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If you’re here because you just can’t seem to find a natural deodorant that actually works, you’re not alone! Rest assured, making the switch to natural deodorant is often filled with challenges, a little bit of stink, and disappointment before it all works out. 

In an effort to help you speed up that process and find a natural deodorant that’s a match made in heaven, I’ve researched, tested, and tried all the natural deodorants I could get my hands on. Deodorants that left me feeling wet. Deodorants that had me feeling slightly stinky by the end of the day. And yes, natural deodorants made with safe, clean ingredients that actually matched my stank and sweat and didn’t suck!

As someone with a healthy sweat rate, my journey to find the best natural deodorant has been a bit bumpy. As a teen, I hated sweating through my shirt, and thanks to puberty and school dress uniforms, it happened often. So, I resorted to prescription strength antiperspirants.

Once I learned about the potentially harmful effects of daily exposure to aluminum through antiperspirants, parabens, and other endocrine disruptors, I decided to make the switch to natural deodorant.

When I began my search for the best natural deodorant almost 10 years ago, there wasn’t much on the market. I tried a few things from Whole Foods, and even tried just applying straight up coconut oil and baking soda (I highly recommend NOT doing that). Now, the clean beauty scene is exploding with natural deodorants, which is great for all of us who want to make better decisions about what we put on our skin.

Consistency and Natural Deodorant Ingredients

Luckily, there are a ton of natural deodorant options now—some that work, and some that just… don’t. To save you time, money, and sweat, I’ve cut through the stank and am highlighting eight natural deodorants. I’ve also made some notes on others I chose not to recommend. Many deodorants that claim to be natural still contain known harmful ingredients, which is why they’re not included.

Over the last decade, I’ve learned a lot about natural deodorants. First, and possibly most important, consistency is key. There needs to a middle ground—not too creamy and wet, not too hard.

Creamier deodorants are less drying, but typically won’t stain clothes because they don’t sit on skin like a wax. Deodorants that are harder or contain coconut oil as the very first ingredient (note: coconut oil as a component—the second ingredient listed or further down doesn’t seem to have the same effect) are much more likely to stain clothes. 

Speaking of, let’s clear something up about one of the most-loved natural deodorant ingredients, coconut oil. If you apply straight coconut oil to your skin, it can be clogging because it sits on the skin like a wax. As a component to skin care (so, when formulated correctly), it will not have that effect. Most people (outside of those with a coconut allergy) respond just fine to coconut oil as an ingredient. Formulation is key!

The best natural deodorants that actually fight the stank and keep you dry will typically have a mixture of drying agents, most notably baking soda, arrowroot, and/or cornstarch. Baking soda in particular is great at neutralizing odor, while arrowroot and cornstarch will keep you dry and less likely to experience the negative side effects of sweat (armpit stains and even rashes).

Irritation vs. Allergic Reaction

If you’re prone to irritation or have sensitive skin, it is going to take some time, patience, and persistence to find the best natural deodorant. If you experience serious inflammation or a red rash, it could be allergic contact dermatitis. To resolve this, you must figure out what ingredient you’re allergic to. 

While there are some ingredients that can cause irritation, the main cause of redness and rashes is sweat and friction. An antiperspirant (aluminum) stops sweat by clogging pores, and a natural deodorant won’t do that. If a natural deodorant isn’t formulated properly, your skin will remain moist, which can cause red, raw areas that start in the creases of your skin and grow from there. Sound familiar? It’s called intertrigo

Irritation can also be caused by the pH level of your skin’s acid mantle. If you’re regularly stripping your skin with harsh cleansers or sulfates, this can impair your acid mantle and make it more prone to irritation. Your age, your diet, and even the time of the month can also impact your skin’s pH, and therefore, how you’ll react to a product.

To reduce irritation from natural deodorants, always make sure to use a gentle, mild soap without harsh sulfates, apply this Everything Spray to help your skin return to an acidic pH, never shave just before putting on deodorant, and have patience as you try to find the right fit.

Lastly, there are just some ingredients that can be more irritating than others. These include certain fragrances or essential oils (like peppermint), and baking soda.

Baking soda as a component of natural deodorant is great for most people. While baking soda has a higher pH (around 8 – 8.5), sweat is mildly acidic and neutralizes the alkalinity of the baking soda and dissolves it. When it comes down to it, it really is all about the formulation. If it’s a main part of the formulation (one of the first three ingredients), it’s more likely to cause irritation for people who are sensitive.

The Detoxification Period

Yes, the detoxification with natural deodorant is a real thing! It is normal for there to be a 2-3 week period during your switch to natural deodorant where your stank is extra stanky. Typically, this is caused by the buildup in your sweat glands from antiperspirants. As your body releases those toxins through sweat, things can be a little unpleasant. But the reward once it’s over is totally worth it! You will sweat less, and that sweat will have less stank!

To help speed up the detoxification process, I recommend cleansing with this Charcoal Bar daily, and applying this Charcoal Mask to your underarms once a week. 

Important: Please do not “push through” serious irritation, redness, or rashes. This is NOT part of the detoxification process, and people who say that it is don’t understand how the body detoxifies. Don’t ignore a serious rash and stop and reevaluate if you experience one.

How I Reviewed + Tested Natural Deodorants

I personally tested all of the natural deodorants below for an extended period of time and in a variety of circumstances. While testing, I made notes about the essential eight things when it comes to natural deodorant:

  • Safe ingredients: Does it have any known harmful ingredients?
  • Smell: Does it have a tolerable (mild, not obnoxious) scent?
  • Drying power: How well does it keep you dry?
  • Fighting the stank: Does it actually stop you from smelling bad?
  • Application: Does it feel like sandpaper or is it soaking wet? 
  • Good for sensitive skin: Does it irritate easily?
  • Staining clothes: Does it leave you with spots on your clothes?
  • The “white cast” effect: Can you wear it with a tank top and not have ghost pits?

To make it easy to unpack my testing and review, I separated each of the eight essential things into “The Wins” and “What I Didn’t Like” so you can easily see how it stacks up against the rest. And with that, let’s get on to the best natural deodorant!

NOTE: this review isn’t at all sponsored. I paid for all of these deodorants myself (yeah, spending $100 on deodorant was fun! 😆). This is my extensive and unbiased personal review of the best natural deodorant on the market completely free to you, and for your benefit.

8 Best Natural Deodorants in 2021: My Testing and Comprehensive Review

Beautycounter Clean Deo - the best natural deodorant

1. The Clean Deo

My top pick of 2021, the Clean Deo is the first natural deodorant I’ve tried that actually stops the sweat and stank the entire day! It’s what I use daily now and what I consider the best natural deodorant. And, it’s suitable for sensitive skin. What gives it these unicorn properties? There’s a non-irritating drying ingredient as the first ingredient. And the mixture of shea butter and candelilla wax makes it great for sensitive skin. All I know is, I don’t have to reapply, and I actually smell like the deodorant at the end of the day. (Note: Purchase the Clean Deo, and then just buy refill cartridges at a 35% discount to save on cash and plastic waste).

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes! And there’s additional testing for contaminants like heavy metal.
  • Smell: Great. 
  • Drying: Yes! Super drying and lasts all day.
  • Stank: Neutralized odor throughout the day! THIS IS A FIRST FOR ME.
  • Application: Goes on smoothly, but still feels solid.
  • Sensitive skin: Good option! This formula is specifically great for sensitive skin. Highly recommend testing this one first. Many people react to contaminants like heavy metals—and this is the only brand that conducts testing. If it doesn’t work for you, utilize the 60-day money back guarantee with free return shipping
  • Staining: None noted
  • White cast: Nope
Native natural deodorant

2. Native

A strong option—Native goes on smoothly, is drying, and actually stops the stank! The one downside is that it stains clothes, which is mostly due to the fact that coconut oil is the first ingredient. 

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes—”Fragrance” is in the ingredients, which has some issues. But they have stated that they’re naturally derived. I still prefer brands that list the actual fragrances without using catch-all terms. 
  • Smell: Good. Fragrance is said to be naturally derived on their website.
  • Drying: Yes! Three drying powders in the first 5 ingredients.
  • Stank: Neutralizes odor for 6+ hours. Only need to reapply occasionally.
  • Application: So consistent and smooth! Love it!
  • Sensitive skin: I don’t recommend it for sensitive skin—it can cause some issues for people who are sensitive to drying agents. And since the fragrances aren’t listed, it’s impossible to know if you’re going to react to some of the essential oils or not.
  • Staining: After some time, yes
  • White cast: No
Primally Pure natural deodorant

3. Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is actually what my husband still uses. It’s very drying, has a great scent, and I find it to be a good choice for sensitive skin.

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes! Clean label with great attention to formulation and safety.
  • Smell: Great! Very basic and clearly stated essential oils.
  • Drying: Yes—very drying!
  • Stank: Stops the stank for at least 6 hours, but does occasionally need some reapplying.
  • Application: This one is a little hard to apply. Becomes gritty overtime.
  • Sensitive skin: I would say yes—give this one a try! Arrowroot is the first and main drying agent. 
  • Staining: Because coconut oil is the first ingredient, I have noticed some staining.
  • White cast: No
Honestly pHresh natural deodorant

4. Honestly pHresh

No baking soda here! Honestly pHresh was a last minute wild card purchase, mostly because I hadn’t found any that actually worked for people who are allergic to baking soda. While the name might need some work (jk—I think it’s cute!), this is my top natural deodorant pick for people with sensitive skin or who need to completely avoid baking soda.

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes!
  • Smell: Great! No synthetic fragrance. Really strong smell that lasts.
  • Drying: Yes—but not the best for heavy sweaters. You’ll need to reapply.
  • Stank: I debated where to put this. It does neutralize odor for 4-6 hours. If you’re doing strenuous activity, you’ll need to reapply.
  • Application: A little hard and gritty. Not a deal breaker.
  • Sensitive skin: TRY IT! If you have very sensitive skin and can’t do any baking soda, try this first! It’s pH balanced, baking soda free, and uses shea butter.
  • Staining: None noted
  • White cast: No

5. Schmidt’s 

Tried and true, Schmidt’s is a popular, widely available clean beauty focused company, and has some big wins in drying power. If you’re a heavy sweater, this is the stuff! But, with that comes some concerns for sensitive skin—so please take note! (Note: do NOT purchase this one online. Get it from a local grocery store for quality control.)

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes!
  • Smell: Great! No synthetic fragrance. 
  • Drying: Yes! Plenty of drying powders as the main ingredients, no moist feeling at the end of the day. If you’re a heavy sweater, this is the stuff!
  • Stank: Not a win, but not a miss. Neutralized odor for 4-6 hours, but did need to reapply once.
  • Application: Goes on smoothly! Not too dry or gritty. It did start to melt and change shape overtime (see photo). This was just stored at room temp during the winter.
  • Sensitive skin: If you have sensitive skin, do NOT use the Signature Schmidt’s Deodorant. Try their sensitive formula, which will have Magnesium hydroxide as the drying agent. Note: sensitive formulas aren’t as drying. 
  • Staining: No
  • White cast: Yes—not a deal breaker
Stinkbug Organics natural deodorant

6. Stinkbug Organics

Stinkbug Organics was the first natural deodorant I used—and it still works! It’s got the most simple ingredients list. Over the years, they’ve done a few reformulations. The consistency is still pretty hard. Even though it may need some reapplication, it’s a great option for people who are very sensitive to baking soda. 

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes!
  • Smell: Great! Pretty light in scent.
  • Drying: Less drying than most, but better than nothing. Needs reapplying.
  • Stank: Does neutralize odor for 4-6 hours. You may need to reapply.
  • Application: Kind of dry, and a little hard. 
  • Sensitive skin: YES! If you have very sensitive skin or have a sensitivity to baking soda, this is an option!
  • Staining: Unfortunately, yes. Coconut oil is the first ingredient, so it can stain certain clothes.
  • White cast: Nope
Lume natural deodorant

7. Lume

Lume is a cream-based deodorant that can be used as a whole body deodorant. Because it’s creamy, it’s not my top pick, but does have its place because it’s a good option for people with more sensitive skin.

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes! Some older formulations still have PEGs, so purchase from a local store if possible.
  • Smell: Not a huge fan here. Smells very chemically.
  • Drying: It was drying for a short period of time, but didn’t last long.
  • Stank: Lasted for a short period of time. Had to reapply.
  • Sensitive skin: Yes, I think this is a good option for sensitive skin. But be cautious. Because it’s not as drying, it may lead to wetness and friction.
  • Application: It applies really wet. Don’t apply with clothes on, and let it dry completely before dressing.
  • Staining: No
  • White cast: Yes, slightly
Each & Every natural deodorant

8. Each & Every

I’ve seen Each & Every advertised MANY times in my newsfeed, so I knew I needed to give this one a try. I love that they’re really trying with simple and safe ingredients. While I think this one may work for some because it’s free of baking soda, it does apply wet and oily, and there’s issues with it staining clothes. 

How it stacks up:

  • Safe ingredients: Yes!
  • Smell: Great! Very light scent.
  • Drying: Still felt muggy and sort of wet after application. It did dry, but this didn’t work for workouts. Sort of melts off.
  • Stank: Doesn’t neutralize odor for very long. Needed to reapply.
  • Sensitive skin: Yes this can work! Try if you have very sensitive skin or can’t do baking soda.
  • Application: Very wet and creamy. 
  • Staining: Yes, coconut oil is the first ingredient. Stains clothes easily.
  • White cast: Slightly

What Didn’t Stack Up + Why

As you know, there are many other products marketed as natural deodorants on the market. But they aren’t all as safe as they may seem. For this reason, I chose not to apply Tom’s, Crystal Salt Deodorant, Kompari, and CORPUS. Ingredients to watch out for in deodorants include propylene glycol or PEGs, fragrance/parfum, potassium alum (another name for aluminum), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), silica, and phenoxyethanol.

For more information about how to find safe and effective products, check out 10 Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup and Skincare Products.

If you made it this far, props to you and your dedication to finding the best natural deodorant! If you have any questions about clean beauty or the natural deodorant for you, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

Be strong,

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