One of the most common questions I get regarding non-toxic products is whether I've found a natural deodorant that ACTUALLY works. Natural deodorants have gotten a bad rep for being ineffective, and since starting my non-toxic journey, I've had the chance to try several top-rated natural deodorants. Frankly, not all are created equal! Before I get into the specifics, it's important to remember when using a natural deodorant: keep your expectations realistic! No natural deodorant is going to stop you from sweating. I repeat: NO NATURAL DEODORANT WILL STOP YOU FROM SWEATING. Sweating is a natural and healthy way for your body to cool down and release toxins.
While natural deodorants can keep you fresh smelling a lot longer than no deodorant at all, they do not impair your body's ability to perspire like antiperspirants do. The reason antiperspirants are so "effective" is because they use harmful ingredients like aluminum to block the sweat glands, which temporarily reduces wetness. This might sound great to some but remember, aluminum is a metal that the body has no need for, and every time you use an aluminum-based antiperspirant, your body is absorbing some through your skin. Over time, aluminum can mess with your hormones and build up in the organs. It has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease, and breast cancer. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Antiperspirants can contain parabens, triclosan, phthalates and other hazardous chemicals. I'd take some sweat over the potential risks any day! A great natural deodorant will help to mask any unpleasant odors associated with sweating, while still allowing your body to perspire the way it is supposed to.
Without further ado, I hope you find this guide helpful. Here's to a fresh summer!
Corpus Natural Deodorant ($22 or $28 for a set of three minis) 15% off promo code: AP15
Corpus is a baking soda-free alternative to the usual natural deodorant options, so great for those of us that are more sensitive. The really special thing about this line of deodorants (in addition to being sustainably manufactured) are the scents. They are elevated and luxurious, which is a huge plus if you choose products with your nose. You’ll love these if you prefer more masculine/unisex scents (like me!), my personal fave being Nº GREEN, which is formulated with Bergamot, Pink Lemon, Orange Blossom and Cardamon.
Pros: Adorable packaging, beautiful scents
Native Deodorant ($12) is one of the most popular brands on the market today, and it's not hard to see why. It comes in lots of unique scents like Rosé, Coconut & Vanilla, and Hibiscus & Mint; and you can even purchase sample sizes to help find your favorite one!
Pros: Great scents, lower price tag
Cons: It has been known to leave white residue on clothing
ByHumanKind deodorant ($14.95) is a customizable and eco-friendly option that contains shea butter, arrowroot and 12 other effective and natural ingredients in its formulation. You have the option of choosing between four different refillable packages, as well as an unscented or Eucalyptus scented formula. When your deodorant runs out, simply order a new refill and pop it into the same container! Hopefully other brands will follow suit and decrease their plastic footprint by creating refillable/sustainable packaging like these ones.
Pros: Environmentally friendly
Cons: No option for sensitive skin
Schmidt's Naturals Deodorant ($8-12) A more affordable brand that has gotten a lot of hype for being effective, Schmidt's is a good go-to if you're shopping at Whole Foods (Cedarwood & Juniper is my fave scent). While it is effective at keeping your pits smelling great, the texture of the deodorant is quite grainy and does not feel particularly good on the skin. It's worth mentioning that Schmidt's was acquired by Unilever in 2017. So, while the ingredients of this deodorant are natural and non-toxic, many people choose not to support giant corporations like Unilever who have been known to test on animals, treat their employees unfairly and use other questionable business practices. Like other big corporations, Unilever is seemingly jumping on the non-toxic personal care "bandwagon".
Pros: Good price point, Long-lasting, Nice scents, Very effective
Cons: Grainy texture, whitish residue, gave me a rash after a couple of weeks of use (I assume from a baking soda sensitivity)
Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant (Sensitive Stick $8)- Good news— Schmidt’s has come out with a sensitive formula for those of us who have a baking soda sensitivity, and it’s awesome! I tried the Jasmine tea scent (pictured), which I adore. The scent is intoxicating without being overwhelming, the consistency is smoother than the regular Schmidt’s formulation, and best of all— it’s still effective! If you’re not into fragrances, don’t fret! There is also an unscented version if this deodorant. Target now has these on their shelves, so if you’re looking for a cheaper option that won’t irritate your sensitive underarms, this is one to try!
Pros: Good price point, beautiful scents, smooth consistency
Cons: Can leave white marks
AER Next Level Deodorant ($24) is made by non-toxic beauty brand Vapour beauty. There is much to love about this deodorant. The consistency is smooth, never sticky; and there's no unsightly white marks on clothing to worry about. It comes in three delicious scents (Lavender Myrrh being my personal favorite) and it holds up well--even at the gym!
Pros: Long-lasting, Great consistency, baking soda- free
Cons: Packaging can be faulty (mine began coming apart after a week), more expensive than other brands
Agent Nateur Holi Stick ($21-$28) is for the girl (or guy) who appreciates luxury and beautiful design. Agent Nateur is as chique as it is effective. The founder of Agent Nateur began making this cult fave in her kitchen using only high-quality ingredients sourced from Europe. Now, a few years later, these heavenly-scented deodorants are flying off the shelves at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus, etc. Plus, stars like Olivia Wilde and Kourtney Kardashian are fans (good enough for me)! I use the HoliMan scent, which is a unisex, woodsy scent that men and women alike adore. It's smooth, applies invisibly, and I've discovered it can even double as a perfume/cologne when applied to the wrist. I should note that Agent Nateur recently came out with a Sensitive version of their deodorant, which is baking soda-free for those of you with skin sensitivities.
Pros: Beautiful packaging, formula and consistency
Cons: Pricier than other brands
Toms Long Lasting Deodorant ($8) was one of the very first natural deodorants I ever tried, even before I understood the importance of non-toxic personal care products. I had heard about some of the nasty ingredients in antiperspirants and decided to try a natural one. If only I had chosen better!! I was so disappointed with this deodorant, I switched back to my harmful antiperspirant within days (and continued using it for years thereafter). Whole Foods may be an easy option when it comes to picking up personal care products, but consider outsourcing for deodorant as their selection is often lacking. **Tom's of Maine was acquired by Colgate-Palmolive Co in 2006, which may also give you second thoughts about buying it.
Pros: Apricot scent was pleasant, cheaper than most,
Cons: Did not work at all for me!
Nfuse All Natural Magnesium Deodorant ($10) is one I really wanted to love. It's a best-seller on Follain.com and is magnesium-enriched. Since most people are magnesium deficient, absorbing it through the skin via deodorant seems like an awesome added benefit. But alas, I did not find Nfuse to be that effective at keeping the B.O. at bay. But just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't for you, however! I tend to sweat A LOT. I sometimes layer this with another deodorant for the magnesium benefit.
Pros: Good price point, magnesium boost
Cons: Doesn't work as well as other brands
Routine Cream ($28) deodorant is unlike any other on the market today. This deodorant comes in a jar and in cream form. Before you scroll away, I actually did find this product to be effective. I tried their bestselling Superstar deodorant, which is made with activated charcoal, magnesium and prebiotics! It's a dark grey cream, but dries invisibly on the skin.
Pros: Works well, added beneficial ingredients
Cons: Didn't love having to apply it with my fingers, pricey
Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone ($5-$7) is the cheapest option available on this list and is easily found at Whole Foods, Amazon, etc. Made from crystalized natural mineral salts, this product claims to keep odor at bay for 24 hours. While my personal experience didn't live up to that claim, I wasn't totally disappointed. This is a great option for those who don't like fragrances or just want a product with as few ingredients as possible. It also goes on invisibly, contains no baking soda, and won't break the bank!
Pros: Cheap, no white marks
Cons: Needs to be moistened before application
Other clean Deodorants of Note…
I haven’t had a chance yet to try the following brands, but they’re worth mentioning for their great ingredients and popularity!
Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant ($18)- this popular deodorant claims to leave you feeling and smelling fresh all day long with it’s anti-bacterial formula. The texture is smooth and formula non-staining.
Kaia Naturals the Takesumi Detox Deodorant ($22)- This deodorant is made with activated charcoal and cold-pressed rose. It contains no baking soda and makes for another great sensitive option.
Type A ($10)- This formula contains both natural and safe synthetic ingredients. The brand is committed to full transparency and only uses safe ingredients that serve a useful purpose. While it does contain baking soda, the brand claims that their product is not irritating to the skin because of it’s sweat- activated technology.
Keep in mind, our bodies each have their own unique chemistry. What works for one person might not work for another, so I encourage you to try as many deodorants as you can to find the right product for you! It's worth the effort for your health and peace of mind.
Have I missed any great natural deodorants? What's your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!