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Deodorant is probably the least sexy part of my beauty routine, but undoubtedly one of the most essential. And while I'm aware there are health benefits to letting your body sweat, I still require a heavy-duty deodorant. For me (after doing research on the possible negative effects of aluminum-containing deodorants, more on that later), aluminum-free is not a preference, it's a must. That said, my quest for the most effective, all-natural deodorant has been met with some disappointment along the way. But, I've always remained hopeful I'd find my holy grail.
TL;DR: Sweating is a natural bodily function, but deodorant is still a very necessary part of my routine, and I've yet to find a natural formula that actually controls my sweat.
Enter Nala, an all-natural deodorant line developed by a mother-daughter duo. With a biotech engineering background, the goal was to marry science with nature. The line offers deodorants that are free from the obvious offenders—namely aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and propylene glycol. I jumped at the chance to try their Personalized Free-From Deodorant, which allows you to choose your strength and scent, and even prints your name on the package (it's the little things). Below, find everything you need to know about the deodorant, plus how it fared on my skin.
- Ability to customize strength and scent
- Effective at neutralizing odor
- Need to detox for four weeks for best results
- Doesn't prevent wetness all day
Nala's Personalized Free-From Deodorant is an aluminum-free deodorant that works and has earned a permanent spot in my beauty routine.
Nala Personalized Free-From Deodorant
Best for: Those who are looking to make the switch to natural deodorant
Uses: Neutralizes odor caused by sweating
Active ingredients: Organic camellia oleifera seed oil, organic tapioca starch
Byrdie Clean: Yes
About the brand: Nala is an all-natural deodorant line that aims to make self-care a priority through personalized, high-quality products free from negative side effects and ingredients.
About My Skin: Prone to heavy sweating
I was an excess sweater in middle school, so much so I used a prescription-strength antiperspirant. This over-the-counter product—and others like it—use a high percentage of aluminum salt to prevent sweating and the smell that often accompanies it. Sounds dreamy, but health concerns exist regarding aluminum. Though the theory is widely under-researched, I've made the personal decision to remove it from my routine entirely.
The Feel: Smooth application, no clumps
One thing that irks me about the deodorants I've used in the past is the white clumps that ball along my underarms throughout the day. (That, coupled with the white marks I'd get on my clothing, of course.) That's why when I saw that my Nala free-from deodorant applied clear, I knew I was in the clear (pun intended). Two swipes is all that's recommended (which, to be honest, took some getting used to, as I'm typically not shy when it comes to deodorant application), and it absorbed nicely into my skin.
The Scent: Woody, minty, and fresh
I prefer my deodorants fresh-smelling, so I went with the eucalyptus scent, but the brand offers three additional options: unscented, citrus, and woodsy. With the eucalyptus scent, every application evoked a spa-like feeling, and it helped me relax before my day even began. Nala's mix of essential oils in this particular scent promises to be stress-relieving (I can't vouch for that), but I found it to be a restorative start to the morning.
Odor Protection: Effective, but with some wetness
Many people claim aluminum-free deodorants simply just don't work. Admittedly, I was part of that school of thought for a long time—until a few Google searches suggested I "detox" my armpits. For best results, the brand recommends using their Peppermint-Charcoal Detox Deodorant ($26) for four weeks to help your body acclimate to the natural elements of the deodorant. This process, which clears clogged underarm pores from accumulated toxins, can cause more-than-usual sweat along with some odor (which was the case for me). But after one to two weeks of detoxing (and drinking a ton of water), the sweat eased up. My body was actually taking to the deodorant and self-regulating the sweat it produced. I still feel wetness after roughly five hours of wear (especially if I'm active), but there is zero odor and I still get a whiff of that minty eucalyptus.
Nala offers three strengths (sensitive skin, regular strength, and extra strength). I went with the regular strength, though because I'm prone to wetness, I'll be trying the extra strength version on my next go-around.
The Value: Fair price tag
For a product that's completely customizable, natural, and this effective, I find the price justifiable. And because you only need two swipes, it'll last about three to six months, depending on the frequency of use. Sure, aluminumm-free deodorants with a lower price do exist, but I haven't found those to be effective at controlling my sweat, and they aren't personalized to my needs.
Similar Products: You have options
Native Deodorant is less than half the price and has an option for creating a custom scent, but it doesn't allow for personalized strength.
Goat Milk Stuff allows you to customize your scent, but not strength, and is only available in batches of five.
Our Verdict: Try it now
Nala is the only deodorant line I've found that allows you to customize your scent and strength. Its all-natural formula isn't just free of aluminum but parabens, phthalates, and propylene glycol as well. I recommend it for anyone looking to make the switch.