Natural deodorants – tried and tested

One of the trickiest items to find a natural and cruelty free version of in my experience can be deodorants. Finding cruelty free ones can be difficult enough, though in the UK we have Superdrug own brand (highly recommended if you’re cruelty free and on a budget!). Moving to natural added another layer of complexity as some of the ones I’d tried when I went cruelty free were natural and (in my opinion) terrible. I never thought of myself as someone who struggled with body odour until I tried some new deodorants last year!

Fortunately since then I’ve found some great ones. In this blog post I’ll share four natural deodorant options I’ve been trying recently, all in different formats (solid stick, roll on, cream, and powder).

Natural deodorants
Natural deodorants

LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant – Pure Vanilla (solid stick format) – $14.00

LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant
LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant

This deodorant is natural, cruelty free, vegan, and has no aluminium or parabens. It’s a really lovely scent; I have it in rollerball perfume form too (as well as the vanilla lemon one which is my favourite!). This deodorant is a solid stick which although convenient can be a little tricky to apply as it’s quite dry and gets much drier over time. I imagine this is the case with all stick deodorants – before going natural I used roll on or spray deodorants so don’t have much experience with these. The scent does transfer on application and lasts well – it’s definitely one of my favourite deodorant scents and I always enjoy wearing it. It’s fairly effective but I find it’s not so great when working out (there is a Sport one in the range which I might try in future). I tend to use this one in the warmer months on days when I’m not going to the gym. The big downside of this one is how difficult it is to get in the UK, which is a real shame as I’d love to try the others in the range.

Madara Bio Active Deodorant* (roll on) – £12.00

Madara Bio-Active Deodorant
Madara Bio-Active Deodorant

This deodorant is natural, cruelty free, and has no aluminium. This one has been recommended by a number of natural beauty bloggers and has some great reviews. I like the roll-on format in deodorant, so I decided to give it a go. LoveLula has two different Madara deodorants – one herbal* and one bio-active*. I’m not a huge fan of herbal scents, and I work out regularly so I felt the bio-active one made much more sense for me. Others have said this has a sherbet-style scent, and although I’m not sure if it’s sherbet it reminds me of it does have a fresh and pleasant scent which has definitely not been the case for some other natural roll-on deodorants I’ve tried! It says it has all day protection, but sadly I didn’t find this to be the case for me. It didn’t perform well on days I was exercising, but even on days without exercise I found it didn’t seem to last all day. If you don’t mind reapplying then this one might be suitable for you, as it is a nice fresh scent and is very easy to apply (and small so easy to take with you), but sadly it’s just not quite right for me.

Indigenous Beauty Natural Deodorant Cream – Orange and Grapefruit* (cream format) – £11.99

Indigenous Beauty Deodorant Cream - Orange and Grapefruit
Indigenous Beauty Deodorant Cream – Orange and Grapefruit

This deodorant is natural, cruelty free, vegan, and has no aluminium or parabens. It only contains 7 ingredients (all organic) and is one of the cleanest I’ve come across in terms of ingredients. I’ve never tried a deodorant cream before this and was so intrigued. It’s a lot thicker than I was expecting, and is a little grainy in texture. I’d say it’s more like a paste than a cream personally (this may well be the case for all cream deodorants, I haven’t tried any others). I was sceptical to say the least! I was wrong to be sceptical though, this stuff is amazing. The scent of the one I chose (orange and grapefruit) is lovely. It took me a while to work out what it reminded me of, but it smells just like when I bake cookies with orange essence in (orange cookies in particular, not just orange essence!). You only need a pea-sized amount of product, so I tend to scrape some product on the back of a nail, pass it on to my forefinger of the other hand, and apply. It doesn’t take much rubbing in and isn’t messy at all (to my surprise!). It doesn’t seem to leave marks, though I do tend to apply it before I do my morning skincare and then it’s a few minutes before I get dressed. In addition to the lovely scent, I’ve been so impressed with the performance of this. I haven’t had any concerns, even after exercising or a long day travelling and full day training, and this has become my daily deodorant of choice. I’m so impressed and am planning to try some of the other scents in the range* in future.

The Ohm Collection Deo Dorant Powder – Coconut* (powder format) – £21.00

This deodorant is natural, vegan, and aluminium free. I got this at the same time as I got the cream deodorant as I wanted to try different formats. LoveLula* sell miniatures of Ohm so I was able to try a small sample before committing to a full purchase. I went for the coconut scent which is fairly subtle but very nice. Sadly though, I’ve found I’m not a huge fan of the powder format. I find it really tricky to apply easily. Because of this, I confess I haven’t tested it as rigorously as the others mentioned in this post as the format just isn’t my preference so I’ve only worn it a couple of days. However, to my surprise it does seem to absorb into the skin after a few minutes (it didn’t feel like it would as initially it seems very grainy!). The scent is very subtle when worn; I can’t really smell it. If you’re a regular perfume wearer this could be a good thing, but as I don’t wear perfume every day I like to be able to smell my deodorant. Performance wise however, it does seem to do a great job – I wore this recently on a long day with a particularly gruelling gym session and it did a fantastic job in terms of keeping any odour at bay. If I could get over the messiness of application I’d definitely be keen to use this more, and I love the fact that over time you should need less of the product too so it should last a long time. There is a greater variety of scents in this range – LoveLula has 11 available*.

The verdict

My favourite deodorant at the moment is the Indigenous Beauty deodorant cream*. I’m surprised to be saying this as I really wasn’t sure I’d like this format but this is one of those times when I love testing things and being open-minded about them! I’m using this on a pretty much daily basis and am really enjoying it. I’m planning to try the other scents at some point too. I also have the rest of the Ohm powder deodorant* to use up and as I’m so impressed with the effectiveness I may well be converted to powder too if I can master the application!

Do you use a natural deodorant? How have you found it? Any recommendations?


*This post contains affiliate links. If you use these to purchase items I receive a small amount of commission which I use to support my blog.

Cruelty free favourites in 2016

2016 was the year I learnt about cruelty free companies, and I’ve gradually made the switch so that most of my skincare and cosmetics are now from cruelty free brands (I still have a few items that I’ve owned since before making the switch). I’ve tried a lot of new products and many of them have been brilliant – by having to research products I’ve made more informed purchases (not all have been good though!). Here’s my favourite discoveries; the things I’d not want to be without and will repurchase once they run out.

2016 Cruelty Free Favourites
2016 Cruelty Free Favourites
Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£29.50) – By far my favourite cleanser of the year. I have dry/combination skin and this cleansing gel which transforms to an oil helps to really cleanse well, but leaves skin feeling lovely and moisturised rather than ‘squeaky clean’ which can leave it dry. The scent is lovely too, and you only need a small amount so although it’s expensive it does last a long time.

Foreo Luna Play (£29) – I got this in one of my advent calendars and am so glad I did as I’ve been wanting to try one for ages. It’s great for deep cleansing (especially around the nose). Since using this my skin has been smoother and my skincare products seem to absorb better. Sadly this can’t be recharged so once it runs out I’ll be treating myself to a full-sized rechargeable one.

Sukin Super Greens Nutrient Rich Facial Moisturiser (£9.99) – I wouldn’t have thought this would suit my skin as I tend to prefer a gel cream moisturiser and this is a rich cream, but I got it when it was on offer as it was recommended to me by a sales assistant in a natural beauty shop in Manchester (and I loved the smell!). I love the convenience of the pump dispenser and the moisturiser does a great job at balancing my skin. I have to leave it a little while to absorb, but a little goes a long way.

Sleek CC Cream (£8.99) – I tried this earlier in the year as it has a high SPF and I thought it would make a good tinted moisturiser for summer. I ended up loving it so much I used it all through summer, autumn, and winter! I occasionally wear foundation but don’t usually like anything too heavy, and this CC cream is perfect for wearing something to help even out skintone without being too heavy. The fair shade is pale enough for me in winter, and I wore the light shade (or a mixture of light and fair) in summer when I had a bit more colour. I’m almost out of my second tube of this and have another ready for when it’s finished.

Barry M That’s How I Roll Mascara (£4.99) – It took me a while to find a cruelty free mascara I liked but I love this! It’s a plastic wand and helps separate, lengthen and curl lashes. It gives a natural look, but you can build it up too. I’m on my second tube of this which will soon need replacing.

Inika Loose Mineral Blush in Blooming Nude (£21) – another advent calendar product, but not one I thought I’d love so much. Every time I’ve worn make up since I got this at the beginning of December I’ve worn this blush. It’s a very natural colour and easy to apply (though you only need a tiny amount!). I love it, and am definitely keen to try more mineral products.

Sleek Power Plump Lip Crayon in Notorious Nude (£5.50) – this one wasn’t as well researched as other purchases; to be honest I can’t even remember why I bought it but it was probably part of an offer with the CC cream. I’m so glad I got it though as it’s definitely my most worn lip product this year. It’s a very neutral nude, a perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade for me. It has a plumping effect which gives a tingly feeling (which I love). It lasts fairly well, and is easy to reapply; it doesn’t wear in an uneven way or clump if you add more later in the day. I just love it and have recommended it to so many people. Mine is getting much shorter and I may have to buy a backup soon – I’d be gutted if they stopped making this!

Lavanila Perfume in Fresh Vanilla Lemon ($19) – Cruelty free perfumes are quite tricky to find as most of the main brands aren’t cruelty free. I like fruity scents and foodie scents so this fresh vanilla lemon fragrance is right up my street. I’ve almost finished my current one and I’ve really loved it. It’s not so easy to find in the UK sadly, but I have family in the US so I may be doing some orders to their address now I know how much I love this scent!

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm (£14) – I use an intensive lip balm every night and when I switched to cruelty free I started using this one. It’s only a tiny pot but I’ve been using it since June and you can hardly tell I’ve used any! It’s very rich and moisturising so is great for an overnight treatment which is how I use it.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (£3.99 each) – My hair is very dry and this range works amazingly well for me. I don’t have bottles to photograph at the moment because I finally invested in a shower dispenser (I only wanted to do this once I’d found a shampoo and conditioner that suited me well!). I like the scent of this but the main thing is that it moisturises my hair well and leaves it feeling soft. My hair seems to be growing well at the moment and I think this is partly due to the shampoo and conditioner (and the fact I don’t have to style my hair as much).

Overall I’ve found some real gems this year and switching to cruelty free has been an enjoyable process and nowhere near as scary as it first seemed like it might be. The ranges I can choose from might be less than they were a year ago, but there are some great quality cruelty free brands and products so I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.

What are your favourite cruelty free products?

Cruelty free items from USA

A couple of months ago I attended a conference in Philadelphia and managed to squeeze a visit to Sephora, Ulta and CVS. Some cruelty free brands are much easier to find in the US, so I was particularly on the look out for some, whilst others I just happened to spot. I was really hoping to get some LaVanila perfume but only found deodorant. Here’s what I got…

2016-06-26 13.59.04
Cruelty free items from USA

Becca Opal Glow on the Go set

This little set was great value at $20. I’ve heard so much great stuff about Becca products, particularly the shimmering skin perfectors, and I know Opal is recommended for paler skin tones so thought I’d give this a go. I really like both versions of this. I mostly use the powder just for ease of application as I can use a small brush. I’ve used it as a highlighter and also as an eyeshadow too. The liquid version is great for taking with you if you’re travelling and don’t want to take brushes as you can blend it in with your fingers. I imagine these will last me ages, but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for Becca products in future.

E.L.F. Foundation Serum in Fair/Light

I used to really like the Bourjois foundation serum and have heard great things about E.L.F so thought I’d give this a try (the fact it’s SPF 30 also attracted me to it). Sadly I’m not a fan. It’s an extremely runny liquid and not at all easy to apply. It’s only a light coverage which I don’t mind, but the finish is nothing special and the difficulty in application means I’m hardly ever reaching for it.

Physicians Formula Healthy Wear in Light to Natural

I got this mostly because of the high SPF factor. I’m a bit obsessive about wearing SPF, particularly on my face. My current favourite high SPF isn’t cruelty free so I’ve been looking for an alternative for a while. I thought I’d give this one a go and it’s great. It applies nicely, absorbs easily and isn’t too shiny like some SPF creams can be (though it’s not matte in finish). It’s tinted and is a bit too dark for my natural colouring, but as I have a bit more colour at the moment it works OK for me. Sadly there are only two shades so this won’t be good for my usual pale skin.

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum – sample size

You may be sensing a theme for my purchases here; this was yet another attempt to try to find a light coverage foundation with SPF (it’s SPF30). This is also watery, but not as runny as the ELF serum. Despite the name it does add a bit of coverage and leaves a nice finish on the skin. It’s not going to cover blemishes, but it’s great for evening out skin tone.

LaVanila Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla – travel size

I have a full size one of these which I like, so when I saw this mini size I thought I’d pick one up. These has been really handy on long days in summer where I might want to freshen up during the day.

Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Pastille

I’d been looking for a suitable every day lip product, and particularly one which matches my current favourite mauve lip product which isn’t cruelty free. This one is a bit more of a raspberry shade than a mauve and a bit brighter than I usually like so it’s not really an every day colour for me, but it’s a nice lip crayon (though the recently discovered nude Sleek lip pencil I mentioned in my recent favourites is getting much more use!).

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm

A rich lip balm has been another item I’ve been looking for a cruelty free replacement for, and I am so pleased with this. It’s only tiny but you don’t need much at all. I’ve been using this every night and my lips haven’t been anywhere near as dry as they can be. It can also be used in the day too, as although it lasts a long time it doesn’t feel too thick. I wish this was easier to find in the UK but at least I now know I can get it online.

Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer in Mood Light – sample size

I got this free as I’d earned a points bonus (well, I almost did and the cashier was very friendly – the English accent always helps!). I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to do as I don’t seem to notice any difference in my skin texture, colour or appearance when I use this as a primer. It’s an expensive product and not one I’ll be purchasing.

The stand out items are the Becca products and the First Aid Beauty Lip Balm, and I’d love to try more of the Perricone MD products (I just wish they weren’t so expensive!).

The Cruelty Free Tag

I’ve been choosing to purchase cruelty free toiletries and cosmetics for almost 6 months now, and have learnt a lot over that time. I spotted the cruelty free tag doing the rounds (I came across it via April at Another Story for Tomorrow), and thought I’d share my responses. I’d love to hear others’ responses too, so please do let me know if you blog yours by adding a link in a comment (or if you don’t have a blog feel free to share your responses via a comment).

Some of my favourite cruelty free items
Some of my favourite cruelty free items

What is your favourite cruelty free face product?

This is a tricky one as I have a few face products I like, but I’m still on the hunt for a ‘holy grail’ foundation (I like the Too Faced Born This Way but I wouldn’t wear this all the time as it’s too high coverage, and I like the Sleek CC Cream but it’s not got great coverage – I’m looking for my perfect in between!). I recently got a travel sized version of Becca Highlighter in Opal (both powder and liquid) as part of the Glow To Go set and absolutely love both so I think I’d say that’s my favourite face product at the moment.

What is your favourite cruelty free eye product?

I don’t wear much eye makeup, but I do tend to wear mascara. I am really loving the Barry M That’s How I Roll mascara, which I find is a good cruelty free dupe for Benefit Rollerlash. This is the only mascara I own at the moment and the only one I’ve been wearing for a couple of months.

What is your favourite cruelty free lip product?

I don’t wear lipstick or lip gloss that often, so my favourite would be a balm. I really love the Pacifica Tinted Lip Balm in Blood Orange.

What is your favourite cruelty free skincare product?

I have so many! One I don’t like to be without and recommend to everyone is the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser. This seems to really cleanse my skin well and leave it feeling so smooth.

What is your favourite cruelty free bodycare product?

For all year round products it would have to be the Soap and Glory Smoothie Star range. I use the Breakfast Scrub, Rich and Foamous body wash, and Smoothie Star Body Milk. I adore the smell of this range, and it’s great at keeping my skin moisturised too.

What is your favourite cruelty free perfume?

I’m really liking vanilla scents with a hint of fruitiness in, so the Lavanila range is right up my street. At the moment I have the Lavanila Lemon Vanilla rollerball which I use most days. I’d love to try some of the other scents but they’re difficult to get hold of in the UK and I couldn’t find them in store whilst I was in the US.

What is your favourite cruelty free nail polish?

As shocking as this may seem (given my previous unhealthy obsession with nail polish and the title of this blog!), I haven’t been wearing coloured nail polish much recently; usually just a sheer or very subtle polish. I really like the Zoya polishes though; a favourite for all year is Zoya Rue, a lovely dusty rose pink shade. My favourite nail polish shade is usually deep purple so I also love Zoya Payton. I really like Barry M polishes too.

Would you give away/throw out products that aren’t cruelty free?

I gave away quite a few of my non-cruelty free items when I first made the transition – I needed a clear out anyway and it was great to be able to pass them on to family and friends. I still have some that I am using up, but am replacing them with cruelty free items as they get used up.

Which brand, that isn’t cruelty free, are you going to miss the most and why?

L’Oreal. I was a fan of their Skin Perfection facial skincare range, and used many of their haircare products. I also really liked their foundations, and their lip products. I also really liked the Body Shop Cleansing Butter but don’t buy from the Body Shop anymore as they are also owned by L’Oreal. I’d be delighted if L’Oreal became cruelty free but I think that’s unlikely to happen in the near future!

So that’s my responses to the questions from the cruelty free tag. Please do feel free to copy the questions and share your answers too – I’d be very interested to hear about your favourite products in particular. 

Cruelty free favourites – May 2016

It’s time to share some cruelty free favourites again! Here are the products I’ve been loving in May.

Cruelty free favourites - May 2016
Cruelty free favourites – May 2016

Sleek CC Cream – I’m fortunate that my skin is generally fairly good so I don’t feel I need a lot of coverage; tinted moisturisers/BB creams/CC creams are my usual staple. I prefer ones which have SPF in (I do tend to use a separate SPF product as well but still like them to have SPF as well), and the Sleek one is SPF 29 – strange number, but much higher protection than most so all good in my opinion. The other slightly awkward requirement I have is the shade. Despite my heritage from the West Indies (yes really, Francis Barber – a black ‘manservant’ for Samuel Johnson in fact), I am super pale so often struggle to find shades light enough for me. Even the ‘light’ is often too dark. Sleek however have a ‘fair’ option which is paler than the light one and suits me perfectly. I really like this CC cream as it claims to boost radiance and also mattify shine, which seems like a contradiction in some senses but I can see what it means. It definitely removes shine, but doesn’t make your skin look too flat either. I love it and have been using it most days this month – on both make up days and non-make up days. It’s great value too – only £8.99. big thumbs up for this one!

LaVanila Fresh Vanilla Lemon perfume – I added this to my birthday wishlist and was delighted to receive it (it can be tricky to find in the UK but I managed to find a supplier on Amazon). I took a bit of a gamble as I hadn’t ever smelt the scent, but I love vanilla and love fresh citrusy scents so thought I might like this. I was absolutely right; it’s my new favourite perfume and I’m delighted to have found a cruelty free perfume I love. I have the rollerball which is really convenient, but I may have to treat myself to a full sized bottle if I find one whilst I’m in America later this month.

Lush Sea Spray – I got this based on a recommendation from an excellent advisor in Lush Manchester. My hair is naturally wavy/curly, but can go very frizzy and it’s fine so can look very limp/lank (both awful words but I’m sure you know what I mean!). The Sea Spray adds volume and texture as well as holding it in place so it doesn’t go quite as flat by the end of the day. Based on the advice of the sales advisor, I spray it into the palm of my hand before scrunching through my hair (the spray is too concentrated to spray directly into my hair). I find just one spray is enough for me, so I would think this will last ages. I tend to use it on dry hair or almost dry hair. I find it useful for a quick refresh in between washes too.

PHB Ethical Beauty Brightening Eye Gel – I received this in my April LoveLula beauty box and have been using it pretty much every day since then. I wouldn’t say it is brightening, but it is very smoothing and feels lovely to apply. I’ve used a fair few eye creams in the last couple of years and never found any of them amazing, but I really like this gel consistency.

B. Radiant Overnight Mask – I read a review of the B. Radiant Overnight Mask on another cruelty free blog, Brianne Etc., and decided to give it a try. The B. range in Superdrug is often on offer so I’m not sure how much I paid but it’s very rare that you need to pay full price. Even at full price (£11.99) I think it’s worth it. I have dry skin so am always looking for products that will help moisturise, especially overnight when I like to treat my skin. This is a great overnight mask which moisturises really well but doesn’t feel tacky on the skin. I’ve been using it most nights and it’s really helped my skin and hasn’t broken me out. You don’t need much at all so I think it will last a good while.

What cruelty free products have you been loving recently? Any recommendations?