My Type:A Deodorant Review
This Cream Deodorant Is Gentle But Powerful
- The innovative applicator makes application a dream.
- Rubs in easily and doesn't leave residue.
- Fantastic nature-inspired scents that don't smell artificial.
- Not a fully natural deodorant—their formula includes some synthetic ingredients.
- Not an antiperspirant, which is common for natural deodorants.
When it comes to cream deodorant, I've experienced the good, bad, and ugly*. So I went into trying Type:A deodorant feeling completely neutral. I quickly found myself really liking the whole Type:A experience: great scent, easy application, and it worked better than some other aluminum-free deodorants I've tried.
Not long ago, I went on a natural deodorant testing saga. During that time I was introduced to many new-to-me clean deodorant brands that I would begin to encounter over and over between being served ads on all my social accounts and reading suggestions from our readers. Surprisingly, Type:A only came up once. It was mentioned by a commenter (hi, K!) who said they may still be on their natural deodorant journey if they hadn't found Type:A. I also had a vague memory of Marne receiving this deodorant in a limited edition Birchbox box and giving it a thumbs up. I wondered why, with only positive feedback (albeit a small sample size), Type:A didn't pop up for me more.
As it turns out, Type:A actually doesn't consider itself a true natural deodorant. This deodorant is non-toxic and it does count on some active natural ingredients in its formula, but the company also uses some safe synthetic ingredients, prioritizing safety and efficacy over "natural" for the sake of better performance. I am comfortable with this! While I value naturally derived ingredients in my personal care products, I also have great respect and admiration for the individuals out there who are using science for good. And I'm a very willing participant in the use of products created by brands who are transparent about how and why they make the decisions they make.
On top of feeling good about the Type:A brand, I also found I really like the product. You're most likely here to hear about the details of the deodorant itself (though, I could muse forever, let me tell you), so read on for the good stuff!
*I mentioned my mixed bag of experiences with cream deodorant in the intro at the top of this review. I figure it would be helpful to outline them here. The good = Little Seed Farm's free samples really impressed me for the short length of time that they lasted. The bad = Lume really didn't work well for my body and I didn't love the anecdotal reports they try to pass off as science. The ugly = Schmidt's jar deodorant smelled blissful but gave me a horrible rash (in retrospect it was probably a reaction to the baking soda in their jar formula; their stick deodorant worked better for me).
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Type:A Deodorant Quick Facts
- $9.99 for a one-time purchase + $3.95 flat rate US shipping. (With the exception of The Innovator, which is $10.99)
- $18.98 + free shipping when you subscribe to receive 2 new tubes every 4 months, 6 months, or 8 months. (This saves you 5% and breaks down to $9.49 per tube)
- Ships to the US for $3.95.
- Ships to Canada and Australia at varying rates, calculated at checkout.
- Free shipping discounts and promotions only apply to US orders.
- Free returns on all orders.
2.82 oz. cream deodorant in a squeeze tube with an applicator.
- Currently switching to a soy-free formula; currently, soy-free tubes are available upon request.
- Carbon-free certified brand
- Certified B Corporation™
- The Innovator (Fresh Rain + Bergamot)
- The Visionary (Crisp Citron)
- The Dreamer (Floral Linen)
- The Achiever (Ocean Mint)
- The Adventurer (Evergreen Forest)
- The Maverick (Modern Spice)
- The Minimalist (Fragrance Free)
Ingredients for The Minimalist (their unscented option), which is the base formula for all Type:A deodorants:
Diisopropyl adipate, Glycerin, Beeswax, Dimethicone, Heptyl undecylenate, Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot powder), Sorbitan oleate, Zea mays (corn) starch, Copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, Triethyl citrate, Glyceryl stearate, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Tapioca starch, Bisabolol, Water, Silver chloride, Titanium dioxide, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract, and Zinc citrate.
The Adventurer contains all of the above, plus the following essential oils:
Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar) leaf oil, Thuja plicata (western red cedar) wood oil, Abies sibirica (siberian fir) oil, Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) leaf oil, Pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil, Lavandula hybrida (lavandin) oil, Canarium luzonicum (elemi) gum nonvolatiles, Raspberry ketone, and Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil.
For ingredient information on the rest of the scents, as well as explanations on the function each of the above ingredients plays, visit this ingredients page.
My Type:A Deodorant Review
The Promise: "It glides on soft and smooth, and won't irritate your skin like other natural deodorants made with baking soda."
The Reality: It's true! It glides on soft and smooth, and didn't irritate my skin.
Usually I have a lot to say about pretty much everything, but in this case it's pretty simple: this deodorant feels great!
Okay, maybe I do have more to say. My negative past experiences with cream deodorant were not-great for different reasons. In the case of Schmidt's jar deodorant, I blame the baking soda for irritating my underarms in the itchiest, rashiest, worst of ways. Type:A also contains baking soda, but as they outline in this blog post, they simply use less of it. Indeed, Type:A is smooth and non-irritating.
In the case of Lume, it was a wetness issue. I learned that I have zero patience for waiting for my armpits to dry—before I even had the chance to start sweating no less. Type:A's consistency is less like a lotion and more like a cream that swipes on nicely and rubs in easily with its rounded-top applicator. It's a comfortable application experience, and, best of all, it only takes about 5 seconds per armpit. Then you can move on with your day.
The Promise: "A brisk scent of white cedarwood, fir tree and peppermint."
The Reality: Like bathing in pine needles, which, in my case, is always the goal. A++.
This scent is the be-all, end-all for those of us who like to beeline it straight to the center of the closest forest at every opportunity. The evergreen scent of The Adventurer deodorant is my happy place in the same way that bliss is achieved at the soul level when I'm in the quietest parts of nature. This fragrance is courtesy of a whole slew of essential oils.* I'll note that I actually don't pick up on the peppermint notes that are mentioned for this scent, but I'm glad it's in there, because it's contributing to a fantastic outcome. Some may consider it a traditionally men's scent, but I find it perfectly genderless in the same way that nature itself is for everyone. I felt the smell was available but not overpowering when I first applied my deodorant in the morning, and faded throughout the day but not entirely.
*Essential oils are another ingredient that may be a skin irritant to some.
The Odor Protection
The Promise: "Our exclusive sweat-activated formula delivers long-lasting odor protection."
The Reality: The odor protection wasn't entirely flawless, but it got me through the day.
As a user of exclusively natural (or natural-ish) deodorants, I apply deodorant with the wish for it to protect my underarms against odor with some reliability, but the expectation that my personal scent may make itself known at some point throughout the day. Especially on high-exertion days. That's how Type:A went for me. I did reapply here and there if I was about to head out for a hike or to run the rare errand on a 90 degree day, but for the most part the deodorant I applied in the morning did the trick.
What's the deal with this sweat-activated formula? Here's how it's explained in Type:A's FAQ:
"Type:A is a glycerin-based formula. When glycerin comes into contact with moisture, it sucks it up like a sponge. Plus, glycerin helps your skin stay soft and smooth.
Suspended in the glycerin is a complex of ingredients - zinc, arrowroot powder, silver, low levels of baking soda and more - that prevent odor and keep you feeling fresh. These active ingredients are released little by little, each time you sweat, mimicking a time-release effect."
Other Type:A Scents I've Tried
I was given the opportunity to try multiple Type:A scents. While the evergreen smell of The Adventurer was easily my favorite, I actually really liked all three scents that I used. I believe all three to be gender neutral.
The Innovator is a bergamot-citrus scent with charcoal and spirulina added in to super-charge the odor protection. I think of charcoal as a gritty ingredient, but it glided on just as smoothly as the others, and I personally didn't detect longer-lasting odor protection but that may simply come down to how my body chemistry did or didn't react to those ingredients. The citrus notes are faint in this scent. It reads as perhaps the most traditionally male scent of the three I tried, giving off a somewhat cologne-like vibe, but I enjoyed it for myself. This scent is $10.99, whereas all the others cost $9.99.
The Visionary has a brighter scent with a "crisp, clean smell of citrus and herbal notes." I'd say that's an accurate description. It was pleasant and uplifting, yet still somewhat neutral.
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.
Type:A is not an antiperspirant. It's aluminum-free, making it a great choice for those looking for clean beauty and personal care options, but it will not stop you from sweating. Type:A's sweat-activated technology actually relies on some underarm moisture to activate its odor control!
What is an "Armpit Detox?" Transitioning to Natural Deodorant
You may have heard or read about the 2-4 week transition period that's not unusual when switching from an antiperspirant to an aluminum-free deodorant. Some sources call this period an "armpit detox," which sounds a bit intimidating, 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. Once it's over, some folks say they sweat less overall, and I agree with this sentiment.
Here are a few tips for getting through the switch:
- Research your options before choosing a natural deodorant. While Type:A contains some common irritants like baking soda and essential oils, it is designed to be gentle and irritation-free, and after giving it a try, I think it could be a good choice for first-timers.
- Bring your new natural deodorant along for a little—carry it in your purse or work bag so you can apply an extra swipe 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, remember, this too shall pass.
- 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.
Here's an additional suggestion from Type:A:
"To help the detox along, you may want to try a charcoal or clay mask under your arms, or a mild acid-based facial toner, and giving your skin a little extra love with some extra virgin coconut oil or Manuka honey as an overnight treatment."
Shipping, Returns, & More
Placing Your Order
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Shipping & Tracking
Shipping costs a flat fee of $3.95 for US customers, unless you subscribe, in which case shipping is free. For Canadian and Australian customers, shipping fees are calculated during checkout based on your exact location.
Try Type:A for Yourself
Do you have experience with cream deodorants? Curious about trying this one? Buy Type:A deodorant here. And, let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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