The Replacements: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant

In making the switch to green beauty, some products are particularly hard to replace. In this series of posts I will  highlight the treasures discovered during my search for products that work as well, if not better, as their conventional counterparts.

If you have been reading HH in the blog’s early days, you might remember that when I first started, I was planning on making The Replacements into a regular feature. As I started my exploration of green beauty in earnest, however, I found that “subjects” for the series were not easy to come by. For the most part, I find green beauty and skincare to be not so much replacements for, but rather upgrades on conventional counterparts. Sure, I think the creams and serums from La Bella Figura, Vintner’s Daughter, Bottega Organica et al are far superior to La Mer, La Prairie and their conventional cohort, but I couldn’t claim that clean product X was a direct replacement for a conventional product Y.

Then there are also some areas (makeup, mostly) where clean beauty can’t quite measure up to conventional. For example, I found a clean mascara that works for me, but I don’t think there is one that works universally well for everyone and most of them still leave something to be desired. As for eyeliner, I have pretty much thrown in the towel on trying to find a clean version that lives up to my expectations.  And then there is clean deodorant… 

Now, let’s make one thing clear: plenty of clean deodorants work and work exceptionally well. I am unabashedly in love with my favorite green beauty deo from Meow Meow Tweet and it works like a charm, but it does have one significant drawback: the fact that it comes in a jar. Many people dislike using their fingers for application, but I actually don’t mind that at all – I mean, what’s so gross about a freshly-showered armpit? Really, the reason I dislike deodorant in a jar is a simple matter of laziness. My morning routine is so lengthy and complicated that I hate having to go through the extra steps of scooping out the deodorant, applying it and then washing my hands carefully to remove the thick, coconut oil-based cream before touching my face. Yes, I know this probably makes me a brat, but whatever: it’s a palaver. And so although I would tell anyone who’d listen that I found my perfect deodorant, I missed the convenience of being able to twist, swipe and go.

Eventually, I did find an incredibly chic, uber-clean and delicious-smelling natural stick deodorant, but it suffered from the same issue as all other natural stick deodorants I have tried: it was too soft and after a couple of uses, the deodorant would smoosh and squidge all over the sides of the tube. Gross! The softness also means that “twist, swipe and go” turns into decidedly messy affair, with far too much product being left behind even with a single swipe. After my girl Sarita’s unfortunate experience with another natural deodorant (albeit one that had a very happy ending), I had resigned myself to never knowing the joy of the perfect stick. And then I tried Ursa Major’s brand new Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant.

The chubby, adorable dispenser houses a stick of deodorant so firm and pleasantly glossy that I initially thought it was covered by a clear plastic cap. It has a lovely, slightly minty scent and works like a charm. Now, it’s still a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, meaning that it won’t keep you from sweating* – only from getting stinky – but when it comes to keeping me fresh as a daisy, this baby is a winner! Granted, it’s (allegedly) winter in New York, but the unseasonably warm, psychotic weather meant that I am either freezing or sweating buckets, so I’ve given this deo a proper trial. And it’s such a pleasure to use! A couple of quick swipes after the shower (despite its firmness, Hoppin’ Fresh applies extremely easily and smoothly) and I am good to go with the rest of my day. Another (major) added bonus is that it doesn’t contain coconut oil, which means that I don’t have to worry about ruining my clothes if I get dressed too soon after application.

If I had to find a single drawback to this gem of a product, it’s that if you are looking for a deodorant that is 100% pure, natural and clean, this isn’t quite it. Mind you, it’s about as clean as things get: all of the ingredients get a 0 or 1 on the Skin Deep Database, with the sole exception of glyceryl undecylenate with a score of 2 and very limited evidence of any possible toxicity. As a reference, I would be more than comfortable using this on a baby (if a baby needed a deodorant for reasons I cannot possibly fathom), though I wouldn’t recommend eating it (yes, there are deodorants that at least claim to be safe enough to eat).

If you were holding out on switching to a natural deodorant, then this might well be the product to make you change your mind. I actually think that deodorant is a far more important switch to make than, say, eyeliner, so I am beyond thrilled that green beauty now offers an effective, elegant and convenient alternative. Now what are you waiting for?

Disclosure: Hoppin’ Fresh was sent to me for review and BOY, am I thrilled it was. It has already become a staple and will be repurchasing it for as long as Ursa Major continues to make it. 

* I presume most of you know this, but we really shouldn’t be stopping our bodies from sweating anyway. And btw, this isn’t some newfangled, hippie thing. The French, for example, tend to use deodorant rather than antiperspirant. So if you tend to idolize Catherine Deneuve and Jeanne Moreau, consider it one more reason to try a natural deodorant.

15 responses to The Replacements: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant

  1. Is it thanks to you that it’s now sold out? I’m definitely intrigued. What was your take on Agent Nateur that I saw in your IG feed a while back. I have it and can’t tell if by the end of the day I’m smelling a little bit “off.” Thanks for the mention. I’m BFF with that deo now and a few others. I MUST post about them soon. XO

  2. Irene

    Thanks for your delightful post, as usual. It made me chuckle at the end of a very stressful and “deodorant-needed” day! Will take your recommendations to heart!

  3. Christie

    I have a deodorant question. I love meow meow tweet but I’m like you, I would prefer it in a stick. My thing is, meow meow tweet is the only natural deo I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot) that works and doesn’t feel sticky on my underarms. Agent Nateur definitely feels sticky. Do you get any stickiness from the Ursa Major? Maybe this is a me only problem 😂!!

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Totally hear you on the stickiness – it’s annoying. And yes – I know what you mean with Agent Nateur. At least in my experience, Ursa Major is not at all sticky. It glides on beautifully, actually. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. When I talk to people about switching to safer personal care products, deodorant is the #1 product that people have trouble finding a replacement for. In my case, Lavanila’s The Healthy Deodorant is the first and only natural deo I’ve used. I literally had no reason to ever try anything else. It’s sold at Sephora (online and in stores), ingredients are a 1 at EWG, it’s a hard stick, zero irritation even if you apply after shaving, and it keeps the stink at bay. The ONLY drawback is they consider their EO blend proprietary so they don’t disclose which oils are used. So I switched to the fragrance-free version and problem solved! Also have tried Beautycounter’s eyeliner? I haven’t, but my clients all love it, so I’m assuming it works as well as a regular eyeliner.

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      I’ve great things about Lavanila. Haven’t tried it because although I love the smell of vanilla in cooking, etc, I just can’t stand it as a fragrance. It just seems unbearably cloying to me. So when vanilla is right in the brand’s name it gives me pause 🙂 I was at Goop Market yesterday and they had some Beautycounter products. I was hoping to try the eyeliner, but they were out, unfortunately. Also, I mainly use liner for either smokey eye (in which case smudging is actually a bonus and I can use naturals) or for a cat’s eye and need something sharp, super-black and that wouldn’t budge. I do it so rarely these days that I figure a bit of Kill Black won’t kill me (no pun intended) 😉

  5. Gloria

    What about the Kaolin Clay as one of the ingredients? Kaolin Clay is made up of aluminum..

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