The cruelty-free deodorant dilemma.


Raise your arms, take a sniff, today we gon' talk 'bout yo pits. Deodorant can be one of the most challenging products to replace with a cruelty-free alternative. Today I'm breaking down four that I've tried, letting you know which ones worked for me.

JASON Lavender Deodorant Roll-On  £4.99
This was the first cruelty-free deodorant I trialled. And well, it ticked all the horror boxes that you hear about cruelty-free deodorants. It did diddly-squat. I read online that it can take up to two weeks of regular use for your body to adjust to a new deodorant. Four weeks came and went with the consistent result being my sweat smelling worse than without using DO at all. Perhaps this just didn't mix well with my body chemistry.

+ //  No Alcohol or Aluminum Chlorohydrate, No Propylene Glycol, No Mineral Oil, Petrolatum or Waxes, No 
       Animal By-Products, No Animal Testing, No Synthetic Fragrances.
- //  did not prevent odor or perspiration, and possibly made me smell worse



Odorex Extra Dry Lotion  €4.09
Sanne introduced me to this stuff as the 'event-saver' deodorant. You put it on at least two nights in advance of a party/a date/accepting your lifetime achievement award, and this will keep your armpits dry as the Sahara. It seemed too good to be true but when I gave it a whirl, this stuff legit shut down moisture production of my underarms. And that is a feat because I am a sweaty betty. And as a result, no smell!

The name of the product is misleading or at least lost in translation. It's nothing like a lotion or cream--more akin to face toner consistency. I apply a couple drops to a cotton pad and dab it on my underarms at night. I imagine there are some pretty severe chemicals in there that make this so effective so sensitive skin peeps should venture with caution.

I haven't verified if this company is cruelty-free but its parent company doesn't bode well. Royal Sanders doesn't just produce skincare but over-the-counter medications too. Pharmaceuticals in the EU don't face the same animal testing ban as cosmetics. So until I reach out to this company, I won't repurchase from this brand. Not like it is easy to repurchase anyway--it's a Dutch brand exlcusively available in the Netherlands!

+ //  Eradicates sweat and odor, good for events
- //  Suspect parent company tests due to its other products; likely too harsh for daily use; burns like the fiery 
      pits of hell if you put on too soon after shaving

If there's a runner up, it's this number by Bulldog. I picked this up in Boots (but now they don't seem to be carrying it anymore, frustrating). I'm not crazy about the brand's gender marketing. Maybe that explains why it stopped working for me after a little over a month of use. Maybe it only makes boys less stinky? Maybe it found out I am a girl.

+ //  Leaping Bunny & British Vegetarian Society certified, suitable for vegans; I liked the 'manly' scent
- //  Effectiveness wore off after one month of use; gendered branding


in Vanilla Grapefruit  £10

Winner winner chicken dinner. I've been using Lavanila since December and it's the best I've tried. And it's in the solid stick form (god bless America) which I prefer. I got mine at Sephora where they still cost an arm and a leg. But they do last forever. I may not wear my makeup everyday but D-O for da B-O is a staple.

I've never bought these in the UK but I saw them selling on Net-a-Porter so when I run out of my stash I'll go there. Once or twice, when I am a particular nervous Nelly, I can start to smell the deodorant but that tells me it is working overtime.

+ //  Free of aluminum and parabens, natural; 
       lasts forever; inoffensive scent
- //  Careful putting on black clothes after 
       application lest you streak yoself


I'm pretty happy to stick with Lavanila for the time being but do let me know in the comments if you've come across a holy grail cruelty-free deodorant. My mom swears by those crystal things but they look kind of messy to me.

14 comments

  1. I tried Lavanilla for a while and it stopped working for me. I also tried Tom's of Maine but that made me smell worse with time. I have pretty much given up on cruelty free deodorants but maybe this post is what I needed to give it another go.

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    1. Aw, I'm sad to hear Lavanila stopped working for you! Fingers crossed it doesn't do the same for me or I am up the creek without a paddle.

      And just an fyi, Tom's of Maine is owned by Clorox, so depends on how strict you are with the CF definition.

      I've had a couple people recommend Primal Pit Paste. Maybe an option for you to try next? It's on mine if Lavanila craps out for me.

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    2. Yeah, I tried Tom's before I realized its parent company was not cruelty free. I'll look into Primal Pit Paste - thanks for the tip!

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  2. The Lavanilla one sounds great! I love the Faith in Nature roll ons. They do a crystal stick which works for me too, but I don't like how heavy is is when I'm traveling around and I find the role on easier to use. They also sell refills so after you've brought one it's slightly cheaper to repurchase :)

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    1. Thanks for rec'ing Faith in Nature. I've seen it in health food shops around London but never thought to pick it up. Will put it on my list!

      Yeah, the idea of having to wet the crystal and then rub it on seems so awkward. But knowing me, one day I will be a hippy convert, singing the crystal praises.

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  3. I really like the Skin Likes deod at the moment but I've also heard great things about Schmidt's which is next on my to-try list :)

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    1. Just read your review. Skin Likes sounds ace. And oh my goodness, the stylish Schmidt's packaging. I'll be waiting for your review once you've tried it because I'm wary of the tiny shovel + paste method.

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  4. Soo glad you wrote this post! Right in time, as I'm currently looking for a deodorant (or rather an antiperspirant) with no aluminium and preferably cruelty free. Btw. love the new profile picture! :)

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    1. Glad this was a timely post for you! There are some good suggestions in the comments too :)

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  5. great post, i'll have to try some one these in the future! :) what sort of cruelty free hair products do you find the best? i've especially been looking for a good moisturizing conditioner that isn't super fragranced, is there anything you could recommend? the ones for more sensitive skin that i've tried just don't seem to do much moisture wise. :/

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    1. Afraid I don't have any recommendations for what you've asked. The only CF haircare I've used so far is LUSH and Lee Stafford, both quite fragrance heavy brands. Will write about it when I do though! Here's one my blogger friend Katie Vibes loves: http://www.katievibes.com/2014/04/empties-3.html

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  6. I use Natural Scents' Aromatherapy Roll-On in the rose scent and I am really pleased with it. I don't know if you can find it in the UK (I got it in Australia and it's an Australian brand) but if you can get your hands (pits) on that stuff, I highly recommend it. It's also aluminum-free and organic.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Gabriela :)

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  7. I use Schmidt's! They have a bunch of really lovely scents like cedar and lavender. :)

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