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We put Nécessaire’s The Deodorant to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
It’s true that natural deodorants have come a long way in recent years, but it can still be tough to find one that’ll keep you as fresh as chemical-laden traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. I took one of the market’s newest luxury options, Nécessaire’s The Deodorant, for a weeklong spin to see just how well it got the job done.
Launched just this past February and already Byrdie-approved as one of the best natural deodorants, I put this $20 paste to the test. Over a week, I evaluated its stench-fighting abilities, its buzzy, ingredient-packed formulation, its texture and feel, and its ease of application. Keep reading for my no-holds-barred review.
Nécessaire The Deodorant
Star Rating: 4.6/5
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Neutralize odor, keep armpits dry
Potential allergens: Mandelic acid, lactic acid, essential oils
Active ingredients: Mandelic acid, lactic acid, silica, zinc, kaolin clay
Byrdie Clean: Yes
About the brand: Clean and sustainable body and personal care brand Nécessaire has quickly gained a cult following for its genderless, ageless products made from ingredients that are necessary for self-care.
About My Underarms: Prone to funkiness
I stopped using traditional deodorants and antiperspirants years ago after learning that aluminum, a common ingredient in these formulas, may be linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. I’ve been through the detox process of switching to natural, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty—or at least it didn’t smell pretty. But ultimately, it was worth it, and it gives me peace of mind knowing I’m putting clean, natural ingredients in such a sensitive area of my body on the daily.
While I’ve tested quite a few natural and clean formulations in my day, I’ve only found a few that actually do the job (i.e., keep me smelling relatively nice and don’t give me a rash). My all-time favorite brand is Corpus, a natural and vegan line of gel stick deodorants. I’ve currently been using The Botanist scent—a fresh, herbal unisex scent that both my husband and I love. An affordable favorite of mine is Schmidt’s classic deodorant sticks; the bergamot and lime scent is my go-to whenever I’m out of Corpus.
That said, incorporating The Deodorant into my typical routine was super easy: I applied it once or twice a day as needed, as I have with my usual deodorants, either when waking up to start my day or post-shower.
Ingredient Quality: Acids and minerals to control odor
The Deodorant works in two ways: A blend of lactic and mandelic acids work to neutralize odor, while a multi-mineral blend of silica, zinc, and kaolin clay work to absorb wetness from sweat and keep you dry. All of these ingredients appear near the beginning to the middle of the ingredient list, meaning they are present in an effective concentration. The product is also clean by Byrdie’s standards and uses sustainably harvested ingredients wherever feasible.
Odor Protection: Perfect for everyday use
In my book, what makes a natural deodorant a winner is if it actually protects you against smelly underarms—and I’d say The Deodorant does just that. I’ve always been on the sweatier (and, err, smellier) side—especially after a long day or after an intense workout—and have come to accept that even if a natural formula “works” for me, it’s inevitable that I’ll probably smell a little funky by the end of the day. However, The Deodorant kept me pretty fresh for the most part—and definitely more so than many of the clean deodorants I’ve tried in the past.
I didn’t notice any changes in odor protection throughout my weeklong testing period, but found that it worked best during a typical day (light at-home workouts, hitting a few work meetings, running errands, hanging with friends, etc.) rather than during more strenuous or sweat-inducing activities, like an intense workout or spending the day outdoors on a super hot day.
Moisture: Absorbs wetness rather than prevents it
This product is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, so it doesn’t prevent your body from sweating—which is what the questionable addition of aluminum in common antiperspirants is responsible for. Instead, The Deodorant uses silica, zinc, and kaolin clay to absorb wetness, which managed to keep me relatively dry throughout the day. Did it help during intense workouts or days when I overdressed for the weather? Well, I was definitely still sweaty, but less than I would be had I not been wearing any deodorant at all.
Dryness & Irritation: None whatsoever
I’m not going to lie—when I read that this natural deodorant contained both mandelic and lactic acids, I was worried my armpits would break out in a rash. I’m pretty sensitive to acids on my face to begin with, so I wasn’t quite sure how the delicate skin of my underarms would react. However, I experienced no irritation whatsoever—in fact, the formula was incredibly soothing when applied.
The Feel: Creamy and nourishing
The feel of your deodorant is important, considering that it’s going to be squished into your armpits and potentially rubbing up against your clothes all day. Nécessaire’s version has a creamy and luxurious feel. It first goes onto the skin as a thick and creamy white paste, but it blends down to a translucent layer that doesn’t leave any residue on your clothes—an obvious plus.
However, be wary of how much put on. If you apply too heavy of a layer, it can leave behind a bit of powdery, white flakiness once it dries. A little goes a long way!
The Packaging: Unique applicator allows for mess-free wear
The packaging and delivery method of The Deodorant is what makes it such a standout product. Deodorants that are formulated as a paste (which is common among natural options) typically come packaged in jars and require being applied with the fingers, which can get messy. The Deodorant’s unique perforated top and twist-up function allow you to push through just the right amount of product. From there, it applies like a traditional stick, keeping the process mess-free.
It’s also important to mention that the packaging is sustainable: The brand prides itself on using recyclable jars, bottles, and tubes for all products—plus 100 percent recyclable and 85 percent post-consumer waste materials for product boxes, ensuring that no virgin forest materials are used.
The Scent: Herbal and… sexy?
This stuff smells good, and not in an overwhelmingly powdery or fruity way, like most deodorants and antiperspirants on the market. The brand’s eucalyptus scent (which is used in its other cult-favorite products, such as The Body Wash) is a refreshing, natural and—dare I say—sexy unisex scent. I never thought a deodorant could smell sexy, guys, but this is it.
The Results: Effective for everyday use
Immediately upon applying The Deodorant, my underarm area felt soothed and refreshed. I don’t shave, so the product can get a bit chunky and leave behind a white residue at first, but as long as you rub the product in with the applicator, it blends down to a transparent film. The product can feel a little greasy while wearing, but not in a way that would stain clothes or leave behind residue.
For the most part, I felt protected from any unpleasant odors from morning to night. However—as with basically all-natural deodorants I’ve ever used—I still smelled a little funky from time to time, especially when in a situation when I would sweat more than usual. That aside, I found it to be an effective product for a typical day.
I didn’t notice any changes in efficacy over time, as I’ve already gone through the detox process of using a natural deodorant, and I also didn’t notice any long-term changes in the skin surrounding my underarm area.
The Value: Worth it
Traditional deodorants tend to fall into the $5 to $10 range, but are formulated with a lot of not-so-safe ingredients and additives. The Deodorant retails for $20 for 1.7 fluid ounces, which is a pretty good deal for a luxurious and clean—and for the majority of us, necessary—product that actually works. In my opinion, it’s worth it!
Similar Products: You’ve got options
Kopari Coconut Deo: I began testing another natural deodorant, Kopari’s Coconut Deo (view on Sephora), right after I finished with The Deodorant. Both products fight odor rather than prevent sweating: The Deodorant neutralizes odor with its multi-acid blend and absorbs wetness with clay, zinc, and silica, while Coconut Deo breaks down the bacteria that causes odor through plant-based enzymes and sage oil (but doesn’t help much on the wetness front).
They’re also very different in texture: The Deodorant is a mess-free creamy paste, while Coconut Deo has a lighter, albeit wetter, gel-stick formula. Both formulations have their own pros and cons. While I personally liked the texture, feel, and scent of The Deodorant better, the Coconut Deo was much more effective in keeping me smelling fresh all day, no matter my level of activity.
Corpus The Botanist: Since I’ve already been using natural deodorant for years, let’s compare The Deodorant to the deodorant I’ve been using the most lately: Corpus’ The Botanist Deodorant (view on Credo Beauty), a clean, vegan, and cruelty-free stick that deodorizes with plant- and mineral-based ingredients, such as diatomaceous earth and saccharomyces ferment filtrate. Both products are similar in price, natural scents, and aesthetic—down to the color and shape of the tube. However, their texture is quite different, with The Botanist being more similar to Coconut Deo’s gel-stick formulation. Both are quite effective in keeping odor at bay, though I’ve had more success with The Deodorant.
Our Verdict: I’m loving it
Overall, I’m loving Nécessaire’s The Deodorant and will definitely continue to use it daily. It kept underarm odor at bay while keeping me dry throughout the day—and it doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing. While it might not be the best for particularly sweaty moments, I’ll just carry it with me when I think I’ll need a second application.