I tried Frank Body’s natural deodorant to see if it can handle my sweat



Putting it to the test.

Full disclosure: I am a bit of a sweaty person. I seem to always run hot, no matter the season or how appropriately I’ve dressed for the weather. So it’s no surprise I need a deodorant to do what it’s supposed to.

But after decades of using a trusty supermarket antiperspirant, I recently developed an itchy and eczema-like reaction to my regular pit stick. While I wasn’t sure what had changed, it was clear I needed to venture into the big wide world of natural deodorants.

Itching for more skincare content? See what else we’ve tried in our Beauty section here.

The first thing to note about natural deodorant is that it will not stop you from sweating. The intention is to stop you from smelling like a teenage boy during a PE class after the beep test. Natural formulas lack aluminium, the ingredient in conventional antiperspirants that plugs up your sweat glands.

Somewhere during the last decade or so, myths about how aluminium in deodorants causes breast cancer began to permeate our general consciousness. Most people by now would have heard about the supposed ‘link’ between rubbing an aluminium antiperspirant near your lymph nodes and breast tumours in the area.

But a recent review of the scientific evidence in 2016 found that there was no link between antiperspirant use and an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Only two studies were sufficient enough to be included in the review.

That said, my decision to find a great natural deodorant stemmed from my sensitive and angry skin. And having tried a slew of natural formulas in the past without much success, I was delighted to see the local beauty gurus at Frank Body come out with a scented and non-scented clean deodorant earlier this year that claimed it would help me “calm my pits”.

Meet the product

Both the scented and unscented are roll-on deodorants that are vegan, alcohol-free, cruelty-free and designed for sensitive skin, so they tick a lot of boxes right off the bat. Obviously, there’s no toxins and no aluminium.

There’s also no denying they are a leap up in aesthetics from the packaging of my old, retro deodorant, coming in pale pink for the cucumber and green tea scent, and white for the unscented version (which successfully smells like nothing). The cucumber and green tea scent is delightfully mild but still strong enough to provide hints of fruity freshness. Another bonus is that at $14.95, they’re an appropriately affordable everyday product.


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First impressions

After reading that it could take up to a month for your armpits to detox and purge the toxins from your sweat glands that are used to being blocked up from a typical deodorant, I decided to stick with them for at least a few weeks to give them a fair trial run.

Initially, I was confused by the consistency of the deodorant, as it’s a clear, oil-based texture that felt a bit foreign when it came to applying it on my underarms. But I was pleasantly surprised to see there was no risk of white marks or residue that transferred to my clothes, unlike most other roll-ons I’ve tried.

My so-called ‘armpit detox’ was also not as rough as I had expected. The Frank Body website also warns that one week in, you might notice slightly more sweat, but it wasn’t unbearable and I found my body adjusted after a few consecutive days of use.

How do they stack up?

I put it to the test with some vigorous exercise, including my usual reformer Pilates class where I’m definitely the sweatiest person in the room. It still did the job, but for my heavy-duty sweat sessions, I did feel a little self-conscious by the end of the class when I caught a faint waft of myself – even if no one else could smell it.

But I’m happy to report that there was zero irritation for my irritated pits. So while it’s not perfect, it’s still the best natural deodorant I’ve tried so far. Ultimately, I was pretty impressed by the ability of the natural formula to neutralise body odour. I found the scented deodorant was the more effective one when it came to masking any untoward smells.

On a more casual day-to-day basis – which often sees me run for my train and maybe even a stress sweat over an urgent work deadline – it delivered on its promise to keep me (mostly) fresh.

If I learned anything from my own foray into natural deodorants, it’s to be patient with the process. You need to be prepared to go through some trial and error and to accept getting personal with some of your own scents in the process. The reality is everyone sweats, and the most important thing is finding a deodorant that works for you.

Rating: 8/10

To try Frank Body’s deodorant for yourself, head here.

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