Looking to switch to a natural deodorant? First, some background: Natural deodorants are free of aluminum salts, the active ingredient in antiperspirant that stops your body from sweating. Instead, natural deodorants use other ingredients—like baking soda, clays, or zinc salts—to soak up the oils, bacteria, and sweat that can develop in your armpits and lead to odor.

Fair warning: For some people, natural deodorants can cause irritation and itchiness, so finding the best natural deodorant that doesn’t irritate your skin but does neutralize odor can be tricky.

Since deodorant doesn’t actually stop the production of sweat like an antiperspirant does, you’ll still sweat a bit (a feeling that will take avid antiperspirant users a bit to get used to). But once you accept a little sweat, you’ll love that these best natural deodorants keep your pits happy and healthy.

1. Kopari Natural Deodorant

This deodorant feels silky on skin, and it’s free of baking soda, which can cause irritation in some people.

Kopari Natural Deodorant amazon.com $14.00

2. Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant
The Native natural deodorants have rave reviews online, probably because of how moisturizing and gentle the formulation is. They’re paraben-free, leave no residue, and won’t get clumpy under your underarms (your tops will thank you!).

target.com Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant target.com $11.99
3. PiperWai Natural Deodorant
Famous for their stint on Shark Tank, the PiperWai team was one of the first to bring natural deodorant to the masses. Heads-up, this pick comes in a pot, so you’ll need to apply it with your fingers, like you would a face cream.
PiperWai Natural Deodorant Jar amazon.com $16.00 $11.99 (25% off)

4. Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
The Ursa Major deodorant is naturally cooling and contains aloe to soothe sensitive skin. Kaolin, baking soda, and saccharomyces (a type of yeast) all work together to soak up sweat and bacteria, leaving you feeling fresh and clean.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant amazon.com $18.00
5. Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Formula Deodorant Stick, Fragrance-Free
Specifically formulated for sensitive skin, the Schmidt’s natural deodorants are formulated without baking soda and are also free of propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin – Fragrance-Free, 3.25 ounces. Stick for Women and Men amazon.com $17.50 $9.97 (43% off)

6. Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
Another pick that requires application with your hands, the Soapwalla deodorant cream contains superfine vegetable powders and clays to absorb sweat, along with lavender, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils to mask any odors.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream amazon.com $19.00 $16.00 (16% off)

7. Tom’s of Maine Natural Strength Deodorant, Fresh Powder
48 hours of odor protection from a natural deodorant? It’s now possible thanks to this stick formulated with no artificial fragrances but packed with goodies like zinc oxide to freshen and beeswax to condition skin.

Tom’s of Maine Natural Strength Deodorant, Fresh Powder, 2.1oz walmart.com $5.97

8. Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant
This pick smells like a fresh summer day and will have your pits smelling clean and odor-free, thanks to the eucalyptus extract and citronellyl, which help neutralize odor. One of the brand’s founders, Matthew Malin, suffers from multiple skin diseases like eczema, rosacea, and fragrance allergies, so formulating a non-irritating deodorant was a major prio.

Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant amazon.com $22.00
9. Type:A The Visionary
This new natural deodorant is made with a sweat-activated formula with a time release effect. That means it will kick in when you really need it. Type:A The Visionary follain.com $10.00

10. Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Citrus Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick
If you’re looking to switch to natural deodorant, you may find that your skin is suddenly irritated. A likely culprit: baking soda. This gentle formula foregoes the common ingredient and uses arrow root powder to absorb sweat and coconut oil to keep pits smooth.

Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Citrus Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick – 1.8 oz follain.com $12.50

11. Weleda Deodorant Spray
Unlike other natural deodorants, this pick comes in a spray and uses pure essential oils to mask odors. It’s free from synthetic preservatives and fragrances, colorants, and raw materials derived from mineral oils.

Weleda Citrus Deodorant amazon.com $10.63 $8.66 (19% off)
12. Follain Charcoal Deodorant
Free of aluminum, this natural formula uses charcoal to absorb impurities, tea tree to fight odor-causing bacteria, and corn starch to absorb oil. Follain Charcoal Deodorant follain.com $14.00
Daley Quinn Daley Quinn is a Connecticut-born, Texas-bred beauty & wellness writer living in New York City.

Contents

We Tried 10 Brands of Natural Deodorant. Here’s What Worked (Plus, a Homemade Deodorant Recipe)

  • Conventional deodorant is notorious for being toxic and interfering with your body’s natural elimination systems, so you’re looking for the best natural deodorant.
  • You’re probably skeptical about whether a little beeswax and lavender oil will do the job like the lab-created industrial chemicals do.
  • Since everyone sweats differently and there’s so much variation in individual odor levels, what keeps your roommate fresh might make you capable of clearing a room upon arrival.
  • Our team tested 10 natural deodorants to make your search easier.

You’ve cleaned up your diet, and now you’re ready to clean your beauty routine, too. Still, you’ve been hesitant to ditch antiperspirant in place of natural deodorant. Sure, conventional deodorant is notorious for being toxic and interfering with your body’s natural elimination systems. But you’re skeptical about whether a little beeswax and lavender oil can do the job that industrial chemicals do. Spoiler alert: most natural deodorants can’t.

That’s why we did the dirty work for you and tested ten natural deodorants to find the ones that won’t leave you a stinky, sweaty mess.

Since everyone sweats differently and there’s so much variation in individual odor levels, what keeps your roommate fresh might make you capable of clearing a room upon arrival.

Here are the best natural deodorants that worked for us — and the ones that didn’t. During your own trial and error, keep in mind that it takes a good two weeks for your body to adjust to natural deodorant so stick with it before tossing (more on that below).

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

Schmidt’s deodorant offers seven different scents, plus six varieties of the sensitive skin formulation. Fellas, if you don’t want to smell like a field of flowers, you can choose fragrance-free, magnesium + charcoal, or a woodsy cedarwood + juniper blend.

Cost

$9 for 3.25 oz, travel sizes and multi-packs available. I snagged a stick for $3.99 at TJ Maxx, but you never know what they’re going to stock at any given time.

How well does it work?

Since Schmidt’s is on the lower end of pricing for natural deodorants, I expected it wouldn’t perform as well as higher end brands. It seems to keep the stench at bay, but that could be because I also drink about 20 oz of chlorophyll water every day now. I’m still sweating a lot, but that’s okay if I don’t smell bad while doing it. I found that if I had to go out in the evening, I’d reapply just before dinnertime to feel confident until I returned home.

Overall, the scent combinations are appealing and there’s something for everyone. I don’t need the sensitive skin formula but it’s important for a brand to have that available. Nobody wants fire pits.

Who might like it

Men who have been frustrated by natural brands having almost all feminine scents
Natural deodorant beginners who want to use an easy-to-apply stick
People who want affordability and variety without compromising effectiveness

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Soapwalla’s natural deodorant has some impressive ingredients in its jar. Jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and shea butter are super nourishing for skin, the clays are known for their ability to absorb toxins…the whole package looked promising. Soapwalla has a creamy texture and smells amazing.

$14 for a 2 oz jar

It did its intended job well — my pits passed the sniff test well into the evening. It glides on easily and was easy to apply with my fingers instead of using a stick.

After a few days, I noticed redness on my underarms that wasn’t there before. I kept using it, and the irritation set in. My skin doesn’t react to much of anything, so that was a bummer. After reading the ingredients list, I wondered if it was because of the citrus essential oils. Citrus makes you more photosensitive and I was constantly outside during my test, so I wonder if the redness was a reaction to ingredients or an increased sensitivity to the sun.

Another possibility is that corn starch is causing irritation. If you have an overgrowth of the microscopic fungus candida albicans in your system (and a lot of us do, even though we don’t realize it), corn starch will feed it. Candida on the skin can be incredibly irritating, so if you’re setting out the buffet table for them, you can expect a reaction there.

If my guess about sun sensitivity is correct, people who live in colder climates and people who don’t spend a lot of time in the sun would like Soapwalla. It’s hard to say whether or not it will irritate your skin without trying it out for a few days.

Odor wasn’t an issue at all!

Tom’s of Maine – Long Lasting Deodorant in Lavender

Tom’s of Maine is most well-known for its natural toothpaste, and has a full line of personal care products including lotions, soaps, shampoos, baby care products, mouthwash, and deodorant. You have a variety of scents and strengths to choose from, and you can find it at almost any grocery store or pharmacy.

Depending on how picky you are with what goes on your skin, Tom’s may or may not fit your definition of a non-toxic brand. Tom’s antiperspirants contain the aluminum salts that most people try to avoid by going natural, and a few of the deodorant varieties contain questionable ingredients like propylene glycol (which is also used as an aircraft de-icer).

We tried it anyway. Here’s the lowdown.

$4-7 for 2.25 oz

I tested Tom’s deodorant for one month, and I’m sorry for anyone who stood next to me during that time. In hindsight, I think I smelled really bad for that short chapter. The turning point was when I went to get my haircut and told my stylist I was using natural deodorant and she asked which one, and I told her I’d been using Tom’s. And she replied, “Oh! That explains it. You REALLY have to reapply that stuff. This is not a once a day thing.” Message delivered, loud and clear. Or smelly and clear?

My hairstylist says it works great if you put it on every hour or two. So, someone who wants to keep it in their bag and will remember to reapply, and reapply again, will love it. It’s cheap and easy to find, so in that regard, it’s convenient.

Jason’s Purifying Tea Tree Deodorant Stick

Another lower-cost natural deodorant, Jason’s deodorants come in nine different varieties including a dry spray. It’s a good one to reach for if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your pits, but avoid it if you have sensitive skin.

$5 for 2.5 oz

This one gave me a rash under my arms. Smell-wise, it performed, but the itching made it unbearable. It makes me wonder what ingredients react with my skin, and whether a different variety of Jason’s would irritate my skin or not. Also, it felt sticky from the time I applied it until it wore off.

At least I wasn’t smelly AND itchy. Glass half full!

Someone who wants an ultra-affordable natural deodorant option, but doesn’t have sensitive skin.

“The Crystal” Deodorant Stick

Keeping odor away with a crystal — there’s nothing that says “crunchy earth mama” better that that!

Except, what kind of crystal is it?

The crystal in the crystal body stick is a naturally occurring rock, potassium alum. Rocks are found in nature, so they can’t be harmful, right? Hemlock trees are natural, and those contain alkaloids that will paralyze your respiratory system. An extreme example, but it’s a gentle reminder that not everything natural is safe.

If you’re suspicious because part of that compound has part of the word aluminum in it, you’re on to something. When you switch from conventional deodorants, you usually want to avoid aluminum, and the crystal is made of an aluminum salt.

We tested it anyway, because the possibility that a crystal can keep odor away is something we had to smell for ourselves.

$7 for 4.25 oz (should last about a year)

It doesn’t stop sweating, but it keeps odor away with no residue. I applied once in the morning and didn’t feel the need again, even late into the day.

One major perk is that it doesn’t leave a trace of anything on your clothes. If you wear a lot of white, you’ll quickly get frustrated with natural deodorants. They’re usually oil based and you have to get good at washing out pit stains. Staining isn’t an issue with the crystal.

Anyone who wants less chemical exposure, and really hates pit stains.

Lavanila: The Healthy Deodorant Sport Luxe

Winner of Allure’s “Best of Beauty” award, Lavanila deodorants appeal to the high-end beauty shopper and come in 13 different luxurious scents. We tested the newer Sport Luxe version, made for athletes, or intense sweaters. The brand also features a brush-on underarm charcoal detox mask that c

an help keep odor down when used one or two times per week.

$14 for 2.2 oz

I am one of those people for whom sweat stains are a daily occurrence, even when using clinical-strength antiperspirant. Suffice to say, natural deodorants have never worked for me — and I’ve tried plenty (sorry, cubicle mates!). I was shocked when this Lavanila Sport Luxe stick went on dry and stayed that way for the entire morning (a record for me). While I have to reapply midday to stay fresh until bedtime, others I’ve recommended it to swear by its all-day lasting power.

Antimicrobial ingredients like rosemary, sage, baking powder, and green tea fight bacteria that cause stink, while cornstarch and silica sop up sweat. Whereas other deodorants irritate my sensitive skin, this one doesn’t.

And the scent: a fresh-out-of-the-shower soapiness that smells clean, not cloying.

Anyone who doesn’t mind paying for quality, and loves indulging in luxury beauty products with attractive packaging. If other natural deodorants have failed miserably for you, this one might make you a convert.

Kopari Coconut Deo

Kopari is a well-known clean beauty brand with a complete line of lotions, body oils, scrubs, skincare and more, and they put coconut in everything. Their coconut deodorant is one of their flagship products, so we tested it to see if it measures up.

$9 for 2oz

I thought the price was approaching the higher range until I tried it. It’s not super soft so I think it will last a long time based on consistency.

It’s not an antiperspirant, but I felt this one kept me fairly dry relative to other brands. Kopari deodorant went on smoothly, seemed to absorb quickly (which is awesome because greasy pits are the pits) and it kept odor away until the middle of the evening. That’s when I feel the need to reapply most natural deodorants.

The scent is light, clean, and fresh. Even though the marketing claims you’ll smell like coconuts, I didn’t find the coconut scent overpowering.

Anyone who is OK with having just one scent to choose from, and wants a non-greasy formula that performs. This one is also good for those of us who like to wear white.

Primal Pit Paste

With nine scents, three strengths, two different kinds of applications, options for sensitive skin, kids’ deodorant, and a detox option, Primal Pit Paste is probably the most fun you can have with deodorant.

Jar: $9 for 2 oz
Stick: $11 for 2 oz
Minis: $4 for .25 oz or 6 for $20

I tested the level 2 paste in a jar, in lemongrass. I found it to be a little on the crumbly side. Being the mad scientist that I am, I added Brain Octane Oil a few drops at a time until it took on a smoother texture. Since Brain Octane Oil is a lightweight oil (in kitchen cosmetics speak, that means it has a low molecular weight), it absorbs completely into your skin so I knew it wouldn’t make it greasy.

That small step created an effective deodorant that smells terrific, was easy to apply, and lasted all day, even through lifting days. That said, I don’t sweat much and I do pit masks regularly, which keeps odor down. Either that, or my friends are way too polite.

Anyone who likes a variety of scents and strengths to choose from, and likes to change it up from time to time.

Milk of magnesia

Yes, that milk of magnesia. You can put the world’s cheapest laxative on your pits and expect good things.

Pick some up in any grocery store or pharmacy, anywhere, and pour into your palm to apply. If you want to get fancy, you can pour it into a spray bottle and add one to three drops of your favorite essential oil, shake, and apply. Companies are starting to catch on, and you can find milk of magnesia packaged in a roll-on.

My mind was blown, too.

As a bonus, magnesium absorbs through the skin, so you get a little bit of a crucial mineral you need anyway.

About $4 for a 12-ounce bottle, which will last you approximately 10,000 years. That’s an exaggeration, but if you’re using your MoM exclusively as deodorant, it will last a long, long time.

I’ve spent so much on fancypants natural deodorants over the years, and to be honest, most brands failed me (and anyone in nose-range of me) miserably. I’m so excited to have found a cheap, easy solution to odor.

Anyone who wants to save serious cash, but also wants a product that works.

Pro tip: make sure you purchase unflavored milk of magnesia, and ideally it should contain only magnesium hydroxide. Avoid brands that contain “sodium hypochlorite.” You don’t want to dose yourself with chlorine bleach every day, even through your skin.

Soda Wax

Soda wax is a small deodorant producer that offers seven natural essential oil-based scents, all of which are pretty amazing. The packaging drew me first — I love a catchy label.

$9 for 3.3 oz

I thought Soda Wax does well at killing underarm odor. It didn’t help with perspiration much, but that’s not unique to Soda Wax. When you’re not plugging your gunk with aluminum, you sweat, and that’s a good thing.

It lasts a long time, both the tube and the odor protection. It’s a little stiff and hard to apply, but if you hold it on the skin for a few seconds before you swipe, it glides on a little better.

The green being — anyone who wants to reduce the toxic burden of their morning routine.

Also, men. A lot of natural deodorant companies simply do not cater to men, and this one has several scent choices that men would like. Plus, the packaging has a nautical barbershop kind of feel to it, so this might be one to use to convince the men in your life to go non-toxic.

DIY deodorant paste

If you’re less than impressed with what you’ve tried so far, why not mix up your own? There’s a good chance you have everything you need in your pantry right now.

How to make DIY natural deodorant

In a water bath, heat 5 T coconut oil in a 4oz mason jar, just until soft and easy to mix

Add:

  • 6 T arrowroot powder
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oils
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Brain Octane Oil (optional – makes the paste silkier and easier to apply)

Mix well, and let it stand to cool and solidify into a paste. Store it anywhere in your bathroom and apply with your fingers.

The kitchen scientist who likes to experiment ingredients and scents, and also likes to save serious cash on DIY personal care products.

What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

The typical story of switching from conventional antiperspirant to natural deodorant goes like this…

Days 1-3: You apply in the morning per usual. No matter which one you start with, you decide that it’s the best natural deodorant ever. You don’t have a trace of odor, and you smell like real fruit and flowers. You decidedly will never go back to toxic aluminum-based antiperspirants again.

Day 4-6: You catch the first whiff of your own natural odor, which makes you hyper-aware of the smell you’re emitting. You sniff check several times per hour. Toward the end of the day, you’re convinced you smell like a bag of hot garbage.

Day 7: You’ve had enough. You’re back to the big box store to get the name brand stuff again.

What’s actually happening when you quit antiperspirant

What you may not realize is that conventional antiperspirant hangs around for a while. It literally plugs your pores with aluminum every time you apply it, so it may last for a few days after you stop using it. So, the first few days you use natural deodorant, you’re applying it on top of the antiperspirant you used a few days ago.

And then, the old antiperspirant finally washes away, and the floodgates open. All the sweat, bacteria, and odor it has been holding back comes out of your pores, seemingly all at once. That’s a great thing for your body, not so great for your nose.

After about two weeks, things even out. The accumulation of odor-causing sweat and bacteria has washed away, and since you’re not using antiperspirant anymore, you’re only dealing with the sweat from the day, not a backlog of it.

So, before you decide that your natural deodorant doesn’t work, give it a few weeks weeks for your body to adjust.

It might take a bit of trial and error to find the best natural deodorant for you, but it’s worth it in the end. Aluminum is terrible for you, and sweating is there for your benefit. You can sweat and smell terrific, if you’re willing to try a few different odor control methods along the way.

In the right circumstances, there’s something satisfying about sweat. A rewarding wipe of the brow after a day of hard work. The feel of a cool after-jog breeze on your skin. The last little reminder of a long day that makes your first cool drink of the evening that much sweeter.

What’s not satisfying is the smell that comes with it. Somehow, “the rewarding stench of hard work” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, and so we roll on our antiperspirants every morning, plugging our pores in the process. If only there were a solution that could keep you smelling fresh, help you avoid irritating chemicals, and let your skin breathe naturally again. Luckily, there are natural deodorants. We’ve rounded up some of the hardest working and best-smelling organic deodorants to help you choose the right one.

Related Reading:

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Best Natural Deodorant

Oars + Alps Deep Sea Glacier Deodorant

Specifically designed for those with sensitive skin, Oars + Alps deodorant prevents and eliminates odors with ease. What more could you ask for? Its Deep Sea Glacier formula boasts a citrus and amber scent reminiscent of a warm Alaskan day while relying on corn starch to absorb sweat and natural botanicals to kill odor-causing bacteria. Oars + Alps is a winner of The Manual Grooming Awards 2019.

More Natural and Organic Deodorants

Arm and Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant Fresh

There are plenty of great natural deodorant options out there for those who want to look further afield for their grooming products. But for guys who are interested in keeping aluminum and other nasty chemicals away from their bodies while also not spending a fortune, Arm and Hammer Essentials natural deodorant is the protective barrier your sweaty, toxin-filled armpits are crying out for. Arm and Hammer is not only inexpensive, but it’s also free of parabens, aluminum, dyes, or animal-derived ingredients, meaning your pits will smell fresh as a daisy throughout even the most sweltering of summer days and you’ll be protecting your clothing from yellowing and staining.

Native Deodorant Eucalyptus and Mint

With a list of ingredients such as these, you know your health is in good hands: shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax, baking soda, vitamin E, coconut oil, probiotics, and other natural botanicals. You’re getting all the goodness of those organic, plant-based ingredients and none of the harmful effects of aluminum, parabens, or phthalates found in so many other commercial deodorants. Native is great for guys with sensitive skin or folks who are tired of dealing with pit stains.

Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant

Nasanta’s natural deodorant is another perfect pick for men with sensitive skin, too, as the Australian-made stick is formulated without aluminum, baking soda, alcohol, or scents. The Nasanta natural deodorant uses ethically sourced magnesium from Japan instead, which is necessary for many body functions, including energy production, nerve transmission, protein synthesis, and muscle relaxation, among others.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant with Mint and Eucalyptus

Non-staining, containing no aluminum, and easy to apply with a refreshingly cool and crisp feel and scent, Hoppin’ Fresh hits all the high notes for us. Kaolin clay, baking soda, and probiotic enzymes join forces to naturally prevent moisture and odor-causing bacteria. The deodorant contains no petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, silicones, or PEGs (propylene glycol).

Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant

Schmidt’s line of deodorants replaces traditional aluminum with natural plant powders to absorb moisture. Each one is completely vegan-certified with no parabens or artificial fragrances. The brand has recently stepped up its green game even more by combining two powerful minerals into a brand-new formula. Activated charcoal soaks up moisture as it leaves the body while magnesium soothes and softens the skin. Add in its mild, soothing scent and you’ve got a natural winner.

Burt’s Bees Natural Skincare for Men Deodorant

Citrus, woodsy cypress, warm fir, and odor-fighting botanicals make up this powerful and energizing natural deodorant, but the real hero ingredient may surprise you. Burt’s Bees uses cornstarch in its formula for an extra boost of moisture prevention while still keeping things natural.

Botanik Natural Deodorant

Botanik’s natural deodorant might not be an antiperspirant, but its evergreen scented natural deodorant uses a cocktail of six high-quality, natural ingredients and essential oils to exude a marvelous scent and provide antibacterial protection. Its stick is made in small batches right here in the U.S. with some of nature’s finest botanicals, including shea butter, eucalyptus lemon oil, and coconut oil to fight off bacteria, as well as carnauba wax, baking soda, and arrowroot to help minimize moisture.

Corpus Naturals The Botanist Santalum Natural Deodorant

It might not be an extravagant, high-end brand, but Corpus Naturals surely acts like one when it comes to aesthetics and effectiveness. The Santalum deodorant is delivered in minimalistic packaging that will look great on any bathroom counter. The quality performance is backed by Texas cedarwood, amber, and sandalwood notes for a pleasant, woodsy fragrance. The deodorant has also eliminated all the ingredients you would expect from a natural deodorant producer — aluminum, parabens, and synthetics — without you having to sacrifice quality for the desire to go green and take care of your body on nature’s terms.

Myro Refillable Deodorant

Myro’s natural deodorant also rocks a stellar minimal aesthetic, but it takes matters even more seriously when it comes to being environmentally conscious. Myro’s deodorant stick boasts a refillable container to cut down on plastic waste and utilizes plant-powered ingredients to perform just as well as those synthetic suckers that are on the market. Available in five fresh fragrances, this stick relies on barley powder and corn starch to keep sweat at bay and a blend of coconut oil and olive extract to minimize bacteria production. Simply choose your favorite casing, select a scent or two to test, and you’re already on your way to being happy about the deodorant you’re wearing.

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The Best Natural Deodorants for Women {That Actually Work!}

If you’ve been following The Healthy Maven for a little while now then you know I’ve been on a natural deodorant journey for the last year. As a self-described clean beauty addict, one of the most common questions I get is “what’s the best natural deodorant for women?” and for the longest time I couldn’t answer it.

There were some deodorants that stood out to me and others I would never use again but no matter how hard I researched, I could not find an all natural deodorant review that wasn’t somehow tied to a brand or sponsored in some way. I wanted a non-biased review of natural deodorants by someone who actually uses them. So in true Maven fashion I went out to create the solution myself.

It’s been 10 months since I started out on this journey and I’m not gonna lie, I’m ready for it to be done. I’ve tried over 20 natural deodorants, using each for at least 1 week (usually more) and testing them in different scenarios from sweaty workouts to doing absolutely nothing. I’ve also learned an EXCEPTIONAL amount of information about my armpits – something I never thought I would deep dive into. And of course, my spreadsheet loving brain has tracked all of this info along the way. But the time has come for me to share some of my favorites and some that I would never reach for ever again.

I tried my best to be as comprehensive as possible but I’m certain some of you will not find your favorites on this list. I excluded certain products because while they were advertised as “non-toxic”, they weren’t exactly using the cleanest ingredients OR the product was somewhat obscure and difficult to find and/or ship worldwide. Nevertheless, this list still includes over 20 options so cut yo’ girl some slack – and please take a moment to thank my armpits who have been put through this ringer this past year…you’re welcome.

WHY USE NATURAL DEODORANT?

Because all the cool kids are doing it…duh. Okay clearly not a good enough reason but I’ll do my best to make a solid argument for why you should use all natural deodorant.

1. The ingredients

Have you seen what is in conventional deodorant? Likely you’ve glanced at the bottom at least once in your life and seen a list of ingredients that appear to be written in a different language. But did you know that many of these ingredients can be incredibly harmful and toxic for your body? Let’s go through a couple of them:

–aluminum: this is the ingredient that clogs your pores and prevents sweating (more on this below). Aluminum exposure has been linked to Alzheimers as well as to build-up of estrogen in the body which can also be correlated with increased chances of breast and prostate cancer.

–parabens: these ingredients are used as a preservative in deodorants but can also mimic estrogen in your body. This leads to hormonal disruptions and is also linked to breast and prostate cancers.

–phthalates: these chemicals are used to make other ingredients more flexible and are also used as fragrance ingredients. They primarily affect the endocrine system and exposure can lead to early onset puberty as well as breast cancer later in life.

-Triclosan: An antibacterial chemical that can also disrupt the hormone system and is associated with increased chance of breast cancer. It was actually banned by the FDA in hand soaps but for some reason they still allow it in deodorants?!

…this list could go on but this is just a taste of what you find in conventional deodorants.

2. The location

Your armpits are in a very vulnerable location. They are the access points to the lymphatic system, which protects you from invaders like bacteria, toxins, viruses, fungi, and from cancerous cells. The lymph nodes are the checkpoints, which inspect and fight everything that does not belong in a healthy body, removing it to keep you protected.

If there are toxins accumulating in the lymph nodes, the lymph system will get clogged and will have a hard time cleaning out harmful invaders. You can imagine that your lymphatic system will not be doing its job when it’s constantly having the above ingredients applied directly to this area.

DOES NATURAL DEODORANT ACTUALLY WORK?

Yes and no. Can it help prevent you from smelling from your underarms? Yes. Will it prevent sweating and keep you smelling fresh as a rose for 24 hours? No.

The biggest issue with all natural deodorants is our expectation that they perform like conventional ones. Natural deodorants are NOT antiperspirants. However, nothing should be an antiperspirant. We are supposed to sweat and despite what we may believe, it’s not actually sweat that smells. Sweat is the number one way our body detoxes toxins from our body. Whether they are toxins we’ve consumed (looking at you alcohol…) or toxic build-up from our environment, the most effective way to remove it is by sweating it out. Sweat also helps us to regulate our temperature – there is a reason we sweat more on hot days and after a workout. Switching to natural deodorant first requires you to accept the fact that sweating is good and is something to embrace.

So why do we smell? Body odor is actually due to the bacteria that builds up in moist environments in your body. Certain types of “bad” bacteria eat up the proteins in sweat and as a by-product cause odor. The reason you don’t smell with conventional antiperspirants is two-fold: they prevent your body from sweating and they use aluminium salts to kill the bacteria – good and bad. Like any good biome you need to balance your good bacteria so that all your sweat isn’t being eaten up by “bad” bacteria. I’m simplifying this but hopefully this makes sense to you.

Now if you’re going SUPER natural you would dedicate yourself fully to balancing this bacteria and deodorant wouldn’t be necessary. There are certain products on the market like Mother Dirt’s AO+ Biome mist that work to do this but it also requires you to stop using soaps or any hygiene products all-together and I’m simply not up for that. If you are – more power to you! If not, the natural deodorant that are available can help to prevent build-up of bad bacteria through more natural ingredients like baking soda, magnesium and even cow tallow. Most importantly, they aren’t preventing you from sweating out toxins and in turn wiping your body daily with toxic chemicals.

This is my long way of saying that yes they do work to *somewhat* balance the mechanism that causes body odor AND in the meantime they use natural scents from essential oils to cover up B.O. Will this cover-up last for 24 hours? No way. Get used to the possibility that after a sweaty workout or a hot summer day you will likely need to re-apply. I’ll take that over aluminum any day.

THE BEST NATURAL DEODORANT FOR WOMEN

For your convenience, my natural deodorant review has been narrowed down the 20+ deodorants I tried to what I believe to be the 6 best options on the market. This is based on efficacy, ingredients, convenience and preference of application. The rest I’ve captured in this video also shared below.

Primally Pure (various scents) $14-16

Hands down the best all natural deodorant on the market! Something that stood out about Primally Pure is that it uses beef tallow as its primary ingredient. It turns out Beef Tallow is actually a natural cleansing and moisturizing ingredient for your body . This deodorant was long-lasting and definitely helps to prevent odor. I will caution you and say that it does easily stain clothes so be cautious putting on those black t-shirts. Also this option clearly isn’t vegan if that is your preference. My favorite scents: Blue Tansy + Charcoal. Note: use code MAVEN at checkout to save 10%! <– I asked them for this after trying it out myself!

*I find the charcoal deodorant is the best natural deodorant for men!

Piperwai Activated Charcoal Deodorant $12

I’d heard great things about this deodorant and I’m glad I finally tried it out. The activated charcoal both absorbs sweat and eliminates body odor. There’s also magnesium which is moisturizing and anti-inflammatory for your underarms. This is an especially good option for anyone who is vegan or doesn’t want to use cow tallow in their underarms (which Primally Pure does contain). Next time I would order the stick (sorry I know it’s not the most sustainable) though. You will need to reapply this one on extra sweaty or hot days, however for those days you don’t have a whole lot going on this will do the trick. A great natural deodorant for women!

AER Vapour Deodorant (Lavender Myrrh scent) $24

My go-to natural deodorant for a very long time. This one feels the most like a conventional deodorant to me and while it goes on wet it does dry matte. I love the scent and its the only deodorant with baking soda that does not require me to do a whole series of care to prevent a rash (see below). However, it’s expensive as hell ($24 dollars) and now that I’ve found others I like I’m not sure I’d repurchase.

Native Deodorant (various scents) $12

If you do not have sensitive armpits and want an easy transition from conventional to natural deodorant, Native is your jam. I personally did not love the scents (even though there are tons of options) and found I reacted to the baking soda versions. However I know many people (C included) who have found great results with Native and if you sign-up for their subscription service you can definitely save money. Note: some of their scents are cleaner than others so check the ingredients on the one you order!

Saje Wellness Deodorant (Exotic Scent) $13

I’m including this one not because I use it frequently but because I think there’s probably a rare few of you out there who prefer spray deodorant. To be honest, this is the deodorant I keep in my bag for emergencies because application is so easy. They do recommend you use their crystal stick in conjunction with this spray but one step is already too much for me so I’m definitely not doing both.

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deodorant (Lavender Scent) $14

I thought I would include one baking soda-free option. If you watch my video you will see I included many BS-Free options however almost none of them work and many actually made me smell worse (perhaps feeding the bacteria in some way?). Meow Meow Tweet was the only BS-Free Deodorant that was *somewhat* effective. So if you’re super sensitive to baking soda, even after implementing some of my tips below, this could be a good option for you.

To see a full recap of all the the best natural deodorants I tried watch the video I filmed.

HOW TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR UNDERARMS

Up until beginning this experiment I thought underarm care involved wiping them with some soap and applying deodorant. I definitely did not realize that there are ways that you can take better care of your underarms. Turns out there’s plenty you can do to help your body to detox (which happens through sweat) through your armpits. Now I’m not going to tell you that you have to start masking your underarms but there are certainly some things you can do to help prevent getting super smelly and/or take care of irritations and rashes.

If you’re anything like me, you have SUPER sensitive underarms. There are some people who can use just about any deodorant and be totally fine but I’m not one of those people. Pretty much anything with baking soda will give me a rash IF I don’t follow certain practices to take care of them. So here are my best tips to take better care of your underarms:

1. DO NOT APPLY AFTER SHAVING!!!! – this is pretty much a guaranteed rash for anyone with sensitive underarms. If you shave your pits (if not more power to you!) be sure to do it at night and then let your underarms rest overnight before applying deodorant the next morning. Sometimes you can get away with applying a few hours later but I usually react.

2. Exfoliate – I find using a gentle exfoliant or loofa on my underarms to help remove dead skin cells really helps to prevent a rash or irritation. I’ve tested physical vs. chemical exfoliants and found a gentle loofa to be the best for my sensitive skin. I do this in the shower before I shave.

3.Warm up your deodorant – sometimes your deodorant may harden due to temperature. If so, the friction can cause irritation to your underarms. One quick way to heat it up is to place it inside your underarms (if using a stick) for 10 seconds and hold it there or mix a small amount between your fingers (if using a jar) and then apply.

4. Reset the environment – My girl Jasmina from Mother Dirt is the queen of all things deodorant and while it would be goals to not use deodorant like she does, I’m not quite there yet. What she has taught me is that sometimes the microbiome of your armpit needs a little resetting. She suggested thyme oil however I’ve found I really like this spray from Primally Pure. Just don’t use right after shaving as it may burn a little bit. I highly recommend this spray for anyone transitioning to natural deodorant from conventional.

5. Give yourself time – every body is different but one thing I’ve learned is that if you’ve been using conventional deodorant for years and suddenly switch to natural your body very well may freak out. Start small by switching every other day, every 3 days etc…and let your body acclimate.

6. Take care of your gut – I can’t say I’ve noticed this to be the case anecdotally, however there is evidence to suggest that taking care of your gut through probiotics and probiotic foods can help balance your microbiome internally leading to less smells coming from your underarm. I take a daily probiotic and while I generally don’t smell bad I’m not sure I could isolate how much of this is attributed to my gut health.

If you’re feeling very extra, feel free to mix some apple cider vinegar with bentonite clay and apply that to your underarms for 5 minutes. This is easiest done in the shower. However I’ll be honest I rarely make time to do this.

…and just like that I’ve written the longest post ever all about my armpits. In case you’re wondering which one/ones I’ll continue to use, I’m generally sticking with Piperwai, Primally Pure and AER Vapour (until it runs out). I’ve found these three to be the most effective, best smelling and generally my favorites of the 20+ deodorants I tried. Of course, this is my experience and everyone has a different microbiome, lifestyle and scent preference so your choices may look different. However I do think if you’re looking to make the switch any of the ones listed above are a great start.

Definitely keep me posted if you’re switching to natural deodorant or if you have a favorite that isn’t listed or included in the video. Would love to hear why you love it/use it.

Happy Sweating!

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The Guide to Nontoxic Deodorant—Plus Our 7 Favorites

We are there: Cracking the code for a nontoxic deodorant that really, truly works wasn’t easy, but it has been cracked—and not just by a single company, but by several. While the potential health problems associated with applying conventional antiperspirants and deodorants to the body have been common knowledge for decades, the alternatives were less than reliable and often so weak as to not really have an effect beyond the momentary scent of a few essential oils or herbs. If you had a really important presentation or a big date, even the most health-conscious person could not be faulted for keeping a backup conventional product somewhere in the back of the closet.

Studies connecting antiperspirants and deodorants to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s have been inconclusive, though receive a breast cancer diagnosis at most major medical centers, and you will be told to stop using conventional antiperspirants and deodorants. Parabens from antiperspirant and deodorant formulas have been found in breast cancer tumors, but because these diseases are complex, it is nearly impossible to draw definitive conclusions about causality.

That said, depositing elements like synthetic fragrance (an ingredient that can legally be used to mask hundreds of other ingredients) and aluminum onto the thin skin of the underarms seems a risk not worth taking, especially because clean-beauty companies have developed deodorants that do none of the above and still work. They’re pretty incredible—and have to be tried to be believed. Clean deodorants come at the problem from several different angles: Some employ botanical and clay powders to absorb wetness; others use essential oils and plant ingredients to target odor.

“Formulas based in aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, triclosan, silica, and more have been on the market for over a century now,” says Jamie Schmidt, founder of Portland-based Schmidt’s, who began her business after getting pregnant and undergoing a detoxifying “paradigm shift” on her household and personal care products. “But it isn’t that these ingredients are actually better performing than natural ones. By prioritizing a formula that is condensed and fast-absorbing to provide immediate results, you only need to apply a very small amount to get long-lasting effects compared to conventional deodorants.”

The deodorant formula Schmidt developed immediately started selling out at local farmers’ markets. “It was an instant hit—it works. Local markets and sales reps started asking for it in huge quantities, and before I knew it, the business took on a life of its own as word of mouth spread.” Now, Schmidt’s is nationally distributed and growing by leaps and bounds (the Ylang Ylang scent is a softly floral goop favorite).

Rachel Winard, the founder of Soapwalla, which makes a cream deodorant with a devoted following, says it took her some 2,000 tries to get her cream formula—beloved among goop staffers, not to mention ER nurses, professional athletes, and politicians—perfect. “It functions under high-stress conditions,” says Winard, who started Soapwalla because she “needed a natural deodorant that would last throughout the day, smell good, and not upset my super-sensitive skin.” Because it’s a clean formula, there’s nothing gross left on your fingers after you use it: “I rub the rest into my hands or run it through my hair —it’s a great hair texturizer.”

Getting the efficacy right is the hardest, agrees Emily Doyle, founder of Ursa Major. “After that, it’s about dialing in the experience and then making it consistently. A deodorant stick is a ‘hot pour’ product and that creates a lot of challenges in terms of ingredient stability and consistency.” Finally hitting on the perfect wetness-obliterating, silky feeling, beautifully scented combination was satisfying, she says: “People love the whole experience. And they love the peace of mind from using a clean, safe product.”

Raynor notes that the switch from chemical deodorant to clean one can involve a transition period: “The body adjusts and it can scare people right back to their chemical deodorant. While this adjustment can be rough, it’s totally worth it in the end.”

Our Seven All Time Favorite Nontoxic Deodorants:

UPDATED: January 2020

Let me start with the bad news: even the best natural deodorant isn’t going to work like Secret or any conventional antiperspirant you may be using now. That said, the longer I’ve used natural deodorant, the better it works, and I actually seem to sweat less (a lot of you say this is the same for you).

I now save my conventional, Bad Stuff antiperspirant for the occasional “emergency” situations when I’ll be nervous or hot and cannot afford to sweat at all. Like both of my appearance on Dr. Oz’s show—I was up there talking about the dangers of phthalates in food, and all I could smell was the phthalate-laden fragrance of the Degree Shower Fresh I was wearing!

The good news is that there are more safe, natural deodorants to choose from than ever. They come in sticks, jars, roll-ons and sprays. And, yes, many of them actually work.

My Top Pick for Best Natural Deodorant

Using Soapwalla has been nothing short of revelation for me. The application (with fingers) took a little getting used to, but I’ve yet to find another natural deodorant that is this effective.

From: $15.50 / monthBuy Now

What’s Wrong with Conventional Antiperspirant and Deodorant?

In general, I’m concerned about deodorant and antiperspirant because of exposure–we tend to apply these products every day and leave them on for long periods of time. Also, more of the product’s ingredients can penetrate the skin thanks to little nicks left behind after shaving.

Here are the common ingredients that I’m most worried about in conventional deodorants or antiperspirants:

  • Aluminum is the reason that most people are worried about antiperspirants. Aluminum-based compounds prevent us from sweating by temporarily plugging our sweat glands. They may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, although evidence for both is contradictory.
  • Fragrance is the ingredient I’m usually most concerned about in deodorants. (This is the case with many other skincare products, too.) Fragrances generally contain hormone-disrupting phthalates, which you won’t see listed on the label. Even “phthalate-free” deodorants often contain synthetic fragrances, which have unknown phthalate replacements in them, some of which may be just as bad. Always opt for unscented products or those made with only 100% natural fragrances (essential oils).
  • Triclosan, the antibacterial agent that forms carcinogenic chloroform when it comes in contact with water that contains trace amounts of chlorine, is found in many deodorants.
  • Many deodorants contain parabens (preservatives that mimic estrogen) and artificial colors, which may be neurotoxins.

Best Natural Deodorant for Men

For those of you seeking a more traditionally “manly” smell, my husband is a big fan of Schmidt’s Charcoal & Magnesium formula.

From: $9.49 / monthBuy Now

What’s Wrong with Natural Antiperspirants & Deodorants?

There is a lot of Sneaky Stuff being marketed as natural deodorant and antiperspirant. The most popular sneaky label is “aluminum-free,” because many of these deodorants still have bad stuff in them.

Rock deodorants are natural–and effective–but I do not consider potassium alum entirely safe.

These are the sneaky ingredients that worry me most in natural deodorants:

  • Many “aluminum-free” deodorants, such as natural crystal deodorants, contain potassium alum. Potassium alum is natural, but it’s still a type of aluminum and therefore may carry the same risks. I do not recommend these products to women because of possible breast cancer links.
  • Even many natural deodorants contain propylene glycol, a softening agent linked to cancer and reproductive damage.
  • Concerning fragrances and preservatives are rampant among supposedly natural deodorants.Best Natural Deodorant Ingredients

Body odor happens when sweat meets bacteria on the skin. Good natural deodorants combine a variety of ingredients to do one or all of the following: inhibit the growth of bacteria that makes sweat smelly; absorb some of the moisture from sweat; and reduce the amount of sweat by shrinking pores.

Good Stuff products do not act like conventional antiperspirants, which block sweat from leaving the body.

The Best of the Worst

If you really need to NOT sweat, Ban is the best of the Bad Stuff. The unscented variety of antiperspirant contains aluminum and the moderately concerning cyclopentasiloxane, but it’s much better than other Bad Stuff. Just save this for when you really, really need it, and try not to apply to freshly shaven armpits.

Here are some effective ingredients to look for in Good Stuff:

Here are some effective ingredients that you’ll find in the best natural deodorant brands:

  • Alcohol (sometimes listed as ethanol) inhibits bacteria. Note that alcohol will increase the penetration of other ingredients in the product, so if you’re using deodorant with alcohol, make sure it’s Good Stuff!
  • Aloe soothes and conditions skin.
  • Arrowroot powder absorbs moisture.
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) helps neutralize odors and absorbs moisture.
  • Coconut oil and other vegetable oils and butters (shea, cocoa, mango, etc.) moisturize and soothe irritated skin (hello, shaving). Coconut oil is also anti-microbial.
  • Cornstarch absorbs moisture.
  • Essential oils are added for natural fragrance and other properties (like antimicrobial tea tree, lichen, and rosemary).
  • Hops extract (yes, as in hops from brewing beer) is antimicrobial.
  • Kaolin clay (aka white cosmetic clay) absorbs moisture.
  • Vegetable glycerin and natural waxes (like beeswax and candelilla wax) bind ingredients together and are most common in stick deodorants.
  • Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an antioxidant, so it serves as a preservative.
  • Witch hazel and other astringent ingredients help shrink pores to reduce sweating.
  • Zinc oxide is anti-microbial. Just be sure that it’s non-nano zinc.

Pro Tips for Success with Natural Deodorant

I’ve learned a lot about using natural deodorants from my own trial-and-error and the experiences of my clients and readers. Here are some tips to help you avoid common pitfalls (pun intended!):

  • Time: If you’re making a big switch from conventional antiperspirants to natural deodorant, your body might need time to adjust before the natural stuff can be effective. Some even claim that your pits might have some detoxing to do.
  • Staining: A common complaint about natural deodorants made with oils like coconut is that they stain clothes. Avoid this by using only a small amount (read the label) and giving the product a couple of minutes to absorb before you put on your clothes.
  • Shaving: Some people also report that natural deodorants sting or cause irritation after shaving. An easy(ish) work-around is to shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning.
  • Baking soda: Many of the most popular natural deodorants (Primal Pit Paste, Schmidt’s, Soapwalla, CocoPits, etc.) are baking soda-based. Baking soda can irritate some people’s skin, at least at first. Luckily, there are lots of baking soda-free formulas among the Good Stuff.
  • Hormones: If you’ve given birth recently and/or are breastfeeding, you might be sweating more than usual—it’s not just your imagination, and you’re not alone! You might need to apply your deodorant more often. I’m a fan of freshening up a couple of times a day with baby wipes.

Are you overwhelmed with the length of the list of Good Stuff? My favorite cream is Soapwalla, spray is EO, and stick is the Schmidt’s.

The Good Stuff

Dr. Clark’s Zinc Deo is a roll-on deodorant that contains only two ingredients: water and zinc oxide. The zinc is non-nano and non-micronized. I haven’t personally tested this one for effectiveness, but I’m intrigued by the minimalist formula!

EO Organic Deodorant Spray is made from a short list of organic alcohol, water, and essential oils.

Fat and the Moon makes a deodorant cream that I haven’t tried, but that looks similar in ingredients to Soapwalla. This organic formula is totally safe!

I’m so pleased to move Green Beaver from Sneaky to Good Stuff, since they’ve removed the yucky ingredients from their formulations. I can’t say if this brand works well or not, so please comment below if you’ve used Green Beaver.

Green Tidings deodorant is the one very highly ranked on Amazon, so lots of you have tried it, though I haven’t. One of my best friends ordered it wasn’t impressed: “It kept the stink at bay, but was pretty messy to apply.”

Lafes twist-stick deodorant is is glycerin-based so it goes on clear. Lafe’s old formula contained potassium alum, but this new one gets our thumbs up.

$7.99Buy Now

Made with Love by Sama sent me sample deodorants and I liked them. However, when it’s warm they are reduced to a near-liquid form and require refrigeration to return to stick. This is common with oil-based deodorants. It wasn’t a huge deal for me, but it’s worth considering.

Naked Deodorant, by North Coast Organics, contains just five edible ingredients (like coconut oil and baking soda), and gets a big thumbs of from a few of our readers.

Nourish Organics makes stick deodorants that smell nice and don’t contain concerning ingredients, but don’t get great reviews for effectiveness.

A lot of you have asked about Lavanila. While many of the ingredients are “naturally-derived” rather than truly natural, nothing in these deodorants scores poorly on EWG’s hazard scale, so I call this Okay Stuff. Just don’t confuse it with Lanvilin, which is Sneaky (see below).

Piperwai was featured on Shark Tank and got a lot of attention. Some of you love it; others not so much. The only thing I don’t love is that it contains a proprietary blend of essential oils. I would rather know exactly what’s in any product I’m using.

Poofy’s line of Max Deo deodorants are free of all the Bad Stuff, and many of my readers say they are super effective. Like many Poofy products, these deodorants do contain the non-specific “natural flavors,” but it’s the last ingredient, so it doesn’t concern me. Poofy even makes a deodorant for kids!

Buy now from Poofy Organics

Primal Pit Paste makes popular jarred deodorants and stick deodorants. They’ve been really annoying about getting back to me (in that, they haven’t, and I’ve been trying to get in touch with them for literally years!), and I have not personally tried their products. Still, the ingredients completely check out as Good Stuff, so I’m giving them my stamp of approval. Note that a few of you have complained that this stained your clothing or darkened the skin of your underarms.

Purelygreat deodorant creams contain a handful of natural ingredients, but I haven’t tested any of them so I cannot promise that they work.

Real Purity is another brand that several readers asked about—you say you use it and like it, so good news: I’d call it Good Stuff! I should mention, however, that it does contain potassium sorbate, a food-grade preservative that I am not personally worried about, but which EWG ranks a 3.

Sam’s Natural is another brand that a bunch of you asked about. I haven’t tried it, but with ingredients that include only things like baking soda, shea butter, and a variety of essential oils, it’s definitely Good Stuff!

Schmidt’s makes a popular jarred deodorant, and recently launched a stick version as well. There’s nothing but the Good Stuff in both. My friend once brought over a tub of this stuff for me to check out after she bought it at Urban Outfitters. I was surprised by the legitimately clean ingredients, as Urban Outfitters (and Anthropologie, too) are FULL of Sneaky products well-packaged to look natural. Schmidt’s is a happy exception! We now sell the sticks in our store. Oh, and for those of you who DO find the baking soda variety irritating, Schmidt’s now offers a sensitive formula.

From: $9.49 / monthBuy Now

Soapwalla has quickly developed a cult following, and is my go-to and current favorite. At first it’s a little odd to apply deodorant with your fingers, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I love that Soapwalla is a small operation. They’re located near my home in Brooklyn, so I was able to go meet Rachel (the owner), pick up the products, and see their small-scale production. These factors bring Soapwalla to the head of the Good Stuff pack.

From: $15.50 / monthBuy Now

The Bad Stuff

All the obvious ones–Secret, Sure, Soft & Dri, Mitchum, Suave, Degree, etc.–are bad, mostly because of the phthalates/synthetic fragrance, but also because of butane in the aerosol versions, plus a variety of PEG chemicals (organ system toxicants), BHT, talc, and other really Bad Stuff.As I mentioned above, if you really need a conventional antiperspirant or deodorant, the unscented Ban is your best option.

The Sneaky Stuff

Alba Botanica UNSCENTED Clear Enzyme Deodorant is a glycerin-based stick deodorant that I consider Good Stuff. However, you’ll want to avoid the scented varieties of Alba’s line, as the fragrances are not natural.

Arm & Hammer Natural Deodorant contains triclosan, propylene glycol, and synthetic fragrance. This is the Sneakiest of the Sneaky!

Aubrey Organics isn’t terrible, but does contain sodium benzoate.

I used to love Crystal Essence deodorant and used it for years, but it turns out that it’s so effective because it contains potassium alum. The same is true of those crystal deodorants (as in, the ones that are just an actual rock.)

Dr. Hauschka’s line of deodorants come with the same issues as their other products, which is natural but still unsafe ingredients, like geraniol, linalool, and limonene. I don’t like that their fragrance blend is “proprietary,” although they do say it’s only essential oils.

Every Man Jack deodorants are “naturally derived,” but contain sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, and a bunch of other chemicals on my Bad/Sneaky Stuff list.

I long considered Herbal Magic to be Good Stuff, but they recently changed their formula, and the fragrance is now synthetic. However, their unscented deodorant is still Good Stuff.

Herban Cowboy deodorants contain synthetic fragrance. Enough said.

Jason Natural deodorants contain synthetic fragrance, citral, eugenol, linalool, limonene, and other concerning ingredients.

Kiss My Face deodorants contain propylene glycol, synthetic fragrance, and—in the case of their roll-on deodorants—potassium alum.

Lanvilin deodorants are free of phthalates, but the fragrance is not natural, so I am suspicious of the undisclosed chemicals likely lurking! (Note: Don’t confuse this products with Lavanila, which is Good Stuff.)

Lume I’m not a fan of Lume. I like that they don’t use synthetic fragrances, but they do use a ton of other synthetics ingredient, and some other Bad Stuff, such as phenoxyethanol, PEG chemicals, and polysorbate 60.

Malin & Goetz works well and has the nicest packaging of any deodorant I’ve seen. Unfortunately, it’s got a bunch of problematic ingredients, including phenoxyethanol and propylene glycol.

Native Deodorant is probably the one we are are asked about most, and I know you guys are big fans. Although we previously considered this Good Stuff, Native is now using “a proprietary blend of oils” for their fragrance blend. They specify that they are phthalate-free, but unless they disclose specific oils–and most importantly clarify that only essential oils are used–we will keep Native Deodorant listed as Sneaky Stuff. And for those of you who have asked: the reason that EWG’s Skin Deep gives Native a score of just 1 is because they have an incorrect ingredients list, which doesn’t include “fragrance.”

Naturally Fresh crystal deodorant contains only two ingredients, but both are types of “alum” and should therefore be avoided.

Nature’s Gate deodorants contain propylene glycol and synthetic fragrance, although they recently went paraben- and phthalate-free.

Tisserand does contain tea tree oil and other natural ingredients, but it’s also got loads of synthetics, including benzyl alcohol and methylchloroisothiazolinone.

Tom’s of Maine antiperspirants and deodorants contain propylene glycol and glyceryl laurate (which causes enhanced skin absorption of other chemicals), but all fragrances are natural—so it’s perhaps the best of the Sneaky.

Weleda deodorants contain a number of natural ingredients that are nonetheless potential immunotoxins, including geraniol, linalool, limonene, and coumarin. It also contains benzyl salicylate, which EWG ranks a 7 on their hazard scale due to its potential as a hormone disruptor.

10 Best Natural Deodorants

Finding the best natural deodorants online can be challenging, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top ten best options to suit a variety of preferences and needs. Body odor is perfectly natural, caused by bacteria that feed on various salts in sweat. While it’s part of life, there are plenty of reasons to curb odor and reduce perspiration. In many contexts, it can be undesirable. This doesn’t mean that the chemical cocktails in most products are positive or even healthy. Skin sensitivity, allergies, and even autoimmune disorders can be aggravated by these artificial concoctions. Fortunately, nature provides many safe antimicrobial and antiperspirant ingredients from which companies dedicated to creating pure, safe grooming products draw their inspiration.

Related resource: 10 Best Avocado Oil Hair Products

1. Fresh Meadow Deodorant Stick by Tom’s of Maine

While it’s billed as a women’s deodorant, this natural antiperspirant is ideal for use by any human. The fresh scent is inspired by botanicals drawn from the great outdoors and isn’t specifically gendered. Olive leaf extract is antimicrobial and helps to mitigate underarm odor by cleansing the skin of the bacteria responsible. Meanwhile, mineral ingredients help to reduce perspiration in a safe and healthy way for up to 24 hours. Tom’s of Maine is committed to using only responsibly sourced, natural ingredients in their products to extend affordable, hypoallergenic products to everyone.

2. Kopari Aluminum-Free Deodorant

There are many reasons to avoid antiperspirants. While many deodorants, natural and otherwise, include ingredients that subdue sweat, it’s not always ideal. This phenomenon of combination can leave people feeling as if they have no options, but Kopari offers a plant-based, cruelty-free, and aluminum-free deodorant. Their unique formula of coconut oil, coconut water, and sage extract is so gentle that it could be considered part of your skincare regimen for an area of the body that is often neglected. It glides on clear and won’t leave a chalky residue that marks clothing. Plus, it lacks many of the substances that react with bacteria and sweat so that it won’t stain your clothing.

3. Natural Deodorant from Beauty by Earth

Those with sensitive skin will rejoice. This natural deodorant and antiperspirant provides hours of comfortable, dry wear using only certified organic ingredients. Whether you opt for the sweet citrus or the luscious vanilla coconut scent, this all natural stick glides on without a gritty or gloppy feeling that can sometimes accompany products made to strict organic standards. Stay fresh and dry under pressure with this beauty derived from nature.

4. Primal Pit Paste Natural Lavender Deodorant

This product doesn’t hide its statements in boatloads of marketing or smooth imagery; it presents itself as a straightforward, natural remedy for underarm perspiration and odor. Handcrafted by a small company, it uses essential oils, such as lavender, and other antimicrobial plant-based substances that have been used to keep bodies clean and sweet smelling for thousands of years. Arrowroot and non-aluminum baking soda act to keep skin naturally dry, while sunflower oil and coconut oil condition and protect the skin.

5. Schmidt’s Natural Coconut Pineapple Deodorant Stick, Pack of 2

If you like tropical scents and naturally dry underarms, Schmidt’s is for you. Their products are certified natural and non-GMO, vegan and cruelty-free. But don’t let that mislead you. The smooth, nature-based formula utilizes mineral and vegetable powders in a non-aluminum deodorant stick that is also gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. You’ll only need a small amount to absorb sweat that can cause skin discomfort, and the mellow pineapple and coconut scents won’t clash with your other fragrances. This affordable organic antiperspirant and deodorizing formula will keep you confident and sweet smelling all day long.

You may also like: 10 Best Reef-safe Sunscreens

6. Citrus Vetivert Formula by Each and Every

Made without baking soda, parabens or sulfates, this deodorant scored highly with the Environmental Working Group, an organization that monitors product claims of naturalness and safety. Not only is this aluminum-free deodorant stick vegan, but it is also never tested on animals. However, the eight ingredients have established antimicrobial and deodorizing properties and are well known in common parlance. Each and Every espouses a mission statement that one should feel good about what goes on the body, and they use only the purest organic essences in their products.

7. Baking Soda-Free Deodorant Cream from Fat and the Moon

For individuals with skin sensitive to baking soda, sulfates, parabens, and other substances, this organic cream is made with only the gentlest natural materials. It deodorizes naturally and is made without baking soda to provide cruelty-free, irritant-free experience. The beeswax base is sourced ethically, and oils of basil and vetivert impart a refreshing, clean scent. This specially crafted talc-free deodorant uses small amounts of magnesium, a natural mineral with drying properties, to keep tender skin comfortable and free of irritating moisture.

8. Thesis All Natural Deodorant Spray

For those who aren’t seeking an antiperspirant formula but would prefer a sweet scent, this all-natural deodorant spray is ideal. Thesis never uses sulfates, phthalates, parabens or other harsh chemicals in its products. It incorporates only substances vetted by thousands of years of use for their antimicrobial, gently astringent properties, such as geranium, eucalyptus, citrus, lavender, and rosemary. Enjoy a refreshing spritz of this non-GMO, aluminum-free, cruelty-free, vegan spray each morning to enliven your senses while keeping body odor at bay.

9. Art of Sport’s Motion Activated Natural Stick

This formula provides long-lasting dryness, but it’s also a talc-free deodorant. Scented pleasantly with citrus and green pear essences, the white solid stick glides on smoothly without leaving marks or residues on clothing. Instead of talc or baking soda, which can irritate the skin, it relies on the drying power of arrowroot powder. Green tea is harvested from the only member of the camellia family to produce unique amino acids to drive away animals that would eat it. While not toxic to humans, these natural molecules also have antimicrobial and astringent qualities, which incidentally protect against underarm odor safely and naturally.

10. Explore Naturals’ Deodorant Stick for Men and Women

Based on arrowroot and small amounts of baking soda, this antiperspirant deodorant is entirely natural. Gentle scent combinations provide a pleasant experience as the product protects against wetness during the day. While the creators at Explore Naturals have worked to create a product that stands up to any test life brings, they also ensured that their deodorant was utterly natural. This line of antiperspirant deodorants contains only cruelty-free, natural substances and is made without phthalates, sulfates, parabens or other harsh chemicals typically used in mass market hygiene products.

While it’s basic social etiquette to be sweetly scented in public spaces, no one ever said you had to lace your skin with harsh chemicals and artificial scents. In fact, for some, this is simply not an option. Sensitive skin, allergies, autoimmune conditions and more can require better, cleaner solutions to maintaining dry underarms and controlling body odor. While the quest for the best natural deodorants might seem daunting, the above list provides some of the best options that won’t break the bank.

Related resource: 10 Best Sunless Tanners

By BCR Staff

April 2019

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These Deodorant Alternatives Are Sure to Keep Your Pits Dry

Tired of scouring the shelves looking for a natural deodorant that lives up to its promises? If you’re against harsh chemicals or you sweat excessively, the deodorant aisle might not offer the solution you’re seeking.

Luckily, deodorant isn’t the only solution for fighting underarm sweat. We’ve compiled a list of the best deodorant alternatives to keep your pits dry and odor-free.

Why Choose a Deodorant Alternative?

There are a few good reasons you might decide to ditch traditional deodorants and antiperspirants in favor of something more natural.

You Want to Stay Away From Chemicals

Deodorants and antiperspirants contain controversial chemicals including aluminum, parabens, phthalates and triclosan. If you prefer not to put harsh chemicals on your body, you can find peace of mind with an all-natural deodorant alternative.

Learn more about 5 controversial toxins in antiperspirant.

You Have Sensitive Skin

Certain ingredients like alcohol, aluminum and baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. Many deodorant substitutes are derived from gentle ingredients that can help keep irritation at bay.

You Have Axillary Hyperhidrosis

When you suffer from excessive underarm sweating, regular deodorant just doesn’t cut it. If you feel like you’ve tried every deodorant and antiperspirant on the shelf, it may be time to experiment with alternatives.

You’re Tired of Yellow Stains

Tired of throwing away your favorite shirts due to yellow stains? When mixed with sweat, aluminum found in antiperspirants causes yellow stains. Swapping a store-bought antiperspirant for an alternative could help save your shirts.

Best Deodorant Alternatives

Did you know you can use common ingredients found in your home to combat underarm sweat? If you’re concerned about the health or environmental effects of regular deodorants, check out some of these top deodorant substitutes.

1. Natural deodorants

Natural deodorant is a good substitute for conventional brands. Many natural deodorants feature organic ingredients that aren’t harsh on the skin. But don’t let the word “natural” fool you. Some so-called healthy deodorants still contain chemicals. Always read the label carefully before purchasing.

Check out our list of the best natural deodorants.

2. Baking soda and cornstarch

Baking soda expertly masks almost any funky smell — including body odor. You can make this cheap deodorant alternative in your kitchen with a couple basic ingredients. Mix one-eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water, and rub it into your underarms. Don’t dissolve the baking soda — only add enough water to create a paste.

You can also add a little cornstarch to help combat wetness. Mix six parts cornstarch with one part baking soda and smooth it on your armpits.

3. Lemon juice

Applying lemon juice to your underarms is a simple way to stay smelling fresh. Lemon juice is packed with citric acid, which kills odor-causing bacteria. But remember that lemons are highly acidic, so be careful when applying lemon juice to your armpits after shaving. (Yes, it will sting!)

4. Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol also kills odor-causing bacteria. And the best part? You probably have some sitting in your medicine cabinet. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz it in your armpits. You can add a few drops of essential oils, like witch hazel or tea tree oil, to give it a fresh smell.

5. Essential oils

If you’re worried about smelling like rubbing alcohol or baking soda, essential oils can help. Certain essential oils like lemongrass, lavender, thyme and rosemary have antibacterial properties. Mix a few of your favorite oils together to create your perfect scent.

6. Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent and anti-inflammatory. The solution kills bacteria and removes excess moisture from the skin, making it an ideal deodorant substitute.

Witch hazel is a popular deodorant alternative because it doesn’t leave residue on the skin and zaps odor fast. Because it wears off quickly, you’ll need to reapply it throughout the day.

7. DIY deodorant

Making your own deodorant is easier than it sounds. Get creative in your kitchen and experiment with ingredients and scents to see what works. You can find tons of DIY deodorant recipes on the internet. If you’re short on time, we’ve compiled all the ingredients you’ll need here.

Read more natural ways to stop sweating.

Pair a Deodorant Alternative With a Sweat Proof Undershirt

No deodorant alternative is completely sweat proof, and their effects don’t last forever. Most deodorant substitutes need to be reapplied throughout the day to keep you odor-free. But sometimes, no matter how much deodorant you apply, underarm sweat still seeps through your clothing.

To eliminate sweat stains for good, back up your deodorant with a sweat proof undershirt. Thompson Tee’s patented sweat proof technology completely blocks underarm sweat from showing through your shirts — or your money back.

With odor-fighting protection, Thompson Tees are guaranteed to keep you dry and confident all day long.

If you’re not a heavy sweater you can also try our fitted Premium Undershirt, this versatile piece is infused with Odor Shield™ technology that will block odor and keep you smelling fresh all day!

Try a Thompson Tee risk free today and take 20% off with code TEES20

The best natural deodorant

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