Best Natural Deodorants

Updated February 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

57 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
178 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best natural deodorants

Natural deodorants are without aluminum, paraben, and/or synthetic fragrance. An increasing number of people are abandoning their conventional deodorant in favor of a natural deodorant.

Why would a person want to use natural deodorant? Some people want to avoid exposure to aluminum and parabens due to the possibility that they are associated with cancer. Although there is no strong evidence proving this, many consumers prefer to take a “better safe than sorry” stance. Even if you are not concerned about that potential risk, an aluminum-free deodorant may simply feel cleaner and be more appealing to you.

Before you add natural deodorant to your shopping cart, there are important factors to consider. Some of these products lack fragrance, whereas others incorporate scents from essential oils. You may also consider the nature of the other natural ingredients (like shea butter), whether they are cruelty-free, and the recommended application method for the deodorant.

Keep reading to learn about the best qualities you’ll find in natural deodorant, price points, and the answers to frequently asked questions.

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After some time using natural deodorant, you may notice that you sweat less. Our bodies adjust and react in various ways to different substances, and deodorant is no exception.

Key considerations

How deodorant works

Using alcohol-based and antimicrobial ingredients, deodorant prevents the growth and multiplication of odor-causing bacteria.

Conventional deodorants rely primarily on aluminum to control odor. They also commonly include parabens, which are preservatives commonly used in cosmetic products. Parabens prolong the shelf life of products by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and mold.

There is a noteworthy difference between the way conventional deodorant and natural deodorant works. Conventional deodorant covers smell. Natural deodorant covers sweat rather than smell, and it makes use of other ingredients in place of aluminum.

Other natural ingredients

A few common ingredients are found in the majority of natural deodorants. For stick deodorants, you’ll find a natural oil, such as coconut oil, which helps form the base. A starch or powder for killing bacteria and absorbing odors is also present. If you sweat heavily, a deodorant with starch is your best bet. Baking soda is a common starch, as are arrowroot and cornstarch. All-natural deodorants will have some kind of powder.

Essential oils work as antibacterial and antimicrobial agents. Sage, lemongrass, tea tree, peppermint, and/or eucalyptus oils appear frequently in natural deodorants. These oils are scented, adding a pleasant organic fragrance. Some natural deodorants, especially stick ones, also include wax to mimic the texture of conventional deodorants.

Note that some ingredients could potentially stain clothing, such as baking soda and coconut oil. This is a common issue with deodorants in general. To lessen the likelihood of staining, wait for your armpits to dry completely before putting on your clothes.

Fragrance

For the most part, natural deodorants are scented with essential oil. Common scents include lavender, lemongrass, and sage. Quite a few natural deodorants also include notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, and floral essence. You might opt for a fragrance-free deodorant if your nose is especially sensitive, you don’t care for essential oils, or don’t want your deodorant to interfere with your perfume or cologne.

Cruelty-free

A number of natural deodorants are cruelty-free because they don’t use animal products or test on animals. Crystal deodorants are one of many. Crystal is a natural deodorant consisting of mineral salt. It is free of preservatives, fragrances, and artificial ingredients. It is also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s a great option for those with sensitive skin.

Women’s vs. men’s

The main distinction between women’s and men’s natural deodorant lies in the fragrance. Similar to cologne and perfume, women’s natural deodorant may lean heavily on light floral scents. Men’s natural deodorant tends to incorporate woodsy scents.

Before starting a natural deodorant, it’s not a bad idea to exfoliate your armpits. Use a mild exfoliant with a washcloth or loofah in the shower.

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Features

Application method

Like conventional deodorant, natural deodorant can be purchased as a stick or roll-on. Stick deodorant arrives in gel or powder form, packaged in an oval-shaped dispenser. Roll-on deodorant comes in liquid form with a plastic ball applicator. The round shape of the roll-on applicator contours better to the armpit shape than stick deodorant.

Jar deodorant is actually much more common among natural brands. These formulas are packaged in a plastic or glass jar. You apply the product using your fingers or a tiny spatula. With jar deodorant, a small amount goes a long way.

Spray deodorant is sold in a spray bottle with a cap and nozzle. Spray deodorant tend to dry easily and is less likely to stain clothing. It is also easy to apply to other parts of the body, such as the feet.

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DID YOU KNOW?
As you transition from conventional deodorant to natural deodorant, a detox period is to be expected. It’s not uncommon to experience itchy armpits, a minor rash, and a temporary increase in odor. (Because aluminum “plugs” the bacteria odor, switching to a natural deodorant will release the bacteria that has been blocked.)
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Natural deodorant prices

Inexpensive: Natural deodorants that cost between $2 and $5 are often crystal ones. Since crystal deodorant contains simple mineral salt and omits fragrances, among other ingredients, it is an economical purchase. Cheaper natural deodorants are often in roll-on or stick form. A standard natural deodorant stick weighs around 2.5 ounces.

Mid-range: Your options widen in the $5 to $15 range. Many deodorants in this price range incorporate natural scents with essential oils and floral notes. You’ll also encounter more jar deodorants and deodorant sprays in this range, as well as natural deodorants sold in multi-packs (two to three deodorant sticks, for example).

Expensive: Any natural deodorants above $15, bulk quantities aside, may be manufactured by high-end beauty and fashion brands and sold by boutique beauty stores. A select number may even include CBD or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), a common cosmetic exfoliant.

A deodorant detox may take two to four weeks, but you can expedite the process with a bentonite clay mask. We recommend testing the mask on a little patch of skin before slathering it over the entire armpit.

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Tips

  • Use a combination of dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide to remove deodorant stains from clothing.
  • If itchiness and a rash persist after a week of use, discontinue your natural deodorant immediately.
  • For jar deodorants, try warming a tiny mound in your hands before application. This will allow it to spread more evenly.
  • All you need is one or two swipes. Excessive deodorant application increases the likelihood of staining.
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With naturally fragranced deodorants, be mindful that different smells react differently with your natural body odor. Consider trying several scents to determine which one fits best with your body chemistry.

FAQ

Q. What’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant?

A. Deodorant protects against odor, whereas antiperspirant protects against sweat and odor. The majority of conventional deodorants today are antiperspirants, aluminum being the active ingredient. Natural deodorants are actually deodorant, which explains why they mask odor but do not prevent sweat.

Q. Does natural deodorant expire?

A. Yes. Check the bottom or side for an expiration date. In general, natural deodorant should be used within six months of purchase. (If you use it daily, you’ll likely finish it before that time period.) Due to bacterial growth, using a natural deodorant that has expired could cause a rash or skin irritation.

Q. Can natural deodorant lighten the underarms?

A. It depends on the deodorant’s ingredients. In general, don’t expect natural deodorants to lighten the underarms unless explicitly mentioned on the label. Note, too, that some active ingredients (like baking soda) can cause hyperpigmentation.

 

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