It’s good for what it is and what it represents, but I can’t swing just using it by itself.  Apply this to clean, wet skin.

What product and ideas would you include in a review of aluminum free deodorants?  Have you found a favourite?



  1. Thank you for this. I just ran out of deo and was wondering what to try next (I am a serial deo tester…been using something pathetic from h&b). Gonna order some from lush tomorrow!

    • I hadn’t thought of using sanitizer as a preventative if I forgot deodorant though I’ve used it a few times as a desperate measure. Thanks for the idea!
      Can you get a hold of any Tom’s of Maine stuff where you are? I found the Calendula one quite good.

  2. A local company sells Tom’s of Main deoderant. Its a stick and its aluminium free. They also sell lots of Faith in Nature products, like some really interesting shampoos and conditioners. The website is http://www.ouresme.com, and if you like anything I can order it and post it to you!

    • When I was in the US, I loved Tom’s of Maine products. I came across their deodorants at Real Foods in Edinburgh, but I didn’t think it made sense to pay the £5 plus air pollution from shipping. I have always loved their toothpastes as well, now that I think of it, and should check out some local alternatives if there are any.

      • The place I mentioned sells them for £3.75. I know there are some online stores that do them a little cheaper, along with the toothpaste.

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