Looking for Lume reviews? I’ve used the brand’s range of products for over five months, and I have thoughts. And yes, I will address the “why does Lume smell so bad?” question – don’t worry.
I first heard of Lume from their very bold “Kiss your stinky butt goodbye” commercial a few years ago.
As of late, Lume deodorant reviews are all over my For You Page, and my curiosity is officially piqued.
It’s about time I give Lume a little return on their investment. I ordered every product I could get my hands on, including their flagship product, the cream deodorant.
That’s the stuff you can supposedly apply everywhere (yes, even your privates!).
Let’s dive into it all, from Lume pros and cons to discount codes to an analysis I did of 250+ Lume reviews.
Let’s just get the elephant in the room out of the way: other prominent Lume deodorant reviews have dissed the brand for its stinky deodorant.
A deodorant that’s supposed to make you smell good, but the product itself stinks? No thanks.
However, Lume got wind of this feedback and reformulated their base scent. They ditched the natural fragrances for skin-safe synthetic ones. Turns out natural isn’t always better, and the new scent options smell great.
The Peony Rose cream deodorant is the only outlier. It still has a sour after-smell (like an aftertaste but for your nose).
The Unscented products have the same stinky effect, but am I really that surprised?
Aside from those, the other products and scents are great! The Sage Lavendar is dreamy, and the Toasted Coconut is *chef’s kiss*.
The Science Behind Lume
Lume was created by Dr. Shannon Klingman, an OB/GYN on a mission to tackle the issue of feminine odor. She noticed that other feminine odor products on the market had it all wrong because they focused on ph imbalances or problems with the vagina.
As a gynecologist, she can tell you the vagina does a good job of cleaning itself, and the odors actually happen on the outside.
And not just down there – B.O. happens all over our body, and it all stems from the same cause (I’ll get into that in a bit). Dr. Klingman formulated Lume so that it can be used everywhere from your pits to your private parts.
Here’s a closer look at some of the things that make Lume so amazing.
How Lume Works
Odor is caused when bacteria digests bodily fluids. Sweat, semen, blood, and urine are all bodily fluids that bacteria will feast on if they can get ahold of them, which then causes odors.
Typical deodorants work in one of two ways:
- Mask the B.O. with a potent fragrance
- Stop you from sweating in the first place (not exactly natural for your body!)
Lume came up with a third option – it stops the reaction between bacteria and fluids, so odor never happens.
This means you can use Lume on any external part of your body where you would find any of these fluids, including your lady bits!
Mandelic Acid is what powers all of Lume’s acidified products, like their deodorants and body washes.
It has a low pH and powerful antibacterial properties, so it will acidify your skin, control bacteria growth, and stop odors.
Mandelic Acid can also gently exfoliate your skin, improve its texture, and even help with hyperpigmentation.
No Aluminum or Other Harsh Ingredients
Lume is all about clean ingredients, which is something I look for in all of my skincare products. No aluminum, baking soda, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, or talc.
Most antiperspirant deodorants use aluminum to block sweat pores, and there’s been a huge controversy over this.
While the FDA has technically said aluminum is safe for cosmetic use, some think that aluminum in the body could cause health issues like cancer, hormone imbalances, and skin irritations.
As for the fragrances, I’m typically not crazy about synthetic fragrances, but when Lume first launched, they used natural fragrances, and a lot of people hated how it smelled.
They’ve since switched from natural to skin-safe synthetic fragrances, which makes their products smell a whole lot better.
It still meets clean beauty standards, and Lume says natural fragrances aren’t necessarily safer or cleaner than synthetic ones.
But if you want to avoid synthetic fragrances, you can just go with their unscented products. (I don’t recommend it if I can be brutal.)
Related Article: 50 Best Self-Care Products & Ideas for Busy Moms
Lume’s Other Products
Lume’s whole-body deodorants are all over TikTok, but Lume actually has an impressive lineup of other products, too, and I’ve tried most of them.
Body Wash, Cleansing Bar, and Body Cream
The cleansing bar is probably my favorite, but I’m partial to bar soaps.
Their deodorant wipes also stop B.O. before it happens, so I keep them in my purse for on-the-go applications between deodorant applications.
I did figure out that the wipes aren’t really a good substitute for the deodorant, though – they’ll freshen you up, but they won’t fight odor for the rest of the day. At least not for me.
Lume even has laundry products to make your clothes smell better. Turns out, what makes your clothes stinky is a biofilm buildup.
This permastink is basically a bunch of microorganisms that excrete sugars, fats, proteins, and starches that stick to the fibers of your clothes and cause odors that can’t be washed away with just your regular laundry detergent.
Lume’s enzyme pretreat spray and soak breaks up that biofilm layer so that your laundry detergent can then wash it away.
I haven’t tried Lume’s laundry products yet because I’m such a sucker for Laundry Sauce (read my review of that here). But I definitely want to try it the next time I order more deodorant.
Lume vs. Other Deodorant Brands
Since Lume is different from literally everything else on the market, it’s hard to make comparisons.
But here’s how it stacks up to a few other products out there meant to treat body odors.
Odor Control Mechanism
Mandelic Acid & other skin-friendly ingredients
Blocks bacteria digestion of fluids which stops odor
Effective for 72 hours
Skin-friendly synthetic fragrance
Any part of the body
Baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, Magnesium Hydroxide
Baking soda helps neutralize odor
24-hour “all day” protection
Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15%
Uses aluminum to prevent sweating
Probiotics, spirulina, hyaluronic acid, & antioxidants
Probiotics help neutralize odor
20% Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex
Uses aluminum to prevent sweating
Butane, Dicaprylyl Carbonate
Traps odor molecules
Up to 24-hour protection
Lume is definitely a step above typical deodorants you find in the drugstore, like the Dove antiperspirant.
While the Vagisil option is dirt cheap, it misses many key selling points that Lume boasts: all-over body use, long-lasting protection, and a clean ingredient list.
For me, the only deodorant that gave me pause against Lume was Native.
Lume vs. Native
The most intriguing competitor for me is Native – they have some really unique scent options, and I’m a sucker for that clean, minimalistic packaging.
Aesthetically, I really prefer Native over Lume.
That said, Native’s main odor-fighting ingredient is baking soda. Lume does not contain baking soda because it’s a common culprit for irritation with other products.
Other aluminum-free deodorants on the market, whether they contain baking soda or not, generally have an alkaline pH of 8-9, while Lume’s pH is in the acidic range.
At the end of the day, I think both Lume and Native are probably great deodorants. I lean toward Lume because of the Mandelic Acid and the science behind its odor-fighting ingredients, even if the packaging isn’t quite as pretty.
Related Content You Might Like: Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating Spray Review
So… Does Lume Deodorant Work?
After 5 months of using Lume’s deodorant, I can attest that it does work.
But – and a huge but – you should understand the science behind Lume’s formula before making judgments.
Lume Takes Up to 2 Weeks to Take Full Effect
Lume works differently than almost all other deodorants on the market. Other deodorant products either stop you from sweating (not awesome for your body), or they just mask the B.O.
Lume actually stops the odor-causing reaction between bacteria and bodily fluids on our skin, and that can take 4-14 days.
This 4-14 day waiting period helps do two things:
- Removes waxy residue on the skin from previous deodorants
- Starts the process of preventing the odor-causing reaction between bacteria and bodily fluids on our skin
If you use Lume for one day and decide it’s not working, you haven’t allowed it to unleash its magic yet.
Don’t Use Other Deodorants
I actually thought Lume didn’t work when I started using it because I didn’t understand the science of what was happening.
I also didn’t realize that I was hurting my progress by using other deodorant brands.
Occasionally, I would grab an old Secrets stick and swipe it on. That really halts a lot of the progress made when priming your body for Lume to work.
Lume Definitely Works
Once I stopped using other deodorants and applied Lume daily, I noticed a huge difference around the 10-day mark.
I work out three times a week, and even after my workouts, I noticed that I was sweating, but it didn’t smell.
Now, I don’t need to apply Lume every day – I only do it after I get out of the shower and before my workouts. It seriously works, y’all!
Lume Cream vs. Solid
If you want to try Lume’s deodorant, you have multiple choices: a cream (similar to a lotion consistency) and a solid (like a typical deodorant stick).
The cream is pretty unique because you only need a pea-sized amount, and you can stop odor from forming basically anywhere on your body. Your armpits, belly rolls, thigh folds, underboob, buttcrack… yes, I’m laughing a little as I write this, but we gotta keep it real!
The solid is a traditional deodorant; you just swipe it on. You can still use this anywhere on your body, but not sure if you want to swipe your buttcrack and then use it on your armpits the next day.
I personally find that I prefer the solid for the simple fact that I don’t need to wash my hands after I put it on. It’s the little things sometimes.
But the cream has its place, and it does come in handy if I want to stink-proof my whole body. The nice thing is you can get the starter bundle for 30% using this link, and you can try both.
Best Lume Scents
I went a little crazy and ordered every scent from Lume.
The best Lume scents, in this order, are:
- Lavender Sage (my personal favorite)
- Toasted Coconut (my second favorite and all of my friends’ favorite)
- Clean Tangerine (fresh and vibrant)
- Fresh Alpine (really nice masculine scent)
The worst Lume scents, from least offensive to most offensive, are:
- Soft Powder
- Minted Cucumber
- Peony Rose
Peony Rose is really atrocious. Do not recommend.
Unscented smells sour, but it doesn’t linger, so I prefer it over Peony Rose.
Soft Powder and Minted Cucumber are meh.
Lume Deodorant Reviews
This review is obviously just my own experience with Lume, but thousands of people have tried the product.
Out of my own friend group, the women I’ve talked to rave about Lume. One of my best friends told me that nothing worked for her until she tried Lume. Like me, her favorite product is the Lavender Sage stick.
My other friend is very particular about using natural products, and Lume has been her top choice out of all the aluminum-free deodorants she’s tried. Her go-to product is the Toasted Coconut cream.
Outside of my own friend group, here’s an analysis of Lume reviews. These should give you a good idea about what most people think of Lume’s deodorant products.
Negative Lume Reviews
I analyzed all of the 1-star reviews from the Lume website, dating from January 2023 to October 2023.
There were 38 total 1-star reviews; the most common complaint was the product’s smell.
“It truly smelled like something that sat too long and spoiled.”
“…smelled old as if [it] had sat in a warehouse for some time.”
“Smells like a moldy wet hay field.”
“…left my skin smelling like plastic.”
“…in the end you are smelling like fake chemicals.”
These reviews are all post-reformulation, so it appears that a small percentage of people still can’t stand the acidic odor associated with Mandelic Acid.
There were also a couple of mentions of an allergic reaction:
“I started having a reaction around my private parts. It was like a rash and very itchy.”
“Skin reddened, burning…”
“It broke me out all over, even my scalp!”
These reviews were pretty rare, and the good news is if either happens for you, you can return the product for a full refund.
Even a 1-star review mentioned that the customer service was great:
“Can’t get past the awful smell!! […] Customer service is great. Refunded money promptly.”
Positive Lume Reviews
Compared to 38 negative reviews from the last nine months, there were 221 5-star reviews.
And funny enough, the smell/scent was talked about quite often – many reviewers loved the fragrances (including yours truly).
The general consensus among these 5-star reviews is that Lume works great for them. It does what it promises it’ll do.
Here are some 5-star reviews that really stood out to me:
“I have worse BO than my husband and NOTHING worked. […] This has CHANGED THE GAME. I live body odor free now and I am so thankful!”
“It most definitely works for 72 hours, I put it to the test….still smelling sweet after 3 days with no shower.”
“[…] so effective and easy on sensitive skin […]”
“I have used all your products and several scents. I’ve had a stroke and unable to get into the bath tub for showers each day. The products work fantastically.”
“I don’t use anything else.”
“[…] sounds funny to rave about deodorizing products, but they really work […]”
“My hubby had a stroke and noticed a smell when sitting around […] I told him I think this will help you so we splurged and It did…so thank you!”
“[…] the deodorant (coconut) smells so good and lasts like the product promised.”
I also noticed that many positive reviews were about the body cream. A lot of people said they had skin concerns like dryness or keratosis pilaris, and the Lume acidified body cream fixed it.
Pros and Cons of Lume Deodorant
Pros of Lume:
- Stops odors from forming without stopping your body from sweating
- Doesn’t just mask existing B.O. – it actually prevents it
- No aluminum or baking soda
- Can use anywhere on your body, including armpits, skinfolds, belly buttons, feet, or privates
- New skin-safe synthetic fragrances smell great, which is a huge pro, especially for those who hated the smell of Lume in the past
- Lavender Sage and Toasted Coconut scents are incredible
- No white or yellow residue on clothes
- Not greasy
- Great for different stages in life like perimenopause, menopause, postpartum, and those going through health complications, such as a stroke
Cons of Lume:
- The Peony Rose and Unscented creams have a slightly sour after-smell
- Relatively pricey when compared to drugstore deodorants
- You’ll still sweat (Lume isn’t an antiperspirant)
- Can take 4-14 days of daily use before the Mandelic Acid is in full effect
Lume Starter Pack Discount
The Lume Starter Pack is arguably the best first purchase if you want to try out the brand. You can get 30% off the starter pack with the button below:
The Starter Pack includes:
- Solid or Cream Stick
- Cream Tube
- Free Mini
- Wipes Pack
Knowing what I know now, here’s exactly what I would order:
- Solid Lavender Sage Stick
- Toasted Coconut Cream Tube
- Lavender Sage or Toasted Coconut Mini Body Wash
- 15 Count Deodorant Wipes Pack
The items I ordered for this review were all different kinds of bundles so I could try the most amount of products and scents possible. But now that I’ve tried them all, that right there is a winning combination!
Lume Discount Code
I reached out to Lume directly, and they didn’t have any discount codes to offer. However, you can get 30% off the starter pack with the button below (no promo code required).
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Lume smell so bad?
The original Lume formula had a strong sour smell to it because of the base ingredients and the natural fragrances. Lume has since switched from natural to skin-safe synthetic fragrances, which makes Lume products smell a whole lot better and still meet clean beauty standards.
How does Lume work?
Lume works by stopping bacteria from digesting fluids like sweat, semen, blood, and urine. This stops body odor before it starts and continues to control odor for 72 hours.
Where can you buy Lume deodorant?
The best place to buy Lume deodorant is directly on the Lume website since there are always amazing promotions going on. But Lume is also sold on Amazon, in any major drug store, Target, or Walmart.
What is Lume deodorant?
Lume deodorant is a whole-body deodorant designed by OB/GYN Dr. Shannon Klingman to block body odor from happening even before it starts. Lume uses natural and skin-friendly ingredients and can be used on all parts of your body from your armpits to your privates.
How do you use Lume?
To use Lume deodorant, apply a pea-sized amount and rub it into the skin just like a lotion. You can cover 1 or 2 inches around any hair-bearing area. If you’re using the solid stick, swipe it on like a regular deodorant. You should use it daily until you’re odor-free for 24 hours, and after that, you can use it as often as you feel necessary.
What is Lume made of?
Lume is made of natural, skin-friendly ingredients that were formulated to be safe for women’s most sensitive areas. All of Lume’s products contain Mandelic Acid, so they are pH-optimized to support skin that smells better. They are also free from dyes, aluminum, baking soda, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and talc.
Where to apply Lume on private parts?
You can apply Lume literally anywhere on your body. You can use both the cream or the stick on private parts like your underboob and tummy folds, down your thigh folds, up underneath your butt crack, or even on your feet. If you’re going to use the solid stick in between your butt cheeks, you should get a second stick specifically designated to that area for sanitary reasons – or just go with the cream.
Who invented Lume?
Lume was invented by OB/GYN Dr. Shannon Klingman. She invented Lume because she realized other feminine odor products were focused on the wrong thing. She wanted to create a solution that would stop odor from happening that could be used all over the body.
How much does Lume cost?
A tube of Lume cream deodorant costs an average of $19.99 per tube, and you can knock off about $3 if you subscribe on their website. The stick deodorants are both regularly $14.99. There are also bundles available for varying prices that include some of Lume’s other products like their body wash, soap bars, and laundry spray.
Which Lume smells best?
My favorite Lume scent is the Lavender Sage. My husband and several of my friends think the Toasted Coconut is the best, and it’s my runner-up. It smells like a fresh piña colada – it’s so yummy! The Clean Tangerine is also nice, but it’s just not my favorite.
Which Lume smells worst?
The worst Lume scent is Unscented (surprise, surprise), as it smells pretty sour. It’s just not pleasant. The Peony Rose is also kind of weird – it has a tinge of baby powder in it. I also wasn’t a fan of Minted Cucumber.
After trying Lume and understanding the science behind it, I’m a fan for life. I can’t imagine going back to drugstore deodorants like Secrets or Dove after knowing how they work.
I want to actually stop odor from forming, not just cover it up.
Lume is a great product, and they typically have some really nice promotions, especially on bundles.
Have you tried Lume? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the scents below.