Tom’s of Maine’s Natural Deodorant: To Stink or Not to Stink?


Not too long ago, I wrote about my favorite natural deodorants. I was lucky enough to test out the best of the natural and/or organic sprays, the roll-ons, and the sticks that the world has to offer. Some deodorants worked harder than an actress pretending she hasn’t injected her 40-something face with so many fillers that she looks like she’s about to float away. (Don’t speak Hollywood? In other words – badly and without success.) Other deodorants worked great – as long as you remained motionless into a climate-controlled environment, only daring to move your eyeballs. And the purveyor of some not-so-great deodorants? They came from the old toothpaste-standby: Tom’s of Maine.

Don’t get me wrong. Tom’s of Maine is a fantastic company, with certifications ranging from Peta-approval to an endorsement from the American Dental Association. They have a vigilant company-wide policy of recycling and they are 100 percent transparent. But their deodorant? It’s never worked for me. Nor for friends. Nor for my mail carrier – I suppose, if I were to ask her.

But my lack of luck with Tom’s of Maine changed one warm winter’s day in southern California. I was attending a natural products expo when one of TOMs reps handed me a sample of their latest deodorant, Crystal Confidence. This product promised to rid its wearer of an unfortunate body smell while remaining natural and less toxic than other brands.


The TOMs rep even winked that Crystal Confidence would stop wetness, something no organic or natural deodorant I know of has ever been able to do. And for good reason: anti-perspirants contain aluminum zirconium, which some link to Alzheimer’s Disease. And when it is not possibly messing with your brain, it prevents you from sweating – something you’re supposed to do. While I’m not a fan of the sticky underarms, it is hard to argue with evolution. No truly natural or organic product would contain aluminum zirconium. I was skeptical – what next, lasting organic lipstick? But I decided to try it out for myself.

Crystal Confidence had a nice, citrus smell that was pleasant enough. And it does work. Does it cure wetness? No, not at all. However, I was unable to find any evidence that it claims to do so on their web site, so perhaps I imagined this declaration from the TOMs rep. However, I did remain stinky free. And this is fairly significant in the world of natural deodorants.

Tom’s of Maine has a lot to say about Crystal Confidence. According to TOMs, “the antimicrobial actions of potassium alum and zinc citrate mineral salts fight odor.” (Check!) “It is long-lasting 100 percent natural and organic fragrances.” (Seems so!) “Goes on clear with no white residue” (Yes, it does!) Further, it “contains natural benzoic acid preservative. No parabens, phenoxyethanol, or propylene glycol.” (I am taking your word for it, TOMs.) To which I say – well done, Tom’s of Maine! You are finally out of the stink zone.

Finally, want to make your own deodorant? Here’s a cool recipe which will help you do just that.

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10 thoughts on “Tom’s of Maine’s Natural Deodorant: To Stink or Not to Stink?

  1. I tried TOM’s regular deodorant a while back and used it for two or three days in a row before I decided it was just not going to cut it for me. I’m still using mainstream antipersperant. :-( I know I should switch over, but I’m really hesitant, considering I already have one stick of unused deodorant just taking up space in my bathroom cabinet. I do love their toothpaste, though. I’ve heard others say that a bit of baking soda does the trick just fine. Anyone else have experience with that?

  2. Pingback: What is the best deodorant for men so they don't smell bad?!?!? | Sensitive Skin Deodorant

  3. I recently ordered the Crystal Confidence after trying literally everything (Weleda, Jason, regular Tom’s, you name it). I guess I’m just a stinky one, and with so many natural deodorants things actually seemed worse than if I just went without anything. This actually worked quite well – enough that I will keep using it. Finally!

    Naomi, I think I’ll try your remedy, too!

    As for selling out…it’s a totally valid stance, although my personal opinion is that it’s actually great when a company “sells out”. The more famous natural brands get, the more mainstream they get, and the more everyone goes green. But I fall squarely in the imperfect-is-better-than-nothing camp. ;)

  4. Yeah, unfortunately I’m still stinky after using Tom’s of Maine. The other problem I have is the tubes always break off. I had only been using the deodorant for a week and hardly had it rolled up when the top piece just fell off! I hate being wasteful, so I literally tried rolling the piece onto my armpit (sorry about the visual :) )

  5. I think Tom’s of Maine has been doing some great stuff in the natural product market. I am interested in trying the Crystal Confidence. But as a avid natural product user I have become skeptic of whether the product is actually natural, as so many companies and products these days partake in greenwashing.

    I think crystal deodorants work great, but the fact remains that some are made from naturally occurring potassium alum and others are made from synthetically manufactured potassium alum which is made by synthesizing aluminium hydroxide (ATH) with acid and by adding potassium sulfate. Not to say I don’t trust Tom’s but as the term natural remains completely unregulated, I need to stay a skeptic.

    Here are some interesting photos comparing natural and synthetic crystal deodorants:

  6. I am a diy deodorant convert: six parts corn starch to one part baking soda. Add in whatever essential oils you’d like. If you want a cream, mix in some jojoba oil.

  7. Verrrrry interesting. I didn’t have luck w/Tom’s deodorant either, and only moderate ‘success’ with Jason’s. So far the only one that had really worked was my Origins Organic, ‘cept it’s $15 a pop. :-o Yes, for deodorant, lol!

    Anyway, hearing ’bout this new development, I’ll check out Tom’s again. Thanks! :D

  8. Contrary to what you have experienced:
    I have been using Tom’s of Maine unscented deodorant for over 5 years now, and I haven’t had any issues with odor. It works for me, and it has through my NYC walking for blocks in the summer humidity, my 5 hour dance training sessions, and the California sunshine. I am glad to have found this product and I will continue to use it.

    I use Dr. Bronners as my body wash, and I use Nature’s Gate shampoo and conditioner. I also use Kiss My Face Olive Oil and Aloe lotion. A combined effort to open pores, thus odor elimination, that works for me!


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