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Natural deodorants don't typically work for me. In my experience, they usually have an unofficial "learning curve" during which my body adjusts to their less-than-stellar formulas that don’t keep up with my lifestyle — from marking my clothes to undesirable reactions to my sensitive skin. Perhaps it's from years of using an antiperspirant or whatever random deodorant I grabbed during a last-minute drugstore run. Unfortunately, those other natural deodorants leave me smelling, well, not so fresh and so clean clean. Or even more embarrassing: They transfer onto both my light and dark clothing, leaving behind unsightly white marks. Of course, not all natural deodorants are lackluster — I just find the ones that I’ve bought and tested over the years have generally similar issues, and I was ready to try something new. Tired of just-okay deodorants on the market that I simply found underwhelming, I decided to splurge $20 on a Nécessaire offering, a single stick of its eucalyptus deodorant.
Why am I a fan of Nécessaire's deodorant? Arguably the two most crucial reasons to swipe deodorant on are so you don't smell and to avoid feeling like a sweaty mess. Sure, the muted green container makes for a nice, carefully curated beauty shot for your Insta feed. Still, after I twisted the base, I was concerned: It was a pale, green-tinted creamy formula that I just knew would ruin my wardrobe — I'm very much used to solids and, to a lesser extent, roll-ons and spray deodorants. After patch testing the deo on my hand, I was impressed by how the lightweight, whipped texture blended into my skin with ease.
I proceeded to swipe it onto my armpits and went about my day, odor- and stain-free. Since I began using Nécessaire’s deodorant in February 2020, I find each tube lasts me about three months when applied in the morning and evening, so the cost per use is worth it for me. Plus, it’s been keeping me feeling fresh while walking, jogging, brunching, attending concerts (remember those?) or dancing around my living room when I have the apartment to myself.
I first learned about Nécessaire because Nick Axelrod, co-founder of Into The Gloss (ITG), teamed up with Randi Christiansen, a former exec at Estée Lauder Companies, to launch the brand. As an early fan of ITG, I was curious about Axelrod’s newest beauty venture. Plus, Nécessaire has received plenty of social media love since launching. I’ve spotted their products while scrolling through the explore page of my Instagram feed and in carefully curated medicine cabinet shelfies from my beauty editor friends. Securing Nécessaire’s deodorant wasn't easy for me, either, given their products often sell out quickly. When the brand launched in 2018, I could only purchase through their site and they had a limited stock of products and would subsequently sell out whenever I was shopping for a new deodorant. When Nécessaire finally landed at Nordstrom in 2019, they sold out before I could check out. Thankfully, the brand is now carried by ultra-luxe Violet Grey, recently launched at Sephora and you can also snag their array of body care products on Goop.
Why Nécessaire products?
Nécessaire's eucalyptus-scented offering checks boxes I didn't even realize I would want in a deodorant:
Nécessaire products smells great
Nécessaire skin care packs quality ingredients
Despite spending the last four years covering the beauty industry, I was a bit surprised — and honestly impressed— that Nécessaire’s deodorant features effective skin care ingredients. Typically, I find deodorants and antiperspirants contain parabens and synthetic fragrances. Some antiperspirants also contain triclosan, an ingredient with antibacterial properties. In 2016, the FDA ruled to remove triclosan from antibacterial soaps. A 2017 peer-reviewed report in the National Library of Medicine, citing multiple studies, showed triclosan can be absorbed by humans. Triclosan can still be found in some mouthwashes, hand sanitizers and surgical soaps, according to the report.
However, Nécessaire uses high quality ingredients that are pH-balanced. Lactic and mandelic acids, which are classified as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), for example, help neutralize odor. Rita Linker, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, recently told NBC News Shopping that lactic acid does "an amazing job of improving overall texture and tone" of your skin. Mandelic acid is a gentle AHA that plays nicely with other skin care ingredients for those dealing with hyperpigmentation or sensitive skin. Meanwhile, zinc, silica and kaolin clay helps keep your armpits dry and sweat-free, even during the summer or in between waxing appointments. Kaolin clay also happens to be the main ingredient in one of my favorite face masks, which is geared towards oily and acne-prone skin.
Nécessaire produces sustainably
While I appreciate companies for prioritizing sustainability, it wasn't something I've come to expect from most beauty brands. Nécessaire, on the other hand, says their recyclable boxes are made from 85 percent post-consumer waste — and that they work with vendors approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. The brand also claims they don't use plastic, and instead opt for bottles, jars and tubes made from undisclosed recyclable material. Nécessaire is also optimistic about a more sustainable future and claimed one of their longer-term goals is to exclusively use repurposed materials in their packaging. Additionally, the brand is climate neutral-certified, which is always a win.
Other noteworthy Nécessaire products
The deodorant isn’t the only Nécessaire product I’ve tried, and it likely won’t be the last. These five other products have become shower staples of mine over the last seven months, all because I tried Necessaire’s deodorant and subsequently gave the brand, as a whole, more consideration:
A gentle-yet-effective body wash you can rely on is the foundation for the rest of your body care routine. Nécessaire’s version has become one of my go-tos, especially after a long day of work. There’s something instantly refreshing and spa-like about soaping up in a sandalwood-scented body wash. While I love a good foaming body wash — my number one recommendation is Rituals of Dao foaming shower gel — I’m genuinely into Nécessaire’s body wash. So much so, in fact, that after using their product for the fourth time, I decided to order a Eucalyptus version to add to my growing collection. Nécessaire also offers a Fragrance-Free body wash if you’re not into scents.
If there’s one body product I’ll never skimp splurging on, it’s a good exfoliator. Bamboo charcoal and pumice — they are so finely ground up, I initially thought they were black pepper — are physical exfoliators that help buff away dull, dry skin. There are AHAs —lactic and glycolic acids — plus salicylic acid, which is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), typically used in acne-prone skin care products. The gel-like body scrub also features marula oil to help soften my skin. It’s available in three scents: Eucalyptus, Sandalwood and Fragrance-Free.
I never thought I’d be into a body serum, until I tried Nécessaire’s Fragrance-Free version. It contains one of my favorite skin care ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, which provides hydration to your skin. There’s also Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), Vitamin B5 and ceramide NP, which together help keep your skin supple. There are two ways you can use the serum: Mix with your favorite body lotion to help boost moisture or layer the body serum before your body lotion. Personally, I like massaging this serum and then applying my body lotion of choice afterward. I find the body serum calms any redness of my skin, when I take a long, hot shower.
Beauty-wise, there’s nothing more annoying than having sticky skin after applying your body lotion or cream. Nécessaire’s lotion is lightweight and absorbs quickly, so you won’t have to worry about feeling sticky post-shower. Similar to the body serum, you have an unscented, fragrance-free moisturizer with Vitamin B3. However, there are additional skin-beneficial ingredients, including: Vitamin A, for anti-aging effects; Vitamin C for brightening; Vitamin E for nourishing and protecting the skin from free radicals, as well as Omega fatty acids for hydration.
Like you, I’ve also been liberally applying hand sanitizer that meets CDC guidance. The only problem? The palms of my hands have become dry and cracked. While using a moisturizing hand sanitizer, such as Touchland’s Power Mist, helps, I much rather apply a hydrating lotion instead. Enter Nécessaire’s latest product, a vitamin-infused and fragrance-free hand cream. While I prefer body products with scents, the unscented version works just fine and doesn’t overpower the Skylar or Parfums de Marly fragrances I spritz onto my inner wrists. More importantly, it features Vitamin B3 or niacinamide, which helps retain moisture, Vitamin C, which has a brightening effect, and Vitamin E, which is rich in antioxidants and helps hydrate dry hands. There are also Omega fatty acids, which help surge skin with extra moisture.