I’ve been using the same brand of deodorant for years. It smells like fresh washing and works perfectly even in “extreme” conditions… speed-walking between tube stations and onto stuffy, sweaty underground trains, hiking from one side of London to the other during tube strikes, digging holes in concrete-filled ground in the heat of July, and mucking out animals from horses to hippos. It works well. There’s only one thing that puts me off about it: every time I got to the end of a tube, I’d just be throwing away the plastic casing. If I’d been keeping them all at home, I wonder how many I’d have ended up with by now. It was a bit of a wrench to consider leaving my trusted favourite, but I thought it was high time to at least try a packaging-free version. I went for a Lush deodorant as I trusted them, I like that they list all of their (generally natural) ingredients alongside each product, and they are clear that they don’t test any of their products or ingredients (and don’t have anyone else test them) on animals. There are probably quite a few options that can offer the same, this is just the one I happen to have tried.
- It works. I chose “Aramaco” based on the reviews. Others had found it effective, and I was happy to find the same. I’ve read about many people saying they had a “transition period” in which their skin needed to adjust to a natural deodorant, but I didn’t find this myself despite having sensitive skin.
- It lasts a long time. It’s £6.50 for one bar, but it’s a decent sized chunk, in my opinion. I’ve used it plenty of times and not got very far into it at all. I’d estimate it to last several months of daily use. (I have read one review that they had been using one of Lush’s deodorant bars 1-2 times per day for four months and still hadn’t got halfway through it!)
- Natural ingredients. There seems to be no conclusive evidence that conventional antiperspirants are toxic or dangerous to use, or that deodorants marketed as “natural” are guaranteed to be free from questionable ingredients, so if this is a concern for you then it’s probably work looking into ingredients regardless. However, I personally find it reassuring when ingredients are relatively few and, as on the Lush website, the reason each is included is explained alongside the listing.
- The fragrance of the particular product I’ve tried was not my favourite. As I mentioned above, I made my choice based on other reviews and the one I preferred the look of had a few negative comments about it breaking up easily. I’m eager to give another one a go, though.
- Storage. As this comes without packaging, something is needed to wrap/keep it in, e.g. foil or a dedicated airtight container. I’ve also read some mention that they’ve wrapped it in baking paper.
Overall, a very easy, reasonably priced and I think worthwhile swap to make. The more time and thought you put into it, the greater the potential benefits…
Easiest option (every effort helps!):
- Buy a packaging-free deodorant bar and store wrapped in foil/baking paper or in a bought container if you don’t already own something suitable, or
- Buy a natural deodorant in recyclable (e.g. cardboard) packaging
- If you’re not ready to fully commit to it, try using it on some days whilst keeping a “conventional” deodorant as an option too
Slightly more effort:
- Go for a packaging-free deodorant bar and store it in a reusable container you already own
- Make sure the product is locally made and sold, to eliminate long-distance/international deliveries
- Commit to solely using the packaging-free deodorant to avoid the waste associated with conventional deodorants
- Aim for natural ingredients/vegan/cruelty free, OR…
- Try making your own – there are lots of recipes online to try (I’ve not got this far myself yet, but I’ll be sure to share if/when I do!)