Natural deodorants are a niche of the beauty industry that is still confusing and highly debated: Are they truly healthier? Do they even work? Are there any that smell good and actually help with odor AND sweat? Well, I’m here to tell ya…
The theory is that the aluminum present in conventional antiperspirants is toxic and absorbed by the body. 60% of the products we use on our skin are absorbed by the skin, which means there’s quite a bit that ends up being processed by our body internally. Our body has an excellent way of processing and excreting toxic elements (thanks to our lungs, kidneys, and liver) but aluminum is a potential neurotoxin that may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This theory regarding a link between aluminum exposure/absorption and Alzheimer’s is still just that: a theory. Some studies show evidence, others are inconclusive or show no correlation.
While studies are inconclusive, why use something potentially harmful when there are other safer and more natural options on the market? I’ve been experimenting with natural deodorants for years, and I’ve suffered the irritation, stinky underarms, and product failure so you don’t have to.
Here are the products that are worth it and those that are worth skipping.
Lavanila– maybe it’s the essential oils in this one, but despite being highly rated and popular among natural deodorant fans, this one was my least favorite. The irritation I experienced was persistent and uncomfortable, and after giving both the sport version and the original a try, I had to cross this one off my list of potential pit-savers.
Tom’s of Maine– I love the fluoride-free toothpaste by Tom’s, but the deodorant was not awesome- the aluminum-free deodorant was sticky and didn’t do anything for my sweat. I actually felt like my underarms were more damp than normal when I wore this one. The unscented did nothing to help any sweat-related odor and the lavender scented version smelled almost rancid when combined with smell of sweat. Highly, highly unpleasant. I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t make this one work for me.
Schmidt’s Naturals– tis is another commonly promoted natural deodorant brand, and the results were only so-so. I tried the bergamot & lime scent, and it was heavenly. Like the Tom’s, it felt a little sticky, but overall felt pretty comfortable. The second scent I tried was the rose & vanilla scent, and while also nice, it was the one that steered me away from giving the brand an entirely positive review. The rose & vanilla version felt stickier, and was brown in color and transferred onto clothing badly. My body heat would soften it too much and it was a sticky, clothes-staining hassle. I also experienced some minor irritation from this one.
Pacifica– the deodorant wipes from this brand smell good, but aren’t long-lasting or sweat-inhibiting. I like keeping a pack in my purse for on-the-go use, but they aren’t my favorite for daily use.
Meow Meow Tweet– the deodorant cream is excellent. I’ve not tried any stick versions, but the cream was a very pleasant surprise. I bought it at target on a whim to try it, and the grapefruit scent is very nice and while the application isn’t my favorite, a little goes a long way and your body heat warms it just enough so that it absorbs nicely. After it absorbs it doesn’t feel sticky or wet. The lasting power is decent, too.
Crystal– this mineral deodorant is THE BEST. I am a woman that sweats more than I would like to admit, and this has been a game-changer. You wet the tip of the salt stone and apply it. It dries instantly and the deodorant keeps my sweat to a minimum and the odor away. Being essentially just a stick of salt, I was doubtful at first but was amazed at how well my body reacted to it! One stick lasts a long time (months!) and this will definitely be a repurchase.
Native– this deodorant is still new to me, but so far, so good. It’s texture and application is most similar to traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. Upon first usage, I noticed minor irritation, but subsequent uses have been free of irritation.
If any of you are looking for aluminum-free alternatives to traditional deodorants, I hope this list helps you find an option or two that work for you, while minimizing the sweat and irritation that can come with switching over to natural deodorants.