For The Good of The Pits: Natural Deodorants Reviewed

Dr. Hauschka’s Floral Deodorant has been my staple for a year now. (Update, it’s six years later and the Dr. H Floral is still my fave.) I have not felt the need to seek out a different deodorant because it performs very well, smells great, and the bottle itself lasts a long time; well over 6 months. Yet, out of all the questions I am asked regarding beauty products, “what deodorant do you recommend?” has been the most frequent. Friends, family, and even a few readers have requested this review. So rather than rely on my “holy grail” find, I decided to do some testing for the good of the pits. None of the deodorants I tested contain aluminum, petrochemicals, phtlalates, or parabens, and three of the four are organic.

You’ll notice that these deodorants are not inexpensive. Prior to discovering Dr. Hauschka’s, I tried many of the cheaper natural standards that you all might have tried; Tom’s, Jason, and Nature’s Gate, without much luck. So I stepped up the price point to Dr. Hauschka, and found that it was more than worth it, especially considering how long it lasts.

Here’s the rating scale I devised for the reviews:

10=pits that smell like you just got out of the shower after scrubbing with a soapy loofah.

0=you just ran a marathon, scrubbed your pits with onions, and then went camping for a week and didn’t shower. 

264Dr. Hauschka’s Floral Deodorant $23:

1) After using Dr. Hauschka’s deodorant in the morning, and having a day of regular activity; pits=9. On a sunny day after walking around; pits=8.
2) After a work-out; pits=7-8. (When I am working out, I expect to sweat because none of these deodorants are anti-perspirants).
3) Able to neutralize B.O. that’s already there; pits=8.
4) Does not sting when applied after shaving.
5) Roll-on. No whiteness.
6) Scent is lovely, gentle spicy rose. Does not compete with fragrance of the day, but could if you are sensitive to scent.
7) Recyclable glass bottle.
8) Organic!

13302_inMiessence Tahitian Breeze and Ancient Spice Roll-On Deodorant $8.95:

1) After a day of regular activity; pits=9
2) After a work-out; pits=7
3) Able to neutralize B.O.; pits=7
4) This one did sting when I applied right after shaving.
5) Roll-on. No whiteness.
6) Tahitian scent is a mild patchouli/floral, Ancient Spice is spicy/citrus.  Both dissipate quickly and do not compete with fragrance of the day.
7) Recyclable #1 plastic bottle.
8) Organic!

280Weleda Citrus Deodorant $11:

1) After day of regular activity; pits=7.
2) After a work-out; pits=6.
3) Not able to neutralize B.O.
4) Did not use after shaving, but does have alcohol as first ingredient, so this might be a concern. EDIT: Did not sting after shaving.
5) Spray. No whiteness. Dripped down arm and that was a little annoying.
6) Barely perceptible citrus scent.
7) Recyclable glass bottle.
8) Organic!

05-08-09-lavanillaLavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender $18: (Update: LaVanila uses “nature identical oils” and is not very clear about this in their ingredient list. Therefore I do not endorse this product)

1) After a day of regular activity; pits=9.
2) After work-out; pits=8.
3) Able to neutralize B.O; pits=9
4) Does not sting after shaving.
5) Solid. Left a little bit of whiteness, probably varies on amount you use.
6) Unisex, musky lavender scent. Pretty strong, might interfere with fragrance. Pleasant, does not resemble overbearing drug store type scent.
7) Non-recyclable plastic.
8) Not organic

Overall, I was highly impressed with the new deodorants I tested, most notably Miessence and Lavanila. Both were effective deodorants and each one offers something Dr. Hauschka’s does not. Miessence has a much better price than Dr. Hauschka’s, and is organic. I also appreciate having a solid deodorant option that Lavanila provides, as it neutralizes end of the day B.O. a little better than Dr. Hauschka’s. So there are pros and cons to each one, but they are all good, if not excellent, and I hope this helps in the quest for happy pits.

~Dr. Hauschka and Weleda are available at Pharmaca
~Miessence is available at their website
~Lavanila is available at Sephora

Posted by ~Trish


28 thoughts on “For The Good of The Pits: Natural Deodorants Reviewed

  1. Trish!
    Great review~~
    I was wondering about the new Lavanila. I am hoping to try the coconut vanilla, i am in love with this scent.


    1. A,
      I have only tried the lavender vanilla, but would also love to give the coconut one a whirl. Maybe my husband will inherit the lavender and I’ll go get the coconut!


  2. I have wondered about these, so thanks for trying them out and reporting. The only one I’ve ever tried is a Lush deodorant that comes in chunks like their soaps. Not so good, for me anyway.

    I’ve thought about switching to a natural deodorant for good, but I would miss using an anti-perspirant. Damp pits and stained clothes make me feel unfresh, even if the deodorant takes care of the smell.

      1. Thanks! Yes, that is helpful. It makes sense that the product causes the stains, not the sweat itself.

  3. Great post, Trish, you’ve uncovered brands, probably because you are in the Northwest, that I never would have found, as I mostly cruise Whole Foods looking for new options, or my local little health food store ; )

    I have been using the LUSH Oxeo Cube for ages (MUCH easier to apply than their current offerings, much less scent, and VERY effective) and it is no longer available in North America, but it is in Europe, go figure! Now I have alternatives, thanks for the public service !


    1. Hi Wendy,

      Public service….I like that 🙂

      I just needed to get in gear and try some new brands. My mom has been using Weleda for a while now, so she let me borrow hers (the beauty of a spray deod is you can share!).

      And when I heard Lavanila was coming out with one, I just had to try it!

      Susan, a rep for Miessence has sent me several of her body care items for review, and luckily the deods were part of the package. What was even better… worked! 🙂


  4. Thanks for the miessence review! I love this deodorant and did take a while to get use to being away from anti-perspirant once I read more about the need to “let my body sweat”! I have been using miessence for about 4 years now.

    After reading your reviews, the Dr. Hauschka’s sounds like a beautiful alternative for an occasional change:)

    FYI, all miessence plastic bottles are 100% recycleable:


    1. You’re welcome, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try the deodorants! I have clarified within the review that the bottles are recyclable, thanks for the info 🙂


  5. Both the Dr Hauschka and LaVanilla sound wonderful. It was time for me to purchase another Fresh Sugar deodorant but now I’m considering one of the ones you reviewed. Thank you for reviewing these!

    1. Hi Marcy!

      Since Fresh’s deodorant does have aluminum (an ingredient you might be looking to avoid) you will have to get used to Dr. H’s and Lavanila’s deodorants not being antiperspirants. Fresh’s also has petrochemicals and parabens, not sure how you feel about those.

      It took me a few weeks to adjust, but after a year, I am so happy with Dr. H’s. After trying the other brands, I think it still ranks as my #1, but I am thrilled to have a solid option in Lavanila’s deodorant, and was impressed by the others as well.


  6. Hi, Trish…

    I forgot to leave a comment when I first read this to tell you how much I enjoyed & appreciated the review(s)!

    I think you are right…there is an adjustment period when you switch over to deodorant (w/o anti-perspirant), because you can still get “damp pits”…but if the clothes are clean, and the deodorant works, there is no smell! And so much healthier.

    I have been using Tom’s for years, for lack of (known) alternatives. Now I can go play… 😉

    1. Are you a rose gal? I think you’d probably like the Dr. Hauschka scent quite a bit, but it is a huge price hike from the Tom’s. And if that’s working for you…..


      1. For the pits, more a lavender, lemon verbena, or that ilk sort of girl. I like smelling good, but there’s something about smelling like a rose *there* that just does not compute…. 😉 (Which saves me some $$ on the Hauschka.

        You’re right on the “if it ain’t broke,” of course. 🙂

  7. Totally agree on the performance rating. Lavanila is by far my fav.

    FYI – the lavanila packaging is 100% recyclable.

    1. Indeed, the Lavanila is very nice.

      There is no recycle number on the bottom of the package though, so unfortunately my neighborhood recycling won’t take it.

  8. I have tried so many natural deodorants. I really lucked out-the one that works for me is by Arm N’ Hammer-Essentials Natural. I get them for 2/$4 at my grocery store. That’s even cheaper than regular deodorants!

    1. Tina,

      It’s nice that Arm N’ Hammer Essentials Natural doesn’t have aluminum, but the ingredients have petroleum products, a harsh and potentially harmful antibacterial (triclosan), tetrasodium EDTA which is made from formaldehyde and who knows what “fragrance” is:

      Dipropylene glycol, water, propylene glycol, sodium stearate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, lavandula hybrida (lavandin) oil, fragrance, tricolsan, tetrasodium EDTA, allantoin.

      So….unfortunately, the “natural” in the name is misleading and it’s no wonder it’s so cheap. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. 😦


  9. You are killing me with the “pits” rating system! Effective, ingenious, and hilarious. Unfortunately, because of my scentsitivity, I have to stick with Tom’s (My pit rating= 7 to 8 on a good day.) unscented. But may have to try Dr. Haushka’s someday… Thank you for the pit intel!

    1. Thanks for the rating props. At least I know I made one person laugh 😉

      Tom’s is better than your run-of-the-mill grocery store deod, but yes, you must try Dr H’s it was a life changer for me!


    1. Just bought this online, as well as the body wash. I already use Sukin skincare, as well as their moisture shampoo and conditioner. Great product line for those who can’t afford expensive natural products. 🙂

  10. Hi, Just a question on Dr Hauschkas one… aren’t limonene and benzyl… parabens? I saw them listed in the ingredients and wondered.

    Otherwise thanks so much for the review!

    1. Not that I am aware of. There are six types of parabens most commonly used in personal care products: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben. Since they all end in “paraben” they are pretty easy to spot!

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