This Natural Deodorant Actually Keeps Me Feeling Fresh—Even On the Hottest Summer Days

This Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant is the only natural option I’ve found that doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin and actually blocks odors when I sweat.

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Photo: Sephora

No, Really, You Need This features wellness products our editors and experts feel so passionately about that they can basically guarantee it will make your life better in some way. If you've ever asked yourself, "This seems cool, but do I really ~need~ it?" the answer this time is yes.

Like many, my introduction to deodorant came in middle school when my mom gave me a stick of whatever antiperspirant was on sale at the drugstore. And even as a beauty editor with access to tons of products, that's pretty much what I've stuck with through the years, thanks to my sensitive skin and fear of being dubbed the "smelly girl" at work.

But that all changed when I took advantage of my time in quarantine to finally give natural deodorant a try. And after testing a bunch (some great, some totally not great), I've found my holy grail: Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant (Buy It, $15, sephora.com). Not only does it keep me feeling fresh and clean—even on sweltering hot summer days—but it also feels like I'm wearing nothing at all. I'm simply obsessed.

In case you're unfamiliar with the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant, it's simple: Antiperspirant is designed to stop odor and sweat, while deodorant is simply designed to prevent odor. (Antiperspirant has aluminum in the formula, which is the ingredient that plugs up your sweat glands to stop you from sweating.) You may be wondering why someone would someone want to let their sweat flow freely. Here's the deal: Your body naturally wants to sweat—it's actually how your body regulates temperature—and some people like to let their bodies do their natural thing. (Some experts have suggested a possible connection between the use of antiperspirants or deodorants and health issues such as breast cancer, although there's currently no conclusive scientific evidence linking the two, according to the National Cancer Institute.)

I'd avoided making the big deodorant switch for years because I dreaded the smelly transition period I'd have to go through while my sweat glands started to unplug and let out all that backed-up sweat. So I took advantage of my time in quarantine, while I wasn't surrounded by coworkers at the office or other commuters on a crowded subway, to get through it. It took about two weeks for my body to stop smelling extra ripe—but to be honest, my boyfriend didn't even notice. (

Since I ditched antiperspirant, I've tried a few natural formulas that irritated my underarms, thanks to common ingredients found in natural deodorants, such as baking soda, fragrance, and essential oils. Baking soda can be drying while fragrance and essential oils can irritate sensitive skin—a bad combo for my touchy pits. But when I tried the Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant, I knew I found a winner. Not only does it have zero baking soda, but it also comes in a fragrance-free option—so I haven't experienced any irritation after wearing it all day.

Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant
Sephora

Buy It: Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant, $15, sephora.com

But how can a fragrance-free deodorant cover up any potential sweat-induced smells? Kosas' formula uses a blend of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that exfoliate, unblock and cleanse pores, and support a pH environment where odor-causing bacteria can't survive.I've worn it through a morning yoga class, my entire work day, and a long walk in the insane summer heat—all without the need to reapply. In fact, I've noticed that other natural deodorants, which rely on fragrance to cover up odor, require you to keep reapplying to mask the smell throughout the day—but that's totally unnecessary with this one from Kosas.

I also love the texture. While other natural deodorants I've tried were thick, sticky creams that took forever to dry after applying, this one is water-based, so all I have to do is shake it and apply using the rollerball end. (The fact that I don't have to touch my pits, like you need to do with some cream-based natural deodorants, is another win for me.) And if you've ever pulled a sports bra or top on only to discover that you've got white deodorant marks all over it (who hasn't?), you'll never have to worry about annoying streaks again with this. It's totally clear and leaves no residue behind. (

As an added bonus, the formula gently exfoliates my skin, resulting in no more dark, uneven, or bumpy underarm skin. And since it has aloe vera juice and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soothe skin, too, it's like your pits are getting serious skin-care benefits while you wear it. Thanks to Kosas' natural deodorant, it's safe to say I'll never go back to antiperspirant again.

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