The Great Deodorant Challenge

August 4, 2014

It’s time to put the money where the mouth is – my mouth in this case. I call myself an environmentalist and am constantly reducing the toxins in our home, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the best tool a non-toxic mommy can have – the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

This list includes many, many products that are common in our homes – shampoo, makeup, deodorant, paper products, soap, baby wipes, and much more. It gives each product a rating based on its toxicity and its effect on the human body and the environment. You want products that come back with a green rating, which is 0-2; 3-7 is a moderate risk for toxicity; 8 and higher is high risk (i.e. products you want to avoid).

I highly recommend going to Skin Deep and looking up the products you currently use to learn about the risks. Then, search around for similar products with better ratings.

I understand that these less toxic products may not be household names; they may even be hard to find at your regular store. But, trust me, your family and the environment will thank you in the long run because you will be protecting your health and the natural world around us. In addition, online shopping can be just as easy as running to the store – you can save a lot of money by using Amazon Prime and either signing up for Pantry boxes or for Subscribe and Save. And, two-day shipping makes it nearly as fast as just running to the store.

As a side note, did you know they are finding ingredients from our everyday bath products in fish and animals? See – link here and here.

Back to the topic at hand: Finding a better deodorant.

My husband has used Speed Stick for years – find out what the EWG thinks about it here.

It has a high toxicity rating and according to EWG an increased risk for bioaccumulation, which means it can build up in your body.

So we tried about eight low-toxin deodorants. Here is what we thought.

Overall, the non-toxic deodorants tend to be liquid or roll-on. I am used to a powder-based deodorant so I wasn’t in love with the wet feeling of the roll-ons. My husband is used to a gel deodorant, so he didn’t mind the wet feeling. I felt like I had to keep my arms raised until it dried, which can be hard when you are wrangling a 3-year-old into his school clothes. We both tried all of the kinds and have some thoughts.

My husband’s favorites were the Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Sport Roll-On and the Kiss My Face Green Tea Cucumber Gel stick. Both had light scents so he didn’t smell too much like a cucumber and both worked well to keep him smelling good all day.

Neither of us liked the Miessence Tahitian Roll-On. He didn’t like the vanilla smell (neither did I) and I didn’t feel like it worked all day. We were both indifferent to the Crystal Essence Lavender Roll-On. It smelled OK and worked OK, but wasn’t great.

I absolutely did not like the Ava Anderson Deodorant. The main ingredient is a form of cocoa and I thought it just smelled awful. It was also hard to apply because it was pasty and didn’t rub on well.

My favorite and the one I will continue using is the Ban Unscented Antiperspirant. It kept me dry all day. It is powder-based, so it was more similar to what I was used to, and I liked that it was unscented.

In the end, I would recommend trying some non-toxic brands to see which you prefer. The EWG Skin Deep database has plenty of recommendations and most can be purchased via Amazon at reasonable costs.

See the image for our overall ratings and see the full blog here at

  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."