Natural Deodorants: Which Ones Work and Why you Should Try Them

Thanks to growing consumer demand for clean, non-toxic wellness products, natural deodorants are steadily nudging their way into the mainstream skincare scene.

Conventional deodorants, while admittedly effective, can contain potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. The most well-known offender in deodorants is aluminum (commonly found in antiperspirants), which essentially plugs your pores and prevents sweat from exiting the body. Certain studies have even claimed a link between using aluminium-based products and increased risk of breast cancer. On top of that, preventing your body from eliminating toxins through sweating is something that experts recommend against. Sweating is part of our body's natural detoxification system, it's good for you!

Photo by Madison Lavern

In contrast, natural deodorants are made with ingredients you can pronounce and recognize on a label. They won’t actually prevent you from sweating, but they’ll mask unpleasant body odor with natural solutions like coconut oil, essential oils, citrus, and other naturally-derived ingredients. For those looking to freshen up without the use of harsh chemicals, there are plenty of options on the market. If you’re not sure where to start looking, don’t sweat it — we rounded up a list of some of our favorite, most effective natural deodorants:

1. Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant

Charcoal is a natural detoxifier that’s been used for centuries in antidotal and beauty applications. Primally Pure’s natural deodorant contains a small amount of baking soda, which neutralizers odor, and is fortified with kaolin clay (another detoxifier) and non-nano zinc oxide to soothe irritation. While it’s not a vegan formula — this deodorant contains grass-fed beef tallow — it’s made with fair trade and organic ingredients including coconut oil, arrowroot powder, beeswax, and essential oils.

Photo by Adrien Olichon

2.Native Deodorant

Native popped up in the natural deodorant scene in 2015, making waves on Instagram with a far-reaching and extremely successful influencer campaign. In its five years on the market, the San Francisco-based company has rolled out a line of natural deodorants made with good-for-you ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, and probiotics. Even better? If their pear and linden blossom or coconut vanilla scents aren’t doing it for you, you can create a custom scent by taking a short quiz on the company’s website. Your unique formula is then hand-poured in Native’s USA-based lab and shipped to you with your name on it!

3. Weleda Citrus Deodorant

Weleda’s refreshing, lemony formula is free of aluminum, parabens, and animal-derived products. It also gets bonus points for the packaging: this deodorant comes in a recyclable glass bottle with a non-aerosol spray pump, making this a great choice for both you and the environment.

Photo by Brooke Lark

4. Kopari Coconut Deodorant

Kopari’s award-winning deodorant derives its anti-odor superpowers from natural antiseptics, including sage and coconut oils. It’s also great for people with sensitive skin! Kopari contains no baking soda, which can act as a skin irritant to some, while the formula’s nourishing coconut oil hydrates and soothes the underarms.

5. Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant

Malin + Goetz’s natural eucalyptus deodorant is definitely a higher-end product, hence the price tag (it’s $22 per 2.6 oz). But if you’re ok with splurging a little to take good care of your underarms, this subtle blend of eucalyptus extract and citronellyl (an antifungal aldehyde) will do the trick.

Cecilia Seiter
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. One of her favorite writing topics is sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty + wellness and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.