Desert Essence Natural Deodorant | A Product Review

We are halfway through this week, ya’ll! Today I have a serious question for you. What’s in your deodorant? How does that stuff make you less stinky – do you know? If you’re using a deodorant from a common brand that you can find at any store, chances are that it’s the aluminum compounds that are plugging your sweat ducts to stop the flow of sweat. Great, right? Sure, you don’t stink (and nobody wants to stink!), but what happens when those aluminum compounds go into your skin? 

 Over the past year, I have read a lot about cosmetics and skin care products and how the typical store brands use a lot of ingredients in their products that can be harmful to your health. Organics.org has an article that outlines the most harmful personal care product ingredients that you can read here. If you’re at all interested in learning more about this topic, check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which was also referenced in the Organics article, and the work that they do to share information about potential hazards and health concerns from the ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products.

Side Note: The Food & Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetics products for safety (what?!).With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited substances, cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material in their products without government review or approval (FDA 2005). Whereas the European Union has banned more than 1,000 ingredients from use in cosmetics, the FDA has only prohibited a handful of ingredients. 

After educating myself about ingredients, I was turned onto the idea of natural cosmetics and skincare. About 8 weeks ago, I bought my first pair of “natural” deodorants from Desert Essence. I actually found them while wandering through the organics store on Washington Street in Hoboken; they were on sale for $3.99 each, so I bought the Lemon Tea Tree and Tea Tree Oil deodorants. I’ve been using them for about 2 months now and thought it was time to share my review. Here we go!

Update: After using this brand of natural deodorant for a bit more time, I realized that it wasn’t working as I needed it to: it’s hard to have to reapply deodorant mid-workday. I was coming home and smelling like I had B.O. I decided to try Dr. Schmidt’s natural deodorant (my cousin had recommended it), and I’ve been using it for about a month now, sans B.O. at the end of the day. 

Packaging

The deodorant comes in a traditional white container with a simple label. The brand name is easy to read, although the “Natural Products Association” logo is hard to read because the text is so small (I had to squint to read it). What caught my attention was the scent of the deodorants – lemon tea tree and tea tree oil – and how it says, “Non-GMO,” “propylene glocol + aluminum free” on the front label. Once I flipped the deodorants over to read the back labels, I saw that these 2 deodorant products are vegan (later I read on Desert Essence’s website that ALL of their products are vegetarian, and they do not animal test), and the tea tree oils paired with other ingredients like Witch Hazel/Lavender/Chamomile/Aloe Vera help neutralize odors. 

From reading the FAQs on their website, I know that all of Desert Essence’s tubes, bottles, and caps are recyclable and free of BPA (the company is actually a certified B-Corp Corporation!). 

Appearance in Packaging

The lemon tea tree deodorant is an ivory/light beige mixture, while the tea tree oil deodorant is a translucent white.

Top: Tea Tree Oil deodorant; Bottom: Lemon Tea Tree deodorant

Consistency/Application

When applying, both deodorants go onto the skin really smooth. At first, to me, they actually felt a little cold when applying, but I’ve gotten used to it by now. The deodorant dries on the skin within a few seconds.

Smell 

It’s not often that I go around toting about how good my deodorant smells, but let me tell you, both of the Desert Essence deodorants that I’m using smell so refreshing! I love the robust smell of lemon in the lemon tea tree deodorant – it’s very energizing to me. In contrast, the tea tree oil deodorant actually smells more of lavender than anything else, which is a much more calming scent.

Appearance On Skin

Both deodorants glide onto skin clear, which I really appreciate. Who here hates white deodorant streaks on their clothes as much as I do?! However, I will say that because these deodorants are clear, I probably apply more than I need to because I can’t see where it’s going and am overly thorough (laughing/crying emoji). 

Durability

Honestly, I was doubtful that “natural” deodorant could work as well as deodorants with all the other stuff in them. I’m not much of a sweater unless I am working out, so making the switch during the daytime was a no-brainer. I didn’t notice any odor at all. However, the first couple of times when I worked out wearing the lemon tea tree deodorant, I smelled bad. Like, I got a whiff of myself and was like, “Ohh man, I’m stinky.” So I started wearing my old deodorant again just to work out. I did this a few times before chatting with my group fitness studio’s owner, Melissa, who has been wearing natural deodorant for 10 years. She told me that it took her body an adjustment period of a few weeks of workign out to get used to the natural deodorant because your body is detoxing from all of the other chemicals that it’s used to having in it from typical deodorant. I quit using the old deodorant after that conversation, and I’m smelling less and less body odor while working out. 

There you have it – Desert Essence natural deodorants, everyone. Coming in and stealing all the thunder! I am so happy that I took a chance and tried these deodorants. Natural deodorants come in all different shapes, sizes, formulas, etc., and my body is warming up nicely to this brand of products. I hope you found this review helpful! I would love to hear your experiences with trying natural deodorant (or any natural personal care products!) in the comments below. 

  • Kaila Gerard

    I use Schmidts natural deodorant! The scent I have is Lavender Sage and I absolutely love it.

    • I just learned about Schmidts through this blog post! What’s the consistency like? Also, did you have like a 2-week period when you felt like you were stinky more often than not? Just checking! 🙂