Mood-Enhancing Deodorant: Total Game-Changer or Total B.S.?
Meet mindalt: The all-natural deodorant that wants to elevate your mood, one rollerball at a time. It comes in four different scents that promise more mindfulness, more energy, more focus and less anxiety (raise your hand if you could use a little of each right now). Per the brand, it uses the science behind essential oils and aromachology to back up its claims. But can a tube full of bergamot, lavender and vetiver really reduce your anxiety and keep you from sweating through that 3 p.m. Zoom call? And how does aromachology differ from aromatherapy?
Put plainly, essential oils are concentrated extractions of oils from plants. For centuries, they’ve been used in aromatherapy techniques to aid in natural therapeutic treatments due to their targeted and potent effects on our integumentary (skin) and nervous systems. Many studies have proven the mood-boosting effects of essential oils, and others have shown the antimicrobial properties they have against pathogenic bacteria (which, by the way, is all body odor is: Bacteria breaking down the proteins on your skin into smelly, smelly acids). These scientific findings are the foundation of aromachology, which is just a research-backed branch of aromatherapy that examines how a certain scent triggers a psychological response in the body, rather than its therapeutic applications. But is it really possible to neutralize B.O. while increasing your concentration and alertness? Mindalt seems to think so.
“All of our products have four times the essential oils you’ll find in most, if not all, deodorants. This is what makes them effective mood boosters.” And as for the sweat-stopping, stink-eliminating qualities we all look for in an antiperspirant: “We added not one but five natural ingredients,” the website says, like witch hazel, silica and bergamot fruit oil, “to attack sweat from different angles, from reducing pore size to wicking away moisture and absorbing wetness.” In addition to a unique blend of antimicrobial essential oils, each deodorant also contains specialized ingredients to help keep odor at bay, including citric acid and glycerin.
Seems like they thought of everything, no? But is mood-enhancing deodorant a total game-changer or...too good to be true? We had four PureWow editors volunteer their pits as tribute. Here are their honest thoughts on scent, effectiveness and mood-boosting abilities.
1. The Scents
Overall, we couldn’t get enough of these essential-oil-rich blends. Each one was uniquely layered and multi-dimensional, from the first swipe to the very last. Here’s what we had to say:
More Mindful (lemongrass, basil, cedarwood)
Abby Hepworth, Editor
“I loved it!” Hepworth says. “It was so refreshing and I smiled every time I caught a whiff of it. The scent itself was a real mood booster, even if I’m skeptical of how it might affect my mindfulness.”
Less Anxiety (lavender, clary sage, vetiver)
Michaela Magliochetti, Social Editor
“With other deodorants, I'll only catch some of the fragrance when first applying it or lifting up my arms,” Magliochetti admits. “With this deodorant, I felt like I could smell it around me throughout the day—which was great because I really enjoyed the scent! I was worried about it being too warm and floral (with ingredients like jasmine, tonka bean and sandalwood), but the grapefruit added a nice hint of citrus to balance it out."
More Focus (cedarwood, eucalyptus, geranium)
Candace Braun Davison, Executive Editor
“I loved this scent to a degree I didn't anticipate,” Davison admits. “It seemed to combine so many essential oils that I thought the scent would be muddled, but it was layered, crisp and refreshing, with just a hint of fruitiness. The bergamot, eucalyptus and cedarwood really came through, reminding me of walking through a citrus grove right after it rains.” That high quantity of essential oils Davison mentions is actually one thing that sets mindalt apart. Through testing, they found that when every ingredient is natural, more really is better. That’s why they’re made with four times more essential oils than other natural options.
More Energy (lemon, bergamot, sage)
Catrina Yohay (me), Managing Editor
At first, I was thrown by how bold and intense the “more energy” deodorant was. My previous go-to was a simple fragrance-free cream, so the combination of lemon, sandalwood and sage was a bit of a shock to my system. But after rolling it on, I loved how subtle the fragrance became, like a puff of perfume that surprised me every time I moved around. I soon began itching for a whiff, daydreaming about the sweet, light lemon and craving the cool, earthy sage. I found myself sneaking sniffs straight from the bottle, trying to uncover each layer while noticing how the scent felt in my body. Even now, it’s hard for me to describe (but of course, I’ll try): Like a sun-drenched field of lemon trees at dawn, soil freshly turned, leaves still wet from the early morning’s dew.
2. The Effectiveness
Prose-inducing scents aside, a deodorant is only as useful as it is effective. On a scale of 0 to 10, here’s how mindalt faired with our stressed-out, sweaty underarms:
More Mindful: 6/10
“I'd give it a 6 out of 10,” Hepworth says, “but this might be related to the fact that my regular deodorant is not a natural deodorant and I've heard there is a transition period you need to wade through if you're switching from one to the other.” This transition period is also often referred to as the armpit detox period, which occurs when you switch from a conventional deodorant to an all-natural brand and can last anywhere from two to four weeks. The sudden swap of ingredients may make your underarms smell a bit funkier than usual as your skin’s pH begins to balance itself out.
Less Anxiety: 8/10
“Since the main focus of this deodorant is its mood-altering qualities, I assumed it wouldn't be as effective at sweat and odor protection,” Magliochetti admits. “I was pleasantly surprised at how well it held up throughout the day. I usually use Schmidt's and I've found this formula neutralized odor just as well (which is my main concern when selecting deodorant since I don't sweat as much). The rollerball made the product easy to apply and it dried quickly after rolling on.”
More Focus: 8/10
“The only time I felt the need to reapply was when I wanted another dose of the scent itself,” Davison says. “I didn't feel sweaty or stinky, though admittedly, I haven't been super active while using it, beyond my usual yoga classes. My one issue is the liquid-like state when you first roll it on—that damp feeling goes away quickly, but it takes some getting used to. All in all, it's abilities to relieve sweat seemed on par with my usual brand—Schmidt's—though it did seem a bit more effective at preventing an odor. (Sometimes I need to reapply mid-day with my go-to brand.)”
More Energy: 9/10
Luckily, I’ve been using an all-natural deodorant for over a year, so my skin needed no adjustment to make the switch. But similar to Davison, I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture. The roller-ball made it super easy to apply, but the product was wet on contact and took some awkward arm flapping to fully dry before I felt comfortable going about my day. Damp pits aside, I was thoroughly impressed by how well this deodorant blocked sweat and neutralized odor. Even after a long day at work and an intense HIIT workout, I still smelled like I had just stepped out of an apothecary, with minimal sweat stains and not a hint of B.O. It worked better than my current clean option and has taken top spot on my vanity until further notice.
3. The Moody Verdict
So, can a deodorant really change our mood for the better? The results were...conclusively inconclusive. But one thing we can confirm? The proof is in the perfume.
More Mindful: “Honestly, I found myself taking hits of my deodorant like it was a vial of essential oils just to boost my mood or feel refreshed,” Hepworth admits. “I'm not entirely sure it was all that helpful in boosting my mindfulness, but I will say it was a glorious scent, not too powerful but not too timid, and even though I've gone back to using my original deodorant, I still open the bottle just to smell it decently often. (And really, is this all that different from lighting up a scented candle or a diffuser?)”
Less Anxiety: “I can't say I noticed the deodorant affecting my mood,” Magliochetti says. “The scent, however, is really calming so I can see how getting whiffs of it throughout the day might put your mind at ease.”
More Focus: “I'll be honest,” shares Davison, “I didn't notice a difference in my ability to focus while using the deodorant. It was refreshing though and made me feel centered and ready to take on the day as I applied it.”
More Energy: Am I crazy if I said I did feel a bit more energized post application? Nothing groundbreaking and I will admit that the feeling faded along with the scent, but on days when I forgot to apply or grabbed my old version to compare, it felt like my morning was missing something, like I hadn’t sufficiently started my day. Maybe it’s my need for a routine, maybe it’s the sandalwood; either way, I can honestly say it did make me feel more positive and alert.
Though the jury’s still out on exactly how “mood-enhancing” mindalt is, there’s no arguing with the science of smell. Multiple studies have proven that aromatherapy can have a positive impact on our moods and emotions, from alleviating depressive symptoms to reducing anxiety. And who are we to poo-poo a product that provides two services for the price of one? The mental and physical benefits of essential oils combined with the stink-stopping powers of a great aluminum-free deodorant? We’re feeling better already.