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‌ My Lavanila Deodorant Review - Wears Like Mainstream Deodorant

My Lavanila Deodorant Review

Why I Think Lavanila Is a Good Deodorant for Transitioning to Natural

3.6/5 stars

Pros:

  • Goes on like a traditional deodorant, which might feel comforting to those trying natural deodorant for the first time.
  • Formula is free of comedogenic ingredients such as mineral oil, silicone, synthetic colors, and petroleum.
  • Reasonably effective odor control.

Cons:

  • It may leave clumps and white streaks behind.
  • It’s not an antiperspirant, which is true of just about every natural deodorant.

My Verdict:

Lavanila deodorant checks of all the boxes that a natural deodorant should: it’s free of aluminum, baking soda, parabens, sulfates, and more potentially harmful ingredients. But for me, the consistency was a bit heavy, it clumped under my arms, and it streaked my clothes.

by Christen Russo, MSA Reviewer, Natural Deodorant Explorer
September 2, 2020| 21 comments

My first experience with Lavanila was several years back when I was spending a few days at my parents’ house for the holidays and had forgotten to pack deodorant. Who else does one turn to in this type of pickle than your mom? My mum was currently using Lavanila, which she came upon at Whole Foods and decided to try. She liked it and has been using it ever since. Simple tale with a happy ending for her! My using my mum’s Lavanila occurred long before I began experimenting with natural deodorant, and at a time in life (I was a recent college graduate) when spending $12 on a stick of deodorant was not realistic for me. I actually didn’t know deodorant that expensive even existed, and I didn’t pause to question why—I just chalked it up to Whole Foods mark-ups. I remember Lavanila feeling normal and smelling nice. I wasn’t paying close attention to how long it lasted, but I didn’t have any complaints. I also didn’t have a reaction, thankfully—if I had, I wouldn’t have known why.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve now sampled some 8 or 10 natural deodorants, all the while educating myself on ingredients commonly found (and left out of) these products, familiarizing myself with what works best for my body, and understanding what my preferences are. And while I recognize that $12 is certainly not the cheapest deodorant out there, my priorities have shifted and it generally feels like a worthwhile cost to me. All this to say, I decided to try Lavanila again with this new perspective and see how it compares to my other natural deodorant experiences. All the details are below!

 

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

Lavanila Deodorant Quick Facts

Cost

  • $12 for a one-time purchase + shipping.
  • No subscription option.

Shipping

  • Ships to the US & Canada. They do not ship to PO Boxes or APO/AFO addresses.
  • Standard FedEx rates apply (shipping cost $5 for me).
  • Free US shipping for orders over $40.

Product

2 oz. solid deodorant stick in a twist-up plastic tube.

Perks

  • Aluminum-free
  • Baking-soda-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Petrochemical-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Free from Propylene Glycol
  • No Mineral Oils
  • Silicone-free
  • Free from Synthetic Dyes or Synthetic Fragrances
  • No Chemical Sunscreens
  • Sulfate-free

Lavanila’s signature scents include:

  • Pure Vanilla
  • Vanilla Eucalyptus
  • Vanilla Lavender
  • Vanilla Coconut
  • Vanilla Grapefruit
  • Fresh Vanilla Lemon
  • Vanilla Passion Fruit
  • Vanilla Blackberry

They also carry limited-edition scents inspired by the elements, the seasons, and a line of feminine aromas. Note that some scents come along with differing formulas, are sold in different volumes, and cost more (up to $14) or less (as low as $8).

Ingredients for all of Lavanila’s scents:

Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Aloe juice, water/aqua), Propanediol (Corn derived), Zea mays (Corn) starch, Sodium stearate (Coconut derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed derived), Stearyl behenate (Coconut derived), Citrus medica limonum (Lemon peel oil), Inulin (Artichoke derived), Saccharomyces ferment, Alpha-Glucan oligosaccharide (Sugar derived), Yeast beta glucan, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Usnea barbata (Lichen) extract, Valeriana officinalis root extract (Valerian), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) flower/leaf/stem extract, Lycium barbarum fruit extract (Goji berry), Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) oil, Botanical fragrance blend*

*Lavanila’s botanical fragrance blend is a proprietary blend of pure essential oils, nature identical oils, and botanically derived aromas.

For the Vanilla Eucalyptus scent, Lavanila calls out these key ingredients:

 

  • Balancing Probiotics: Breakthrough probiotics work to neutralize bacteria responsible for odor.
  • Beta Glucan Technology: Breakthrough health-promoting technology breaks down sweat molecules & prevents odor while nourishing delicate underarms.
  • Eucalyptus Oil: A freshly scented, natural antibacterial and antiseptic that works to keep odor at bay.

 

Lavanila Deodorant Review

My Lavanila Deodorant Review

The Feel

2.5/5 stars

 

The Promise: “Velvet-soft formula goes on clear and smooth. Clean, natural formula allows skin to breathe.”

The Reality: Application is reasonably smooth (like conventional deodorant), but feels a little heavy on the skin.

Now that I have nearly 4 years of using natural deodorant under my belt, I’m accustomed to products feeling particularly gentle and light on my armpits (and in some cases, like with Tom’s of Maine, too light to the point of just not really doing much of anything at all). I’m also used to needing to apply 3-4 swipes, whereas Lavanila‘s website recommends swiping 1-2 times under your arms. Even with the minimalist swiping, my first application of Lavanila left white clumps on my underarms. Woah, blast from the past! This hasn’t happened to me since using traditional deodorant. I was not too keen on the phenomenon returning. I wiped it off and reapplied even more gingerly, like, half-a-swipe. I’m sure nobody will be surprised that one super-quick ninja-swipe of deodorant didn’t do a mind-blowing job of protecting me against body odor. More on that below.

The Scent

4/5 stars

The Promise: The soft vanilla is meant to provide comfort, as it’s often associated with warmth and softness, while eucalyptus adds a freshness.

The Reality: Pleasant, aromatic, simultaneously warm and fresh—just perhaps a bit strong.

Lavanila really commits to the vanilla thing! Every single scent they offer is a vanilla blend, except in the case of their original scent, which is pure vanilla. There’s no unscented option. Years ago when I used my mum’s Lavanila stick, it was the Vanilla Lavender scent, and it was as pleasing as you’d imagine that combo to be. This time I tried the Vanilla Eucalyptus option, and the two scents blended beautifully, making for an undeniably agreeable aroma.

That said, this natural deodorant again reminded me of a classic deodorant in that it was like a serious scent blast to the armpits after applying, and it was a little much for me. I liked the smell better as the day went on, as it wore off.

I’ll also note that while there’s no mention of Lavanila products being catered specifically to women, the two scents I’ve tried struck me as being feminine, and I wonder if that’s the vanilla’s doing. You don’t find vanilla scents in men’s or gender neutral products too often. I asked my husband what he thought of my Lavanila deodorant and he said he’d wear it in a pinch, but wouldn’t want to wear it every day. To be honest, I kind of agree with him.

The Odor Protection

3.5/5 stars

The Promise: “Balancing probiotics eliminate odor before it starts.”

The Reality: Comparable to other natural deodorants in that it does a fine job, but you shouldn’t be surprised if you have to reapply.

Lavanila makes strong claims for their odor protection. In general across scents they promise “Superior, Aluminum-Free odor protection” (I guess we’re supposed to just take their word for it), but the scent I specifically chose happens to include eucalyptus oil in it, which is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic, and is said to help reduce odor. It also happened to include probiotics, another supposed odor-preventing ingredient. You’d think this stuff would be magic! Alas, the odor protection was…fine. It took me a few days to strike the right balance of applying enough Lavanila to actually deodorize me, but not so much that it would streak my clothes and clump under my arms. Some folks might be unbothered by that, but it left me missing other natural deodorants like Kopari and Megababe and by Humankind, all of which I feel I could swipe ’til the cows come home and I would never see clumping on my skin or staining on my clothes.

My Verdict

Is Lavanila the best natural deodorant? In my opinion, it’s not—while it’s nice in ways, the qualities I have come to seek in a natural deodorant (lightweight, completely clear, and a subtle & natural scent to name a few) are not held by Lavanila. But that’s just my opinion! Not everyone is walking the same path as me; for example, my own lovely mother has used Lavanila for about 5 years now and continues to love it. I think Lavanila would be a great deodorant for someone curious about the whole natural deodorant thing but not sure they want to overhaul their day-to-day deodorant experience. For some, knowing it’s made from organic ingredients may be enough. And that’s perfectly reasonable!

Good to Know

Natural Deodorants vs. Antiperspirants

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.

While Lavanila is not an antiperspirant (and therefore this deodorant is not going to stop you from sweating), it does boast a feature I haven’t encountered in other natural deodorants, which is something by the name of “beta glucan technology.” It’s alleged to minimize and absorb sweat molecules. Lavanila describes it like this:

“This Lavanila-developed technology is a breakthrough in natural deodorant protection. Derived from the cell walls of oats and yeast, our technology blends beta glucan with high powered antioxidants and antibacterial agents to break down sweat molecules & effectively prevent odor.”

Maybe this breaking down of sweat molecules can be attributed to why Lavanila wears (and clumps) similarly to a mainstream deodorant. And, interestingly, while Lavanila shares a lot of qualities with other natural deodorants—it’s aluminum-free, being the main one—it calls itself a “healthy deodorant” more often than a “natural deodorant” on its website. I wonder if there’s something to that.

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. I would recommend Lavanila as a great natural deodorant for first-timers to try. It does not contain baking soda, which can sometimes cause armpit rashes on sensitive skin, especially for first-time natural deodorant wearers, and it also just kind of feels like a mainstream deodorant—like Dove or Degree.
  • 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 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 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

Lavanila Deodorant Review

Placing Your Order

For this review, I ordered Lavanila through their website. I’ve also seen it sold online at Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, Target, Anthropologie, and on the shelf at Whole Foods—prices vary. Ordering 1 stick of Lavanila in a classic scent cost me $12 + shipping.

FYI, Lavanila carries other natural products too: armpit detox masks, organic body butter, 3-in-1 body wash, and perfume.

Shipping & Tracking

I ordered Lavanila on a Friday and chose their Standard US shipping option ($5.00). An order confirmation email showed up in my inbox within a few minutes, and a shipping notification with tracking was sent on Monday afternoon. I’m not sure what happened, but my deodorant didn’t arrive until almost 2 weeks later. There were no COVID-related shipping delays indicated on the Lavanila website when I placed my order, and orders from other sites sent to me through UPS had arrived within days of my having received a shipping notification.

Returns

If you’ve made your purchase through Lavanila‘s website and aren’t happy with your product, you are encouraged to reach out to [email protected] to coordinate a return within 30 days of your purchase. They will email you an authorization within 2 business days, and you’ll need that authorization to be included in your return package. Note that the customer is responsible for all return shipping costs, and that opened or gently-used products will be subject to a $5 restock fee.

Give Lavanila a Try

Have you tried Lavanila? What did you think of this healthy deodorant? Let us know below!

Curious about other natural deodorants? Here are our most recent reviews:


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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 (21)

  1. So I LOVE these reviews- I had tried a couple of the less expensive natural deodorants from sub boxes (Schmitts, Love Beauty Planet…) with no luck so I kinda wrote the whole natural deo idea off. Recently tried Lume, which I really like, but am definitely open to trying some others, so I super appreciate being able to read these without ponying up like $15 to try something new on a whim.
    Any chance you were planning on trying out Pit Liquor, Christen? It’s the only one that I’ve been wanting to try that I haven’t seen you review. Thanks!!

    • Lindsay, yayyy, so happy to know you’re finding these helpful!! This is actually the first I’m hearing of Pit Liquor (there are SO MANY natural deodorants out there, it’s insane—and exciting) but I’ll look into it. Are you curious about the spray or the roll-on?

      • I think the idea of a spray that’s not an aerosol is kinda cool- first time I had seen that in a deodorant! Thanks so much for checking it out 🙂

  2. I’ve been using Lavanila for about 9 months, finished 3 sticks and now using the 4th. Applies smoothly, no irritation, and works well against odor (I’m not a smelly person). Passion fruit, BlackBerry, and Coconut — don’t leave any white residue. Holds up during HIIT classes. Wait for deal on their website, I paid about $9 each way and free shipping.

    • Holds up during HIIT classes is a big one—that’s awesome, Jenny. Good tip on looking for deals on their website, too! Thanks for sharing that!

  3. I don’t understand why this review is here. What subscription box is this in?

    • I don’t either especially because people have very different experiences with the effectiveness of a deodorant so I don’t see it as a great category to review. When I see these posts I think, oh another entry in the deodorant infomercial saga lol. That said I do like this brand of deodorant but don’t buy it anymore because I prefer brands that use cardboard dispensers or glass jars as they are easier on the environment.

    • Same. I’m really confused as to why lately there have been reviews of different natural deodorant products since this doesn’t seem to relate to subscription boxes at all.

      • I have to agree with Randie. I think your reviews are great Christen, but this content feels a bit random for MSA.

    • Hi SandySue & others! Lavanila occasionally pops up in beauty and lifestyle boxes—in fact Carol mentioned below that she received one in her Target Box! Also, while such is not the case for Lavanila, many natural deodorants have a subscription option right on their website. Subscription options aside, many of our readers are interested in learning more about natural personal care products. Hopefully this context makes these reviews feel a little less random to you! Either way, thanks for reading!

  4. I like these reviews!!! I have recently felt a need to revamp my routine and change the products I use in favor of “cleaner” items. It’s made a huge difference but my education keeps evolving. Thanks for taking the time to do these.

    • Thank you for dropping a line to let me know, Karolina! I’m so pleased you’re finding these reviews helpful. 🙂

  5. I love that they have this at Target now BUT I wish they had the Sport Luxe version, which I prefer. They no longer appear to sell it at Sephora or on Dermstore either, so I think I’m going to have to buy it direct.

    • Hi! They have the sport version at Ulta. That’s where I get it 🙂

  6. I’ve been using this since I received one in a Target box. I usually use the clinical stuff, but I’m giving this a try while I am working from home. It works nicely and I rarely feel the need to reapply. Smells great too!

    • Yay! Always awesome to discover a new product in a sub box that works wonderfully for you. I’m happy for you, Carol!

  7. I just LOVE these reviews of natural deodorants. There are so many out there that it can be overwhelming, and they tend to be much more expensive than regular deodorant so it’s not practical to keep buying different ones to try. These reviews are so helpful, thank you.

    • I’m the opposite I am so over these reviews glad someone likes them. Why not review regular deodorant not everyone does naturals.

    • I appreciate you saying so, Sandra! The goal is always to be helpful!!

  8. This is the brand I currently use after trying several natural deodorants I received in subscriptions. I must preface this with the disclaimer that I am not a very sweaty person and do not need it during the winter. I put it on in the summer, but not every day. When it is going to be very hot I use it, occasionally supplementing with an additional swipe later in the day if I am gardening or going for a walk or something. I can’t comment about usage during heavy exercise.

    It works great for me and I recommend it.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Cindy! It’s really helpful to have multiple perspectives represented, and I’m glad this deodorant is working out for you. 🙂

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