The Best Natural Deodorants That Actually Work
These clean, aluminum-free formulas are my tried-and-tested favorites!
Finding a nontoxic, natural deodorant that actually works can be difficult, if not next to impossible if you don’t know where to start. I’ve tried dozens over the last few years and tested them out during a variety of workouts (hot Barre, HIIT, spin classes… you name it) and I can personally attest that these 5 work and will keep you feeling confident all day.
Why Switch to a Natural Deodorant?
Antiperspirants are actually classified as over-the-counter-drugs because they inhibit the sweat glands (which, by the way, is a normal and healthy bodily function) by using aluminum as their active ingredient. While there’s a lot of online buzz and concern around the potential side effects of aluminum—from breast cancer to Alzheimers—there aren’t actually any concrete studies that link aluminum to these health issues.
Despite these lack of studies, in my personal opinion, there’s no such thing as a “safe” antiperspirant. Not only is aluminum a known neurotoxin, but by blocking sweat (and thereby blocking pores), using antiperspirants can trap toxins in the body.
Natural deodorants are a healthier way to stop body odor without blocking sweat. Instead of using aluminum or other potentially problematic additions like parabens or sulfates, natural deodorants prevent odor by incorporating ingredients like charcoal or baking soda. As a bonus, natural deodorants won’t leave those nasty yellow stains on shirts like aluminum can.
Finding a clean deodorant that works well for you can be a bit of a trial and error process, especially for those with sensitive skin or heavier sweat. To make it easier, I’m sharing my top picks for natural deodorants.
The Best Natural Deodorants For Women
Pretty Frank, formerly known as Primal Pit Paste, is one of my favorite natural deodorants! (My husband uses and loves it, too!) Pretty Frank is gentle on my sensitive skin and uses natural ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil to soothe skin. It also comes in a bunch of lightly fragranced scents (my favorites are Jasmine, Seaside, and Lavender), and best of all it holds up incredibly well during high intensity workouts and hot summer days.Shop Pretty Frank
Native’s vegan and cruelty-free products are gentle and effective, and infused with good-for-skin ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and probiotics. The scents are lovely—my personal favorites are Lavender and Rose, and Coconut and Vanilla, but watch for special seasonal fragrances, too. While some natural deodorants can feel too grainy and harsh for my sensitive skin, Native glides on smooth and gently.
Native also has a sensitive skin line that is made without baking soda, and a mini travel pack where you can sample their different scents. Side note—I also really love their nontoxic body wash and charcoal toothpaste!Shop Native
Need a natural deodorant that will last through a sweat-inducing Peloton workout? This creamy deodorant goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and doesn’t come off onto my clothes. It also keeps working even through high intensity workouts, no matter how sweaty it gets.
Like other natural deodorants, SmartyPits uses baking soda to keep odor under control, and also incorporates prebiotics to balance your skin’s microbiome (which also fights against odor). And there are no parabens, phthalates, talc or propylene glycol in the formulation to worry about. There are about nine scents to choose from, but the coconut mango is my personal favorite. SmartyPits also offers baking soda free formulas for sensitive skin, deodorants for teens, mini sampler packs, and foot deodorants.
I really love the story behind their brand and the charity work they do. This woman-owned business donates $0.03 from every large deodorant stick to breast cancer research, and they provide free deodorant to oncology centers, survivor support events, and non-profit groups.Shop SmartyPits
Type A is a creamy, moisturizing deodorant that goes on smoothly and is clothing-friendly. It doesn’t have a strong scent (although there are a few to choose from), but if you prefer to go without one entirely they also have a fragrance-free version. It’s designed with a “sweat-activated formula,” which means that its ingredients are time-released to keep you odor-free longer.
Type A has been featured by Goop, Byrdie, InStyle and People as a top natural deodorant to try, so you know it’s good.Shop Type A
Schmidt’s vegan and gluten-free deodorants are also paraben and aluminum-free. Their regular formulas are a little too abrasive for me, so I prefer their sensitive deodorant line, formulated without baking soda, which goes on smoother. Schmidt’s new charcoal version adds extra protection against odor and bacteria with the addition of Magnesium and Charcoal powder. Whichever line you go with, there are a lot of beautiful fragrances to choose from!Shope Schmidt’s
BONUS – Kaia Naturals the underarm bar
While this isn’t a deodorant, I had to mention it because the Kaia Naturals Underarm Bar is helpful to keep odor at bay whether you’re just venturing into natural deodorants or just trying to stay extra fresh all day. The bar uses activated charcoal and apple cider vinegar to enhance whatever natural deodorant you’re already using.
Adding something like this underarm bar (or a similar underarm scrub) is especially important when you’re new to natural deodorants. When switching from aluminum-based deodorant, your underarm odor might smell worse before it gets better—this is your body detoxing. It takes about two weeks for your skin to normalize, but a bar like this can make the process easier, and less smelly!Shope Kaia Naturals the underarm bar
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