A no-sweat way to help save the planet? Try a deodorant subscription
First they came for your mattresses, then for your razors. Now they’re coming for your pits. Deodorant may seem like the least compelling reason to authorise a direct debit, but I’ve learned a lot while investigating deo-through-your-letterbox services. I can see why they’re taking off.
Traditional antiperspirant deodorants use aluminium to block the secretion of sweat. They pass UK safety standards, though a significant minority believe them to be harmful. So-called natural deodorants omit aluminium, instead aiming to absorb sweat and neutralise any bacteria-triggered odours at source. These are noticeably less dry to the touch.
The packaging from every consumer anti-perspirant you’ve ever used is probably still in existence
Where subscriptions come in is in offering these natural (typically cruelty-free) deodorants in more sustainable packaging. The packaging from every consumer antiperspirant (and most deodorants) you’ve ever used is probably still in existence, because it’s either made from single-use plastic or non-divisible components. Subscriptions get around the thorny issue of refills – people are more likely to use them when financially committed to one brand.
Best known of the deo-disruptors is Fussy, a Kickstarter/Dragons’ Den project that came good. Fussy’s stick deodorant comes in a starter pack of one refillable case (pick your colour) and one compostable deo cartridge (enough for six to eight weeks), for £13 (refills are £5 thereafter).
The fragrances are lovely: Cloud Nine smells traditionally masculine, Night Tales like summer holidays, Wide Eyed weirdly but pleasingly like my schoolgirl eraser collection. There are more, and all last very well. I like the smooth swipe of the applicator and have zero complaints.
Those who sweat profusely will be wary, but London firm AKT tested its Deodorant Balm on 1,000 professional dancers and athletes, with unfailingly positive feedback. AKT is a luxurious offering (£22 for three months’ worth). While not refillable, the stylish, plastic-free packaging can be squeezed dry with its accompanying metal key. The fingertip application will be offputting to some, but for me it’s a small price to pay for the glorious scent (I tried Halcyon Summers, a combination of fresh mint, lemon and hot greenhouse) that lasts beyond bedtime.
With the convenience of Fussy with a touch of AKT luxe, Wild compostable refills are also £5 (the cases are £10). They come in a pick’n’mix selection of fragrances, four of which don’t include the standard baking soda, which some sensitive souls find irritating.