An In-Depth Look at the Oars + Alps Lineup

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Review Highlights

  • Oars + Alps products are well-designed and rely on high quality ingredients across their entire lineup.
  • The face wash and face moisturizer are extremely well-made and give premium brands a run for their money.
  • The natural deodorant smells intoxicating.  But you will still sweat if you are doing any strenuous activity.
  • All their products are travel-friendly making them great for bringing with you on the road or at the gym.

Oars + Alps has splashed onto the scene in recent years thanks to their wide lineup of naturally-focused products – with their most notable being their widely popular natural deodorant.

In this detailed review, we will evaluate their following products:

All of the above were a part of their Build Your Own Kit package.

In addition to the product evaluations, we will also share the unboxing experience, answer some common questions about these products, and discuss other important info about Oars + Alps.

So come along and learn if Oars + Alps is worthy of your money, and most importantly, your skin.

Our Relation With Oars + Alps

When writing detailed reviews, I am making a promise to be as transparent as possible in what goes on here at Tools of Men.  Not only is it good business, but you also deserve to know – especially when it comes to product reviews.  Here’s a summary of the important details:

  • Tools of Men has an affiliate relationship with Oars + Alps.  This means that we are paid a very small commission if you buy a product featured on this page – at no additional cost to you.  These commissions are used to cover expenses (i.e. operational expenses, salary, purchase of future products for research, etc.).  Furthermore, if you bought a product and thought it was bad and returned it, we get paid $0 – which we think is fair.
  • We paid for these products – they are not complementary.
  • Oars + Alps has no knowledge of this post prior to publication.
  • This is not a sponsored post.  We do not accept sponsored posts.  
  • Tools of Men is independently owned and operated

Unboxing Oars + Alps

While not looking to spend too much time in the unboxing experience as you are likely not too concerned about how the product arrives at your front doorstep, I just wanted to share with you the following on what you can expect:

A simple no-frills box.

Once opened, the packaging is fairly standard here:

As you can see, there is a packing slip in an envelope (a nice little touch rather than it being loose-leaf) along with a marketing insert:

Here’s what they look like on the other side:

Again, fairly standard stuff going on here.  If anything we wished was here, it would be a coupon or two for your next order–especially since these are grooming supplies that are intended to be used regularly.

Note: We will share any savings we found later on when looking at their promo emails.

As for the design of the products themselves – things here are pretty clean looking and high quality.

One key feature of Oars + Alps products that a lot of men will like is the size.  Well under the TSA limit of 3.4 oz (source), these products are all travel-friendly – making them perfect if you find yourself traveling via air frequently and want to keep up your detailed skincare regimen no matter where work takes you.  

Secondly, the small size is also great to bring with you in your gym bag.

But one subtle detail that we think you will really like is the screw-on top for both the deodorant and face wash.  This secure closure is helpful to prevent accidental damage or spillage while also preserving the product between uses.

While a picture can’t ever demonstrate the experience, when unscrewing the caps on these, it feels high quality and not of some cheap or flimsy piece of plastic.

Should you have sensitive skin and are drawn to Oars + Alps thanks to their naturally derived lineup of products – or simply want to see exactly what is in each of the products in the pic above – we took the liberty to serve you up some high-res pics so you can clearly see what is contained within each of the products above:

Note: Oftentimes, companies may change their ingredient list due to price, customer feedback, etc.  Therefore, we recommend that you double-check with the Oars + Alps website to get the latest list of ingredients.

Hands-on Testing

Now to the essence of the review – testing out Oars + Alps products and sharing the results:

Solid Face Wash

The best feature for the face wash is the form factor.  Rather than having a sloppy soap like most others where you must generate a lather with your hands, the solid stick makes application incredibly easy:

After wetting both the top of the stick and my face, it was ready to be applied:

As you can see, the wash goes on quite dark due to the activated charcoal as the primary ingredient.

But once you begin to rub the wash in with your hands around your face, you will see that the face wash activates and gets to work in riding both dirt and grime from your skin:

As for the dark color transferring to towels or porcelain, I didn’t find that to be a problem at all when using this face wash.

Once rinsed thoroughly, here were the results:

Other Review Notes:

  • The face wash has a very fine grit to it.  Not nearly as gritty as an exfoliant, but not as smooth as a liquid face wash like Cetaphil.  I didn’t find this to be off-putting at all; in fact, just the opposite – it was a welcomed addition.
  • The scent for the face wash was subtle.  Evoking a lighter and clean scent, it was slightly invigorating and welcomed.  
  • As evident in the pictures above, sudsing or bubbles for this face wash are nearly non-existent when lathered.  For some men, this may be a problem as it doesn’t provide that tactile feedback that the soap is working.  However, rest assured, this face wash is working hard.

The Bottom Line:

This face wash is a sure winner.  It relies on quality ingredients, is well-designed, and provides great results.  Whether you travel frequently, or simply want a face wash for home use – put this at the top of your consideration list.

Face Moisturizer

Next up on the evaluation is the Oars + Alps face moisturizer.  Whether you are 20 or 50, a moisturizer such as this one should be a part of your daily regimen.  Able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as add a little extra life to your skin, it’s a quick and easy way to catch the attention of others.

Let’s see how this one performs.

As pictured previously, this face moisturizer comes in a simple squeeze tube design:

This moisturizer is a white, velvet-like lotion:

Prior to applying, I went ahead and rubbed it onto both hands so I could get a bit more even application.  As you can see, it thins out nicely:

When it came to applying this lotion, it absorbed into the skin quickly and rather easily.  As you can see in the short GIF below, this was about 10 seconds into the application process and you can see that the liberal amount that was applied to my hand absorbed in nicely:

Once fully applied, here were the results:

As you can see, this face moisturizer doesn’t leave an oily sheen on the skin.  Instead, it absorbs in for a more natural, hydrated look.

Other Review Notes:

  • This face moisturizer is nearly unscented.  There are faint hints of a fresh and clean scent, but it is hardly noticeable.
  • There is no SPF protection in this moisturizer.  This is disappointing as you will want to pick up a separate sunscreen to use in tandem with this product.
  • While the 2.5oz are nice for travel, I wish there was a larger size option for home use.
  • Largely relies on all-natural ingredients with aloe vera and glycerin making up the base.

The Bottom Line:

Thanks to the reliance on high-quality ingredients, this face moisturizer will perform well for most skin types.  Able to absorb quickly, it is a great pick for those men who want to look their best before heading out the door in the morning.  Overall, I would recommend this – just be sure that you get a separate sunscreen as this contains 0 SPF.

Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant has become popular over the past several years due to a combination of factors.  Not only are more naturally derived products finding their ways into the medicine cabinet thanks to the eco-movement, but there are also some questions on whether aluminum (the active ingredient in antiperspirants) causes cancer.  

While I am hardly qualified to make such a statement, I invite you to check cancer.gov if you want to learn more about what the current research suggests.

With that being said, let’s look at this natural deodorant from Oars + Alps:

Since the last time I shared my hairy armpits to the world it didn’t end well (plus I don’t want to scar you for life), I am going to demonstrate applying this to my forearm:

When applying this across my forearm, you can see that it goes on clear:

But of course, testing didn’t end with a simple arm swipe.  When actually wearing this deodorant, I found that it applied really well to the underarms thanks to its rounded stick design.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, was the smell.

When reviewing this compared to other natural deodorants, there is simply no beating the scent that Oars + Alps uses in this stick – it is simply the best.

While I am using the Fresh Ocean Splash scent (which I highly recommend), Oars + Alps makes their deodorant in seven different scents, with two of them being designed specifically for sensitive skin.

Is Natural Deodorant Right for You?

If there are any downfalls about this deodorant, it would be about sweat management.  This isn’t a true antiperspirant.  So if you don’t like moisture under your pits, you will be disappointed. 

While Oars + Alps says that it can take between 4 to 5 weeks for odor and sweat to begin to disappear, you will still sweat.

This is a dealbreaker for many if you want super dry pits 24/7.  But if you like to play it safe and skip the aluminum, or maybe you simply love naturally derived products, then you are likely okay with this compromise.  

Honestly, if I’m going for a run, I am still putting on an antiperspirant rather than this deodorant.  However, if I am just casually sitting around the house for the day, then this will be perfectly fine.  At the end of the day, whether you get this deodorant will boil down to your personal preference.

Other Review Notes:

  • This beats all other natural deodorants hands-down.  The scent is intoxicating and will make you smell great – even if your pits are a bit moist.
  • The screw-top design protects the deodorant from ever opening up or getting damaged while in transport.  Housed in a thick plastic case, it feels premium.
  • The deodorant goes on clear, so it won’t transfer to your clothes like a solid white stick antiperspirant.
  • With no aluminum, it won’t turn your undershirts yellow.

Bottom Line:

If you like going all-natural and don’t like using an aluminum-based antiperspirant, then this is for you.  However, if you are wearing this when out on a run or at the gym, your pits will be sweaty – but hey, they will still smell great.

Who’s Behind Oars + Alps?

Oars + Alps was founded by Laura Lisowski Cox and Mia Saini Duchnowski in 2015 (source). Laura and Mia had set out to develop a line of high quality, TSA-approved, and decently priced skincare products that not only worked for their husbands but also men such as yourself.

Acquired by the global conglomerate S.C. Johnson in 2019 (source) for a reported $20 million, Laura and Mia are no longer a part of the company – perhaps sipping martinis on their private yacht as we speak.

What does this mean for you?  

Well, if you like to support small independent brands, then you may want to consider some of the other options out there such as Huron (which we also recently reviewed), Brickell, etc.  

Oars + Alps Coupons & Promo Codes

Rather than wasting time and getting frustrated with coupon sites trying to score a deal – we did some of the legwork for you in order to discover what sort of savings can be had when shopping on oarsandalps.com

Here’s what we found:

Website Promotion

The most reliable way to score discounts is to simply sign up for the email list on the Oars + Alps website:

At the bottom of the page, you can sign up to their mailing list and get 10% off your first order – not bad.

Rewards Program

Already a customer and looking to share your experience with friends or family?  If so, before you send them to the site, check out the Oars + Alps reward program:

Here you can get points for various activities including sharing Oars + Alps on social media, writing a review, subscription plans, etc.

It’s an easy way to score some savings – learn more about the rewards program here.

Email Savings

Once you are a customer, or if you signed up to their mailing list as previously mentioned, you will get a steady stream flood of emails.  

Here’s what is currently sitting in the inbox:

Yeah, it’s a bit crazy.

So if you are in search of savings, their email will regularly drop deals.

Subscribe & Save

Given that Oars + Alps products are intended to be used daily, it’s great to see that they offer some savings when you order from them regularly.  

Subscribers automatically get 10% from every one of their subscription orders while also earning double the rewards (source).  With a simple cancel anytime policy, you are free to make changes to your account on the fly – great if you are using their beard oil just for the winter months.

Oars + Alps Policies

Buying directly from a new company can always be a scary experience.  You often hear horror stories on social media that companies are unresponsive, stuff hidden fees, or just simply don’t care when it comes to the paying customer.  Therefore, we wanted to touch on a couple of important policies:

Return Policy

Oars + Alps hits all the right notes when it comes to their return policy.  Per their website, they offer free returns and have a gracious 30-day return window:

Of course, you will always want to check their FAQ page for the latest terms.

Shipping Rates

At the time of publication, Oars + Alps offers free standard shipping on orders greater than $40:

Again, check the website for the latest policy as it may change.

Where to Buy Oars + Alps

The best way to purchase Oars + Alps products is online either directly from their website or through another online storefront such as Amazon and Birchbox.

If you are a guy that likes to hold a product before making your purchase, Oars + Alps can be found at Target retail locations as well as online.

Oars + Alps Frequently Asked Questions

Is Oars + Alps any good?

This question is highly subjective – what is good for one man may not necessarily be good for you – especially when it comes to skincare products.  On the whole, as a company and their policies, Oars + Alps does a good job at being transparent.

Is Oars + Alps cruelty-free?

Per their FAQ page and in a company blog post a few years back, Oars + Alps never tests their products on animals (source 1, source 2).  Given that Oars + Alps is owned by SC Johnson, we dug a bit deeper and found the following statement about their product testing on animals and their commitment to transparency.

Who owns Oars + Alps?

S.C. Johnson owns Oars + Alps as of Sept. 2019 (source).  They acquired Oars + Alps for a reported $20 million.

Does Oars + Alps deodorant have baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or aluminum?

At this time, the Oars + Alps natural deodorant does not contain baking soda or aluminum in their ingredient list.

Final Thoughts on Oars + Alps

Overall, I think most men will be pleased with Oars + Alps.  Their products smell great and do a relatively good job.  We think that their face wash and moisturizer were absolute standout products.  The form factor of the face wash was awesome and the moisturizer absorbed into the skin nicely.

While their flagship natural deodorant won’t stop your pits from completely sweating, it is a nice natural and modern alternative to some of the more obscure brands out there.  

If you are looking to give a new company a look and want one that focuses on both great smelling and largely natural ingredients, try out Oars + Alps

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.