I don't have major beauty struggles - except one: deodorant. A long lasting, sweat minimizing, odour-proof eco deodorant. Mission impossible? Despite my fears of aluminum I had given up natural deos until this Spring when I started to use an eco roll-on again. It was ok for like.. 2 hours. So, when I got to sample Ben & Anna's deodorants* I was quite sceptical about the performance. Let's see if their deodorants were any good for poor ol' sweaty me..
The quest for perfect deodorant
There's a variety of studies on aluminum in deodorants, its safety and cancer causing potential. In the end it's one's choice should or should you not use one. They're cheap and effective (many eco deodorants are very expensive in Finland), but personally I feel uncomfortable applying aluminum deodorants near my lymph nodes.
I've been on and off eco deodorants for several years and had a firm feeling "I've tried it all": crystals, roll-ons, no deodorant, men's products etc. from a myriad of brands. This might be TMI but I'm a sweaty person. Maybe not the sweatiest, but I have a very strong dislike for feeling wet and slimy. Now with a heatwave in Helsinki, I will change and take cold showers multiple times per day if I have to. No deodorant might save me from upper lip sweat in this heat, but I'd prefer to stay otherwise feeling fresh and clean.
Background of Ben and Anna Deodorants
Ben and Anna are strictly vegan couple from Germany, who had a similar struggle as I had: not finding an effective deodorant that was vegan, not tested on animals, aluminum free and solely based on all natural ingredients. In best case scenario the packaging would be sustainable as well and the product wouldn't irritate the skin. Ben&Anna decided to create their own product that checked all the boxes! They have a variety of scents, both in traditional stick form in plastic packaging or papertubes that are 100% recyclable! (To my knowledge, the plastic packaging ones are being discontinued). The deodorants have natural solid consistency thanks to shea butter and soda.
Using Ben & Anna Deodorants
As I mentioned, I had healthy scepticism towards these deodorants as my experience with eco deos hasn't been very successful. What drew me into Ben&Anna was the cute and very Instagram friendly packaging. I also liked the scent profiles, especially the Vanilla Orchid, which is subtle and not sickly sweet or too floral. I like a mild scent that doesn't compete with my perfume but keeps any unwanted odors at bay. I've only used the Indian Mandarine and Vanilla Orchid regularly, but here's what I've sniffed so far:
Vanilla Orchid - mild, gentle flower scent with a hint of vanilla, not very sweet
Indian Mandarine - fruity, uplifting, fresh scent
Pink Grapefruit - again very subtle, less fruity but has a spark of grapefruit
Persian Lime - very fun, cheerful and citrus-y scent
The texture of the deodorant stick is semi-creamy 'hard butter', sometimes I can see crumbs of the deodorant on my armpits after the application, but the finish isn't one bit sticky or greasy. Even when my armpits get wet and the deodorant creases a little bit the feeling is quite comfortable. I can dab off the excess if I feel like it and continue my day without any sudden unwanted smell or too sweaty feeling. I've noticed that most eco deodorants last only a couple of hours on me, but I've experienced with no such issues with Ben&Anna. Of course the formula isn't as drying as regular deodorants (which often have a high alcohol content), but I've survived very hot days and exercising without major issues. I also like that my armpits don't itch like with some conventional deodorants as shea butter is fairly moisturizing.
I've read some comments on Instagram that these deodorants can temporarily stain dark clothing, but I've experienced it only once after wearing a dark T-shirt on a humid day. I guess it depends on the clothing you wear and how quickly you dress up. All 'flavours' of Ben&Anna deodorants are the natural shea butter color. My only notable issue has been the durability of the paper packaging; it does get a bit grimy when you use the product long enough. I'd also prefer a wider deodorant and a shorter tube as my fingers aren't long enough to press final bits of the product out (without a tool, such as pencil). The brand advices to store the deodorants in a fridge during warmer months as the shea butter might soften, but despite the nearly +30° weather in Helsinki I haven't felt it necessary.
Dare I say this..? I think I've found my Holy Grail eco deodorant to this date. Comfortable, non-drying, sustainable and pleasing to the eye and nose. The price is a bit steep in Finland for a deodorant, but when you take into consideration that this is a smaller brand and very eco friendly, I'm willing to bite the bullet. I thought I ran out of the product too quickly, but according to my spread sheets one tube did last me ~3 months. That's not bad. I'm now on my second tube and couldn't be happier. Could be that soda based deodorants won't work for everybody, but Ben&Anna are well worth of trying!!
What's your favorite eco deodorant? PS: Kiko the Maine Coon says hi!! xx
*These products were kindly gifted for consideration. All thoughts are honest and my own.