My Lume Deodorant Review
Does this natural deodorant really protect for 72 hours?
- Natural, gentle, vegan, and cruelty-free.
- You can use it wherever (externally) on your body that you need odor protection.
- You have to let it dry after applying.
- Odor protection wasn't as promised.
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.
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!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this product. (Check out the review process post to learn more.)
Lume Deodorant Quick Facts
- $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.
- Ships to the US and Canada at varying rates.
- Free shipping available on any order over $20.
- 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.
- Naturally scented (no artificial fragrances)
- 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.
My Lume Deodorant Review
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 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
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
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.
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].
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.
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: