The Best Natural Deodorants to Combat B.O. Sans Aluminum
As a regular gym-goer who started to deal with stinky underarms in the third grade (yes, really), I’d been applying my favorite chemical-ridden deodorant day and night for over 15 years. When I started to seek out more natural beauty alternatives a few years ago, the scariest impending switch was swapping my antiperspirant for an aluminum-free option. (Related: Have You Heard of Armpit Detoxing?)
To clarify, natural deodorants are *not* antiperspirants. Here’s the deal: Traditional antiperspirants block the production of sweat. (After all, the word "antiperspirant" literally means "anti-sweat.") When sweat mixes with an aluminum compound in antiperspirants, it creates aluminum salts, which plug the sweat ducts, aka eccrine ducts, explains dermatologist Alicia Zalka, M.D. You have eccrine ducts all over your body, so blocking the ones under your arms isn’t likely to cause issues. “But sweating is the way your body regulates your temperature so you don’t overheat,” says dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., a spokeswoman for Schmidt’s natural products. So some people prefer to just let their bodies do their thing. That's where "natural" deodorants come in.
"Natural" deodorants eliminate the aluminum (and, in turn, the antiperspirant qualities) and consist of fewer additives overall. They often rely on baking soda or magnesium as the active ingredients to reduce odors and absorb some wetness (making them a great gentle option for anyone with sensitive skin)—but, unfortunately, they’re not as effective for stopping sweat as aluminum-based antiperspirants. (Instead, they’re simply meant to reduce or neutralize odors.)
And you'll likely get a bit stinky when you first start using a natural one. Sweat itself is odorless, but it smells when it mixes with the bacteria that naturally flourish under your arms, explains Dr. Zalka. When you switch to a natural deodorant, it takes up to a week for your eccrine ducts to unplug. “That blocked-up sweat that was once odorless is not anymore, so you may sweat and smell more as your body adjusts to its new normal,” she says. “It’s temporary.”
So I delayed the switch to natural deodorant in fear that, if I ditched the aluminum, ~smells~ would come. But when I started to hear about possible links between breast cancer and antiperspirants, I finally felt brave enough to take the (likely) odorous leap to natural, aluminum-free deodorant. Note: The National Institute of Health and other experts have found no direct connection between antiperspirants and cancer (or any other disease), but I still felt it was an important part of leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Plus, the fact that natural formulas would be much gentler on my skin didn’t hurt. (If the baking soda in these natural deodorants does irritate your sensitive skin, Dr. Zalka recommends applying it on the middle of your underarm, where the hairs grow. That's where the moisture is, so the baking soda will soak it up without drying out the surrounding skin. If fragrance is the issue, look for a natural deodorant that has extracts, which are less irritating.)
Luckily, plenty of other friends and colleagues had already made the switch and were open about their experiences trying natural deodorants—which quickly helped me suss out some of the biggest names in the game, like Native, Weleda, and Crystal. And thanks to the thousands of brutally honest customer reviews I scoured through, I was able to find out which aluminum-free options pass the sniff test... and which don’t. (And in case you want even more options than all these below, check out these other editor-tested natural deodorants.)
Here, the 10 best natural deodorants that *actually* work, according to customers.
- Best Overall: Native Natural Deodorant
- Best Unscented: CRYSTAL Mineral Deodorant Stick
- Best Organic: Super Natural Goods Underarmed Deodorant
- Best Spray: Weleda Wild Rose 24h Deodorant Spray
- Best for Workouts: type:A Deodorant
- Best Magnesium-Based Formula: Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant
- Best Cream: Little Seed Farm All Natural Deodorant Cream
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Magsol Magnesium Deodorant
- Longest-Lasting: Curie All-Natural Deodorant
- Best Wipes: Bliss Refreshing Body Wipes
- Best Anti-Odorant: Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads
Best Overall: Native Natural Deodorant
By replacing aluminum with natural ingredients like baking soda and tapioca starch, Native creates a chemical-free formula that you’ll actually feel good about applying to your armpits. While some natural deodorants tend to clump, this stick easily glides over the skin thanks to moisturizing agents like coconut oil and shea butter. You can read nearly 1,500 positive reviews from happy users raving about how well this formula works for day-to-day wear (including claims from multiple gym-goers who say it keeps them completely fresh throughout their workouts). In fact, one five-star reviewer even claimed it worked as well as her antiperspirant—a true feat in the natural world. Best of all, you can choose from seven different scents including coconut vanilla and cucumber mint.
Best Unscented: CRYSTAL Mineral Deodorant Stick
There’s only one ingredient in this deodorant stick: natural mineral salts. While it might *seem* a little strange to rub a layer of salt along your armpits, it’s actually an odor-blocking alternative to traditional formulas that offers up to 24 hours of protection. Not only is it a favorite of Shape editor Lauren Mazzo, but it also has over 2,400 positive Amazon reviews from customers who rave about how well it works. While this Crystal stick is great for sensitive skin—it’s dermatologist-tested and free of both dyes and fragrance—the brand also makes a scented roll-on formula and a quick-drying spray.
Best Organic: Super Natural Goods Underarmed Deodorant
If you spend extra time reading the ingredient list on everything you put in (or on) your body, you’ll love that every ingredient in this small-batch deodorant is not only natural, but also organic. Made by a family-owned brand based in Nashville, the non-toxic formula was developed to kill odor-causing bacteria and is pH balanced to ensure it never causes any discomfort or rashes on skin. With over 1,000 positive reviews from users, it’s no surprise this handmade deodorant made it onto on Amazon’s Best Sellers list. Plus, one-five star reviewer said it was even powerful enough to keep BO at bay through a vigorous boxing class.
Best Spray: Weleda Wild Rose 24h Deodorant Spray
If you’re looking for the “pits of a goddess” or the “holy grail of natural deodorants” then, according to one reviewer, Weleda has you covered. This paraben- and aluminum-free deodorant spray uses a combination of essential oils to keep you smelling like a rose (literally!) without stopping the skin’s natural detoxification process. (FYI, your armpits apparently need to detox themselves once you ditch traditional antiperspirants.) Also available in a clean sage or fresh citrus scent, this dermatologist-approved spray can either be applied pre- or post-sweat.
Best for Workouts: type:A Deodorant
Natural deodorants are notorious for sweating off during workouts because, quite frankly, they’re not antiperspirants—but type:A is on a mission to change that. Using a sweat-activated technology, this cream-based formula actually becomes *more* effective as you sweat. Plus, it's still 100-percent non-toxic, fast-absorbing, and ultra sheer (so it won’t transfer onto your all-black gym ensemble). You can currently choose from five different scents or opt for an unscented formula. At least 52 users called it the best aluminum-free deodorant out there, with some reviewers saying it’s the only natural deodorant they’ve found that passes the sweat test. (More proof: Ashley Graham is a fan, too!)
Best Magnesium-Based Formula: Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant
If the baking powder or alcohol-derived ingredients found in some other natural deodorants tend to irritate your skin, you’ll love this unscented roll-on deodorant that ditches both. Instead, it’s developed with sensitive skin in mind and uses a magnesium-based formula that absorbs into your skin and blocks odors. Plus, it has almost 1,000 perfect five-star reviews on Amazon with multiple users calling it “the best deodorant ever.”
Best Cream: Little Seed Farm All Natural Deodorant Cream
Unlike your standard stick of deodorant, this all-natural cream only employs ingredients you *can* pronounce, such as coconut oil, essential oils, magnesium, and activated charcoal. That means you can tackle underarm odor for up to 24 hours without fear of irritating sensitive skin or using chemically-derived ingredients. The lightweight paste (which comes in a small jar) has a silky texture and comes in seven different scents. While there are plenty of rave reviews for this cream deodorant, one user sold it best, revealing they tried eight different natural deodorants before finding their perfect match in this sustainable pick—because it's stored in a glass jar, you can feel good knowing that there's no plastic going to waste when you're done. (Head over here for more sustainable, low-waste natural deodorant picks.)
Best for Sensitive Skin: Magsol Magnesium Deodorant
To offer another alternative to people with sensitive skin, Magsol focused on pH control and developed a formula made with just four non-comedogenic ingredients: beeswax, almond oil, magnesium, and essential oils. By making all-natural options feel more attainable for all, Magsol’s deodorant racked up over 1,800 positive reviews on Amazon from people that say it “smells good” and is “long lasting.” Just pick your favorite scent—there are six to choose from—and go about your day without worrying about odors.
Longest Wear: Curie All-Natural Deodorant
If you need B.O. protection for up to 24 hours, look no further than Curie’s non-toxic and aluminum-free deodorant. It's formulated with baking soda—which is super effective for its natural absorbent and odor-reducing properties, but can potentially irritate sensitive skin. To reduce that risk, Curie used just a small amount of baking soda in the stick, so you still get the coverage you want without the irritation. They offer delightfully fresh scents like white tea, grapefruit, and orange neroli. While there aren’t tons of ratings on this deodorant just yet, one reviewer did claim it was the “best natural deodorant on Amazon.” Plus, for every five sold, the woman-owned company donates one stick to an organization that aids homeless women.
Best Wipes: Bliss Refreshing Body Wipes
If you’re trying to stay fresh on the go or simply want a travel-friendly option, these cooling, all-natural deodorant wipes should be your top pick. The cruelty-free, pre-moistened wipes naturally refresh your underarms by removing any dirt, oil, or sweat—so you’ll not only smell great but actually *feel* fresh, too. Plus, the 30-pack uses Bliss’ iconic scent of fresh lemon and sage for a post-workout refresh that smells like a spa day. While we wouldn’t recommend them as a complete replacement for your natural deodorant, they’re a great addition in situations where you’re bound to get sweaty—just take it from this five-star reviewer. (More here: These Face and Body Wipes Are a Busy Girl's BFF)
Best Anti-Odorant: Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads
These pads aren't technically deodorant (that's why the brand calls them anti-odorant)—they're even better. Rather than masking odor with added fragrance or drying baking soda, the glycolic acid (an exfoliant commonly found in skincare) in these pads work to to alter the skin’s pH so the bacteria that causes odor when it mixes with sweat can’t grow int he first place. And when the bacteria can't grow, you don't have to worry about any funky smells.