With the best natural deodorant, you can avoid parabens and aluminum—and still smell fresh.

By Real Simple
Jose A. Bernat Bacete
Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images, Amazon

I dated a guy who once debuted a natural deodorant the same day we helped a friend move out of her third-story apartment. In the middle of the summer. In Florida. It was a bad call, and for the longest time I figured deodorants with aluminum were the only way to go if I wanted to smell fresh and avoid perspiration. I may buy into a natural weed-killer and natural cleaners, but natural deodorant was not for me. (Related: Ashley Graham Revealed Her Favorite Natural Deodorant—and You Can Shop It On Amazon)

But during my recent quarter-life crisis, I convinced myself that most of my drugstore beauty products were trying to kill me, and parabens—whatever they were—became Public Enemy Number One in my world. When a friend suggested I try a roll-on deodorant free of both parabens and aluminum, I was game.

The best part? It was a drugstore brand, which meant I could drive to the corner or snag a stick while shopping for groceries, avoiding the shipping and handling costs of most online boutiques. And so, at around $3 a stick, I became a diehard convert of Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant. (Buy It, $16 for 6, amazon.com)

And, because personal hygiene is obviously dinner conversation, I made sure everyone in my life knew about my discovery of the best natural deodorant. Fast forward three years, and my friends are still hooked on it. Even the guys! (Related: 7 All-Natural Deodorants That Actually Work)

So what's so great about this natural deodorant?

To start, it's a clear stick, which means you won't get those white stains on your clothing—or your skin, for that matter. You probably know how to remove deodorant stains by now, but this deodorant means you don't have to deal with that oh-so-annoying problem ever again.

Unlike a lot of natural deodorants that also use baking soda but have a gritty texture, this stick has a gel-like consistency that doesn't aggravate tender underarm skin.

The Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant comes unscented or in Clean and Fresh scents. I'm currently on a Fresh kick, and it has a light, botanical smell to it that isn't baby-powder feminine or cedarwood masculine—anyone can wear it. (Related: I Tried Dove's New Antiperspirant Serum to See If It Works Better Than Regular Deodorant)

It uses natural plant extracts as deodorizers, including coriander, rosemary, and lavandin oil, and its main active ingredient is propylene glycol, a moisturizer, which the FDA considers generally safe. The Clean scent uses lemon peel oil, grapefruit peel extract, and juniperous virginiana oil, aka cedarwood, but these are just used as skin conditioning agents. The fragrance is added separately. (You can even check their full list of ingredients online if you're concerned.)

I find that at the end of a regular work day, I still pass the sniff test. And on gym days, I just need to reapply with a stick I keep in my duffle bag for maximum effectiveness.

After a year or so of using this natural deodorant, I tried a few other brands I'd heard about, but ultimately came crawling back to this mainstay. At less than $4 per stick, you won't break the bank to try it yourself.

This story originally appeared on RealSimple.com by Kristine Gill.

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