Two organic/ natural deodorants that actually work. Scented vs. unscented, refillable plastic jar vs. recyclable cardboard packaging: both will get you through summer, but – who wins?
I love both products for different reasons that you’re about to find out now.
This comparison is designed to help you understand different formulas and to determine which might work best for you, your lifestyle, your style and habits.
Aluminium-free, organic deodorants come in different forms.
There are the alcohol-based deo sprays; the roll-ons; there are glycerin-based sticks; there are the “crystals” (mineral deodorant) and then there’s a whole slew of coconut oil and sodium bicarbonate based creams and sticks. Some product examples? Sure!
Deo sprays with alcohol: Farfalla Mandarine Deo Spray, Sante Homme Deospray Bio-Aloe.
Roll-ons: Susanne Kaufmann Deostick, Weleda MEN 24h Deo Roll-on.
Glycerin-based sticks: Eco Cosmetics Deo-Stick Olive & Malve.
Baking soda-based creams: i+m Deo Creme, We love the planet Deodorant Cream range, Soapwalla Deodorant Creme.
Baking soda-based sticks: Schmidt’s range.
We choose our deodorants depending on personal preferences and needs; there is no cookie-cutter perfect deo for all of us out there. Most natural or organic sprays and roll-ons are efficient on colder days: all they do is basically cover up the undesired smell or, in some cases, try and fight bacteria causing it by using, as an example, essential oils with antibacterial properties. Baking soda and coconut-based creams are the most efficient formulas as far as green and clean beauty goes, and come in a variety of textures (from oily to solid). They’re also a great DIY subject for those who are crafty; and many brands established on the market today started out in a kitchen. However, some of these formulas could be quite grainy and dry in the past, thus irritating the sensitive armpits – or they would be too oily and stain your clothes.
These times are gone, at least when it comes to our today’s contenders. Both brands, Fine and Ponyhütchen can be referred to as deodorant experts.
NEW FINE DEO & REFORMULATED
PONYHÜTCHEN DEO CREAMS IN
TRUSTED BRANDS’ BEAUTY NEWS
How are the products in this “product battle” rated?
Basically, any great feat earns points. For example, vegetarian-friendly earns the product one point, vegan-friendly earns two for obvious reasons. Great texture? Another point.
Good value for money, sustainable packaging, organic certifications? Yet another, and another, and another. I suppose you get the idea 😉
The price is the hardest one to rate, so I usually try to determine an average price for similar products.
The two new products we’re comparing today are:
1. Limited Edition Stick FINE x Foxycheeks ‘Minty Something’ *
2. Ponyhütchen Deo Creme ’Pretty & Pure’ *
First appearance in:
Tried & Trusted Brands’ Beauty News
* Disclaimer: even though I buy from both brands, both new products reviewed here are PR samples.
PR samples are products writers receive for their work (unconditionally!) when new products are launched – just like beauty editors, we bloggers can’t be expected to buy everything we like to review (it’s also rather unsustainable; that’s why I ask brands and agencies to get in touch first before sending any actual products).
Limited Edition Stick
FINE x Foxycheeks
Leaving no white stains in your armpits (as some baking soda-based deo creams can), this limited edition stick comes in a recyclable cardboard tube. As there is no threaded mechanism, you can move the stick out by simply pushing the cardboard “bullet” upwards inside the tube. The product has a plesant melt – good for a gentle application – and has a sweet, fresh scent of peppermint.
50 g, €37.
INGREDIENTS: Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter*, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Cocos Nucifera Oil*, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera, Kaolin, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera, Parfum, Citral**, Geraniol**, Linalool**, Limonene**.
* Certified organic, ** from 100% natural essential oils.
+ Made with certified organic ingredients and non-toxic actives
+ Particularly soft, skin-soothing formula
+ Efficient formula, active for up to 24 h and more, depending on activity levels and temperature
+ No white or oily residue whatsoever when appropriately applied
+ Fully recyclable packaging (caveat: over time, the oil impermeates the cardboard – so wouldn’t recommend putting it into your travel beauty bag without added protection)
+ Ease of application for those who can’t be bothered with spatulas…
– …at least until the deodorant is almost empty, this is when the cardboard bullet inside starts to wiggle annoyingly
– Glycerin (potentially PKO derived) and perfume are not marked as organic
o Price point.
On average, cream deo sticks retail at a price span of €7–16 for 60–90 grams of product. Now, Fine Deodorant position themselves as premium and they have certainly put a lot of effort into creating a healthy value chain: the main product line is made and bottled in a Munich-based lab, the brown glass jars are the reusable textile bags that carry each Fine deo are ethically made in India and Cambodia. I don’t think it’s fair to substract a point however.
And even though healthy deodorants don’t have to cost a lot today, I would argue that Fine’s major USP has always been a fabulous, unisex scent – and compared to conventional scented deodorants, €37 seem pretty much commonplace.
BATTLE SCORE: 7 points
Minus 2 points for the mystery ingredients glycerin and perfume; for the instability of the packaging at the end of life cycle.
BATTLE SCORE: 5 points
Pretty & Pure
Ponyhütchen are known in Germany, Austria and their homebase Switzerland for a playful, upbeat take on natural skincare. Their deo creme was one of their most coveted products for a clean formulation and a slew of fancy fragrances with cute names, but unfortunately it had the tendency of becoming very runny on hot summer days (and never getting back to cream texture afterwards). This was promised to be fixed with the new and improved formula, launched early in 2018.
50 ml, approx. €12.
INGREDIENTS: Zea Mays Starch*, Cocos Nucifera*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Butyrospermum Parkii*, CI 77947, Brassica Campestris Oleifera oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Kaolin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil.
* Certified organic.
+ Made with certified organic ingredients and non-toxic actives
+ Gets a 100% green approval rating on Codecheck
+ Efficient formula, active for 24 h or more
+ The new, “dryer” formula leaves no white or oily residue and yes, it doesn’t melt at +26°C anymore!
o No questionnable ingredients at all. No point though?
No, because of its siblings, some of the scented versions. Fragrance is always a “black box” ingredient and can contain allergens and toxins. This is the reason the otherwise super clean formula on ‘Pretty & Pure’ doesn’t yield any point here. The Deo Cremes are avail in unscented (‘Pretty & Pure’) as well as in 9 scented versions.
By the way, ‘Pretty & Pure’, although made without added fragrance, has a faint, subtle but very pleasant sweet and nutty smell of coconut.
+ Renewed packaging is designed for refills.
Caveat: Ponyhütchen haven’t figured out yet how to do that properly (one can imagine how complex it must be in order to provide a sustainable, eco-friendly and manageable solution!) – instead, they ask customers to keep the jars and to stay tuned.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2018: here’s the German-language guide on how to proceed with your Ponyhütchen empties.
o Price point: price is average for a deodorant cream (cream jars prices go from €6–16), so no added point here.
BATTLE SCORE: 6 points
Product Battle Summary:
Updated Score 5:6
What’s interesting to see is how far we’ve come from the first “green and clean” deodorant creams, from runny and homemade but safe to use – to safe to use while luxurious and reliable. Today’s organic/ natural deodorants provide as much protection from body odour as conventional anti-persprants, just with no side effects and with an increasingly more nature-friendly packaging.
Both evaluations show how different the approach to texture, scent, packaging and so on can be with one product as simple as a deodorant. Both evaluations might be updated if due, for example, Fine may share some information on perfume and glycerin used in their formula; or Ponyhütchen may finally launch their refill programme.
What’s interesting to see is how Fine – upscale, fragrance-lover oriented – and Ponyhütchen – fun and affordable – cater to the needs of different types of natural skincare consumers. In fact, they cater to the needs of different types of any skincare consumer, and that’s so fascinating and exciting: Green beauty is about to go mainstream. Just not via a few big players who dominate the market and define their own flavour of “green” but via many, many independent labels creating a rich scene with a strong focus on collaboration, transparency, and ethics.
Just look where we went from a deodorant review. Every choice matters, right?