I switched away from antiperspirants years ago. In the time since, I’ve tried a few different things with most of my use being in Old Spice-land and more-recently a 0% Aluminum Dove option that I prefer the fragrance of (Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena).
I heard of Lume before and while I was curious, I had mixed feelings. I hate their marketing. Hate. It. Happily, my distaste is for reasons other than the usual.
At some point, I ended up on a mailing list of theirs (thanks for selling my info!) and was appalled that it was very heavily along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing), “Got intimate area stink?” This isn’t just an unfortunately-targeted e-mail campaign, this is de rigeur for the brand.
The founder happens to be an OB-GYN. Her intent was to formulate a whole-body deodorant product that won’t cause mayhem near the area(s) she most commonly provides care for. Noble enough, but the marketing is appallingly tactless. (But, spoilers, I did try the product – more on that after the jump).
What’s this? A doctor fulfilling unpleasant stereotypes about abysmal bedside manner?! If someone really DOES have those concerns, I’m sure they’d appreciate a more delicate and tactful approach.
There’s also an insinuation that everyone suffers from all of these complaints. We don’t! Just because these things are normal to encounter does not mean everyone experiences all of them, so its uncomfortable at best and presumptuous at worst.
Anyway, Lume ads are cringe. Whyyy:
If you can get past that, it is inclusively marketed to be suitable for myriad purposes – for everyone’s anatomy if they have and/or wish to address unwanted odors.
After Abra’s endorsement and a timely sale, I decided to give Lume a try.
Setting aside the gross marketing tactics, Lume’s key claim is that it can provide up to 72 hours of odor protection. Basically, its formulation is acidic and inhibits bacteria that causes odors.
That’s… stunningly not outlandish, actually.
About the Product(s):
Lume offers their deodorant products in a few formats:
- First, a traditional solid stick that is akin to what many of us are already familiar with using.
- Second, a soft cream stick. You apply it the same way, but it is softer and may need to be rubbed in.
- Third, a cream in a tube. You squeeze a small amount out and apply it where needed. For people who want to use it for areas other than only underarm, this provides more flexibility than the stick(s) which may be awkward.
I went with the unscented cream tube option for two reasons:
- A tube represents less plastic packaging overhead than the assembly of a twist-up stick.
- It was the most cost-effective at the time.
They also have a variety of fragrances ranging from citrus to coconut to lavender, and more. I chose unscented in part to be able to effectively assess its performance and because I enjoy being able to control how much fragrance I’m wearing – on a day where I want to wear perfume, I don’t want it to clash. But on many days, especially if I have a headache or something, I want as little fragrance as possible! There are some fragrance quirks, though, which I’ll discuss with my experience with the product.
Tubes, regardless of format, seem to run between $15-20 depending on whether you buy on sale. It is effective, but IMO wait for it to go on sale unless you have urgent challenges you’re hoping it can help with.
My Experience Using Lume
After bathing and drying off, I applied about a pea-sized amount of Lume to each underarm. It has a lotion-like consistency, so you’ll want to thoroughly massage it in, then go wash your hands.
Some reviews reported that there is a strange smell to the product itself, with varying degrees to reaction to it. Some feel very strongly about the smell. It is noticeable when you first apply, and will be on your hands until you wash them, but it quickly fades from perception. It seems that ALL fragrances of the product have some degree of this, but the consensus appears to be that the weird notes vanish shortly after application.
Unlike those weird twist-up gel deodorants that require you to hold your arms up until you are 10000% dry, Lume cream isn’t that fussy. You’ll want to be mostly dry before dressing but it won’t be a disaster if you aren’t fully dry.
I’ve used Lume Unscented on low-activity, high-stress days, as well as active (cardio) days. I can happily report that it does what it advises – for me, anyway. It passed a 48 hour test, and I haven’t wanted or needed to test the 72 hour claim.
For what its worth, I don’t have major concerns, don’t use, “clinical strength,” products, and am only using this for underarm purposes. It is more effective for me than Lavanila products and several drugstore deodorants.
Remember, Lume isn’t an antiperspirant – it won’t stop sweat. But it does the job it promises to do! At the end of a day, I didn’t have any marks or weird smells on my clothing, which is great.
Try it For Less
Target sells mini versions of the cream in their citrus and lavender fragrances. They also sell a solid citrus stick for under $5, which is a nice way to try it out. I wish they had a mini version of the unscented! There’s zero travel on the horizon for me, but it would be nice for a travel kit!
The Bottom Line
I haven’t fully switched to Lume, and I don’t know if I will. But I am happy with it, will keep using it, and will repurchase. I just don’t know if I’m prepared to switch over 100%.
If you’ve tried it and like it, check out their bundles to save a bit more. You can also buy direct from Lume’s site.