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It doesn't feel dramatic to call deodorant an everyday essential—most of us start using it the moment we start going through puberty. If sweat-control is your goal, you might rely on antiperspirant (which blocks your sweat ducts) to keep your fresh and dry. The only problem is, traditional antiperspirants are made with aluminum, a controversial ingredient that comes with some pretty murky and disturbing health claims. Rather than take a chance on their health, a lot of people are switching over to natural, aluminum-free deodorant options for some peace of mind.
But all natural deodorants are not created equal. In the past, natural deodorants were thought to have less odor-fighting power and sweat-wicking abilities than traditional antiperspirants. For heavy sweaters or those who deal with annoying odor, natural formulas—though nice in theory—just didn't cut it. But luckily, there's a whole new crop of high-tech and hyper-effective natural formulas out there to keep your underarms feeling (and smelling) fresh.
Read on to learn about the best natural deodorants on the market—we vouch for them.
Best Overall: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
This unscented deodorant doesn’t rely on fragrance to mask odor. Instead, it’s made of natural mineral salts that create a protective layer and work against bacteria to eliminate odor. You can apply the formula with the deodorant stone, which the brand suggests moistening before each application. The product also lasts for about a year, so not only is it affordable to purchase, but you won’t need to stock up every couple of months.
You can read Byrdie senior editor Hallie's full review of this deodorant here.
Best Classic: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant
If you’re looking to feel dry and fresh all day (who isn't?), then Schmidt's Natural Deodorant is the way to go. There's a reason it's developed a cult following. It’s perfect for sensitive skin and absorbs any wetness caused by sweat throughout the day, so your skin feels dry and comfortable. It’s not greasy or sticky and it smells amazing, thanks to notes of jasmine and green tea. The scent is fresh without being too perfume-y, so it's great for those with sensitive senses of smell. Byrdie's GM/editor-in-chief Leah Wyar swears by this deodorant from Schmidt's, citing it as the natural version she goes back to again and again.
Best Heavy-Duty: Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant Fresh
Everyone know that when you need to get rid of weird smells in your fridge, you stick some Arm & Hammer baking soda in there to freshen things up. Now, the brand is using the same idea for deodorant. The Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant has baking soda in it to help absorb and fight odor. This formula also includes blend of citrus, fresh lavender, and soft floral scents to help you smell fresh all day.
One reviewer said that after developing some skin sensitives, their dermatologist suggested switching to an aluminum-free deodorant. After trying multiple formulas that either didn’t fight odor or didn’t last all day, they finally tired this one and couldn't believe how well it worked. Other reviewers mentioned that the non-greasy formula doesn't leave any annoying white marks on their clothing. For a natural deodorant that doesn't require reapplication to keep you smelling clean, try this version from Arm & Hammer.
Best Scent: LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Lavender
If you want a scent that is pleasant without being overpowering, LaVanila's The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Lavender is a perfect choice. This natural deodorant has a subtle warm, flowery scent that doesn’t linger too much as it fights odor throughout the day. It also comes in varieties of grapefruit, lemon, and coconut, all mixed with the signature vanilla scent.
It’s formulated without baking soda to prevent any potential irritation for those with sensitive skin, but keeps your underarms dry and feeling fresh. "This was the first natural deodorant I ever used," says Faith. "It made me believe that a natural deodorant could smell nice, go on smoothly, and keep my underarms feeling just as fresh as if I used an antiperspirant."
Longest-Lasting: Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick
Oftentimes, reapplying is necessary when using a natural deodorant. Without the chemicals that are added to mass brand products, the lasting power is not quite up to the same standard. But the Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick was formulated with odor-fighting hops to last for 24 hours.
“I usually sweat quite a bit, but not anymore! This me drier and smelling better than any deodorant I've ever used,” a reviewer said. “Tip: it goes on a little wet, but give it a few minutes and it will dry...and with no film!”
Best Splurge: Corpus Naturals
Byrdie's editorial director Faith swears by this natural deodorant from Corpus Naturals. This formula is free of baking powder, which can cause irritation for some people, and instead relies on tapioca starch and diatomaceous earth to keep your underarms dry all day. The thing that sets this natural deodorant apart from others, however, are the scents. It comes in four ranging from a sandalwood-based scent to a rose one, and all of them smell sophisticated. “If these deodorants came in perfume form, I’d wear them all,” Faith says. “I love how smooth the application is (some natural deodorants can feel chalky or hard to apply), and how it doesn’t leave any residue. Plus, the green tube looks incredibly chic on my bathroom countertop.” The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, organic and free of synthetic fragrances. If you’re going to splurge on a deodorant, make it this one.
Best Sweat-Wicking: type:A
This aluminum-free, high-performance formula from type:A is free of traditional preservatives, instead boasting a unique blend of all-natural antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients, like arrowroot powder and coconut oil, that have been tested under extreme conditions to break down sweat and protect against odor-causing bacteria. The patent pending formula is sweat-activated, meaning it actually releases odor and wetness-fighting ingredients every time you sweat, and the more you sweat, the harder it works.The formula comes in cream form, but instead of forcing you to stick your hands in a tub and applying with your fingers, you just twist up the top to apply from the tube. You also won’t have to worry about dreaded white marks on dark-colored tops, since the formula applies without any residue. Plus, there's an unscented version, if you prefer to keep your deodorant scent-free. Leah and Faith both swear by type:A's sweat-wicking abilities; it's great for super-sweaty workouts and controls odor very effectively.
Best On-The-Go: Pacifica Beauty Natural Underarm Deodorant Biodegradable Wipes
If you’re not a stick deodorant fan, these Pacifica Beauty Natural Underarm Deodorant Biodegradable Wipes might be for you. They’re easy to pack in your gym bag so you can wipe any sweat away after a workout or a cramped commute; the scent from the essential oils lasts to help fight odors that might develop throughout the day. Above all, they’re great for freshening up when you can’t get in the shower.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Vichy 24 Hour Deodorant Stick for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive underarms, steering clear of traditional antiperspirants is your best bet for avoiding an allergic reaction. But even some “natural” formulas can cause irritation if they contain too many essential oils or baking soda. If you have exceptionally delicate underarms, then this deodorant is a made in heaven. The roll-on formula contains the brand’s mineral spring water, which is rich in 15 minerals that strengthen your skin's moisture barrier function. It also lasts up to 24 hours, thanks to its non-irritating active ingredient, zinc gluconate, which eats up odors and protects against bacteria taking up residence in your armpits. There's more: it’s also free of parabens, alcohols, fragrance, and aluminum salts, which are all common irritants that have been known to aggravate the skin. This effective, soothing formula has been allergy tested, so you know it works for even those with the most sensitive armpits. Plus, it features residue-free finish and dries clear so there will be no white streaks in sight. Just let it dry for about thirty seconds before putting your top on.
Best for Pregnancy: Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream
What you put on your body when pregnant is so important, and since some ingredients in deodorant can be absorbed through the skin, you want to make sure you pick one that is free of parabens, aluminum, and other not-clean ingredients. Might we suggest this potted version from whimsical brand Meow Meow Tweet?
The cream formula was created without baking soda or clay (which aren’t bad for you, but are a bit harsher than other ingredients typically found in natural formulas). The odor-fighting ingredient in this particular version is dietary magnesium and arrowroot powder to help combat sweat and bacteria-inducing odor. The nourishing plant oils and butters soothe and condition your skin, and a blend of essential oils keeps you smelling fresh throughout the day. It comes in two lovely scents: grapefruit and lavender. To apply, gently rub a pea-sized amount under your arms, then it let dry.
Best Spray: Weleda Citrus Deodorant
Spray deodorants are a great option for those who aren’t into stick formulas and prefer to spritz and go. This alcohol-based spray deodorant from Weleda was made for easy application in the morning and throughout the day. It’s made with the juice of pressed lemons and aromatic plant essences to keep you smelling and feeling refreshed. Plus, it comes in a glass bottle so you can recycle it once you're done.
Best Drugstore: Native Deodorant
This aluminum-, cruelty- and paraben-free deodorant offers long-lasting odor protection, thanks to a deliciously scented stick with coconut and vanilla notes. Even though it's free of all the ingredients you can't pronounce 10 times fast, it actually works to keep your armpits smelling fresh. Don't just take our word for it though; there are thousands of positive reviews calling this natural deodorant one of the best.
First time using a natural deodorant? Make sure you read this story about the "detox" aspect when switching to natural deodorant.