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The quest for a natural deodorant isn’t as simple as strolling into your nearest corner store and grabbing the shiniest brand on the shelf. It needs to actually work, after all.

The first thing about natural deodorant though: they don’t contain aluminum — the main active ingredient in antiperspirants — which means they can’t stop you from sweating.

Instead, their main purpose is to neutralize odor, though some of the ingredients typically used, like baking soda and arrowroot powder, may also help to absorb some sweat.

As for preventing bacteria from forming and causing a bigger stink, you might find witch hazel, alcohol, or tea tree oil on the label.

Antiperspirants are considered safe

The American Cancer Association considers antiperspirants to be safe, despite rumors that the aluminum in antiperspirants can lead to breast cancer.

Since no two pairs of armpits are exactly the same (poetic, we know), it might take a bit of trial and error to find the natural deodorant that works best for your unique, one-of-a-kind pits. Think Cinderella, but deodorant is your shoe.

In the early days, formulas for natural deodorants were, uh, still in the experimental phase. But with each year, brands have refined their recipes to be more effective.

With that in mind, we made sure our selections included the most up-to-date formulas and that each one had high star rating with at least 500 reviews.

Consider an armpit detox

There’s anecdotal evidence that your body needs time — up to 30 days according to some folks — to transition away from the ingredients used in antiperspirants.

If you’re switching to natural deodorants for the first time, you might want to try an armpit detox to speed up the transition. Or at least be aware that that the natural deodorant might not work as well as you’d hoped right off the bat.

For some people, baking soda is incredibly irritating to the skin. Luckily, there are plenty of natural, effective deodorants without this common ingredient.

EO Organic Deodorant

Rating: 3.9/5
Reviews: 670+
Get it via Amazon

EO’s deodorant comes in a spray formula with an incredibly simple ingredient list: ethanol, water, and a lavender essential oil blend (which is organically sourced, BTW). EO also makes this spray in citrus, vetiver, and tea tree scents.

Since this is a spray, and doesn’t contain any ingredients that specifically handle sweat, we don’t recommend this for heavy-sweaters.

Active ingredients

How it handles smell: ethanol, lavender essential oil

Kopari Coconut Oil Deodorant

Rating: 3.9/5
Reviews: 2680+
Get it via Amazon

The idea of a coconut oil based natural deodorant may seem a little out-there, but this tried-and-true formula is surprisingly effective (and smells amazing). It’s not sticky or greasy, and bonus: Your pits will be super soft.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles smell: coconut oil, coconut water, sage oil

Each & Every Deodorant

Rating: 4.2/5
Reviews: 710+
Get it via Amazon

Each & Every’s deodorant comes in eight different scents, including lavender with lemon, cardamon with ginger, and citrus with vetiver. It’s made for sensitive skin and features a simple, easy-to-understand ingredient list. The round roll-on stick is easy to apply and goes on clear.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles smell: coconut water, essential oils, dead sea salt

How it handles sweat: tapioca starch

Real Purity Roll-On Deodorant

Rating: 4.1/5
Reviews: 700+
Get it via Amazon

Real Purity’s formula is great for sensitive skin, because it doesn’t contain baking soda, alcohol, or other common irritants. Yet customers say it still manages to fight stink all day long. The roll-on formula has a light, mild scent and is quick-drying.

Best to consider this a wintertime deodorant since it lacks a sweat-sopping active ingredient.

Active ingredients

How it handles smell: essential oils, magnesium

Beyond scent and marketing, deodorants that are marketed as being unisex, or for men, aren’t all that different from ones for women. If you’re into woody, musky, or herbaceous scents, aka you don’t love smelling like a fruit basket or floral arrangement, try out some of these options.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant

Rating: 3.8/5
Reviews: 500+
Get it via Amazon

This deodorant has been featured in New York Magazine, Allure, and Men’s Health. The peppermint-eucalyptus-rosemary formula has a cooling, refreshing effect, and the scent is popular with guys. Also, it comes in a gel-like consistency that feels a lot like a conventional deodorant.

Active ingredients

How it handles smell: peppermint-eucalyptus-rosemary essential oil blend, saccharomyces (odor-fighting enzymes)

How it handles sweat: kaolin clay, baking soda

Native Deodorant

Rating: 4.3/5
Reviews: 6520+
Get it via Amazon

Native’s line of deodorants features a formula of coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter, and probiotics. There are a bunch of scents available, but for a masculine scent, the eucalyptus and mint scent is especially great — it’s fresh, but not overwhelming. This deodorant rolls on just like a conventional deodorant and is long-lasting.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: coconut oil, baking soda, tapioca starch

Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant

Rating: 4.1/5
Reviews: 690+
Get it via Amazon

Schmidt’s line of natural deodorants all feature baking soda, and this one also includes arrowroot powder, charcoal, andmagnesium — three more sweat-absorbing and smell-stopping ingredients. The smell is a mild rainwater scent, and it comes in a conventionally-shaped deodorant stick that you can swipe right on.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda, arrowroot powder, charcoal, magnesium

Even longtime fans of natural deodorant sometimes doubt that a natural deo can do the job during extra-sweaty days. Here are three options that you won’t have to reapply constantly, even at the gym.

Type:A Deodorant

Rating: 3.8/5
Reviews: 760+
Get it via Amazon

This natural deodorant is the first to utilize “sweat-activated technology,” which means it’s designed to release more odor as you sweat more.

Featured in goop, People, Byrdie and other outlets, this deodorant is made in the U.S. and features baking soda, arrowroot powder, aloe vera, and glycerin. All four scents come in a unique container that’s somewhere between a lotion and a roll-on deodorant.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda, arrowroot powder

How it handles smell: essential oils

M3 Naturals All Natural Deodorant

Rating: 4.3/5
Reviews: 1420+
Get it via Amazon

This natural deo from M3 Naturals is free of baking soda, alcohol, or synthetic fragrance, so it’s great for anyone with sensitive skin who needs something hardy enough to stay effective during hot or sweaty days. With magnesium and coconut oil, this deodorant lasts for a shockingly long time. Plus, the green tea and aloe scent is mild and gender-neutral.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: coconut oil

How it handles smell: essential oils

Lavanila Sport Luxe

Rating: 4/5
Reviews: 700+
Get it via Amazon

Lavanila is another OG in the high-end natural deodorant world. This version, Sport Luxe, is specifically formulated to last through active days, featuring antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients like rosemary, sage, and Japanese green tea. The vanilla breeze scent is all-natural and leaves you smelling super fresh

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda

How it handles smell: essential oils

Underarmed Active Botanical Luxury Deodorant

Rating: 4.3/5
Reviews: 4640+
Get it via Amazon

This reliable and long-lasting deodorant stick smells strongly of lavender and eucalyptus; but if you’re not a fan of those scents, there’s also an unscented version.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda, magnesium, coconut oil

How it handles smell: essential oils

If you feel a pang of guilt every time you toss an empty deodorant container into the trash, consider looking into these two brands.

Soapwalla Original Deodorant Creme

Rating: 3.9/5
Reviews: 570+
Get it via Amazon

As one of the OGs of the high-end natural deodorant world, you can trust Soapwalla to truly get the job done. Featuring baking soda, kaolin clay, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint essential oil, this oil based deodorant comes in a cream formula, so it may change texture depending on the temperature.

Soapwalla is committed to sustainability, so it sources all its ingredients from local farms and offers this new formula in a recyclable glass jar.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda, kaolin clay

How it handles smell: essential oils

Sam’s Natural Deo

Rating: 4/5
Reviews: 1960+
Get it via Amazon

Not only is the ingredient list eco-friendly, but the packaging itself is also 100 percent recyclable. A little goes a long way with these deodorants. The company itself recommends going light with the product, in order not to irritate the skin, so it’s worth taking the suggestion to heart.

*Use with caution if you’re acne-prone, since coconut oil is known to clog pores.

Active ingredients

How it handles sweat: baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot powder

How it handles smell: essential oils

One perk about natural deodorant is that it’s perfectly the feasible to make your own.

Think of it as a fun rainy day project! It’s easy, affordable, and totally customizable to your liking. Plus, with little to no plastic packaging involved, it’s about as eco-friendly as you can get. Here’s our recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder for sensitive skin)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 12 to 24 drops essential oil (such as lavender, orange, lemongrass, or tea tree — choose your favorite!)

Directions

  1. The coconut oil must be liquid to mix properly. If it’s currently solid, put it in the microwave for 10-second intervals until it melts.
  2. Mix your essential oil into the coconut oil.
  3. Add the cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and baking soda. Mix it thoroughly until you achieve a smooth texture.
  4. Transfer it to a jar or empty deodorant tube.

P.S. If you’re working with an essential oil you’ve never used before, it’s best to perform a patch test before you slather your armpits with your DIY deodorant.

This DIY deodorant is easy to apply with your hands. It may melt at times, thanks to coconut oil’s low melting point; if that’s a problem, just store it in the fridge to keep it solid.

Pro tip: A small spatula can work great for spooning out the semi-soft deodorant from the jar, without contaminating the contents with your hands.

Kim Wong-Shing is a writer in New Orleans. Her work spans beauty, wellness, relationships, pop culture, identity, and other topics. Her website is kimwongshing.com.