For years, I've been searching for a less-toxic deodorant for my husband. My husband has gone along with most of my green upgrades pretty willingly, but he insists on having a deodorant that is up to the task, and so far the less-toxic deodorants have largely not worked for my husband. Now I am willing to let a thing or two slide here and there, but I did not let go of my quest for a new deodorant for my husband for one major reason: he often sleeps with our kids, and after they sleep together, I can smell the fragrance of his deodorant on my kids. Which means the fragrance is on them.
So what's wrong with fragrance? The problem with fragrance is that the term "fragrance" is the mother of all loop-holes in ingredient disclosure. Fragrance is a trade secret, so manufacturers don't have to disclose what's in it. Independent testing of fragrance products by Environmental Working Group demonstrated that some individual products literally hide 24 different chemicals under the name "fragrance," and those chemicals are often members of the infamous phthalates family.
I would have settled for a conventional deodorant for my husband if it just didn't have "fragrance" listed as an ingredient. But I couldn't find one. I once walked the aisles of Target looking at every single deodorant for men, and not one was without the ingredient "fragrance" (except the Tom's of Maine brand, which Target does carry).
Green Deodorants that Might Work for You, but that Didn’t Cut It with My Husband
Tom’s of Maine. This has been my deodorant of choice for several years, but it did not provide enough odor control for my husband. A couple of my sisters have not found it to be effective enough either.
Tom’s of Maine Roll-on. My husband tried this one too, but no dice.
Hugo Naturals. I found promising online reviews about this one, and Hugo’s is the deodorant that my sister finally settled on, but it wasn’t good enough for my husband.
Burt’s Bees. I think my husband rejected this one based on smell. I can’t remember. I know that I returned it before he even tried it.
Crystal Stick. One of the favorites of the natural set, I had high hopes for this one. And it did seem to work for my husband on certain days. But when it was especially warm or he had to give a presentation, it wasn’t enough. For a while, he would use the Crystal Rock on weekends and some work days, but fall back on his old Speed Stick when it really counted. Crystal Rock does utilize aluminum salts, so if you feel strongly about avoiding aluminum all together in all its forms, this one isn’t for you. Also, you need to wet the “rock” before use, which some might find annoying. A female friend of mine just puts it on right out of the shower when her armpits are still a little damp. She also told me that there was a little adjustment period before she felt like it was really working and when she felt pretty stinky. So if you are switching to a less-toxic alternative from a conventional antiperspirant, give your body a little time to adjust.
At Long Last. A Winner.
Crystal Body Roll-on. Although the Crystal stick failed when it mattered most, I decided to get the Roll-on version for my husband to try, mainly because I found it for next to nothing on Amazon. And guess what? It works! After a long day of work on a hot day, my husband still smells great. Goodbye, forever, Speed Stick, along with your poopy fragrance.
What is your favorite natural deodorant?