Here we are, with sunny summer days ahead, and our thoughts naturally turn to ….deodorant. Well, mine have turned that way, because I am very Lymph Node Aware these days and don’t want to fill my poor remaining nodes with potentially toxic gloop. Apparently 98 per cent of women with breast cancer have parabens from deodorants lurking in their systems. At the same time, obviously, I don’t want to be smelly either. So I’ve tried quite a few deodorants over the past months and I thought I’d share the results with you so you don’t have to. How public spirited is that?
1. Tea Tree Plus by Tisserand
The trouble with all these goody-goody deodorants is that they cost vastly more than the ones stuffed with aluminium and toxins. Either leaves and stuff cost a fortune, or someone is being ripped off. I bet you can guess which. So this particular deodorant is pricey, at £5.20 from Waitrose. I wasn’t mad keen on the smell, which is not surprisingly heavy on the tea tree. And alas, for me it didn’t work particularly well either. 4/10
2. Neal’s Yard Lavender and Aloe Vera deodorant
There are lots of things I love about this product – the bottle, in the distinctive dark blue Neal’s Yard glass, the smell of lavender (my favourite) and the general promise of lovely naturalness. Unfortunately I wasn’t crazy about the price (£8.50) and the product didn’t work that well for me. Looking at the website now I see that people tend to reapply it a lot during the day to keep it working, but this is only practical if you don’t mind lugging quite a large glass bottle around with you all day. Not for me, but I’m not throwing it away because it looks pretty, and I haven’t lost hope that it might be more effective in the cooler months (if it hasn’t gone off by then). 5/10
This roll-on deodorant is a bit vague about its health credentials, boasting Japanese Spa Minerals, whatever they are, but not really specifying how they will change your armpit’s life. It doesn’t contain aluminium or alcohol, but it does use zinc. This was the least expensive in my test batch, at £2.30, but I wasn’t completely convinced that it was utterly node-friendly. By far the most effective of the deodorants (which again perversely made me worry that it wasn’t doing me much good). 6/10
4. Salt of the Earth
I was quite fed up by the time I chanced on Salt of the Earth in my local branch of Holland and Barratt. I had a cupboard full of deodorants but was certainly not feeling as fresh as a dew-drenched daisy. Salt of the Earth looked a bit different, as it is a stick of mineral salts rather than a roll-on or spray. I bought the travel size at about £3, which seemed like a total bargain compared with some of the others out there. You have to apply it to clean, wet armpits, so I put it on after a shower and, thank goodness, it worked. It’s pretty effective, though you may need to reapply it on a really scorching day. You can wet the stick rather than the armpit if you need to top up. Drying the stick afterwards is said to make the product last longer. It’s fragrance free, seems non-irritating and contains nothing but salts. Brilliant. I’m giving it just 8/10 because I think the full size product is more expensive than the travel one I bought, but it’s by far the best of those I tried. I had been planning to try making my own deodorant out of shea butter in desperation but I am now going to leave that for another life in which I have a lot more time. 8/10