I know that giving up chemical-laden and unhealthy commercial anti-perspirant can be hard. Many of us were taught from a young age that body odor is bad and something that you should be ashamed of, whether by our parents or our schoolmates. The link between the aluminum that makes anti-perspirant do it’s thing and alzheimer’s is almost part of the culture’s general knowledge now, and luckily more and more alternatives are being created. I see so many types of “pit creams” and natural deodorants on the shelves and in boutiques. After trying several common consumer brands, I stumbled up Handcrafted Honeybee Natural Probiotic Deodorant and haven’t looked back since.
Since giving up anti-perspirants, I’ve tried those rock crystal things, both the liquid and spray versions, Kiss My Face’s liquid rock, and Tom’s. I was never satisfied, since the scent seemed to often turn terrible after a few hours. The new shop next door to my work, Hip & Chick, carries a few natural, small-batch handmade brands along with it’s own namesake line, and I found the best deodorant there.
Handcrafted Honeybee is a California-based small business creating not only natural deodorants and lip balms, but also fun kits aimed at kids that let you make your own products! Initially I bought the full-size Eucalyptus Spearmint for $10. After featuring it on Instagram, I was grateful to be gifted the mini collection so I could try out all the scents: Lavender & Rose, Lemongrass Patchouli, Coconut Mango, and Tweed & Spice (for the discerning gentleman). Also available completely Unscented.
“This is the natural deodorant you’ve been searching for–convenient, smooth & most importantly, effective! Made with a shelf-stable probiotic to completely control odor, you can use it with confidence knowing that you’re choosing an aluminum-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free alternative that actually works. “
Some scents do include the dreaded word “fragrance”, which on their website are claimed to be Phthalate-free fragrance blends. I emailed the CEO Stacia and was very satisfied by her thorough and honest responses as to why she includes fragrance in some of her products. The unscented and essential oil versions are obviously the cleanest and safest, but there are decent options for those looking for a little bit more of the traditional scent range. As Stacia said in one of her emails, those fragrances “serve as a type of ‘bridge’ product for people that are just beginning to consider going natural & aluminum-free.” As much as I advocate for making cleaner choices, I do agree with her: whether people take giant leaps or baby steps in cleaning up their environments, both routes create progress.
Arrowroot Powder, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Beeswax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Hydrogenated Avocado Oil (Avocado Butter), Coconut Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Probiotics. *These are the base ingredients in the Unscented deodorant. Also available is an unscented baking-soda free version of the product! The various scents include additional fragrance or essential oils, as listed below:
Lemongrass Patchouli: lemongrass & patchouli essential oils
Lavender & Rose: lavender & geranium essential oils
Eucalyptus Spearmint, Coconut Mango, Tweed & Spice: pthalate-free fragrance*
How It Rates
Naturally, this new, tiny brand has not yet been evaluated by the Environmental Working Group. However, the short and sweet base ingredient list is extremely reassuring and appears extremely clean and safe. The company’s sourcing and mission is very health-conscious and everything is made in small batches.
Let’s Talk Details
THE TEXTURE While it goes on a bit less smoothly than the commercial anti-perspirant/deodorants you may be used to, the texture and appearance are very similar. It is a solid stick and does not “go on clear.” But it does absorb faster and leaves less residue once you’ve worn it for a while. It can also be rubbed in like “pit cream.” Remember: natural deodorants need to be applied to clean skin to be effective!
PACKAGING The usual handy twist-up solid stick in a plastic package.
EFFECTIVENESS This stuff really does have a long-lasting effect on day to day body odor. The product seems to absorb odor and leaves a gentle, fresh scent in its place. Thankfully, the scents don’t seem to react oddly with my body chemistry; my Tom’s of Maine smells SO funky after a few hours. My boyfriend has replaced his lifelong go-to Old Spice with the Handcrafted Honeybee Tweed & Spice. He misses the anti-perspirant aspects on super-busy workdays, but has accepted that for health and safety he’ll just need to wear an undershirt…
THE SCENTS I honestly like all of the scents, which was a surprise. My favorite is still Eucalyptus Spearmint, which is a bit sweeter than it sounds and not overpowering like some eucalyptus products can be. It would be a perfect unisex scent. Lavender & Rose smells as bright, delicate and pretty as you can imagine, like walking in a garden. Lemongrass Patchouli is super fresh and earthy. Coconut Mango is very fruity, like a tropical drink. Tweed & Spice is a nice subtle version of the traditional strong, spicy masculine aftershave scent.
THE PRICE A full size sticks regularly cost $10-12 on the website or in most local stores. The minis are $4 each. The mini sampler of 4 is $14. Pretty good, I think!
I’m writing this review in large part to recommend this stuff to anyone who hasn’t found an all-natural deodorant they are happy with. I really like the Handcrafted Honeybee products and company. I can only recommend the Unscented version as being the “most clean,” and the Lemongrass or Lavender versions as the “greenest.” The price point is great, the product is effective, all-natural and cute too boot!
Follow me on: