9 Best Natural Deodorants, According to Dermatologists
Looking for a healthier alternative to chemical-laden deodorants and antiperspirants? Here are the best natural deodorant options on Amazon.
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What is natural deodorant?
Everyone’s looking for that “natural” label, whether it’s on food, clothes, cleansers, or beauty and skin care products. And while there is no official definition for what it means for a deodorant to be “natural,” many companies put the claim on products, hoping to capture consumers trying to live a chemical-free lifestyle.
But what qualifies for a deodorant to be considered “natural?” And (the real question): will a natural deodorant get the job done?
What most people are looking for in a natural deodorant is something that’s aluminum-free. “Deodorants are designed to prevent or mask the body odor that results from sweating,” explains dermatologist Peterson Pierre, MD, founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute. “Meanwhile, antiperspirants are designed to stop sweating altogether by blocking the sweat glands. Antiperspirants rely heavily on aluminum and, although this is a ‘natural ingredient,’ typically natural refers to products that are aluminum-free.”
However, notes Dr. Pierre, there is no “natural” substitute for aluminum, which means there is no such thing as a natural antiperspirant. “Anything that blocks sweat is considered a chemical, so natural deodorants don’t prevent you from sweating,” says board-certified New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. However, Dr. Jaliman says, natural deodorants “do help attack the bacteria that cause smells and odors.”
Do natural deodorants really work?
“Natural deodorants do work very well for some people,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It all depends on how much sweat or odor one produces.”
Many natural deodorants will contain ingredients like baking soda, starch, or arrowroot powder to absorb moisture, and essential oils and fragrances to mask odor.
“Natural deodorants are hypoallergenic, therefore they are less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivity than the traditional formulas do,” adds cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, MD. The only ingredient some people experience reactions to is baking soda. “Baking soda has an alkaline pH,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “In some people, this throws off the body’s pH balance and can cause irritation or a rash. But switching to a baking soda-free natural deodorant will solve this problem.”
Here are nine of the best options for natural deodorant—that is, aluminum-free deodorants—to keep you smelling fresh.
What’s crystal deodorant, you ask? It’s an environmentally-friendly, natural deodorant “made of a mineral salt made through potassium alum that has natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties,” according to Anna Guanche, MD, who is a board-certified dermatologist. That means it contains more natural ingredients than most natural deodorants, including potassium alum, which is an inorganic salt. Since crystal deodorant isn’t an antiperspirant, it won’t keep wearers from sweating, allowing the body to detoxify, which over time will help reduce body odor. Pro tip: read up on armpit detox masks before making the switch to crystal deodorant. Over 10,000 Amazon reviewers give this crystal stick from Crystal brand five stars.
Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant
Included in Dove’s overflowing list of deodorant products is this aluminum-free deodorant. It’s baking soda- and alcohol-free to soothe razor burn and prevent underarm irritation after shaving. Enriched with Dove’s one-quarter moisturizers with natural oil, this natural deodorant keeps even the most-sensitive pits clean and smooth. And, the cucumber green tea scent is light and fresh.
“I’m a big fan of the Native brand and actually use it myself,” says Dr. Jaliman. One of the best sellers in the natural deodorant category with over 21,000 reviews, Native uses coconut oil and shea butter to moisturize, tapioca starch, baking soda (often listed as sodium bicarbonate) and magnesium to absorb odors, and natural oils and fragrances to deliver bright scents like eucalyptus and mint or pear blossom. It’s a universal deodorant for men and women.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant
“Tom’s of Maine makes a great natural deodorant,” says Dr. Pierre. This aluminum-free product combines naturally derived and sourced ingredients like aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil to banish unpleasant odors. Note: Tom’s of Maine also makes a product called Tom’s of Maine Antiperspirant Deodorant that features sustainably sourced aluminum for wetness protection.
Schmidt’s Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant
Arrowroot powder and baking soda work to absorb odor in this aluminum-free product from Schmidt’s. Depending on the scent it may also use activated charcoal, a natural ingredient that works to absorb moisture while extracting dirt and oils from the pores. Verified Amazon reviewer Lucy writes, “It washes off easier than regular deodorant and has a nice scent that is mild and clean-smelling. What wetness is there doesn’t stink, which is actually better performance than the old regular antiperspirants I’ve used in the past.” (Also, try these homemade deodorant recipes.)
Sage Deodorant Spray
Despite looking like a bottle of perfume, this spritzer is actually a natural deodorant that contains no aluminum or other antiperspirant minerals. It features triethyl citrate, an antibacterial compound that prevents bacteria from breaking down sweat, the process that causes body odor. Verified Amazon reviewer Lola writes, “The sage scent is light, refreshing, and doesn’t stink like most deodorants.”
Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant with Natural Deodorizers
This inexpensive and aluminum-free deodorant from Arm & Hammer uses alcohol and baking soda to get rid of moisture and body odor and rosemary and lavender essential oils to provide natural, gentle scents. One verified Amazon reviewer writes, “Because Mom used an open box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to neutralize refrigerator odors, I thought a baking soda deodorant may also neutralize (and not just mask). It’s so true. It’s a clear stick that goes on clear — no chalk on the clothes—and its uplifting scent is a mix of citrus oil and a little rosemary.”
Lume Natural Deodorant for Underarms & Private Parts
With no aluminum or baking soda, this hypoallergenic Lume deodorant is formulated to be safe and effective for underarms and any other sweaty areas of the body. It contains mandelic acid, which actively works to unclog pores and get rid of any buildup from past antiperspirant use, plus arrowroot extract and tapioca starch to handle moisture.
Each & Every Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Over 12,000 Amazon reviewers give the Each & Every natural deodorant five stars. It’s aluminum-free, non-toxic, and uses Dead Sea Salt instead of baking soda, making it ideal for sensitive skin. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and packaged in an eco-friendly tube, so wearers can feel good about the environment—and their skin.
If you’re looking for products that target dark armpits, we’ve got you covered.
- Peterson Pierre, MD, dermatologist and cosmetic dermatologist and founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute, Westlake Village, California
- Debra Jaliman, MD, board-certified New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist
- Michele Green, M., cosmetic dermatologist in New York City