One of the best parts of my personal care and hygiene over the past few years has been freeing myself from all anti-perspirant use and not only surviving in that area, but even thriving. While everyone has different perspiration rates and produces different odors, our diet and stress management have a big role to play in the final outcome. The cleaner we eat, and the more in balance we are on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, the less of an issue perspiration is.
In the initial stages of my journey I switched to natural deodorants like the crystal rock. Today I am pretty much 100% deodorant free too. Every so often however, I will experiment with a new natural deodorant to try it out, review it for you or have on hand in some odd case need.
After trying a few natural deodorants, like Green Beaver’s and Lafes, I did not have high hopes for natural deodorants. While some of them are made of high quality natural ingredients, often having them on is worse then not having anything at all. The latest natural deodorant that I picked up last year was Nature’s Gate Organics Herbal Blend Tea Tree & Blue Cypress Deodorant.
Nature’s Gate is a company dedicated to developing personal care products based upon botanical remedies. It was founded 30 years ago and is based in California. It claims to “create formulas that combine proven botanical, herbal and floral treatments with modern ingredients and techniques.” They state they use all-natural herbs and pH-balanced formulas, while preserving the earth’s natural resources and develop sustainable sources of clean water.
They have 3 different lines of natural deodorants, making up 10 different varieties. In the Organics Herbal Blend line there is the Lavender & Aloe, Chamomile & Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass & Lary Sage and the one I tried Tea Tree & Blue Cypress.
The deodorant is free of aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol. It is made in Canada and certified vegan. The deodorant claims include being made with baking soda to help neutralize odor and give gentle, effective protection.
In terms of the ingredients, they are inferior compared to other comparable, natural deodorants out there. The first thing that is not optimal to see, especially from a naturally-oriented company is the inclusion of the ingredient fragrance/parfum. This ingredient is well known today to have toxic roots and effects. Secondly, I find the inclusion of the name “Organics Herbal Blend” a bit misleading, as the deodorant is not fully organic. Some ingredients are and some aren’t, which may make many people think they are using a superior organic product, when they aren’t. Yes, it has nice blend of some natural herbals, but a much deeper inspection is needed to determine their actual quality. On the company’s web site the ingredients are different than my package. I am not sure which is the newer, which is the older formula, or what the reason for the discrepancy is. The web site ingredients are much better than the package ingredients I have.
In terms of efficacy, I found using the deodorant most times worse than if I did not use anything at all. It left my arm pits feeling wet and slightly sticky. It does a basic job at masking odor, sometimes making a small difference and sometimes none at all.
In terms of the scent, it is a very masculine-like scent. It isn’t overwhelming, but it is strong. I did not find it to be natural smelling at all, but smelling closer to the typical synthetic men’s deodorants. I think it is also a little misleading to label this deodorant tea tree and blue cypress, as these are clearly not the most abundant herbals used. While all these herbal or plant names today in products sound nice, they are often an incomplete picture of the product.
In conclusion, I do not recommend this deodorant when there are many other natural options, which are much better in terms of quality of natural ingredients. If you really like Nature’s Gate, I would recommend exploring other options in their deodorant line, although none of them seem to be rated exceptionally well on Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. I am coming to the conclusion that typical store bought natural deodorants all fare very poorly in terms of how they work, so if we are going to use one at all, it might as well be as natural and comfortable to wear as possible.
Ingredients for Tea Tree & Blue Cypress Deodorant: (this is based on the package I have from December 2010 – formulations can change)
- Glycerin *(1 – low hazard)
- Sodium stearate *(1 – low hazard)
- Steareth-100 *(3-6 – medium hazard)
- Organic Lavender Flower/Leaf/Stem extract
- Organic Rosemary Extract
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) *(0 – no concerns)
- Glyceryl Stearate *(0 – no concerns)
- Oleic Acid *(1 – low concern)
- Organic Witch Hazel Bark/Leaf/Twig Extract
- Organic Juniper Fruit Extract
- Organic Coneflower Extract
- Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract
- Sodium Chloride (salt)
- Ethylhexylglycerin *(1 – low hazard)
- Organic Tea Tree Leaf Oil
- Cetyl Alcohol *(1 – low hazard)
- Stearic Acid *(1 – low hazard)
- Blue Cypress Wood Oil
- Bisabolol *(0 – no concerns)
- Grapefruit Fruit Extract
- Butylene Glycol *(0-1 – low hazard)
- Fragrance (Parfum) *(8 – high hazard)
* Safety Rating based on Skin Deep Cosmetic Database
The deodorant comes in a typical slender/oval, plastic, roll-up stick. Size is 48g/1.7oz. Most of the packaging is recyclable when product is finished.
Price (as of this posting)
- $6 – $8 CAD/US per stick at natural health stores
- $5.99 US per stick from Nature’s Gate (+ shipping)
- $6.79 CAD/US per stick from Well.ca (free shipping in Canada, no minimum order)
- $6.72 US per stick from Amazon.com
- Widely available at health food stores across North America
- Widely available at many on-line stores for Canadian, US and International shoppers
- Some organic ingredients
- Caters well for men (masculine scent)
- Aluminum Free
- Paraben Free
- Propylene Glycol Free
- Goes on clear
- Vegan (no animal by-products)
- No animal testing
- Fair price
- Fair availability
- Not fully organic – inclusion of “organics” in name may fool people and/or give them a false sense of security
- It is not very effective
- Can go on and/or leave underarms sticky and/or wet feeling
- Contains Fragrance/Parfum
- Not made of optimally healthy ingredients