You’ve probably seen Wild’s natural deodorant doing the rounds on Insta – the brand’s candy-coloured cases are seriously ‘grammable, looking as home on a beauty #shelfie as a pot of pricey moisturiser. They don’t just look good either: the holders are made from aluminum with post-consumer recycled plastic details, whilst the refills are entirely plastic-free, made using bamboo pulp which is 100% recyclable and home compostable. Offsetting is hugely important to the brand and for every deodorant sold, they contribute a percentage of sales to climate charity ‘On A Mission’.
The refills last around 4-6 weeks when used daily – Wild recommends using two swipes per armpit – and you can opt for a one-off purchase (1 case and 3 refills) for £25, a flexible subscription (1 case, 1 refill then refills every 2, 3 or 4 months for £5 each) or The Fully Monty (1 case and 5 refills). Delivery is free and the subscription is flexible.
It all sounds amazing, but the big question is, does it actually work? Natural deodorant has a rep for being less effective because it’s not an antiperspirant – it doesn’t have aluminum salts, the active ingredient that controls sweat and body odour. Instead, Wild uses tapioca starch, which absorbs moisture and keeps you dry.
A few weeks ago we both decided to take the plunge and ditch our usual go-to deodorants for Wild’s natural formula. Here’s what happened…
Shampoo bars, reusable face pads, toothpaste tablets – I’m gradually making changes towards a more sustainable beauty routine. Switching to a natural deodorant is something I’d wanted to do for a while, and Wild’s pretty packing had caught my eye on Instagram. I decided to do a shout out on Insta stories asking our followers if they’d tried it, and if so, what they thought. The responses were, let’s say, a mixed bag. Lots of you absolutely loved it and would never go back to normal deo, lots of you said it made you smell. Some of you said it stained your clothes. At the more extreme end of the review spectrum were reports of swollen armpits, blocked sweat glands and cysts.
I guess because every body is different, every body sweats differently. So what works for one person might not work for another. Wild advises that there may be a “transition period” of about two weeks when you first start using natural deodorant. This is when people feel like they smell, but it’s likely down to the old deodorant, not the new one. According to Wild, the environment of the bacteria under your arms is changing because they have been used to pore-blocking ingredients in antiperspirants, and are now exposed to ingredients that allow you to sweat. This results in an increase in odour-causing bacteria and potential increased moisture because your body is trying to flush out the toxins. Kinda like a juice cleanse for your pits.
This transition period was my main reservation. I’m not a massively sweaty person, even during high-intensity exercise, I’m never really dripping. What I am though, is a person who gets hot and bothered quite easily. Like when my toddler starts having a meltdown at the same time as the baby starts screaming. Or when I’m trying to keep up with the cashier at Aldi and there’s a massive queue behind me. The kind of situations that leave you slightly clammy and a bit sticky.
So, did Wild pass the sweat test? I’m pleased to say it did with flying colours. It saw me through a few workouts (admittedly, being 3 months postnatal my exercise sessions aren’t hugely intense), numerous toddler tantrums and a packed tube ride on a 21-degree August day. I can honestly say I didn’t feel any sweatier than I would have using my usual Sure antiperspirant, and any wetness under my arms soon dried up. I’m also pleased to report that there was no lingering smell post-swat. I made my husband do a pit sniff for a second opinion and he concurred.
Speaking of smells, Wild’s fragrances are a big selling point for me. I’m using the Jasmine & Mandarin Blossom, which is subtly floral – but not too sweet – and still detectable at the end of the day. When I’m due for a refill I fancy trying Coconut Dreams or Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt. The packaging is just as dreamy: the cases are made from anodised aluminium and recycled plastic and you can choose your colour and have it personalised.
I also loved the texture and application. The formulation is gorgeously creamy and glides on smoothly without any stickiness – it dried super-quickly too. While I was constantly (and unnecessarily) sniffing my armpits for the first couple of days, a week in and I’m not missing my usual deodorant one bit. I honestly don’t notice any difference, no matter what my day entails. I love the idea of the monthly refill subscription so that I don’t have to worry about it running out – I do this with dishwasher tablets and having them arrive through the door at the exact moment I need them has been a game-changer.
Sustainable, divine-smelling and effective on sweat: Wild, you’ve won me over.
I first heard about Wild a couple of years back when some of my favourite beauty influencers were first sharing information via their Insta accounts. I instantly dismissed it. Not for me. Or – more specifically – not for my armpits. You see, I’ve always been a sweaty girl. So much so that I spent much of my teenage years pining for underarm botox injections to stop the perspiration once and for all. My sweat never really smelt of anything other than whatever deodorant I was wearing, but bloody hell, there was a lot of it. A real joy when you’re a 15-year-old girl wearing a pale blue polo t-shirt to school each day and having to keep her arms pinned to her side in case any of the boys she fancies happens to see the giant dark blue circles forming under her armpits.
I spent the past decade or two relying heavily on the strongest antiperspirants I could find. Sure Maximum Protection has been my go-to for a long time, but with a push to be more sustainable, I decided August 2021 was the perfect time to step outside of my nicely-scented comfort zone.
My initial thoughts were that the product smelt heavenly – I had the Coconut Dreams variation and was a big fan of how subtle yet delicious it was. I applied it as the instructions said (basically how you’d apply any deodorant) and went about my day. It was about 12 hours in (and 36 hours since I’d last applied my beloved Sure) that I first got a whiff of my personal smell. It was…well, let’s just say it was, ahem, very rich. Pungent. Fragrant. Intense. I was thankful that my excellent timing meant that I was in self-isolation and no-one, aside from my boyfriend and kids, would have the pleasure of breathing in my not-so-delicate stench.
Wild themselves acknowledge that it can take a few weeks for your body to acclimatise to the switch to a natural deodorant, so I was mentally prepared for the challenge.
But just three days in, whilst painting an outside wall in the blistering lunchtime heat (a very comfortable twenty degree celsius), I caught myself sniffing my armpits and much to my delight, there was nothing to be smelt. They were completely odour-free.
A few days later (and now out of self-isolation, praise be), I went to a particularly intense yoga class, and on returning home made my boyfriend smell me. He too said I smelt of absolutely nothing. NOTHING!
It’s been a few weeks now and for the most part, Wild has absolutely worked for me and I’m beyond shocked by it. I had always assumed I’d fallen into the small percentage of women who were just too sweaty for natural deodorants (so sweaty in fact that I still remember a boy from uni hugging me in a club and literally recoiling in horror at the perspiration dripping off my back). I did notice a slight smell the other day, but will put it down to wearing an old pit-stained t-shirt.
I’m excited to continue on my new deodorant journey, but mostly I’m excited to check out which scents to try next…
You can find out more about Wild and the products they offer via their website.
Disclaimer: we were both sent PR samples of Wild deodorant to try.