So since so many asked, we thought it was only fair (and useful) to do an honest Wild deodorant review and put it to the test against Proverb’s natural refillable deodorant. And no, this won’t be a biased review either:
Proverb means ‘statements of truth’ and we pride ourselves on giving our consumers 100% transparency. The entire point of our being is to be an honest voice in the natural and organic skincare sector. Throughout this article, we will walk you through both brands, their strengths and weaknesses, from smell to price tag - leaving no stone unturned.
It should go without saying, all brands develop and grow over time - quite quickly in the new e-commerce age! So, if you believe there is new information, then please don't hesitate to let us know - so that we can keep this information up-to-date and give you the best experience possible.
Now, let’s get down to business!
Who is Wild and what is their brand message?
Wild is a Refillable Stick Deodorant, with “one lifelong outer case and then you buy refills. A natural, aluminium deodorant aiming to reduce single-use plastic.” But what is their brand mission? “Our mission is to shake up the throwaway culture of everyday bathroom products. Through our wildly sustainable products, we hope to redefine the future of personal care.”
Officially launching in 2020, the founding duo created a refillable stick deodorant that uses natural ingredients. Now, who does the brand appeal to? Through their photography, colour scheme and Instagram built business subscription model, it would appeal to women and their love for bright and pastel coloured cases (generally speaking).
In 2020, Wild took on a large scale investment, which has meant a higher social media presence and sales. They have since gained the consumer perception that they were the first natural refillable deodorant to launch in the UK - this isn’t the case: Proverb, in the early stages of crowdfunding at the time, launched before Wild and there have been a few natural spray deodorants that have been refillable before either Wild or Proverb were an idea.
Who are Proverb and what is their brand message?
Next up, we have Proverb, a Refillable Stick Deodorant, one lifelong outer case and then all you have to do is buy refills. A natural, aluminium free deodorant, aiming to reduce single-use plastic. But what is their mission?
“Proverb is made for people who take health, PERFORMANCE and the environment around them seriously. We take the understanding & efficacy of elite SPORTS NUTRITION and apply it to your skin. We make products that are better for the person using them, others who need help and the planet.”
The overall first impression, unlike Wild, is that Proverb has tried to attract the active crowd, with males at the forefront of their brand messaging. Their refillable deodorant has quickly become the hero product of a wider natural and organic skincare range. Launched by an ex-premiership rugby player and his skincare expert wife, they consider themselves deeply rooted in the skin, sweat and exercise.
Natural Deodorant Ingredients
What ingredients does Wild deodorant use?
Wild is based in the UK. Their formulas are all vegan and free from Aluminium, parabens, SLS, aerosol gases, animal testing and gluten-free.
Wild’s natural deodorant is based around an oil and powder formulation, with oil elements coming from Coconut oil, Sunflower seed wax, Shea butter, Cocoa butter.
The natural deodorisers and sweat absorbers used are Tapioca, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Zinc, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) and Magnesium.
What are they not free from?
Alcohol - this is in a lot of Wild's scent formulations that is used to keep the deodorant from separating into its oil and liquid components. However, people can find alcohol quite harsh on the skin, therefore it will be worth looking for scents without this alcohol.
Do Wild deodorants contain fragrance?
Wild does not list their fragrances on their INCI, on the box - they put parfum and list the allergens, as legally required in the EU. For very sensitive skins it means you can’t see what the aroma is made from. Some brands do this to shorten the print needed on the pack. It isn’t so helpful if you want to see absolutely everything but definitely legal.
Do Wild use sodium bicarbonate in all deodorants?
From launch, all of their deodorants used sodium bicarbonate within their formula. Since then they have renamed this collection “Core” and in June 2021 launched a baking soda free version, presumably due to consumers reacting to the sodium bicarbonate.
Do Wild have different deodorants for sensitivity?
In June 2021, Wild launched three sensitive options without baking soda, yet, these still contain fragrance. Although baking soda free options are always welcomed by consumers, those with extra-sensitive skin may continue to react as people can still be allergic to fragrances.
What different deodorant flavours do Wild have?
Wild have 6 flavours (August 22) within their natural deodorant collection, which are: Orange & Neroli, Jasmine & Mandarin Blossom, Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt, Pomegranate & Pink Peppercorns, Coconut & Vanilla and lastly, Mint & Aloe Vera. It is also worth noting that Wild are regularly bringing out ‘fun new limited edition flavours’. They have the largest flavour range of all the refillable deodorants.
What are the ingredients in Proverb natural deodorant?
Proverb is based in Derbyshire, UK with their formulation taking place in a lab in Cambridge, UK. Their formulas are all vegan and free from Aluminium, petroleums, parabens, SLS, artificial fragrance, propylene glycol, propylene/ aerosol gases, Animal testing GM ingredients and gluten-free.
Similarly to Wild, Proverb’s natural deodorant is based around an oil and powder formulation, but their oil elements differ, coming from Carnauba wax, Candillia wax, Bayberry wax, Chia seed oil and Broccoli seed oil.
Whereas the natural deodorisers and sweat absorbers used are: Tapioca, Cornflower, Sodium Bicarbonate/ baking soda – the natural deodorisers, Magnesium, plus an additional deodoriser that Proverb keeps secret as it is different to their competitors. In the Core & Sensitive deodorant, there is no sodium bicarbonate. In the Sensitive deodorant arrowroot swaps in instead of cornflower.
What are they not free from?
Proverb is free from all the ingredients you would expect any certified organic or natural brand to be free from.
Do Proverb deodorants contain fragrance?
Proverb lists all of their fragrances on the INCI lists for each of the deodorants, hence why their INCI list is longer in comparison to Wild. However, when launching Proverb decided to create a Sensitive & Unfragranced option, specifically for sensitive skins. This has no aroma, but the actual base deodorant is also different making it more suitable for super sensitive skins, plus being baking soda free.
Does Proverb use sodium bicarbonate?
When starting crowdfunding back in 2019, Proverb had 3 levels of deodorant - Active, Core and Sensitive. The Active range is the only one to contain sodium bicarbonate, as it is designed for those that are heavy sweaters and active people who are constantly on the go. Core and Sensitive do not contain sodium bicarbonate.
Does Proverb have different deodorants for sensitivity?
Originally, launching with three levels of sensitivity, they explain:
“Proverb has 3 levels of deodorant. We have made skincare for years so this is our sweet spot - formulation. Most natural deodorants are made with Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It works brilliantly, most brands use just it, BUT... some people are irritated by it, as it is alkaline, and skin is acidic. We have a complex of 4 natural deodorisers as we didn't want to be based just on this. Our game was to make sure it worked against Sure/ Mitchum, as opposed to other natural deodorants.
ACTIVE has the original complex, plus some baking soda. This is the strongest deodorant we have, best for heavy BO or changing from a mainstream deodorant. To identify the Active deodorant range, they have a yellow ACTIVE sticker on the box.
CORE is the same, but without the baking soda for people who are irritated by it, also great for people who don't struggle with BO and teens.
SENSITIVE is a different base formula for super sensitive armpits.”
What different deodorant flavours do Proverb have?
Proverb currently has four flavours available, with a fifth launching towards the end of 2022. The current flavours are Wild Mint & Eucalyptus, Coconut & Tonka, Lemongrass & Myrtle and a Sensitive and Unfragranced deodorant. Proverb explained their reasoning for fewer flavours within their range as a “sustainability point of view”: fewer options mean less production, less need for different packaging, and a happier planet. But this does mean that as a customer, the choice of smells is more limited.
The scent levels in Proverb are strong. Within a product formulation, the scent is always an expensive part - this is why a lot of brands (where possible) will try to limit it, possibly to reduce allergy risk too. With Proverb coming from a spa expertise background they know just how crucial scent is, especially where natural deodorant is concerned, so there has been no cost-cutting.
Like we said previously, Wild is a subscription model predominantly, nevertheless, you can buy the deodorants as a one-time purchase for £25, which includes a Case and 3 x 43 g Refill to last 3 months - all with free postage. If you’re certain that you are wanting to join the Wild side, then you can purchase a Case and 5 Refills for £32, lasting 5 months, plus free postage.
If you are wanting to purchase a single deodorant refill with a case as a one-time purchase, you’ll find that this isn’t possible unless it is on subscription as your first month. To flag as well is that going forward, you can’t purchase singular refills on subscription, as they are only available in sets of 3’s, 6’s or 9’s. Each Wild refill works out at £5 each for 43g.
How much is the subscription from Wild?
The Wild natural refillable deodorant subscription is £12, this includes a Free Case and 1 x 43g Refill, with free postage. If you have had your case for a while and want to switch up the colour, then you can purchase a new case for £10 on the Wild website. You can also purchase refills in groups of 3’s by themselves for £15.
Is the subscription flexible?
We couldn’t do a wild deodorant review (or any review of a subscription-based product) and not look at their policies regarding the cancellation. The Wild subscription does have the flexibility for the consumer in terms of cancelling, changing fragrances and skipping a month. However, the customer has to have already subscribed to 3 refills to receive the flexibility.
Does Wild offer a student discount?
Yes, Wild gives a 15% student discount. But it is unclear on the website if this is just on one-time purchases or subscriptions too.
Does Wild offer a Money Back Guarantee?
Wild has recently introduced the concept of a "satisfaction guarantee" whereby if you don't get on well with the Wild deodorant they can refund your first order within the first 30 days of being a Wild customer.
Like Wild, Proverb has a subscription model. Even so, Proverb allows for more flexibility when it comes to subscriptions and one-time purchases, with one-off purchases costing £15 for 1 x 70 g Refill to last 2 - 3 months and a Free Outer Case. Unlike Wild though, you have to pay £1.95 postage. Or you can purchase a 2 x 70g Refill to last 4-6 months and Free Outer Case for £30 and free postage.
On the other hand, Proverb offers the choice to buy singular and bigger refill deodorant sticks - you can buy a Starter Set- the case and one refill as a one-time purchase, or you can always buy a single refill, whether it's a one-time purchase or on subscription.
How much is the subscription from Proverb?
The Proverb natural refillable deodorant subscription is £12, this includes a Free Case and 1 x 70g Refill and £1.95 postage. Then going forward, after receiving the initial starter set with case included, it is just £12 per subscription for a 1 x 70g refill, but you do still have to pay £1.95 postage. If you have had your case for a while and want to switch up the colour, then you can purchase a new case for a reduced price of £5 on the Proverb website.
Is the subscription flexible?
The Proverb subscription has full flexibility with options to cancel at any time, skip a delivery or even change a product or add products to your subscription. There are no restraints on how many refills you have to subscribe to.
Does Proverb offer a student discount?
No, Proverb does not offer a student discount yet, but they do offer 10% discounts when you subscribe to their email marketing.
Does Proverb offer a Money Back Guarantee?
Yes, they offer a no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee if the deodorant is not for you. They will refund your product cost excluding the shipping.
Natural Deodorant That Works
The efficiency of Wild
According to the Wild website, the refillable outer case is an “Aluminium outer case and lid with internal Post-Consumer Recycled plastic lining. You only ever need one.” However, this cannot be recycled without splitting apart the internal PCR plastic lining and aluminium. Wild have said that they offer the ability for TerraCycle to do this if you are concerned about splitting the outer case for recycling. They currently only offer a smaller selection of case colours to choose from, including Black, Purple, Coral, Aqua - plus currently (August 2022) they regularly have limited-edition cases to support various different charities and events. Unlike Proverb, Wild offers the chance to personalise your case with your name or initials for just £2.
The refill holder is plastic-free and made using a bamboo pulp that can be recycled or home composted.
How easy is Wild to refill?
You must take out the packaging from the used refill. Then you have to rewind your case to the original starting position. It is then ready to insert the new refill.
What about Wild’s postage packaging?
Wild provides consumers with custom made postal boxes, with inner fittings to hold the deodorant and refill in pastel green and orange coloured cardboard. Straight away, you are impressed with how pretty the boxes are and you would feel happy when they arrived through the door.
The efficiency of Proverb
Proverb states that you only need 2-3 swipes per pit and each 70g refill should last 8-12 weeks versus Wild’s 43g refills. This is currently the largest refill within the UK for natural deodorant, think of this as the Yorkie bar of deodorant! Unlike Wild, Proverb’s refillable deodorant case is plastic. But you will only ever need one.
Proverb explains there is no elephant in the room when it comes to their packaging. Mixed substances are harder to recycle, which they explained in their blog about why they chose against discounted cardboard tubes, aluminium and bioplastics. The case comes in three different colours grey, white and yellow. Unfortunately, you cannot personalise your case with Proverb currently, whereas you can with Wild.
Proverb uses refills wrapped in a special protective paper that can compost or go into the paper stream recycling. The sticker and adhesive sealing is biodegradable and made from sugar cane, hemp and linen.
The bottom of the actual stick of deodorant has a PET plastic wheel on it, this moves the deodorant up and down in the case. They can be recycled but Proverb asks for them to be saved and looped back into production. This is the aspect Proverb is currently attempting to change, given that it means some plastic exists. However, it also means that the refill can live in a very flimsy thin piece of paper that screws up to be only a 10p piece size. It is not printed; there are no dyes on it.
How easy is Proverb to refill?
The Proverb case works on a simple spindle mechanism that the deodorant refill stick travels up and down on when you twist the base of the case.
The positives are that it is very simple to use and you won’t need to wind it back to start again, like with the Wild case.
What about Proverb’s postage packaging?
Unlike Wild, Proverb went for an eco-friendlier and potentially less aesthetically appealing approach with their postal packaging. The outer box is a grey kraft box with recycled kraft brown paper inside to hold the product. Not highly branded but the least impactful on the environment. All outer e-commerce boxes start kraft coloured. To make them pastel green you have to bleach the box white and then add the dye colours. This takes up a lot of energy and uses more chemicals.
Wild’s environmental approach
As a brand, Wild are very passionate about doing good, with their website explaining that they are carbon neutral. Their website also states that they contribute a percentage of sales to their chosen climate charity ‘On a Mission to support their incredible reforestation projects as well as being carbon neutral. We are unable to find the percentage of sales donated on their website. Also, you can now purchase Wild refill deodorants from their website and Sainsbury’s across the UK.
Does Wild sell any other products?
In 2021 Wild launched their soap bars, which come in only two scents: Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt and Jasmine & Mandarin Blossom. At the minute (August 2022), the soap bars are not sold on subscription and cost £12 for three bars of soap.
Wild now offer sample sizes of their deodorants for people to try in cardboard packaging. These can be purchase in a range of different scents and can be brought individually for £4 or in a set of 3 for £12 (August 2022).
Presumably, the range will grow to increase their average order value and remove more single-use plastics similar to the model of byHumankind in the US.
Proverb’s environmental approach
Proverb launched their refillable deodorant in conjunction with WaterAid and during their crowdfunding, they donated 100% of the profit to WaterAid. Now, every year, they donate 10% of their profits to WaterAid.
Since COVID-19 April ’2020, Proverb have also donated one-for-one for every sanitiser they sell. Proverb also works in partnership with The Hygiene Bank donating these to children and families in poverty in the UK.
In addition, Proverb is part of Earthly, who have calculated their Business Emissions Report and they are on route to be a Climate positive business, going beyond carbon neutral.
Does Proverb sell any other products?
Yes, Proverb launched in 2018 as a natural organic skincare brand with an assisted stretch concept that works in spas and hotel gyms. They have a Refillable Sanitiser and then 5 retail skincare products with 12 spa products and amenities - not to mention, offering skincare and deodorant samples to those that want to try before they buy, unlike Wild, who don't offer this option.
In October 2022, Proverb are launching the first ever compostable body wash refill pouch to hold a liquid. This is a world first in the packaging industry and one that Proverb are excited to bring to their customers morning routine. You will be able to purchase a reusable bottle with compostable pouch refill - then only ever needing to buy refills from then on, saving single-use bathroom plastic.
The founders original Organic Spa Brand, Pinks Boutique has 65 skin and body products.
Wild vs Proverb: The Winner
In good fun, we could tally up the score, compare both brands in a battle and see who comes out victorious. But it is important to remember that the core of both Wild and Proverb is to ultimately reduce single-use plastic and tempt people away from mainstream aerosol and one use roll-ons. At the end of the day, we are all learning and trying to constantly push ourselves to do the best we can, so doing better for the planet is truly be a #teamgame