Oars + Alps Review: Do Natural Deodorants Work?

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William Barton Avatar by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Oct 02, 2020
Oars and Alps review full skincare system for men

The last natural deodorant you tried made you smell like a donkey-stable. Defeated, you went back to the hard stuff: antiperspirant. If only a brand made an honest natural deodorant for dudes who don’t want to smell like a Phish concert. And then you heard about Oars + Alps.

In our Oars + Alps review, we try three of their natural deodorants, plus give their skincare products a shot to see if this brand is really all it’s cracked up to be.

Skincare ready to toss in the gym bag
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Oars + Alps

Oars + Alps

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Bottom line: Oars + Alps is bringing a full lineup of men’s skincare products and deodorants at an affordable price. The fragrances for the deodorants are conventional, and I think this brand is the gateway to better self-care for men.

Ratings:

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The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • All three deodorant fragrances I tried smelled very fresh
  • Aluminum-free
  • Wide range of skin-care products that target difficult areas
  • Free shipping on orders $40+

Cons:

  • Packaging is less refined than other brands I’ve tried

I didn’t feel any dread about turning 30. 

In fact, it’s been nice. Maybe I’d feel differently if I didn’t spend the latter part of my 20s freaking out about what I was going to do with my life. 

The only big change I’ve noticed is that my eye-bags are getting more gnarly. It could be all this work from home business—it could just be getting older. In any case, I’m not giving up on my moneymaker without a fight. 

I gave the up-and-coming brand, Oars + Alps a try. They made a name for themselves with their aluminum-free, natural deodorants, but they’ve expanded into face cleansers and eye creams, too. 

After a few weeks with the brand, my verdict is in. Keep reading for my full review. 

What Is Oars + Alps?

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Oars + Alps is a young company, founded in 2016 by two women who couldn’t find any deodorant for their husbands that didn’t contain some nasty chemical. 

They found that guys weren’t interested in skincare advice from other dudes. They wanted to get some knowledge from ladies who’ve had decades of experience with different ingredients and products.

And while there were plenty of options for clean skincare around for women, there still weren’t many options for men. So it just made business sense. 

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Since their founding, the brand has become stocked nationwide in Target, and in 2019 was reportedly acquired by SC Johnson & Co. 

If you aren’t reading between the lines here: Oars + Alps shot out of the gate like a rocket. The founders delivered on a simple premise—elevated natural skincare and deodorant that dudes can chuck in their gym bag as they head out the door. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Natural Deodorant from Oars + Alps

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Oars + Alps natural deodorants don’t have any aluminum or talc, so they might not seem as effective at stopping up sweat right away. 

Depending on how long you’ve been using antiperspirants, your body may actually need to go through a 4+ week detox period. 

The typical process works like this: week one, everything is great. You’re not sweating too much, you don’t smell. You’ve found your new favorite deodorant.

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Week two, you sweat more than you did with your other deodorant. Also, your pits are stinky. You think to yourself, maybe this isn’t the right deodorant for me. 

Your body is starting its detox. You may think it’s time to switch back to the old stuff you were using, but it’s really the worst time to do so. Embrace it—hit the gym, sweat out the toxins, and stink it up. 

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By week three, the sweat is full-on. Maybe you’re even sweating more than you remember prior to ever using antiperspirant. The good thing is that it doesn’t smell as bad. Don’t give up on your Oars + Alps yet. 

At week four, you’ll notice the turnaround. Your body is coming up to speed and you’re sweating less and smelling less. Your body will continue to adjust (you might even hit this mark at week three or five/six). 

But remember that nasty smell from week two and three? You could’ve been holding on to whatever that was for decades. Now that you’ve pushed through, though? You’re living clean under the pits for as long as you’d like.

Oars + Alps Review

Natural Deodorant and Aluminum Free Deodorant

Oars Alps natural deodorants for men

I’ve been on the natural deodorant train for a few years now. Putting aluminum on my pits repulsed me even back when I was 16. 

But I’m lucky—I’ve never been a super sweaty or smelly guy so I never needed the hard stuff. I have a few friends that really struggled with pit-sweat and felt embarrassed by it. What sucks is that I know those buddies are still tethered to their aluminum sticks. I’m always on the lookout for a brand I think can help them kick the habit. 

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I’ve only been able to find one other brand that doesn’t contain my personal deodorant enemy: propylene glycol. In a previous job, I had to do a lot of research on PG and found that it was horrible for humans (also, it’s in so many everyday foods and products). Even the most “natural” deodorant I could find at the supermarket had it. 

Oars + Alps doesn’t have PG, and it also claims to help sweatier gents get off the hard stuff after a four-week deodorant detox.

Oars Alps deo trio deodorant for men california mist

I picked up the Deo Trio with three signature scents: Fresh Ocean Splash, Aspen Air, and California Coast.

I like all three fragrances. They all have a fresh, aquatic scent to them, which is critical. I’ve shopped more than a few brands that feature warm, spicy, sensual fragrances in their deodorant and it never works out. I’m a big believer that only cologne can pull that nuance off. Deodorant’s job is to keep things fresh. 

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All three deodorants seemed to work the same for me. The weather cooled down a great deal as soon as I got the package, so I didn’t get to test these in the heat of a North Carolina summer, but I can say that I haven’t had any issues with stinky pits at the end of the day. 

With natural deodorants, you can’t expect them to work miracles, and the same is true with Oars + Alps. After my workouts, my pits no longer have that zesty freshness they did in the morning. Some of those chemically laden antiperspirants will keep your underarms fresh smelling, even after an intense workout. But the trade-off is hard to justify. 

So for me, the best choice is to hit the showers after the gym and apply some natural deodorant. It’s the healthy route and I know you’re like me—we’re both in it for the long haul, so we have to take care of ourselves. 

Oars + Alps Deo Trio

You want to know how to stop smelling? Use three deodorants at the same time...Just kidding. Oars + Alps Deo Trio gives you three of the brand's best smelling natural deodorants so you can find which one works best for you.

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Natural Charcoal Solid Face Wash and Moisturizer + Eye Cream

Oars Alps face wash and moisturizer for men

Next up in my shipment is the Oars + Alps Solid Charcoal Face Wash, which I was excited to try. 

Prior to trying the Charcoal Face Wash, I was using liquid wash and rubbing it in with my hands. It’s better than nothing, but it didn’t have that exfoliation factor. 

Oars Alps solid charcoal face wash

Exfoliation is especially important if you’re like me and have dry skin. Otherwise I get a flaky nose, and nobody likes that. 

using oars and alps solid face wash

I hadn’t seen a solid face wash before, and I’m really happy with it. I’ve been consistent with washing my face, so I can’t say that I noticed a massive difference between my previous product and Oars + Alps, but I can definitely say the solid stick made washing my face easier. 

Oars Alps face wash for men tube

The Moisturizer + Eye Cream combo is another hit with me. Again, I can’t say that it is necessarily better than what I’m using now (keep in mind, I’ve tried several of the best men’s skincare brands, so when I say Oars + Alps isn’t necessarily better, I mean that they’re in the major leagues, so to speak.)

But I’m thrilled with the product. It dries quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy streaks. It also does a fantastic job keeping my dry skin hydrated.

If you’re not already washing your face and applying moisturizer, this will be a game changer for you. I’d wager that a good skincare routine is one of the easiest ways to look better in three days. 

moisturizing with oars and alps

For both the face wash and moisturizer, I love how convenient the packaging is. They’re so easy to toss in a gym bag and go, and they don’t take up too much room under the bathroom sink. In that regard, Oars + Alps fits the bill. 

Oars + Alps Face Kit

Take care of that mug of yours. The Face Kit includes solid charcoal exfoliating wash, moisturizer, and the popular Wake Up Eye Stick. If you've been neglecting your face, I'd slap it but it's already been through enough. Treat it to some Oars + Alps.

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Oars Bar Soap

Oars Alps charcoal bar soap with suds

One issue I’ve had in the past with natural bar soaps is how quickly they dissipate. I’m all for using natural products (really, I’m more against using chemicals that reduce testosterone). But it’s hard to justify spending more on a soap that lasts half as long. 

I haven’t had that issue with the Oars Bar Soap. Plus, it has some exfoliating niblets tucked into it which helps you feel squeaky-clean when all is said and done. 

The fragrance is nice—not too strong. It’s a sizeable bar, so it’s probably not the best for transport if you plan on taking it with you to the gym. But really, after a few months at the YMCA, I gave up on trying to bring bar soap with me. Body wash is infinitely easier to bring to the gym. That said, I prefer bar soap, so this Oars bar is nice to have. 

Oars + Alps Charcoal Bar Soap

This bar soap does triple duty: cleans, purifies (thanks, charcoal), and scrubs away the grime from the day. The exfoliating action on it feels like the worlds most luxurious sandpaper.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Oars + Alps?

The Oars + Alps site rocks over 5,000 reviews with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. That’s pretty incredible. 

It’s promising to see that the reviews are scattered amongst all Oars + Alps products. Some people sing the praises of the Eye Stick, others swear by the deodorant. In other words, the brand isn’t a one-hit wonder. 

The few negative reviews seem to gather around extreme heavy-sweaters, many of whom have been wearing antiperspirants for 10+ years. They found the detox period to create too strong a stench. This was only mentioned in about 2% of reviews, so it isn’t common. But if you really struggle with pit sweat, you may be in for an antiperspirant detox period longer than two months. 

My Thoughts Overall On Oars + Alps

What I Like

  • The Deo-Trio fragrances all smell great. They all have a fresh scent which is perfect—nothing spicy or sultry like some other brands. 

  • I’ve seen “natural” deodorants that still have chemicals I know to be harmful for humans. Oars + Alps is actually natural and won’t harm your body in the long run. 

  • The brand’s extensive range of products make O + A a one-stop shop for any skincare issue you have. Baggy eyes, dry skin, smelly pits—whatever it is, you can find something for you. 

  • Free shipping on orders over $40 and free 30-day returns. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The packaging is sturdy—great for a gym bag—but it looks a little “mass-market.” Not that it has anything to do with the product itself, but I aim for that minimalist aesthetic whenever I can. 

Who is Oars + Alps for?

Guys who want to take good care of themselves, but they’re a little short on time. Don’t have time to compare each product from twelve different brands against each other? Don’t want the extra clutter of a “home” face wash and a “gym” face wash? Oars + Alps is built for guys on the move. Toss it in your gym bag, Dopp, or under your cabinet and get on with your life.

The Verdict

Oars + Alps is an excellent brand if you’re looking for an easy skincare win. 

The natural deodorants all have a pleasant fresh fragrance, and they do a solid job throughout the day. 

If you’ve always been a heavy-sweater and use antiperspirants, you may be shocked at the detox period. You’ll smell worse than ever. That’s not the brand: it’s your body. It’ll take some time for your body to adjust. But it’s a good thing—you’re no longer rubbing aluminum under your arms. 

That said, Oars + Alps won’t work any miracles. If you’re kicking antiperspirants, you’re going to smell with any brand. But of all the deodorants I’ve researched, O + A is one of the few that really sticks to the “all-natural” approach, so they’re my new mainstay. 

As for the face wash and moisturizer, I’m happy with what I tried. It didn’t change my skin overnight—I’m not suddenly more radiant. But they were easy to use, and for me, anything that can help me regularly wash and moisturize my face is a big win. 

The prices are very fair for the quality you’re getting, and the brand is super easy to shop with and you can trust that they’re keeping your health in the forefront of their formulation process.

For those reasons, I think Oars + Alps will make your life easier. After all, we don’t really want to spend more time than we need to thinking about face wash and deodorants.

So check the brand out and get on with your bad self.

Oars + Alps

Affordable skincare you can toss in a gym bag on your way out the door. This stuff has the quality of your girl's routine, but, you know, isn't pink.

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FAQs

Is Oars + Alps cruelty free?

Oars + Alps deodorant and products are all cruelty free, which means specifically that they do not test their products on animals.

Where can you buy Oars + Alps?

You can buy Oars + Alps at Target or on their online store. We prefer their online store because they have a wider variety of products and you can really dig into which combination of products will work best for you.