We try it!

We Try It: Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant

This has been a difficult few months for me and my stand-by beauty products. As you might recall, I recently discovered that my face wash might be killing me. Not too long after finding that out, I learned that my deodorant might be killing me, too. Ugh, why does life have to be so hard? Why does everything have to contain toxic chemicals?

Now, if you read the post I linked to above, you’ll notice that not all varieties of Secret deodorant are created equal when it comes to toxicity. But I figured rather than put lots of time into thinking about it, I should go ahead and make the impulsive decision to switch to natural deodorant. No one ever regrets impulsive decisions, right? Right. So off I went to the deodorant aisle at my nearest drug store, in search of the most natural product I could find.

Enter Tom’s of Maine’s Natural Confidence Deodorant Crystal, in Citrus Zest. It’s a roll-on, and although it contains the word “crystal” in the name, it’s actually liquid–if it weren’t for the slight tingle and zesty citrus fragrance, you might mistake it for water. It smells good, goes on clear, and dries quickly. These last two things are important to me, because I frequently manage to get deodorant on my clothes. Even the clear gel stuff that isn’t supposed to leave marks always leaves marks. This stuff shows absolutely no signs if you happen to accidentally brush the outside of your top against your freshly deodorized armpit.

The problem is that since I started using the Crystal, I haven’t felt very naturally confident. I’m a sweaty woman, and I’m also very active. As far as I’m concerned, the Crystal hasn’t really been able to stand up against the challenges my ever-perspiring body has thrown in its direction. I haven’t received any complaints, but I’ve been much more aware of my body odor. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I stink, but I have been feeling very paranoid about what other people are thinking about me when I’m on the subway. I can’t say for sure whether I’m just being overly cautious, or whether I really am too much for the Crystal to handle, though. There’s so much about the way our bodies smell (or our perception of the way they smell) that’s subjective that I can’t really say if this deodorant is objectively deficient, or just not the product for me.

My guess is that given my actual and imagined issues with sweat, I’d probably be well-served doing a bit more research and trying to determine which products might be able to do a better job of giving me the natural confidence I’m looking for. As much as I love my Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, I think their deodorant is probably not for me.

By Emilie

Runner, yogini, knitter, Manhattanite in spite of myself. Also blogging at

13 replies on “We Try It: Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant”

That anti-perspirant = toxic CANCER thing was proven to be a hoax.  It’s one of those unfortunate “facts” that refuses to die because new swaths of internet people latch onto it every year.  I use a hefty combination of Certain-Dri (twice a week at night) and plain old Ban (every morning).  I come from a long line of sweaty, sweaty people, and my relatives often cite me as the exception to their DNA.

I don’t think it’s in your head. I also tried a few varieties of Tom’s in my quest for natural deodorant, and if anything, I sometimes felt like it emphasized my natural odor, rather than masking it. I also sweat quite a bit, so it wasn’t very helpful at all. There were other natural deodorants that worked better for me, such as Jason’s, Alba, Kiss My Face, which I can wear when it’s cool outside, but I’m pretty much stuck with a prescription strength anti-antiperspirant when it’s warm because even with it, I still get major sweat issues.

I’ve heard baking soda is the best deodorant. How you apply it, I have no idea. I recently started wearing antiperspirant occasionally because the natural deodorants just don’t cut it. I sweat, it’s part of my job, and when I want to be a non-smelly person the natural stuff NEVER works. I have tried so many different kinds, and maybe I’m just too smelly/sweaty for that stuff, but it seems to me it’s all a bit of a pipe dream. Or maybe I’m just bitter. If you find anything that works, let us know, I’d love to find a solution to this age old problem.

I don’t use this product, but I have a different crystal deodorant (Naturally Fresh I think it’s called). The thing with these is that they are strictly deodorants, not antiperspirants. They’ll keep you smelling pretty fresh, but you are still going to sweat.

Yeah, the problem with my experience with this deodorant was that I really didn’t feel like it was keeping me smelling fresh.  Sweat is one thing–even with antiperspirant I still sweat–but while using this I developed the distinct feeling that I was not emitting the most pleasant odor.  As I mentioned in the review, though, maybe it was in my head?

Thanks for the review! I love Tom’s of Maine, but I have sensitive skin & their stick deodorant gives me hives. Maybe I’ll give the crystal a try when my current deodorant runs out.

For humid days (especially on the subway) I like both a traditional deodorant and a powder deodorant (Lush has a nice one). I use the powder for the small of my back or anywhere clothes might chafe, and that usually removes any confidence issues.

I use a combo deodorant and powder (Aromacreme and Karma, both from Lush). Both have sadly been discontinued, I’m hoping they show up in Lush Retro because they work great. I still sweat but no odour at all; not even after going to the gym! I was far more smelly — albiet dry — with antiperspirant. And I agree with what others have said about Tom’s … I’m slightly stinky by the end of the work day. One woman I know who makes natural beauty products says she just uses a salt solution …

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