One of the biggest questions I got from friends and family this year was “Do natural deodorants actually work?” And then the quick follow-up question: “Which brands are the best?” Pre-2017, I had tried—at max—three different ones, so I wasn’t fully equipped to answer their inquiries.
However, this year seems to be THE year of natural deodorant, as more consumers become conscious about the potentially harmful effects of aluminum (it’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer), and develop skin sensitivities to chemical ingredients found in traditional deodorants. Needless to say, I was hearing about them more and more, and started testing as many formulas as I could. Scroll through to see my favorites.
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Native Deodorant ($12)
Why I like it: Not only are the scents amazing—Coconut Vanilla is the brand’s best-seller and smells like a yummy dessert—but the formula is one of the best I tried in terms of its odor-fighting abilities. Another thing I like: Native launches seasonal scents too—think Honeycrisp Apple & Cinnamon in the fall—so there’s always something new to try.
Does not contain: Parabens and aluminum
Scents: Coconut Vanilla, Unscented and Lavender & Rose
Why I like it: You may have seen this roll-on deodorant promoted on your social media feeds, as it’s gaining quite a cult following. Users (myself included) are loving the brand’s patent-pending formula, which contains a blend of organic, raw apple cider vinegar and natural ingredients such as witch hazel and tea tree oil, among others, to kill odor-causing bacteria and balance skin’s pH levels without leaving behind white residue.
Does not contain: Aluminum
Scent: Lavender Lemon
Why I like it: A skin-soothing blend of essential oils mixed with the brand’s beta-glucan technology is an effective recipe for fighting off bad odors while also keeping underarm skin free of pesky redness and bumps. No irritation whatsoever!
Does not contain: Aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol
Scents: Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, Fresh Vanilla Lemon, Vanilla Lavender, Vanilla Summer and Vanilla Grapefruit
Why I like it: Not only can you use it on your armpits, but it also works on your feet to deter any foul smells from developing throughout the day. The citrusy scent is bright and fresh, and the formula didn’t stain our clothes. All you need is two sprays under each arm on clean, dry skin to reap maximum benefits.
Does not contain: Petrochemicals, mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, detergents, palm oil, and synthetic fragrances or dyes
Why I like it: If you’re a fan of Shark Tank like me, you probably saw this product make its grand debut—the company landed a deal with shark Barbara Corcoran and sales skyrocketed after the show. It’s different from other natural deodorants I’ve tried thanks to its star ingredient, activated charcoal, which soaks up unwanted moisture and bad smells throughout the day, and it’s specially formulated for sensitive skin (the brand will actually refund your money if you experience an allergic reaction).
Does not contain: Aluminum, parabens and synthetic fragrances
Ambre Natural Deodorant ($34)
Why I like it: A combination of Ambre’s signature oil essence, deodorizing ingredients such as baking soda and arrowroot, antibacterial probiotics, and skin soothers like aloe vera, these scented sticks are naturally activated by body heat, which helps hide bad body odor as you perspire throughout the day.
Does not contain: Aluminum, propylene glycol, phthalates and triclosan
Scents: Ahnu (earthy), Ambre (amber), Solace (amber/vanilla), Unmasque (herbal), and Invoke (amber/floral)
Why I like it: This brand is my favorite in terms of the scent selection—the sticks also perform well too, even during a workout. Schmidt’s also released a new holiday collection this year, which includes new scents such as Oh Christmas Tree, Snow Day and Holiday Spice—yum!
Does not contain: Aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrance
Scents: Rose + Vanilla, Charcoal + Magnesium, Bergamot + Lime, Lavender + Sage, Ylang-Ylang + Calendula, Cedarwood + Juniper and Fragrance Free (Note: The brand also offers a line of sensitive skin deodorants with different scents ($11 each) such as Tea Tree, Geranium Flower, Lavender Tips, Coconut Pineapple, Jasmine Tea and Fragrance-Free.)
Why I like it: If sticks and roll-ons aren’t your cup of tea, try this spray-on formula that uses essential oils to limit perspiration and attack unwanted bacteria. It absorbs quickly thanks to organic grain alcohol, so you don’t need to worry about feeling sticky or wet, and it won’t stain your clothes. You can even use it on fabric and carpet, too, wherever you need to eliminate odor.
Does not contain: Aluminum and chemicals
Scents: Lemon & Sage and Jasmine & Grapefruit
Why I like it: Housed in an eco-friendly pressurized bottle—it uses air as the propellant rather than butane, which is standard with many traditional spray deodorants—this formula is clinically tested for 24-hour odor protection and lives up to the hype. It’s a great option to throw in your gym bag because the spray feels cool and refreshing on skin, especially when you’re hot and sweaty.
Does not contain: Aluminum, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, petrolatum, and sodium laureth sulfate
Scents: Fresh Cucumber and Soft Rose
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