When it comes to natural deodorants, I have one non-negotiable: they just have to work. Simple really (you’d think), but so many I’ve tried have fallen short.
No, I don’t want to be applying pasty deodorant with my fingers every morning; no, I don’t want to drop the best part of £20 on my monthly antiperspirant; and, no, I certainly do not want to smell of B.O. by breakfast.
Natural alternatives have often not stood up against their conventional counterparts. But with many people looking to go aluminium-free, due to (unproven) concerns over the ingredient’s link with certain diseases, today, the natural deodorant market is booming - forecast to be worth $158.5 million ( £115 million) by 2025 - and finally we are seeing some products that truly deliver, while also being kind to the planet.
I’ve found one in particular that delivers on several fronts and, trust me, it’s the savviest investment you’ll make this summer.
London-based sustainable bodycare brand Fussy launched its plastic-free refillable deodorant (from £13 for one case and a refill, getfussy.com), that’s also paraben-free and vegan, last month and it’s a total gamechanger for your pits.
Fun (read: slightly unedifying) fact: sweat doesn’t actually stink, it’s the bacteria which harbours in warm crevices like the armpits which grows on it that creates the smell. Unlike traditional aluminium deodorants which work by blocking your sweat glands in order to stop you from sweating, Fussy uses lactobacillus, a probiotic strain that’s typically added to fermented yoghurt, to neutralise odour-causing bacteria. The probiotic works in tandem with tapioca starch to absorb moisture and coconut oil to hydrate and protect the skin. The result is an impressive 24 hours of protection, which, by the way, passed our test of a day spent poolside in 30 degree heat.
It smells good, too. Fussy founders Matt Kennedy and Eddie Fisher worked with a fragrance house to develop the five refined scents - which are so delicious someone actually asked me what perfume I was wearing. Choose from Wavy Days Mint, a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and sage; Night Tales Flora, with cedar, cinnamon and patchouli; Wide Eyed Citrus, incorporating mandarin, grapefruit and black pepper; or Sun Drunk Tropical, featuring vanilla, ylang ylang and star anise - the latter two have both already sold out. There is also an unscented refill.
The stick comes housed in a stylish pebble-shaped case made of recycled plastic which can be easily slipped in a gym bag, and comes in five shelfie-worthy muted hues. The compostable refills are plastic-free and made from waste sugarcane. These cost an affordable £5 each and arrive through your letterbox when bought as part of a flexible subscription package - arguably worth it alone for the convenience alone.
Thinking of making the move? Allow two to four weeks to transition from an aluminium-based antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. During this “detox” process, as the brand puts it, the aluminium plugs in your armpits (which have been preventing you from sweating) are released, and you may find you sweat and/or smell more than usual.
Stick it out, planet-friendly pits are the way forward.