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Best Natural Deodorants

By: Angela Stringfellow on January 03, 2018

Natural deodorants are aluminum-free and less irritating, but won't stop sweat

Although some people think that the aluminum-based active ingredients used in antiperspirants are linked to Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer, both the American Cancer Society and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say there is little evidence that this is true. In fact, the American Cancer Society notes that one study showed that the amount of aluminum the body absorbs from antiperspirant (0.012 percent) is actually less than you'd expect to absorb from the food you eat each day.

Regardless, some people prefer to use aluminum-free natural deodorants because they generally opt for natural and organic products over mass-produced products that contain ingredients they consider potentially harmful. Others turn to natural deodorants after finding that they're sensitive or allergic to ingredients commonly used in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, and others go natural to avoid the yellow underarm stains that can ruin white shirts that can occur when aluminum residue reacts with sweat.

In any case, going 100 percent natural means living with sweat. Because natural deodorants don't contain any aluminum-based compounds, they won't stop sweat (at least, not effectively as antiperspirants). Still, the best natural deodorants contain ingredients that can effectively neutralize odors.

Some natural deodorants often come in a cream or paste formulation (applied with the fingers), although some popular brands also offer stick formulations. Schmidt's Natural Deodorant (Est. $9) offers both, meaning those who can't get past the idea of applying deodorant to their pits with their fingertips can opt for the standard stick-style applicator they're used to. Well+Good recommends Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, with one caveat: the original Schmidt's deodorants contain baking soda, which may cause irritation for those with sensitivities. Editors at Reviews.com also praise Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, noting that it applies cleanly with no flaking, clumping or residue.

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant comes in five scents in both the stick applicator and jar formulations, in addition to a fragrance-free option. The stick applicator formulation is also available in a Charcoal + Magnesium variety, which is enriched with mineral-derived ingredients including magnesium and sodium bicarbonate. For those who experience irritation with deodorants that contain baking soda, Schmidt's Natural Deodorant (Sensitive Skin) (Est. $11) comes in six scents, although they're available only in stick applicators. All formulations are certified vegan-, cruelty- and gluten-free and contain no aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens or phthalates. Ingredients include arrowroot powder, coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils and Vitamin E, among others.

Thousands of reviewers have mostly positive things to say about Schmidt's Natural Deodorant. Users love the pleasant scents and say it keeps them feeling fresh even after a long day of hiking or a rigorous workout, some even noting that they're surprised by how well this deodorant works to combat wetness and body odor. Like all deodorants, some users have sensitivities to certain ingredients (such as essential oils) and experience irritation after using this product. Some reviewers who have had a reaction to the standard formulation find that the Sensitive Skin formulations are less irritating, while a few experience less irritation with the cream formulation.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (Est. $19) comes in a small tub rather than a stick or roll-on-style applicator and is applied with the fingertips. It contains vegetable powders and clays, in addition to essential oils like lavender, tea tree and peppermint for absorbing moisture and inhibiting odor-causing bacteria. It's vegan, made with organic and food-grade ingredients, with no parabens, aluminum or other additives. It's also never tested on animals, a plus for many consumers.

Hundreds of users are mostly pleased with Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, with several saying they turned to Soapwalla due to allergies or sensitivities to aluminum, chemicals and fragrance ingredients found in many traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. A few users do report having skin irritation after using this product, which some point out may be caused by applying it immediately after shaving. However, most say Soapwalla offers lasting freshness throughout the day, with the primary downside being that it doesn't prevent sweating, as it does not contain aluminum zirconium.

Editors at Reviews.com give Green Tidings All-Natural Deodorant (Est. $14) props for its organic formulation, noting, "Its ingredients are also certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and it's made in a solar-powered plant." It comes in a stick applicator, and it's aluminum-free (so it won't block sweat), relying on organic coconut oil and baking soda to fend off body odor. Green Tidings comes in a lavender scent as well as an unscented version.

Thousands of reviewers offer positive feedback for Green Tidings All-Natural Deodorant, but it's worth noting that some reviewers say they were offered a discount on a future purchase in exchange for a five-star review. While some testers at Reviews.com say this deodorant feels a bit gritty when applied, most users say it applies smoothly, and some say the consistency is similar to a soft, wax lip balm. A few say that the consistency makes it a bit more difficult to apply, as it tends to tug at the skin, noting that it may be uncomfortable for people with underarm hair. And while it's not an antiperspirant, some reviewers say it nonetheless seems to help reduce sweating. As with most deodorants, however, a number of reviewers say they developed an itchy, bumpy rash after using this product, while others say it irritates their skin.

If you experience irritation from deodorant that contains baking soda, Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant (Est. $14) is a baking soda-free option that comes in a roll-on applicator. It does contain essential oils, however, which can be irritating to some users. It's organic and vegan, with no aluminum chlorohydrate or zirconium (so it's not an antiperspirant). In addition to pure essential oils, Bali Secrets contains seaweed extract, aloe vera gel, natural mineral salt and other natural ingredients. It's available in four scents, including Original Essence, Delicate Rose, Aloe Delight and Sandalwood, as well as an unscented version.

Thousands of users review Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant, and most agree that the scents are pleasant and it works to hinder body odor all day long. It doesn't leave white residue behind, users say, nor does it leave yellow stains on their clothes. A few aren't thrilled with the roll-on applicator, noting that it doesn't apply as smoothly as they'd like, but some say it works even better than standard deodorant to keep their underarms smelling fresh and clean even after a busy day or strenuous workout. As is the case with all deodorant, a few users say they developed an itchy rash after using Bali Secrets.

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  • Works well at fighting odor and sweat.
  • Comes with packaging that is easy to use.

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