The 9 Best All-Natural Deodorants To Keep You Dry & Confident
Everybody sweats. Whether you’re running a marathon or running late to happy hour, sneaky sweat stains and bothersome body odor can put a damper on things. Lucky for you, formulas have come a long way since their aluminum and baking soda origins, and there are many natural deodorants to choose from. It's time to ditch the skin irritating ingredients for plant-active, chemical free natural deodorant. If you aren't too sure where to start, we’ve done the deodorant deep dive to find the best all natural deodorants to keep your underarms dry and your confidence high.
Here are the top natural deodorants:
- Best Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin: Meow Meow Tweet- Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream
- Best Natural Deodorant With Odor Protection: Kaia Naturals- The Underarm Bar
- Best Aluminum Free Deodorant: Kosas- Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant in Serene Clean
- Best Natural Smelling Deodorants: Nécessaire- The Fragrance Free Deodorant Gel
- Best Natural Deodorant Cream: Soapwalla- Original Deodorant Cream
- Best Natural Green Tea Deodorant: Z&MA- Green Tea Deodorant
- Best Natural Deodorant With Coconut Oil: Agent Nateur- Holi (Stick) No.3 Deodorant
- Best Natural Deodorants for Sweat: Detox Mode- Feeling Free Deodorant
- Best Natural Deodorant With Shea Butter: Piper Wai- Natural Deodorant Stick
Best Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin
Review: 4.3 / 5.0 Stars
If you have sensitive skin, traditional deodorants aren't going to cut it. Your underarms need the extra care of a natural formula to avoid irritation and inflammation. Meow Meow Tweet’s- Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream is an ultra-gentle formula blending plant oils and mineral powders to eliminate odors and keep your skin balanced. This sensitivity-approved formula uses all cardboard packaging and is just as earth friendly as it is armpit friendly.
Best Natural Deodorant With Odor Protection
Review: 4.9 / 5.0 Stars
If banishing odor is your top-priority, give Kaia Naturals- The Underarm Bar a try. Ideal for active lifestyles, this almighty bar supercharges your deodorant by eliminating bacteria and managing odor. This bar combines activated charcoal and apple-cider vinegar which lift toxins from the skin and absorb harmful bacteria. Not to mention, it contains just about every one of our fave natural deodorant ingredients, from starches to AHAs. For extra coverage, lather the bar on other smelly areas of your body, like the soles of your feet, for total odor protection.
Best Aluminum Free Deodorant
Review: 4.7 / 5.0 Stars
Want an innovative deodorant backed by science? The Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant in Serene Clean uses the science of a serum to banish bacteria, and absorb sweat. All the deodorants on this list are aluminum free, but this one will make sure you never look back at your old antiperspirant. Packed with AHAs and infused with soothing aloe vera, this citrus-scented cooling rollerball glides on for total smoothing and brightening.
Best Natural Smelling Deodorants
Review: 3 / 5.0 Stars
Fragrance is added to deodorants to distract from the stink of natural body odors, but they aren’t a necessity. If added fragrances just aren’t for you, try an ultra-effective unscented clear gel that smooths bumps and keeps you fresh. The Fragrance Free Deodorant Gel by Nécessaire is a fast drying formula full of AHAs to eliminate bacteria-causing odors without throwing your pH out of sync.
Best Natural Deodorant Cream
Review: 4.6 / 5.0 Stars
If deodorant sticks aren’t cutting it for your pits, you may need the coverage of a cream. The Original Deodorant Cream by Soapwalla has a creamy whipped consistency that you apply with your fingers to coat your underarms in a layer of BO combating ingredients. Vegetable powders and clays keep moisture at bay, while tea tree and lavender essential oils gently neutralize bacteria so you can feel and smell fresh all day.
Best Natural Green Tea Deodorant
Review: 4.6 / 5.0 Stars
If you’re looking for a miracle ingredient that seemingly does it all, this one is sure to be your cup of tea. Green tea is a skincare super ingredient known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant-rich properties. For a cooling deodorant with a gentle formula, look no further than the Green Tea Deodorant by Z&MA. This deodorant is aloe vera and mallow extract based, perfect for soothing irritated skin and keeping skin smooth and hydrated. Plus, the crisp green tea scent will leave you with long lasting freshness.
Best Natural Deodorant With Coconut Oil
Review: 4.2 / 5.0 Stars
Smelling fresh and staying dry doesn’t need to be complicated. For a simple but effective B.O banisher, try Agent Nateur’s Holi (Stick) No.3 Deodorant. Using only ten ingredients, this coconut oil and avocado butter based stick is ultra hydrating. Encased in a chic minimalist exterior, this deodorant relies on simple but powerful ingredients for long-lasting coverage. You can count on antibacterial coconut oil to eliminate the bad bacterias, and hydrate for fresh and smooth underarms.
Best Natural Deodorants for Sweat
Review: 4.6 / 5.0 Stars
Want a hard-working stick that lets you perspire in peace? This natural deodorant gives even our heavy-sweaters the freedom to raise their hands. Meet the Feeling Free Deodorant by the Detox Mode: A baking soda free, sensitive formula with lasting aromatherapy benefits. This stick wicks moisture with ease thanks to an ingredient list chock full of activated charcoal, arrowroot powder, and magnesium hydroxide to absorb sweat and keep you dry.
Best Natural Deodorant With Shea Butter
Review: 4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Shea butter seems like the obvious choice for body lotions, but did you know it works wonders on your armpits? Shea butter contains the skincare trifecta of fatty acids, vitamins, and collagen for balanced skin that’s hydrated from within. If you need a gentle alternative to aluminum based deodorants, Piper Wai’s Natural Deodorant Stick is the answer to locking in moisture without clogging pores. Shea butter deodorants are great for all skin types, however if you suffer from eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, this skin soothing ingredient can provide extra relief.
When you think of clean beauty, it’s usually makeup and skincare that are top of mind. Caring for your skin however, goes beyond just your face and décolletage. Your armpits are classified as a sensitive area, and for good reason. Beneath the skin lies lymph nodes, nerves, and blood vessels, and should be handled with the same care you give the rest of your skin. Swapping to a natural deodorant is the best way to show your sensitive skin some TLC. If you’re new to the natural deodorant world, here are some tips to finding the perfect fit for your pits.
Does Natural Deodorant Work?
The largest misconception is that natural deodorants are less effective than their conventional counterparts. When shifting to a naturally formulated deodorant, you need to give your body around 30 days to fully adjust. During this time, your underarms undergo a detox to flush out toxins, all while your body chemistry is adapting to the new ingredients reacting with your skin’s flora.
It actually is not your sweat that is making you smell. Body odor is produced by sweat reacting with the bacteria on your skin. While antiperspirants are designed to make you sweat less, deodorants are designed to eliminate the bacteria that produces these bad-smelling odors, and counteract them with their own scent.
If your body has become accustomed to antiperspirants, you may feel an increase in sweat and odor when you swap to a natural deodorant. This is normal. The sweat is your body’s sign that it is flushing out toxins, and the increase in odorous bacteria is your body reacting to the lack of aluminum that prevents the body from perspiring. This will subside within the first few weeks, and your body will fully adapt to natural ingredients in deodorant.
If this sounds like a daunting process, fear not! There are ways to ease your body through the detox phase. You’ll want to make sure you are using an antibacterial soap to help regulate bacteria, and wear clothing that is fibrous and breathable to help regulate sweat and keep you cool.
Not all deodorant formulas are made equal. Here are the ingredients to look for and avoid.
What Active Ingredients Should You Look for?
Magnesium Hydroxide: Magnesium hydroxide is a natural compound and common alternative to aluminum based antiperspirants. The main concern with chemical deodorant is the skin's ability to absorb harmful compounds that can cause bodily imbalances. Magnesium hydroxide does not absorb into the skin, and instead combats bacteria and odors on the skin’s surface. This allows magnesium hydroxide to provide all the goodness of a deodorant, without penetrating into your pores, sweat glands, and hair follicles. Magnesium hydroxide is a great alternative to aluminum based formulas.
Coconut Oil: Known for its antibacterial properties, virgin coconut oil is a great additive to natural deodorants to eliminate odors. Although coconut oil is not as potent as other deodorizers, when teamed up with natural moisture wicking and non-comedogenic ingredients, coconut oil is great for sensitive skin prone to irritation.
Starches: Is moisture maintenance a main concern when shopping for a new deodorant? Look for deodorants containing starches like arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, corn starch, or kaolin clay. Starches absorb excess moisture, ideal for keeping your pits dry. For those accustomed to an aluminum-based antiperspirant, starches will help you naturally wick moisture and keep your underarms silky smooth.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a beloved skincare ingredient for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is gentle on the skin, and great at neutralizing harmful bacteria and odors. Tea tree oil has astringent properties which keeps pores minimized and underarms dry, making it an ideal natural deodorant ingredient.
Probiotics: Not all bacteria is bad. Probiotics are the bacteria that doesn't cause odors, and helps maintain a healthy microbiome. By introducing non-harmful bacteria to your skin, probiotics are a great solution to eliminate odors and keep your skin balanced and healthy.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Also known as AHAs, these acids are plant-based compounds commonly found in skincare products to exfoliate, brighten, and clear pores. Common AHAs include lactic or glycolic acid, which help eliminate bacteria-causing odors without causing pH imbalances. In deodorant, AHAs are an especially effective ingredient for reducing odors and keeping pores clear, which results in less bacteria under your arms.
What Active Ingredients Should You Avoid in a Deodorant for Sensitive Skin Types?
Baking soda: Baking soda has been coveted as the ultimate natural ingredient to banish odors, but just because it works in the back of your refrigerator doesn’t mean it works for sensitive skin. Known as a highly alkaline substance, baking soda increases the skin’s pH which strips your body of its natural oils and dries out the skin. This shift in pH often results in irritations like rashes and breakouts, which are exacerbated if you have shaved or waxed underarms. Instead, look for a deodorant with a baking soda free formula.
Aluminum: Aluminum is the ingredient in traditional antiperspirants that prevents you from sweating. Aluminum reacts to the natural salts in your sweat, and creates plugs that block sweat glands from releasing moisture. Sweating is your body’s natural way of regulating temperature, and blocking sweat glands can lead the body to absorb harmful aluminum compounds, and create pesky ingrown hairs. For sensitive skin types, blocked sweat glands means acne, blemishes, and rashes are at a higher probability.
If you’ve ever had yellow sweat stains on clothing, you can thank aluminum. When mixed with sweat, aluminum compounds create the dreaded yellow stains that ruin your white tees. If this hits home, swapping to an aluminum-free natural deodorant is the fix. For a safer swap, look for natural mineral salts to absorb moisture and leave you smelling fresh.
Parabens: Parabens are a common preservative and added to deodorants to prevent the growth of fungi, yeast, and bacteria. The issue with parabens is their disruption the body’s natural hormone balances, and can affect estrogen levels. For a safer swap, seek out clean deodorant with preservatives that have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Alcohol: Used for its quick-drying properties, alcohol is no stranger to antiperspirants and deodorants alike. As it rapidly dries sweat, it also rapidly dries out your skin, causing irritation. Alcohol contributes to combatting odor causing bacteria, however there are far more gentle antibacterial ingredients to choose from, like coconut oil.
However, not all alcohols are made equal: Fatty alcohols, such as stearyl or cetyl alcohol, are far more gentle on the skin. These fatty alcohols can be beneficial in that they smooth and heal dry skin and have emollient and occlusive properties. Be sure to read the label of your deodorant and see which forms of alcohol are in use.
Propylene Glycol: Propylene Glycol is a petroleum-based humectant used to increase absorption and create the perfectly smooth consistency to swipe across your underarms. Some natural deodorants that boast clean ingredients still contain propylene glycol, and its consequences can include harmful irritation and allergic reactions for sensitive skin.
Fun fact: Propylene glycol was originally developed as an anti-freeze! Yikes.
Synthetic Fragrance: For most shoppers, scent is the number one factor when it comes to selecting a deodorant. Synthetic fragrance may be great for masking odors, but those sweet scents can cause a lot more harm than good. Fragrance is not regulated like other ingredients, and companies love to exploit the grey areas in ‘fragrance’ by not disclosing exactly which chemicals they’re using. This means synthetic fragrance can be irritating to the skin, and you really have no idea what you are applying to a sensitive area. Look for deodorants that use essential oils and are transparent about the scents they contain.