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My Lume Review - What Surprised Me About This Deodorant

My Lume Deodorant Review

Does this natural deodorant really protect for 72 hours?

2.5/5 stars

Pros:

  • Natural, gentle, vegan, and cruelty-free.
  • You can use it wherever (externally) on your body that you need odor protection.

Cons:

  • You have to let it dry after applying.
  • Odor protection wasn’t as promised.

Verdict:

I was enticed by Lume’s gentle ingredients, clinically tested efficacy for odor control, and the suggestion that it can be used on more than just your underarms. On paper all that sounded great, but the actual experience of using this water-based cream deodorant was a miss for me.

by Christen Russo, MSA Reviewer, Natural Deodorant Explorer
July 10, 2020| 35 comments

As I continue on my quest to find the best natural deodorant for me, I couldn’t skip over Lume. In terms of what Lume doesn’t include—leaving out potentially harmful ingredients like aluminum and sulfates, as well as common sensitive skin irritants like baking soda and essential oils—it’s in good company with the other natural deodorants I’ve tried.* But two things that set it apart from the others is that its formula has a creamy consistency and that it’s marketed as a product you can use for odor protection on any external part of your body.

Lume deodorant is sold both in stick form and in tube form. Both contain the same creamy formula; the only difference is that the tube deodorant must be applied using your hands, whereas the stick acts as an applicator. I decided to purchase the stick so I’d have the option of using the applicator, but I am comfortable applying deodorant with my hands—I learned this from my first-ever natural deodorant experience, with Schmidt’s jar deodorant. (I found Lume‘s consistency to be more lotion-like than Schmidt’s.) Read on to see how using Lume went for me!

*I’ve tried by Humankind, Myro, Kopari, and while our reviews weren’t written by me, I’ve also tried Native and Schmidt’s.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this product. (Check out the review process post to learn more.)

Lume Deodorant Quick Facts

Cost

  • $13.99 for a single bar
  • $12.59 when you subscribe
  • Subscribers can choose to have as many tubes as they want delivered every 1, 2, or 3 months.
  • Changes and cancellations to subscriptions must be made 3 days prior to the upcoming billing date shown on your My Account page.

Shipping

  • Ships to the US and Canada at varying rates.
  • Free shipping available on any order over $20.

Product

  • Deodorant sticks are 2.2 oz bar-style twist-ups that contain a water-based cream deodorant. You can apply with the stick or your fingers.
  • Lume also offers 3 oz deodorant tubes that contain the same water-based cream deodorant, meant to be applied with your fingers.

Perks

  • Cruelty-free
  • Aluminum-free
  • Baking-soda-free
  • Naturally scented (no artificial fragrances)
  • Vegan
  • Silicone-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Talc-free

  • Unscented
  • Lavender Sage
  • Juniper Berry
  • Silver Spruce
  • Jasmine Rose
  • 3-pack (includes Juniper Berry, Silver Spruce, and Jasmine Rose scents)

Ingredients: Water, Mandelic Acid, Arrowroot Powder, Tapioca Starch, Isoamyl Laurate, Sodium Acrylate/ Acryloyldimethyltaurate/ Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Caffeine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Isohexadecane, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 60, Lecithin, Pullulan, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ethylhexyglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Silica, Fragrance*

*Lavender Sage is scented with only pure essential oils, while their other scents also contain naturally derived, skin safe botanicals. All of their ingredients are phthalate-free and they entrust Berje with all of their scent sourcing. Lume’s unscented products do not contain any essential oils or added fragrance.

While Lume does not contain any peanuts, tree nuts, or sesame, their mandelic acid is derived from almonds.

Lume deodorant ingredients.

My Lume Deodorant Review

The Feel

2/5 stars

 

The Promise: “Water-based cream that rubs in like a lotion.”

The Reality: A very wet experience with the applicator; better when you use your hands.

Despite all the talk of the creamy, lotion-like consistency of Lume deodorant, I wasn’t expecting it to be as thin as it is. I wouldn’t call it “runny,” per se, but it’s much less creamy than the body lotion I use after shaving my legs. Lume does advise very clearly that a little goes a long way and to start small. They also suggest it might take up to a week to get the hang of finding the appropriate amount to use. I gave it a week of use with the applicator, and I was kind of miserable every day that week. I released the smallest amount I could—one twist of the dial—then gave it a swipe under my arms and rubbed it in for 4-5 seconds like the directions suggest…and then stood there with my arms out waiting for it to dry and praying for it to not get on my shirt (my prayers were not answered) for a few minutes. I had to wipe some off, then try reapplying a few times, and honestly it just made a mess and didn’t feel good.

I then took to using my hands to apply this deodorant, and things were much improved. I feel firmly that applying by hand is the only way to go with this stuff; it’s the only way to stop it from being wet wet wet and getting all over my clothes.

Speaking of getting all over my clothes, when I used the applicator, the lotion-like moisture transferred from my pits to my shirt every time I applied it, and darkened the armpit area of my shirt. It did come out in the wash, so no long-term stains, but it also had me changing my shirt every morning after already getting dressed—I’m just not interested in starting my day with soggy underarms. Two mornings I did remember to apply Lume before putting a shirt on, and that solved the wet shirt issue, but it didn’t solve my having to stand and wait for my pits to dry. However, this wasn’t an issue at all when I used my hands to apply.

The Scent

4/5 stars

The Promise: “The detoxifying power of the juniper berry (which isn’t fruity) combines with bergamot’s crisp citrus.”

The Reality: Fresh, pleasant, and unisex.

I tried the Juniper Berry scent because I love gender-neutral, nature-inspired aromas in the products I use, and it did not disappoint. I agree with Lume, it’s not fruity at all—it’s a fresh take on a vague fir scent, it’s subtle yet energetic, and it’s perfectly unisex. I did catch faint whiffs of it early in the day, but it faded quickly and by afternoon my nose couldn’t detect the scent, even when I stuck my nose in my armpit and took a big whiff.

The Odor Protection

2/5 stars

The Promise: “Clinically proven 72-hour odor control.”

The Reality: Required multiple re-applications throughout the day.

72 hours of odor control is a serious promise to make! I was equal parts skeptical and ready to witness a miracle going into my odor protection assessment. Unfortunately I had no such luck—not even close. I wasn’t able to go a single day without reapplying. It has gotten hot here where I live, but I’m also in my air-conditioned house for much of the day, and I found myself needing a reapplication even on low-exertion days. While my experience did improve once I started using my hands to apply this cream deodorant, bottom line is Lume was not as lasting as other natural deodorants I’ve tried.

As for external use other than my armpits? I did try Lume on the creases where my buttocks and thighs meet, as that’s the only other part of my body that sometimes gets a little sweaty throughout a regular day. It was fine! It was like rubbing lotion on the backs of my legs. I don’t have a persistent issue with odor on that part of my body, so I can’t speak confidently to whether or not it worked, but it wasn’t uncomfortable at the least.

Side note on the clinical proof to which Lume refers. They actually post the results of the clinical testing right on their website, but I must say, it really doesn’t sit well with me. The absence of specific data, paired with patronizing language (“real women” with “real body odor”), made me feel distrustful of the study Lume cites throughout its product pages. I’d be remiss not to shout from the rooftops that every single woman walking this planet is “real,” and so is her body odor, however faint or powerful it is.

Good to Know

Natural Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

Most deodorants you’ll find on the shelf are antiperspirants, which are meant to inhibit sweating (and therefore reduce odor) by using aluminum salts to block the sweat glands. Non-antiperspirant deodorants allow the body to sweat naturally, but contain ingredients that curb odor by addressing the bacteria that causes it. While some early research linked the use of antiperspirants with Alzheimer’s and cancer, according to Teen Vogue there is no compelling scientific case to prove it; still, consumers are increasingly wary of using body products that contain unnecessary chemicals. Some consumers also have concerns about interfering with the “detoxifying” process of sweating, but Teen Vogue clarifies that sweating is really only responsible for a “negligible” amount of detoxification.

Lume is not an antiperspirant and will not stop you from sweating. Lume does contain some ingredients to help reduce wetness, but it is not designed to block sweat. This company stands behind their odor protection, and suggests that many wearers of natural deodorant become less bothered by wetness, as long as there is no odor.

 

What is an “Armpit Detox?” Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

You may have heard tell of the 2-4 week transition period that’s typical when switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. Some sources call this period an “armpit detox,” which sounds kind of intense, but it doesn’t have to be. Everybody’s body reacts differently during the transition, but generally what you can expect is to be a little extra stinky for a time while your armpits adjust to sweating regularly again.

Here are a few tips for getting through the switch:

  • Research your options before choosing a natural deodorant. If wetness is a major concern of yours, Lume might not be a great first place to start. But if you’re mainly looking for an odor protection option, perhaps Lume would work better for you than it did for me!
  • Bring your new natural deodorant along with you for a bit—carry it in your purse or work bag so you can apply an extra layer if you feel you need it partway through the day.
  • Rest assured knowing that you’re probably way more aware of this smelly phase than anyone else is. It’s likely not as bad as you think! And, truly, it will come to an end.
  • If you experience any stinging, redness, or rash, it’s time to stop using that deodorant and give your precious pits (and, in Lume‘s case, your privates) a little break—and maybe even check in with a dermatologist if it’s bad. Sometimes even natural ingredients don’t work great with everyone’s skin, and there are all sorts of other natural deodorants to try out there.

 

Shipping, Returns, & More

Lume deodorant package.

Placing Your Order

For this review, I made a one-time purchase of Lume’s Juniper Berry deodorant stick directly from Lume’s website. Lume is also now available for purchase on Amazon and at some Walmart locations, in limited scents and for a greater cost than on Lume’s own site. Since I bought a single stick, my deodorant cost $13.99, but if you subscribe to receive it on a recurring basis (every 1, 2, or 3 months), each stick costs $12.59.

Standard shipping costs $2.99, but is free for orders over $20. Lume offers a 2-stick deodorant bundle where the second bar only costs $9.99, totaling $23.98 for 2 sticks (that saves you $4). Lume also sells natural soaps (in all the same scents that the deodorant is available in) and deodorant wipes, which contain the same active ingredients as the deodorant tube and stick—so you could try other products to help save on shipping, too.

Shipping & Tracking

I placed my Lume order on a Friday. The only shipping option available to me was Standard Shipping for $2.99. I promptly got an order confirmation email, and a shipping confirmation email with tracking showed up the next business day (Monday). My order arrived just two days later, on that Wednesday, and I was notified via email both when it was out for delivery and once it had been delivered.

Customer Service

Lume has an extensive FAQ if you have questions about how the product can be used, but if you have additional questions or concerns about your order, you can contact them using the form on their site. You can also email [email protected]

Returns

Lume offers a money back guarantee on your first deodorant stick or tube, even if it has been opened, as long as it’s your first purchase. They will refund you the cost of the deodorant, but you pay for return shipping. Any subsequent orders are final sale.

My Experience

After a couple of weeks of use I came to the conclusion that Lume deodorant isn’t for me. While I did like the scent, the consistency was too wet for my preferences and the odor protection didn’t hold up in comparison to other natural deodorants I’ve tried. For a smooth but dry deodorant application, I recommend Kopari. For reliable odor protection I like by Humankind or Native. But every body is different! What works for one person may differ from others.

Have You Tried Lume?

Did you try Lume and love it? Did you share Christen’s experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Lume and other natural deodorants in the comments!

And, be sure to check out our other reviews of natural deodorants:


Related Personal Care Reviews



Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Comments (35)

  1. Just received an order for this deodorant. I think I may have got a faulty batch because it just plain smells like wet cardboard with an undertone of old lotion. Had no tangerine smell in the slightest, also didn’t help with odor in the least and actually magnified it. Using hands to apply it was fine after the shower but as the day progressed I was more embarrassed by the whiffs I caught of myself. Back to Schmidtts for me. Wish I would have seen this review before I purchased it.

  2. Hey all,
    Lume didn’t work. I’m a working nurse who sweats, and it didn’t help with the odor. I prepped my clothes and didn’t overuse the deodorant. Didn’t work. Good luck.

  3. Hey all,
    Lume, in my opinion, was my last opportunity to give me relief of malodor when I sweat. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience this when I started with Lume. It’s been a month. I prepped my clothes. I cleaned my pits often. Applied the perfect amount without overuse. To no end. I’m a nurse, and when I work, I sweat. I need a deodorant to keep me smelling fresh. Lume just must not be for me I suppose. When I don’t sweat, I’m fine. Anyway, hopefully it works for you. Good luck!

  4. I wish I saw this review before buying. The ads got me. I’m a natural deodorant junkie and this did not work AT ALL. And before people tell me to wash my clothes, I walk around my house naked so don’t even. I apply deodorant after shower. I found the texture to be gross and my armpits felt slimey for hours. I could’t wait to take it off. As far as smell protection, I felt like I wasn’t smelling fresh after a couple of hours. I gave it 8 days and that’s it. I’m done. I might use this for my feet and donate the rest of the sampler tubes.

  5. So I have purchased Lume about a year ago (funny ads and desperation for finding natural deodorant got me). I used it, I thought it didn’t work. Kept trying new deodorants, kept going back to regular old trusted Secret. I live in Florida so the humidity here is so insane I am sweaty after taking a few steps from my front door to my car. I also work with public, so I can’t be stinky. Fast forward to being quarantined for a few months and I decided to let natural deos to battle out. Kopari and Tsakesumi both failed, but Lume, to my delight, prevailed. I did have to put my clay mask on pits a few times, but the real problem was bacteria growing on my shirts. After I fully detoxed from Secret, my armpits would never smell, but my shirts did. So I am Persil detergent all the way now. I also pretreat the armpit area with the spray before putting shirts in the hamper. It’s been months now, humidity is 100, and I don’t stink. It’s truly awesome.

    • Gintare, yesss, what a fantastic quarantine story! I’ve never tried a clay mask under my arms before—did you just use what you had or something specific to that area? I’m fascinated by this!

      • They do sell specific masks for armpit detox, but I read the ingredients for a few of them and realized they are not that much different from my face clay masks. So I just used my face masks, which I have an abundance of due to subscription boxes. Money saved! It helps to draw toxins out, although you sort of need to keep your arms up and let the clay dry out. So I slap a mask on my face and on my armpits and lay down for 15 mins 😄. I did it every other day when I was detoxing, but now it’s only needed once in a while when “I get a whiff of my scent” LOL. I think the foods we eat and the stress hormones influence our body scents from time to time.

    • Another great armpit detox/ odor and bacteria eliminating tip that I picked up is wiping down my armpits with BHA liquid exfoliant once in the morning. I personally use one from Paula’s Choice because that’s what I use on my face, but I think any one can work. I use it as an alternative to deodorant most times because I don’t like products with scents in them and it dries quickly. But I feel like using both natural deodorant and BHA is a power duo. I just soak a cotton round in the liquid and swipe under my armpits, let it dry, then I’m safe from stink for pretty much the entire day.

  6. I tried posting a comment about clothing prep with enzymatic detergent, not sure if it posted. At the risk of redundancy, pre-washing all of my tops with aforementioned detergent made all the difference for me in regard to how well Lume works. I love it!

  7. Did you prep your shirt(s) with an enzymatic detergent prior to using the Lume? I asked because it seemingly stopped working for me and then I realized that the pits of the shirts stank, not my actual armpits. I then used an enzymatic detergent on all of my shirts and, with the exception of really old and often-worn tops, it solved the problem and the Lume works just fine now. Bacteria does build up in the fibers of material so just a thought.

    • I do have an enzymatic product that I usually sprinkle into wash loads and wash as normal! Perhaps those enzymes are to thank for why the Lume that transferred to my shirts washed out so nicely, though at the time I didn’t think to credit it. That’s a great tip!

      • What enzymatic detergent do you use? Not sure what to buy?

  8. I think it’s so interesting that some natural deodorants work for some people and then they’re terrible for others! Native was absolutely horrible for me. Even after 2 weeks, I still smelled. But after about 3 days of Lume, I was completely smell free!

    You definitely have to experiment with natural deodorants to find the right one!

    • You are so right, Chelsea, it’s fascinating! I’m learning so much about myself as I explore these different natural deodorants and hoping to help others along the way, but comments like yours which share a different perspective are SO helpful, too. Thank you for throwing your hat in the ring!

  9. Been using this product for months now. Never experienced any of the stuff in this review. I cant walk down a street without working up a sweat and decided to give this a go when i saw all the ads. I bought both stick and tube,havent used the tube,yet but ,for me, it works as advertised. I do apply it every other day(when i remember) and i dont feel smelly . I also use the soap every time i shower . The ONLY thing im not a fan on is the scent so i will be purchasing non scented from them. This product helps me feel more confident to get through my workday ,since i walk daily at the office and after at the gym.

    • I really appreciate you sharing your experience, Marian—personal care items really do differ from person to person! I’m so glad you found a natural deodorant that works for you!

  10. Thanks for the review! Saves me the time of trying it. I live in a hot humid climate and am looking for a natural deodorant that actually works. Right now, I use a natural deodorant at night, the Lavanilla, and the Dove Spray antiperspirant in the morning. I just have to, I sweat too much and don’t want to stink!

    • Everyone’s got to do what works for them, right? I’m going to be trying Lavanilla soon!

  11. Wondering why my comment won’t post on this thread when they post on other threads immediately. Is it because it is a favorable review of Lume? Trying for a third time….

    I am surprised by the “meh” review as I am a total Lume fangirl. It works GREAT! You can use it EVERYWHERE and not smell, which is wonderful after a vigorous workout (or a night out dancing and sweating). My favorite is the tube of unscented, but all of the scents fade quickly so you don’t smell like deodorant all day. I have never had a problem with it getting on my clothes, staining my clothes, or anything of the sort. You take a little bit, and rub it on like lotion. Nothing special, and you don’t need to leave your pits flapping in the breeze for everything to dry out; just rub on a little and go. I think Kopari is garbage. It smells great going on, but I don’t smell great after about 4 hours, and am utterly offensive by the end of the day. Most of the other natural deodorants (Native, Schmidt’s, Tom’s, etc) give me a horrible rash and leave me smelling like stanky onions by the end of the day. (Meow Meow Tweet is pretty decent, though.) Lume doesn’t last for 72 hours for me, but I can go a couple of days and if there is any smell, it’s faint.

    Perhaps it all comes down to body chemistry. If you are on the fence, you should try it. I think it’s freaking amazing!

  12. I don’t know why comments are so hit or miss with posting. I posted a long one yesterday.

    I am surprised by the “meh” review as I am a total Lume fangirl. It works GREAT! You can use it EVERYWHERE and not smell, which is wonderful after a vigorous workout (or a night out dancing and sweating). My favorite is the tube of unscented, but all of the scents fade quickly so you don’t smell like deodorant all day. I have never had a problem with it getting on my clothes, staining my clothes, or anything of the sort. You take a little bit, and rub it on like lotion. Nothing special, and you don’t need to leave your pits flapping in the breeze for everything to dry out; just rub on a little and go. I think Kopari is garbage. It smells great going on, but I don’t smell great after about 4 hours, and am utterly offensive by the end of the day. Most of the other natural deodorants (Native, Schmidt’s, Tom’s, etc) give me a horrible rash and leave me smelling like stanky onions by the end of the day. (Meow Meow Tweet is pretty decent, though.) Lume doesn’t last for 72 hours for me, but I can go a couple of days and if there is any smell, it’s faint.

    Perhaps it all comes down to body chemistry. If you are on the fence, you should try it. I think it’s freaking amazing!

  13. I really like Stank Stop, if you are fine with applying by hand! They have a stick, but it doesn’t seem as effective.

    • I’m finding that seems to be the case for a lot of deodorants, Renee—if there is a jar version, it usually works better. Does it really stop the stank like they say? 😅

  14. Oh man, facebook bombards me with ads for this! So grateful that it was reviewed! Will be passing on this one.

    • Glad to help you make your decision, Cat! Which deodorant(s) do you use that you like?

    • You should try it. It’s actually really great.

  15. I tried Lume over a year ago, and it didn’t work one bit on me. Like you, I hated the wet consistency. I even returned it to them to get a (partial) refund – it’s expensive! I rotate between deodorants, and my current favorites are Each + Every (stick), Little Seed Farm (jar), and Silver Falls Sustainability (stick). All are baking soda-free.

    • Your recommendations include some new-to-me brands! I’ll have to look into them! I have a friend who loves Little Seed Farm, so I ordered their free samples last year and really loved the scents. The samples were small so they didn’t last long enough for me to get a real feel of how well the deodorant might work for me overall, but it’s definitely on my list to circle back and try for real at some point.

  16. I tried Lume (also the Juniper Berry) back in December because of their funny ads, and it worked like a dream for the first month! I had zero body odor and I was so amazed I was going to make it a point to write a glowing review everywhere I could. Then out of nowhere, I got an insane rash in my armpits. INSANE. I scratched my skin raw. It was so bad that it actually discolored my underarms and I’m still dealing with it. It was like it promoted a fungal infection rather than prevented it. I had to stop wearing deodorant altogether for a couple months. I’m not sure if it’s because of my sensitive skin or what but that was my experience.

    • What!! I’m so sorry you had this experience, how awful! I’ve never heard of a rash developing so long after using a natural deodorant, that doesn’t seem fair. What do you use now that it’s healed?

  17. Are you all out of subscription boxes to review? Deodorant is a super personal preference so this series is ridiculous.

    • I think all reviews, by their nature, are personal. It’s someone describing a product or service and rating the experience they had with it. I don’t see how it’s ridiculous. Like Mary below, I’ve wanted to buy Lume because of their ads, so I found this review quite helpful.

    • It was specifically mentioned in the review that one could subscribe to this deodorant, thus it’s a subscription.

      I think these reviews are so informative and really timely. A lot of people are interested in natural deodorant, but have no idea where to start or what the experience is like. This series is so well written, documented, and organized. If I didn’t already have a deodorant I like (Type A) I would scour these to find a good one.

    • Your opinion is not shared by the rest of the thread.

  18. Appreciate the comprehensive unbiased review here. I’ve been tempted by their ads but think I will save my money/

    • Thank you so much for reading, Mary. There are so many good natural deodorants out there! Glad I can help you make your decision on which to try.

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