One of the beauty questions I get asked the most often is: "Do any natural deodorants exist that actually work?!?"
Yes! I know it's hard to believe, because natural deodorant as a category probably has the number one highest rate of customer disillusionment. Right? So many products simply do not do what they say they will do. Heck, I've even known some to create a stinkier situation than you had to start with!
But not the products I'm about to share with you today. I've been faithfully using natural deodorants for a couple years now, and it's all thanks to these four favourite brands. I KNOW these formulas are more effective than other natural deodorants, because believe me, I've tried plenty.
The difference compared to first-generation natural deodorants (and the secret to why these ones work!) is baking soda. It's the magic ingredient that adjusts the pH of your underarms to limit the growth of odour-causing bacteria, and it's really, really effective. But since baking soda on its own can be very irritating, you'll see it paired with things like coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and so on—each brand has its own signature mix!
Here are my most-loved natural deodorants that have never let me down:
Consonant Dealkalizing Deodorant
Consonant should've just named this The Perfect Deodorant. Their Dealkalizing Deodorant, which came out mid-last year, is the newest and best addition to my deo rotation. First of all, it works incredibly well; the specific claim is that it brings your skin's pH to 4.5 to 5, which inhibits body odour for 24 hours. I'm also very finicky about ingredients lists, and this one is flawless. It comes in a stick format that swipes on quickly and easily (more convenient than rubbing on a cream) and the texture is just right; not too creamy nor too dry. I like the Pure Unscented, above, but they also have Scent 001, which is citrusy. Bonus: you don't even have to make a special trip to the health food store to get it, because it's now carried at Sephora!
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut Oil), Maranta Arudinacea Root Powder (Arrow Root Powder), Bentonite Clay, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Gel, Silk Amino Acids, Beeswax, Emulsifying Wax NF, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cacao Seed Butter), Zinc Oxide.
Schmidt's Natural Deodorant
Schmidt's was the very first natural deodorant I fell in love with, and I still use it to this day. There are four scents, along with unscented, all available in both Jars and Sticks; as you can see in the ingredients lists below, the formula is a bit different depending on the format. (They also have a sensitive skin range that I haven't tried, with different scents and without the baking soda.) I think the Jar formula is slightly more effective than the Stick, given the higher concentration of baking soda, although you might be willing to make that trade-off for the convenience factor. This range is a great option if you like subtle, sophisticated scents—my fave is the Bergamot + Lime. Love their packaging also!
Ingredients (Bergamot + Lime Stick): Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) Wax, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citrus bergamia (bergamot) essential oil, Citrus aurantifolia (lime) essential oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E)
Ingredients (Lavender + Sage Jar): Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Salvia sclarea (clary sage) essential oil, Lavandula (lavender) essential oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E)
Primal Pit Paste Natural Deodorant
Primal Pit Paste has kind of an embarrassing name (and the scent Jacked-Up Jasmine even more so). But I'll be darned if this isn't the most effective formula, probably even more so than Consonant's! Like, it's a lasts-until-you-take-a-shower-the-next-day kind of effective. I've already gone through a whole Stick in Thyme & Lemongrass, and currently using the Paste in Lavender—both are equally good at beating B.O. (I'd actually recommend the Lavender scent more than Jacked-Up Jasmine, because it doesn't contain sunflower oil.) There's a huge array of other scents, plus unscented and sensitive versions. Plus, thousands of Amazon reviews can't be wrong...
Ingredients (Jacked-Up Jasmine Paste):Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Jasmine Essential Oil, Gardenia Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E derived 100% from Sunflowers
Ingredients (Lavender Paste, not shown): Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Aluminum Free Baking Soda and Essential Oils.
Ingredients (Thyme & Lemongrass Stick, not shown): Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Essential Oils: Lemongrass and Thyme, Non-GMO Vitamin E derived from 100% Sunflowers
Penny Lane 100% Natural Deodorant
Last up is Penny Lane's 100% Natural Deodorant, a product I discovered thanks to last year's Clean Beauty Awards. This one has a fantastic ingredients list, the very best of the bunch—so clean, you could eat it! It comes in a stick in various scents; the texture is drier and more powdery than the others. To deal with that, they recommend you wet it if it feels crumbly, and not to twist up too much. At first, I didn't think it was as effective at absorbing dampness, but I've discovered the trick is to get it wet and to really rub it into your armpits well. Worth a shot if want the purest formula, and are willing to take a bit of extra application time!
Ingredients: Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), Corn Starch (Zea Mays), Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), Pink Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) Essential Oil.
Now that I've discovered these natural deodorants, I never even think about antiperspirant—not even to "cheat" with for important occasions. Heck, I don't even own antiperspirant anymore! These work so well for me, I don't need anything else.
If you're just switching to natural deodorant, my best advice (besides investing in one of these formulas) is to give it about a month. Antiperspirants work by plugging your pores, and they also alter armpit bacteria, so it can take some time for your body to adjust back to sweating freely sans chemicals. Initially, you might notice more odour, and of course, wetness, but if you stick with it and don't cheat, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in a few short weeks! I'll bet you sweat less and smell less than antiperspirants had led you to believe.
Obviously, these products won't stop you from getting damp armpits when you're sweaty—no deodorant will!—but I don't think that's a big deal. We're human, right? Smelling good is the most important thing, and on that front, these deliver!
Do you use natural deodorant?
Which one's your favourite?
Have you tried any of these brands?