Natural Deodorant Product Review: Curie vs. Lume

You might be wondering what a review of natural deodorants has to do with ballroom dancing. Be patient. I promise it is relevant.

My quest to find an effective natural deodorant began when I was in my late twenties. Scientists were speculating about the potential connections between aluminum-containing antiperspirants and breast cancer, kidney disease, and Alzheimers. As it turned out, it was all just a bunch of hogwash. After decades of research there ended up being no medical evidence to support the alarming health advisiory. It’s certainly good news that controlling body odor isn’t going to increase anyone’s chances of getting cancer or Alzheimers, but exposing oneself to aluminum and other toxic chemicals is still a bad idea so I continued hunting for a safer, natural alternative and I learned some interesting facts along the way.

First off, I learned the main culprit of body odor has to do with the life cycle of normal bacteria that live on our skin, eating and digesting our sweat and expelling stinky waste products. Yep…everything that eats – even microscopic bacteria – also poops and that’s what causes body odor. Gross right?

Secondly, I learned that even though the terms antiperspirant and deodorant are often used interchangeably, they are not one-in-the same. In fact, they have different properties, ingredients and work very differently from each other in order to control body odor.

Anti-perspirants work by decreasing the volume of the sweat we produce by counteracting the digestive process of bacteria on our skin. The active ingredient, aluminum salt, dissolves when mixed with sweat, is absorbed into the skin, clogs the pores in the armpits and eventually blocks the sweat producing ducts. No sweat means no food means no poop means no body odor. If you think this is a good idea, think again. Sweating is essential for good health. It is the mechanism our bodies use to cool us down when we overheat and to rid itself of harmful toxins. Impeding your body’s ability to sweat is not only unhealthy it is also unhygienic.

While traditional deodorants typically do not counteract bacteria’s digestive process, they still rely on chemical additives to get the job done by concealing body odor with fragrances and perfumes.

Fast forward 30 or so years to Friday, November 26, 2021. I remember the exact date because it was the Friday after Thanksgiving and I was watching Shark Tank with my whole family (something that rarely happens since my kids are adults and out of the house). One of the featured entrepreneurs was a young woman named Sarah Moret. Sara is the impressive creator and founder of Curie, a company best known for aluminum-free deodorant. I immediately hit google, found the website and promptly ordered some Curie deodorant for me, the Dancing Doc, my sons and their fiancés. It took about six weeks to receive the products, but the general consensus from everybody was it was worth the wait because Curie deodorant actually works! Hallelujah! Finally an effective, natural, non-toxic, chemical-free deodorant. I tried several other Curie products and liked them all, particularly the whipped body wash (it doubles as shaving cream) and the armpit clay mask (more on that later), but don’t get too excited. It turns out things weren’t all rainbows and unicorn farts.

The problem with Curie is many of their products are chronically out of stock. I admit, Amazon Prime has spoiled me, but I’m talking about excessive wait times. In fact, the window of time in which some products fleetingly became available before they were out of stock again was so brief,  it seemed like they were backordered indefinitely. I emailed customer care with my concerns in December of 2022 and was told the company had been experiencing difficulty keeping items in stock ever since Sarah appeared on Shark Tank. You may recall that was in November of 2021.

Meanwhile I’d started seeing more and more social media ads for Lume, a natural deodorant created by OB/GYN  Dr. Shannon Klingman. I hadn’t considered trying it initially because I was so happy with Curie deodorant, however, by February of 2023, I’d become frustrated enough by chronic supply chain issues that I decided to give Lume a try. And oh boy…am I glad I did.

Lume is, by far, the most effective natural deodorant I have ever used. Yes, better and with longer-lasting body odor fighting super power than Curie.  

According to the website, Lume is…

  • Clinically proven to control odor for 72 hours in testing conducted by Princeton Consumer Research. [WATCH]

  • Powered by Mandelic Acid (a.k.a acidified technology™)
  • Is free of aluminum and baking soda
  • Safe for any external use, and
  • Doctor created [WATCH]

A notably important feature of Lume deodorant is that it’s not just for armpits. It’s for all your other stinky parts like feet, butts and even those extra sensitive man and lady parts too. By the way, you will soon see that this particular feature is the key to why this review is so relevant to competitive ballroom dancers.

If you try Lume deodorant (and I sincerely hope you do), don’t be alarmed if you notice you smell a little (or a lot) worse than normal after a day or so. This is to be expected. Depending on how long you’ve exposed yourself to aluminum and other chemicals, it can take anywhere from a few days to one or two weeks to completely unclog the pores on the skin under your arms. During this time period, your body will be expelling all those festering toxins and other odorous waste products that have been blocking up your sweat ducts for who knows how long. The good news is you can speed up the detoxification process by applying a clay mask under your arms. Curie sells an armpit specific clay mask (assuming it’s not on back order), but I’ve found that any clay mask will do. The ones used to unclog the pores on your face (like Biore) work just as well on your armpits. Once you’re fully detoxed, you’ll sweat more, but you won’t smell. Not that it matters, but I’m pretty sure Lume’s body odor fighting super power comes from the company’s proprietary bacteria-killing acidified technology™.

Now to answer the burning question, What does any of this have to do with ballroom dancing? Here’s the dealI sweat a lot when I practice and even more when I compete and I think this is pretty common. When you combine hot lights, layers of make-up and heavy crystal-embellished costumes with normal competition jitters, most of us find ourselves dripping with sweat by the end of our first heat. While I don’t feel compelled to test the company’s claim that their products are clinically proven to control odor for 72 hours (frankly I can’t imagine going that long without a shower), I can indeed confirm that using Lume keeps me smelling fresh and clean into the wee hours of a long, drawn out night session.  

But wait… it gets better. Ballroom dance dresses are more than just pretty frocks. They are pieces of athletic equipment designed to keep our lady parts in check and I can guarantee any female dancer will testify that the attached bras and compression dance panties built into our dresses smell ACRID after a competition. Another benefit of using Lume acidified deodorant and body wash is my that costumes no longer smell after dancing in them…not even a little bit! This is a HUGE unanticipated benefit as it has dramatically reduced the amount of scrubbing necessary to get rid of post competition stench.

In my opinion, both Curie and Lume natural deodorants are effective at controlling body odor for normal everyday use, but the scales are tipped heavily in favor of Lume for three main reasons.

  1. As previously stated, I have not personally tested the claim that Lume is clinically proven to control body odor for 72 hours, but I’m confident it’s true. I can testify that its odor fighting super power lasts longer than any other deodorant I have used over the last 50 years.
  2. Lume’s acidified technology™ controls body odor so well it even prevents B.O. stench from lingering in clothing.
  3. Curie has not been able to sufficiently rectify their supply chain issues making delivery time frames unacceptable. On average, my Lume orders are delivered in less than two weeks, often in less than one week.

I personally have used and highly recommend Lume’s whole body cream deodorant in both stick and tube form, the solid deodorant stick, the acidified body wash and the body wipes for freshening up on the go. I’ll let you know if the Acidified Body Cream, which I haven’t tried yet but should be arriving on my doorstep any day, holds up to the company’s claim of being “clinically proven to smooth the appearance of rough, bumpy skin and triple skin’s hydration.” I also recently discovered two Lume laundry products developed to rid your clothes of lingering stench, but honestly I can’t imagine they sell much of it. I don’t plan on trying it because in my experience,  as I mentioned since using Lume acidified deodorants and body washes, my clothes don’t stink anymore.

Finally, Dr. Klingman also developed a specific line of natural deodorant products just for men. They come in masculine packaging and cologne quality scents. It’s called Mando and utilizes the same acidified technology™ that makes Lume so clinically effective. I am planning to order a Mando starter kits for the Dancing Doc and my two sons and I’m pretty optimistic they’ll like love it as much as I do Lume, but I’ll update this review once I get their feedback.

Even if the idea of exposing yourself to harmful chemicals doesn’t worry you, consider this. Lume is not just the most effective natural deodorant I have ever used it is, by far, the most effective DEODORANT of any kind I have ever used. Do your part to make the world (and the ballroom) a better (smelling) place. Try Lume.

Click HERE to give Lume a try.
Click HEREto give Mando a try.

When you place your order or even if you just visit the Lume website, be sure to fill out a contact form and let them know The Dancing Housewife sent you.

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