October 11, 2011

The Great Deodorant Hunt: Part 1

Let me preface this whole saga with a little background on my pits. I know, TMI already, right? Well, you gotta know something beforehand or everything else will just be out of context, right?!

I'm not a big sweater. And I don't really smell much. You know those times you leave the house and are halfway to your destination and you gasp: "Omg. I forgot to put on deodorant today!" Yeah, that doesn't happen to me. If I forget to apply one day, the only person that would notice is me. And same goes for the sweating. You know those days you're out on a hike in the hot sun, or a long, long run with some friends? Well my friends always have rivulets of perspiration streaming down their faces before I even break a sweat. Moral of the story: I thought finding a natural deodorant would be easy. Who cares if it didn't work, I don't really need much anyway! Well, I was wrong.

First, I tried Miessence. Their ingredients looked stellar, and just about every green blog raved about them. So I gave it a whirl. When the package arrived on my doorstep the ingredient list on the label contained three nasty ingredients that weren't mentioned online: limonene, linalool, and benzyl benzoate. I had been duped. I used it while scouting out my next move and it worked fine. But it was back to the drawing board.

There were only three deodorants that I found which had good ingredients and got rave reviews on the green beauty blogs I was trolling. The first was Miessence, the second was Soapwalla, and the third was Bubble and Bee. Soapwalla designed a cream deodorant that had to be applied with the fingers. I wanted to keep things clean and simple, so I decided to try out Bubble and Bee first (besides, you probably remember how incredibly excited I am about that company).

Bubble and Bee's deodorant choices are extensive. They have a cream version (like Soapwalla), a spray, a pit putty stick and a beeswax stick. Each comes in over half a dozen scents, like lemon & clove, geranium & lime, jasmine & mint and other similar delectable choices. I chose the pit putty stick over the cream because it seemed closest to the drugstore brands I was used to. And then I was silly. I chose my scent based on what sounded prettiest: geranium & lime. Don't ask me why I wanted my deodorant to smell pretty, I already warned you I was being silly.

When the deodorant arrived and I popped open the cap, I was right. It smelled heavenly. While applying the pit putty, I found out that the texture was very different than my previous drugstore brand. It was a stick in the tube, but went on slightly powdery. It was probably due to the inclusion of arrowroot powder. The first thing I noticed about using the geranium & lime pit putty was that it kept me dry! I've never used an antiperspirant, because of the controversy over aluminum. I've always just used deodorant. So when this pit putty kept me dry when I was out for a run, I was surprised at the unusual turn of events. Odor-wise, it worked, but only to a point. In extreme cases, like on hot days when I was exercising, it wasn't pulling it's weight by the end of the day.

Luckily, Bubble and Bee has an amazing deodorant policy. All deodorants come with a satisfaction guarantee! They know that everyone has different body chemistry, which is why they offer deodorants with different essential oils, antimicrobials and odor fighters. So if one doesn't work out, you get to try out another for only the price of shipping until you find the heavy hitter for you (I told you I found an amazing company). So I decided to try the Lemongrass pit putty next. My friend Claudia had tried the Lemongrass and said it worked nearly as well as Dove antiperspirant!

I gave Lemongrass a go and I was surprised at how much I liked the scent. It was fresh and clean with a zesty lemonish kick, just perfect for a deodorant. And it worked! It worked when temperatures went sweltering. It kept me fresh all through yoga. And it stayed strong throughout the entirety of my all day hike the other weekend. I finally found the perfect blend for my body chemistry.

___________ _ ___________

Ingredients in Miessence Tahitian Breeze Deodorant:
Aloe vera leaf juice*, baking soda, non-gmo xanthan gum, bitter orange fruit extract*, bergamot essential oil*, lime essential oil*, ylang ylang essential oil*, patchouli essential oil*, geranium essential oil*, limonene, linalool, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, geraniol. *Certified organic ingredient.

Ingredients in Soapwalla Deodorant Cream:
Jojoba*, sunflower*, and rosehip* seed oils, shea butter, a combination of all-natural and gluten-free vegetable clays and powders; aluminum-free baking soda, vegan kosher glycerin*, lavender*, peppermint*, sweet orange*, bergamot* and tea tree* essential oils. *Certified organic ingredient.

Ingredients in Bubble and Bee Geranium and Lime Pit Putty:
Arrowroot powder*, coconut oil*, lime essential oil*, geranium essential oil*. *Certified organic ingredient.

Ingredients in Bubble and Bee Lemongrass Pit Putty:
Arrowroot powder*, extra virgin coconut oil*, aluminum-free baking soda, lemongrass essential oil*. *Certified organic ingredient.

Image courtesy of: 
1.Getty royalty free images
2. Me!

I have nothing to disclose. I sought out this product and was not compensated monetarily or otherwise for this post.


  1. Caroline10/11/2011

    Important question!!! Does it leave a white powder streak on your clothes? That is my all time pet peeve about powder-based deodorant sticks!

  2. Very good question! The Pit Putty actually does leave some residue sometimes. However, in comparison to conventional deodorants I've used, it comes off much more easily (dab it off and your done, whereas the other junk can stain). But, in your little black dress, you don't want ANY white powder. So, I have the solution for you: use Bubble and Bee's deodorant sprays! I've tried these (review on the way!) and there is absolutely ZERO residue. Perfect for those sleeveless numbers.

  3. Caroline10/18/2011

    I ordered the Geranium Lime deodorant spray last week and have been using it since Friday or so. Warning!! It doesn't work as well as the Pit Putty :( Even just at work, sitting in my office chair all day, the nice smell wears off after awhile and the B.O. smell gets worse. I think its supposed to go on top of the deodorant stick.

    Anyway, I'm ordering the JasMint Pit Putty with Baking Soda. Review to follow!!!

  4. It's possible that the Geranium and Lime just doesn't jive with your body chemistry. I know of a couple people using the spray solo, and it works great! Just take advantage of the free deodorant exchange policy until you find the right one for you. Knock on wood that it's JasMint!

    Can't wait to hear your review :)

  5. My sweetie has used Tom's of Maine for years -- do you have any experience with that brand? It's certainly a lot cheaper and its ingredient list seems decent (though not as simple as Bubble and Bee), but I might be missing something. Tom's main active ingredient is zinc oxide rather than B&B's arrowroot powder. http://www.tomsofmaine.com/products/deodorant/product-details/long-lasting-care-deodorant-stick

  6. (Since my last comment, I tried the Tom's of Maine unscented and it didn't seem to do much of anything. Trying Bubble & Bee's lemongrass now ... by the way, thanks again for these posts!)

  7. Tom's of Maine isn't bad as far as deodorants go. However, I try to steer clear of one ingredient that they use: propylene glycol. It acts as a penetration enhancer, breaking down the cell membrane and penetrating into your bloodstream. It's also a suspected immune system toxin, neurotoxin, reproductive toxin, respiratory toxin, and skin toxin. It's the main ingredient in de-icing fluid because it's actually antifreeze. Yeah, scary right?

    Several years ago, I actually tried Tom's as well, and it didn't work for me either. Hopefully the Bubble & Bee Lemongrass does the trick for you! Report back after a few weeks!

  8. Anonymous1/21/2012

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!! I am currently trying Bubble & Bee...so far so good.

  9. That's great! Which Bubble & Bee variety is working for you right now?

  10. Anonymous8/20/2012

    @Caroline and others: Try ordering a Bubble and Bee design-a-spray with geranium eo, lime eo and baking soda. It's the baking soda that is the active odor-fighting ingredient. It works much better than the plain deo spray. Good luck!

  11. it is slightly a different thing that i am looking for .... Miessence deodorant is the thing ..
    but this information is also good for the knowledge

    1. If you try out Miessence deodorant, let me know what you think!

  12. Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it :-)

  13. Anonymous6/28/2013

    Hey Charlotte,

    I'd recommend Lavilin - it's always reliable and effective. I use it all the time and love the product! Thoughts??

    1. Lavanila has Carageenen, which I try to avoid, and Stearyl Behenate, which has no research on it yet. But compared to drugstore brands, it's a huge improvement!

  14. Anonymous7/07/2013

    LOL, not Lavanila. Lavilin!! Find it here: www.microbalanced.com

    1. Looks like Lavilin contains talc and fragrance. Talc is classified as an organ system toxin and if airborne, can cause respiratory problems. Fragrance is a cardiotoxin and an endocrine disruptor which can cause birth defects. See my full post on it here: http://frecklestotoes.blogspot.com/2011/11/ingredient-spotlight-fragrance.html

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