9 Best Natural Deodorants on Amazon, According to Dermatologists
What is natural deodorant?
Everyone’s looking for that “natural” label, whether it’s on food, clothes, cleansers, or beauty and skin care products. And while there is no official definition for what it means for a deodorant to be “natural,” many companies put the claim on products, hoping to capture consumers trying to live a chemical-free lifestyle. But what qualifies for a deodorant to be considered “natural?” And will a natural deodorant get the job done?
What most people are looking for in a natural deodorant is something that is aluminum-free. “Deodorants are designed to prevent or mask the body odor that results from sweating,” explains dermatologist Peterson Pierre, MD, founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute. “Meanwhile, antiperspirants are designed to stop sweating altogether by blocking the sweat glands. Antiperspirants rely heavily on aluminum and, although this is a ‘natural ingredient,’ typically natural refers to products that are aluminum-free.”
However, notes Dr. Pierre, there is no “natural” substitute for aluminum, which means there is no such thing as a natural antiperspirant. “Anything that blocks sweat is considered a chemical, so natural deodorants don’t prevent you from sweating,” says board-certified New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. “But they do help attack the bacteria that cause smells and odors.”
Do natural deodorants really work?
“Natural deodorants do work very well for some people,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It all depends on how much sweat or odor one produces.” Some people sweat more than others; if you want to switch to a natural deodorant, you’ll want to take advantage of ways to sweat less. Because instead of relying on chemicals that prevent sweat from leaving the sweat ducts, these products will contain ingredients like baking soda, starch, or arrowroot powder to absorb moisture, and essential oils and fragrances to mask odor.
“Natural deodorants are hypoallergenic, therefore they are less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivity than the traditional formulas do,” adds cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, MD. The only ingredient some people experience reactions to is baking soda. “Baking soda has an alkaline pH,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “In some people, this throws off the body’s pH balance and can cause irritation or a rash. But switching to a baking soda-free natural deodorant will solve this problem.” (Avoid these deodorant mistakes.)
Here, 10 of the best options for natural (aluminum-free) deodorant to keep you smelling fresh this summer.
M3 Naturals All Natural Deodorant with Magnesium
With 1,500 five-star reviews highlighting the pleasant scent and ease of use, this natural deodorant relies on magnesium to block the activity of the bacteria that produce body odor. “My daughter gets an allergic reaction to ANY storebought deodorant. Her armpits are all red and bumpy,” shares one reviewer. “I tried this based on the reviews and five days of using it her armpits were normal (mind you she had the rash for over a year, even had doctors look at it). I couldn’t believe it, it’s like nothing was there.”
“I’m a big fan of the Native brand and actually use it myself,” says Dr. Jaliman. The number one seller in the deodorant category on Amazon with nearly 9,000 five-star reviews, Native uses coconut oil and shea butter to moisturize, tapioca starch, baking soda (often listed as sodium bicarbonate) and magnesium to absorb odors, and natural oils and fragrances to deliver bright scents like Eucalyptus & Mint, Coconut & Vanilla, Lavender & Rose and Herbal Musk & Citrus.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant
$17 for a three-pack
“Tom’s of Maine makes a great natural deodorant,” says Dr. Pierre. This aluminum-free product combines naturally derived and sourced ingredients like aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil to banish unpleasant odors. Note: Tom’s of Maine also makes a product called Tom’s of Maine Antiperspirant Deodorant that features sustainably sourced aluminum for wetness protection.
Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant
While some natural deodorants require multiple daily applications and therefore only last for a few weeks, this roll-on option from Bali Secrets will last up to three months. The ingredient that differentiates this brand is seaweed extract, which has been popping up in more and more skin-care products for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and hydrating properties. It also boasts a whopping 3,500 five-star reviews, with users noting its pleasant scents and gentleness on sensitive skin.
Schmidt’s Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant
Arrowroot powder and baking soda work to absorb odor in this aluminum-free product from Schmidt’s. Depending on the scent it may also use activated charcoal, a natural ingredient that works to absorb moisture while extracting dirt and oils from the pores. “It washes off easier than regular deodorant and has a nice scent that is mild and clean-smelling,” writes one reviewer. “What wetness is there doesn’t stink, which is actually better performance than the old regular antiperspirants I’ve used in the past.” (Also, try these homemade deodorant recipes.)
Weleda Citrus Deodorant
Despite looking like a bottle of perfume, this spritzer is actually a natural deodorant that features triethyl citrate, an antibacterial compound that prevents bacteria from breaking down sweat, the process that causes body odor. “I can’t use store-bought brands without my armpits breaking out and hurting,” writes one reviewer. “I can’t stay fresh with powder. I can’t shower three times a day because my skin dries out. But this stuff…is AWESOME!” Another boon: Many consumers report that the scent is very gender-neutral and can be used by everyone in your home. (This is what you should eat to smell better.)
Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant with Natural Deodorizers
This inexpensive and aluminum-free deodorant from Arm & Hammer uses alcohol and baking soda to get rid of moisture and body odor and rosemary and lavender essential oils to provide natural, gentle scents. “Because Mom used an open box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda to neutralize refrigerator odors, I thought a baking soda deodorant may also neutralize (and not just mask),” writes one reviewer. “It’s so true. It’s a clear stick that goes on clear — no chalk on the clothes—and its uplifting scent is a mix of citrus oil and a little rosemary.”
Lume Natural Deodorant for Underarms & Private Parts
With no aluminum or baking soda, this hypoallergenic Lume deodorant is formulated to be safe and effective for underarms and any other sweaty areas of the body. It contains mandelic acid, which actively works to unclog pores and get rid of any buildup from past antiperspirant use, plus arrowroot extract and tapioca starch to handle moisture. (Do your feet smell? Here are some home remedies for stinky feet.)
Primal Life Organics Stick Up Natural Deodorant
Massage this baking soda-free, push-up deodorant into your armpits and you’ll be smelling fresh all day, thanks to bentonite clay. “Bentonite clay draws impurities out from the skin,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “It absorbs moisture from the underarms and helps with body odor.” It also features zinc oxide and magnesium to prevent smells sans irritation. (Next, read about the potentially toxic ingredients in beauty products.)
- Peterson Pierre, MD, dermatologist and cosmetic dermatologist and founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute, Westlake Village, California
- Debra Jaliman, MD, board-certified New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist
- Michele Green, M., cosmetic dermatologist in New York City