My original post said the T'eo wasn't strong enough for me, and that the Organic Essence worked better.
BUT I TAKE IT BACK!
At the time of writing, both deodorants were tried and tested (I would never recommend or diss anything to you guys without trying it first!) I just didn't have the knack for the T'eo yet.
Whilst Organic Essence deodorant is still a very strong contender, I did have a few issues with it. One problem being that it tended to get onto my clothes and create oily marks (the main ingredient is coconut oil) and I often had to reapply once or even twice over the course of a day.
With the oil-based deodorant, you have to just use a small amount so as not to stain clothing. So when I tried T'eo, I used a similarly small amount. And that's where I went wrong.
So I've been plodding along using my coconut oil deodorant, but I still had the T'eo in the cupboard. Every time I opened the cupboard I got this waft of lovely fresh lemony scent, and I loved it so much that I decided to give it another whirl. This time I went mad and just put LOADS on. I layered up a proper white powdery coating all over my underarms. And actually, it kept me going all day! So now I love it!
The trick is, instead of rubbing it straight onto your skin (ouch), use a scraper like the back of a toothbrush handle to get a nice loose powdery layer on the top of the bar (even using your fingers can chafe after a week or so). Then just dab it on. Liberally.
I do still sometimes have to do a little top up so it's still not quite up to the efficiency standards of commercial antiperspirants, but considering the healthier ingredients I'll happily carry some with me for emergencies.
So I can now recommend both deodorants to anyone wanting a plastic-free and natural alternative. I made a handy list of pros and cons for you guys in case you're thinking of getting on board!
LUSH T'EO DEODORANT BAR
Smells delicious and clean
Works pretty well
Doesn't stain clothes (so far so good anyway!)
Less expensive than Organic Essence
Zero packaging (but they wrap it up in paper if you don't have your own container)
More fiddly to apply
Can be irritating on sensitive skin, particularly after shaving
Can brush off easily if you get dressed quickly after applying
Some slightly more complicated ingredients, potentially not 100% "natural" (but I'd say miles better than commercial antiperspirants)
Quite fragile, not easily portable, not great for on the go. However, needs less top-ups so this is less of a problem.
ORGANIC ESSENCE RELENTLESS ALL DAY DEODORANT
Moisturising and nicer for more sensitive skin
Quite easy to apply
Seriously simple, natural and organic ingredients
Greasy, can stain clothes
Less effective in my opinion
Scent is less fresh
So voilà yet again! In conclusion, although I personally prefer T'eo, both are good for different people and different needs. I just wanted to give an update from my last post because I felt like I was lying to y'all.
Phew, now I've got that off my chest I'm going to stop talking about these blooming deodorants and get on with my life!!
Just giving my T'eo a little kiss
Ah, turns out it wasn't time to stop talking about deodorants after all.
I've recently been trying out a couple of new varieties of anti-smell agents and thought you might want to know about my discoveries. I still absolutely love my T'eo deodorant but as I mentioned, it can be irritating on sensitive skin. I've come to find that my underarms fall into the sensitive category, so I've been searching for a way to use this a little less.
The first new deodorant to add to the list is:
BAKING SODA FREE DEODORANT CREAM, LAVENDER
BY MEOW MEOW TWEET
I definitely do like this stuff.
It isn't as effective as T'eo, but since it comes without baking soda (the ingredient that so often causes irritation to the skin, also known as bicarbonate of soda), it is a much gentler product. It has a lovely soft lavender scent and rubs on easily with my fingers. So far I haven't noticed it leaving any oily stains on my clothing, but these things can take a while to build up so I will keep you updated as far as that goes.
It comes in a little glass jar with a metal lid, although it does have a small foamy plastic seal. To combat this, lucky residents of New York can get zero-waste refills from the Package Free Shop in Williamsburg (I'll be taking a trip there once mine is all used up). I carry the jar around with me for top-ups throughout the day, which is surviving much better in my bag than my Organic Essence tube, which had become scuffed up, grubby and oily. I didn't care, but this doesn't gross out my friends as much! The only down-side is that it's a tad heavier.
After having used it for a few weeks and quite consistently needing top-ups, I decided to test its effectiveness this morning: I put it on one underarm and left the other bare. I'll spare you the details but believe me, IT WORKS.
But for me, it doesn't work all day. The same can be said for Organic Essence, both require occasional top-ups. At $14 it's a little on the expensive side and I've been finding that I use quite a lot of it. But having said that, I've had mine for over 3 weeks and am only about a third of the way through.
Although similar, I do prefer the Meow Meow Tweet to Organic Essence. Here are some pros and cons for anyone considering buying:
It smells less like coconut oil than Organic Essence and more like lavender, a much fresher scent.
It feels dry almost as soon as it's rubbed in, so I have less fear for my clothing.
It doesn't contain baking soda so it is even more gentle on sensitive skin.
Zero-waste refills are available in Brooklyn.
The glass packaging means it's much more portable.
Slightly more expensive (but not much).
The packaging is less environmentally-friendly than Organic Essence.
Does work, but not all day and not on extra-smelly days.
Slightly heavier to carry around.
Meow Meow Tweet isn't the only other deodorant I've tried this year! Oh the search for the perfect plastic-free deodorant is endless...
OSMA BLOC D'ALUN
I've heard great things about crystal deodorants: they're easy to travel with, require no packaging, no mess, no underarm stains, inexpensive... So it only seemed reasonable to try one.
I should mention that I did try one when I was a teenager, upon my alternative-loving mother's insistence, but with no success. At all. But I thought "maybe I was doing it wrong" and couldn't resist giving it another go.
So I bought Osma Bloc d'Alum, which comes in a nice little cardboard box and, at $8.90 including shipping, I felt like it could be the investment of a lifetime.
I put a lot of effort into trying to put it on properly. The idea is that you wet it with a bit of water, allowing the crystal particles to mix with the water, and then rub it onto the skin so the particles transfer.
So I tried using lots of water, and then I tried using a tiny bit of water. All the while, rubbing and rubbing until it was almost rubbed dry. I was so determined to make this work!
Sadly, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't. For me, this product does not work. Not even slightly.
I didn't even need to do the 'one-underarm' test. I already knew that the block didn't work when I tried to top-up one day and afterwards noticed, a) no difference to my own smell, and b) the crystal block itself had a whiff of BO on it afterwards. To me, if the deodorant itself smells, surely it's not doing anything to counter underarm bacteria.
Easy to travel with
So don't bother!
I should point out that the crystal alum bar I bought was advertised for stopping razor burn after shaving, and not as a deodorant. I bought this one because of the plastic-free packaging. However, if my teenage years are to be trusted, I've had the same amount of luck with deodorant-specific alum block crystals as well.