I should start by saying that I am naturally a pretty sweaty person. I don't even need to be getting my hot yoga on at Y7 or hitting the treadmill to get a glistening upper lip or a moist underboob situation; I've more or less accepted this as a way of life, but it sure hasn't made my switch to natural deodorants an entirely seamless (and B.O.-free) process. However, having been around the block when it comes to testing aluminum-free sticks, roll-ons, and one charcoal-based cream, I have to say that one has emerged as a new favorite.
Enter Native, the San Francisco-based personal care company that's made a name for itself by offering safe, effective body products (all formulas are free of aluminum, parabens, and sulfates) at drugstore price points. ICYMI, they've been quietly picking up steam since launching in 2015, and have now accomplished the near-impossible: Making deodorant feel like a legit cool product you wouldn't mind seeing in your bathroom cabinet #shelfies.
What immediately drew me to the brand was the fact that the $12 solid sticks (my preferred formula) were available in a ton of fragrance options, none of which were "Powder Fresh" or "Shower Clean." As someone who works in beauty (and has a love affair with fragrance in particular), I appreciated seeing scent variations like Coconut & Vanilla, Jasmine & Cedar, and Aloe & Eucalyptus, to name a few. (There's also unscented options, if you have sensitive skin or simply prefer a fragrance-free deo.) When it came down to testing the stuff, I was totally open-minded, but as was the case with any other deodorant testing period, fully expecting to smell like a teenager within a couple hours.
Lucky for me, there's really no better control for determining a quality deodorant than New York City in the summer. The subway platforms are crowded and swampy, and walking ten minutes to brunch is enough to test my makeup's longwear capabilities. But back to Native — I applied a thin layer of the deodorant that morning (the solid stick went on totally clear — no white deo chunks in sight), and went about my day. To my delight, I went the entire day with my underarms still smelling subtly of Yuzu & Orange Blossom. However, because natural deodorants don't contain ingredients that block sweat and keep you dry, I did leave an early morning gym workout that weekend with my armpits feeling a little bit like a Slip 'n Slide.
How does it work? Well, coconut oil, Milk of Magnesia, and baking soda have natural antibacterial properties, and tapioca starch helps absorb trace amounts of wetness. Shea butter (along with coconut oil) also keep your underarm skin feeling hydrated — which is definitely a bonus if you shave regularly or are prone to irritation.
TL;DR: Is Native going to hold up during Crossfit? Perhaps not. However, for days when you're not going to be pushing the limits of your deodorant, I have to say: Native actually works pretty well — and at a price point that won't make me feel bad about stocking up on all my fave scents, might I add.