Finding a good natural deodorant is hard. In fact, finding a good deodorant is hard! Swapping out my aerosol was one of the first changes I made when getting into nontoxic and natural beauty products, and after years of trying and testing different types, I’ve got a shortlist of five different products I routinely use.
Does Natural Deodorant Actually Work?
This is something I get asked a lot: the truthful answer is that some natural deodorants do work, and some don’t. Personally, I find cream deodorants work best for me, but anything with bicarbonate of soda, arrowroot powder, or teatree oil seems to do the trick.
Just like your skincare, it’s important that you recognise what your skin needs. If your underarms are dry, you will need something nourishing such as a cream deodorant. If you are quite physical during an average day, you may need to reapply more frequently.
What Makes A Deodorant “Natural”?
Defining the word natural is also tricky. Like I said way back in 2014, natural doesn’t have a legal definition, where organic does. My understanding of a natural deodorant is one that doesn’t contain:
- Aluminium particles
- Petrol-based substances
- Anything on my list of beauty ingredients to avoid
Aluminium is a major problem with deodorants – think of it as the SLS of haircare, or BPA in plastic. Aluminium metal has been linked to health problems, and is often found in deodorants and antiperspirants.
It could potentially be more of a problem than other ingredients in other skincare products because of the way our underarms absorb liquid into the bloodstream. So to be safe, I try to avoid it.
The Best Natural Deodorants I’ve Tried
1. Best Cream Natural Deodorant: Elsa Organics
If you’re going to try a natural deodorant, my best recommendation is a cream deodorant. I spent around three years dodging these, thinking they would be more messy and inconvenient than a roll-on or spray. Three years later, I found out I’d been missing out on the most effective, long-lasting deodorants out there!
My favourite cream deodorant has to be Elsa Organic’s Deodorant*. I started off using their Ocean scent which has a breezy peppermint smell, but I’m now hooked on their Lemon Deodorant instead. Elsa’s uses teatree oil to make it naturally antibacterial, and keeps my underarms happy and moisturised all day long.
You can apply this deodorant using the little wooden spatula that comes with the tin, and applying it to your underarms – it melts within seconds, making it just as convenient as a roll-on.
2. The Best Zero Waste Deodorant: Earth Conscious
If packaging is your main focus when buying beauty products, the Earth Conscious Stick Deodorant is your best bet. This is also a cream deodorant, and it comes in a clever cardboard tube and lid. Made from coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and bicarbonate of soda, it kept me clean and try at all times – even during my trip to Marrakesh last year.
I chose the unscented version, however the stick also comes in Peppermint & Spearmint, Grapefruit & Lemon, and a few other herbal mixes.
3. The Best Smelling Natural Deodorant: Pure Chimp
A new entrant into this list is my deodorant from PureChimp. I really can’t get enough of the smell of this deodorant. The banana extract in it makes it smell like a mix between bubblegum and those foam banana sweets, and it really does keep me smelling nice all day long.
One thing I would say is try to find a deodorant that has a combination of shea butter and antibacterial ingredients such as arrowroot powder or tea-tree oil. This one does, so it works well, but it is also a little drying on my skin.
4. The Best Premium Natural Deodorant: Pitt
If you’re curating more of a luxury beauty counter in your home, Pitt London will become your new favourite deodorant. While it has a fairly similar price tag to the other recommendations on this list, it comes in a beautiful metal box with sliding lid and ergonomic applicator.
Pitt London is still going through crowdfunding, but I was lucky enough to lay my hands on one of their much sought-after deodorants to try out ahead of release. They’re a sure bet in both the luxury and natural beauty worlds, with a slick design, unisex musky scent, and a cream that really does work throughout the day.
5. The Best Natural Roll-on: Green People
If you do want to stick will a more traditional roll-on, Green People’s Deodorant* has to be the way to go. I’m a big fan of their probiotic range (over their other roll-ons) as I’ve found they tend to work better on my skin.
Coming in a traditional roller-ball style tube with lid, it’s a great introduction to natural beauty that doesn’t stray too far from the regular high street alternatives.
6. The Best Natural Spray Deodorant: Weleda
Finally, there’s the spray deodorant. I know many people will want this more than the creams or roll-ons as they’re quick and easy to use. Weleda’s spray deodorants have been the best option for both my boyfriend and I, bringing a fresh scent and clean feeling with every use. Their formula is a little less clean that the cream deodorants, using perfume amongst a number of essential oils to create a nice odour.
Unfortunately, I’ve found natural spray deodorants to be the least effective out of the lot, which may have something to do with the formula being so easy to absorb. But if you’re dead set on a spray, it’s good to know their are options out there for you.