What You Need to Know About Natural Deodorants

Green beauty expert Jacalyn Beales gives you the lowdown on all-natural deodorants.

We’ve all heard the “myths” and stories about deodorant and its link to various kinds of cancers, and for the most part, we believe that these wipe-on sticks of fragrant antiperspirant will either kill us or won’t. Whether we’re skeptics or #truebelievers, there’s no denying the array of harmful ingredients which show up on the labels of our deo sticks and which, for all intents and purposes, have no business being near our skin. But if natural deodorant is the only obvious choice, what are our options and where can we find these green alternatives for smelly pits?

The good news is that more brands (in particular, indie brands) are creating and producing awesome natural deodorants, often in the form of creams or balms, which can replace your traditional deo stick. I’m not saying you won’t sweat like a leaky faucet or a floodgate, but it’s important to keep in mind that natural deos aren’t designed to prevent sweating; they don’t contain antiperspirant, a chemical agent which helps block your sweat ducts and therefore reduces sweating.

Deodorants, on the other hand, help to alleviate the severity of body odors by “masking” them without blocking your sweat ducts. Natural deos don’t contain artificial ingredients (in most cases) and thus do not block sweat glands nor prevent sweating. If you’re at all interested in finding a natural deodorant and are willing to cut out the chemicals and sweat a little, this roundup will provide you with the ultimate list of natural deos and the brands making them. (For other reviews on natural deodorants, check out this roundup from Reviews.com.) Note that some deodorants listed below contain non-vegan ingredients like beeswax.

Natural Deodorant Options

Schmidt’s, PiperWai, Agent Nateur, Lulu Organics, Sam’s Naturals, Mountainess Handmade, Noosa Basics, Botanical Buddha, Captain Blankenship, Fat and the Moon, Routine, Urban Oreganics, Mother Mountain Herbals, Milk + Honey, Moxie, Alcome Co., Pepin Montreal, Hola, Zabana Essentials, Bare Bones, Nativo, Two Blooms, Meow Meow Tweet, Skin Food by AB, Eldridge Organics, House of Sarai, Fab Deo, Freckled Youth, Rise & Shine, and Stinky Girl Beauty Co.

My Top 3

Captain Blankenship – Lime & Vetiver Cream Deodorant

This creamy, smooth deodorant applies beautifully and is the perfect deo to keep in your bag or take on your travels for those times where a little extra slather is well needed. The scent, which is both fresh and slightly masculine (to my nose, anyway) is so refreshing and does an unreal job of masking odours without overwhelming the nose. But what I like most about this deo is how long its odour-fighting effects last; I rarely have to reapply this deo, making it a convenient and easy alternative to traditional deodorants. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new natural deo or are just diving into using natural deodorants for the first time. Oh, and the packaging is hella cute, to boot.

PRICE: $16
USE: UP TO 1 1/2 MONTHS
EFFECTIVENESS: 10/10
RATING: *****

Fat And The Moon – Sensitive Pit Cream 

I’ve tried both the Deodorant Cream as well as the Sensitive Pit Cream from FATM and, though I love both, the Sensitive Pit Cream is my favourite. It has a slightly more woodsy, masculine scent to it than other natural deodorants I’ve tried, but that’s one of the many things I love about this deo! I’d describe the texture/consistency as more of a balm than a cream, but it applies quite well and I find the scent masks odour for up to 4 hours before I have to reapply. What’s great about this pit cream is that it’s baking soda-free, which is good news for those of us whose pits get a little bit up in arms (pun intended) over baking soda sensitivities. One jar of this stuff lasts me up to 1 1/2 months, making it both economical and easy to travel with.

PRICE: $12
USE: UP TO 1 1/2 MONTHS
EFFECTIVENESS: 8/10
RATING: ****

Meow Meow Tweet – Grapefruit Cream Deodorant 

Don’t get me wrong: I love woodsy, earthy scents just as much as the next gal. But sometimes when I’m feeling like a pick-me-up, I like to use the Grapefruit cream deo from Meow Meow Tweet. This baking soda-free formula is incredibly soft, feels light and gentle on the pits, and doesn’t cause any irritation. The best part about this cream deo is its scent, which is fruity and fresh without being overpowering. If you’re looking for a fresh scent that helps to mask odours, this is the deo for you! My only “complaint” here is that this deo often requires 2-3 reapplies throughout my day, but for the delicious scent, I’m willing to go that extra mile (er, application, I mean).

PRICE: $14
USE: UP TO 1 MONTH
EFFECTIVENESS: 6/10
RATING: ****

A dedicated wildlife advocate, Jacalyn Beales writes on the issues and conflicts threatening the world’s wildlife and advocates for the conservation of Africa’s lions. Read more of her work at jacalynbeales.com.

What’s your favourite natural deodorant? Let us know in the comments below.