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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 potentially disturbing health claims.
"A few studies in recent years have theorized that aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk for breast cancer," says triple board-certified dermatopathologist Dr. Gretchen Frieling. While the scientific evidence suggesting that aluminum poses a real threat is inconclusive, 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. "Natural deodorants don’t block your pores as antiperspirants do," Dr. Frieling says. "The bonus is, they allow the good bacteria on your skin to work, helping to reduce odor, even when you’re not wearing deodorant."
Read on to learn about the best natural deodorants on the market—we vouch for them.
What to Look For in a Natural Deodorant
A Fresh Scent
Given that you wear deodorant on the reg, finding a scent that is pleasant and fits your overall aesthetic is essential. Beachy coconut, intoxicating vanilla, soft rose, and even unscented options are all found in the natural deodorants on this list. Many of the natural deodorants on this list come in multiple scent varieties, so it should be easy to find one that you like.
Since natural options do not contain aluminum, often the active ingredient is baking soda, which does a good job at absorbing sweat and odor but can irritate some skin types. If your skin is on the sensitive side or you tend to react to products, you might want to steer clear and look for options that contain other odor fighters, like diatomaceous earth, zinc gluconate, or tapioca starch. Some options are unscented, so you don't have to worry about fragrance as a potential irritant. And others contain moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil so your skin feels soft and hydrated. Many are free of preservatives as well.
A stick isn't your only option to degrease pits. On this list, you'll find sticks and roll-ons and also a cream. Consider whether you travel frequently or want to toss your deodorant in your gym or work bag. There is a package of wipes on this list, which are super convenient for when you're on the go. Creams can be fun to use if you prefer a product with a smooth, silky texture.
Best Overall: Kopari Coconut Deodorant
We've tried plenty of natural deodorants, but none have performed as well as this one formulated with coconut water, coconut oil, and sage oil—plain and simple. We love it because it truly rivals its chemical-laden counterparts in odor-protecting prowess but doesn't have those ingredients we're all trying to steer clear of. We're partial to the Original scent, but you can also choose from four others, including a fragrance-free version if that's your preference.
Best Stone: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
This unscented deodorant doesn’t rely on fragrance to mask odor. Instead, it’s made of natural mineral salts (that is the only ingredient listed, no lie) 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.
Best Drugstore: Native Coconut & Vanilla 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 for a while. Don't just take our word for it though; there are thousands of positive reviews calling this natural deodorant one of the best.
Best Classic: Schmidt's Naturals 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 general manager Leah Wyar swears by it, citing it as the deodorant she goes back to again and again.
Best Scent: LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant
If you want a scent that is pleasant without being overpowering, this one—a favorite of Jessica Alba—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 Byrdie editorial director Faith Xue. "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."
Runner-Up, Best Scent: Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant
This one's got the word rosy in its name, and that's exactly how your underarms will smell after just a few swipes of this aluminum-free deodorant—so much so that you might be tempted to take a whiff of your pits throughout the day. In all seriousness, we're big fans of everything about this deodorant, including its cutesy pink packaging, its odor-blocking abilities, and of course, the fresh rosy scent.
Best Splurge: Nécessaire The Deodorant
You could count on Nécessaire to develop the chicest-looking deodorant worthy of shelfies and front row seats on your vanity, so we can't say we're totally surprised by this one, but boy, are we happy about it. The brand recently launched this multi-mineral, multi-acid deodorant to join the rest of their fan-favorite body collection. (If you don't know what we're talking about, get up to speed here.) It's got silica, zinc, and kaolin clay to sop up wetness and keep you dry, plus lactic and mandelic acids to neutralize odors. It's not as affordable as some of the others on this list, but if you factor in all of the above, plus the fresh eucalyptus scent which you just wish you could bottle up and take everywhere with you, it's totally worth it.
Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Agent Nateur Holi(Stick) Deodorant No. 3
The minimalist packaging on this one screams luxe and—even better—the formula doesn't stray too far from that. Formulated with a blend of food-grade ingredients, including coconut oil, beeswax, avocado butter, sunflower butter, raw honey and more, this deodorant works as well as it feels gliding on the skin. Plus, it smells absolutely divine, thanks to the inclusion of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. Long story short: It's worth every penny.
Best Cooling: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
When you get hot and sweaty, it's only natural (get it?) to reach for cooling agents to find quick relief. Give your armpits the same benefit with this fan-favorite deodorant, which is formulated with a cooling blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary. What you won't find inside are petrochemicals, propylene glycol, SLS, parabens, silicones, or synthetic fragrance.
Best Staying Power: 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 benefits to last for 24 hours.
Best Without Baking Soda: Corpus Naturals Deodorant
Faith swears by this natural deodorant from Corpus Naturals as well. This formula is free of baking soda, which can cause irritation for some people, and instead relies on tapioca starch and diatomaceous earth to keep your underarms dry all day.
“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 Hydrating: Crystal Cucumber + Mint Magnesium Enriched Deodorant
From the brand that invented the OG crystal deodorant, this hydrating deodorant stick is infused with magnesium to keep B.O. at bay. The coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, and shea butter base is ultra hydrating, keeping the sensitive skin of your pits smooth and soft and soothing razor burn. It also has a naturally derived fresh cucumber and mint fragrance that isn’t overpowering, which we really appreciate. The best part of all? The formula applies invisible and dries down quickly, meaning it won’t leave any dreaded white marks on your clothes.
What Our Testers Say
“Natural deodorants have never really passed my stink test. Within one day of application this product kept me feeling dry and smell-free through a sweaty workout and humid commute on the NYC subway.” —Dwyer Frame, VP of Commerce
Best With Baking Soda: Arm & Hammer Essentials Solid Deodorant
Everyone knows 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 a blend of citrus, fresh lavender, and soft floral scents to help you smell fresh all day.
Best Sweat-Wicking Formula: type:A Deodorant
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 for Sensitive Skin: Vichy 24 Hour Dry Touch Deodorant
If you have exceptionally delicate underarms, then this deodorant is a match 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 are known to aggravate the skin.
Runner-Up, Best for Sensitive Skin: Play Pits Happy Natural Deodorant
While this deodorant was inspired by kids, it's a great pick for people of all ages (aka the entire family), especially those with sensitive skin. It's infused with lavender essential oils to quell odors, as well as other clean ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, kaolin clay, and apple cider vinegar. What you won't find inside is aluminum, parabens, and synthetic fragrance.
Best Wipes: Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes
If you’re not a stick deodorant fan, these 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 Spray: Weleda Natural Skin Care Citrus 24H 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 Vegan: Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant
Vegan and hypoallergenic, this deodorant goes on like a cream but dries down to an invisible powder finish. In other words, you won't find any white marks left behind on your clothing–one of the biggest deodorant peeves. All you're left with is long-lasting odor protection (credit natural plant starches for that) and a sweet vanilla scent you'll quickly become obsessed with.
Best for Pregnancy: Earth Mama Organics Deodorant
What you put on your body when pregnant is so important, which is why this deodorant was formulated specifically with pregnant women in mind without aluminum, parabens, artificial fragrance, or propylene glycol. Choose from lavender, citrus, and ginger scents; there's also an unscented version for sensitive noses. Care to try them all? Reach for the brand's multipack of minis to find your favorite.
Does natural deodorant really work?
Yes. As Dr. Frieling tells us, natural deodorants work with the natural bacteria present on your skin to eliminate odor. Many people note there is an adjustment period when someone stops using traditional antiperspirant and switches to a natural deodorant, but once your body gets used to it, natural deodorant should work. And remember: because natural deodorant is not an antiperspirant (because it doesn't contain aluminum) you may not feel as dry as you do with a regular deodorant.
Do I need to detox from regular deodorant?
Although it's generally thought that aluminum is absorbed into the skin, though in very low amounts, some people see benefits from doing an armpit cleanse. You could try exfoliating the area with a scrub and then applying a mixture of ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and witch hazel to cleanse.
How long after using natural deodorant do you stop smelling?
Typically there is an adjustment period when beginning to use a natural deodorant—anywhere from a couple weeks to 30 days, usually. After this period, though, reviewers note that natural deodorant keeps them smelling fresh.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Erin Reimel has years of beauty content writing experience under her belt for publications like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Women’s Health, Elle, and most recently, Shape. She carefully curated this list of natural deodorants, which has been updated since original publication to account for new products and feedback shared from our editors who test multiple beauty products daily in their own routines. This includes Byrdie editorial director Faith Xue, who is no stranger to natural deodorants. She shares some of the natural deodorants she swears by in this list, landing on them after a long journey of formula testing. Byrdie VP/General Manager Leah Wyar also shares two of her favorite natural deodorants in this list, and nobody can deny that Leah knows her way around the best products on the market as a veteran beauty expert with nearly 20 years of experience.