Top Pick: Schmidt’s Deodorant, Lavender + Sage | $9 | Amazon
Let me tell you, people have Opinions on natural deodorant. Some brands have a cult-like following, and other lesser-known brands might work just as well, if not better. Prices range from $4 to $15 a tube, but that doesn’t always translate to quality. When switching from a regular antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, it’s important to note that many have a transitional period, and some even require some level of detox. And you WILL sweat more because these products only are intended to attack odors, not sweat.
“If I didn’t know that, I may have given up on using a natural deodorant,” says Emily Hammond, a Milwaukee-based artist. “I wish I would have known that baking soda can be an issue for some people’s skin before starting. I would have picked the sensitive skin option first if I had known.”
For others, natural deodorants just don’t seem to work, but you won’t know how your skin will react until you give them a shot.
“I’ve tried Native, Art of Sport, Real Purity, Lume, Oars & Alps, and probably something else I’m forgetting. And none of them have worked for me,” Morgan Kee tells me. “I’m just very sweaty I think. I tried Oars & Alps for a full month and would reapply once or twice throughout the day, and I still smelled.”
When it comes to natural deodorants, read up on the product of your choice before you apply it for the first time. To ensure you have the best possible experience, follow the instructions to a tee.
Best Natural Deodorant Overall: Schmidt’s
“I wanted to switch to a natural deodorant after learning about the possible health risks with utilizing antiperspirants with aluminum,” says Hammond. But while she wanted to stick with natural options, it was also critical to Hammond that the deodorant work.
Hammond got lucky, and while more natural deodorant uses tried a few options before finding a fit, her research led her to Schmidt’s, and she loved it! “I had found it after doing some searches online. I found Schmidt’s was highly recommended especially for those new to natural deodorants,” says Hammond.
“I found that it was hard to switch from a normal antiperspirant to a natural deodorant,” she tells me. “There was definitely a transition period and I did sweat and smell more than usual for about 2 weeks.”
Best Drugstore Option: Arm & Hammer
Lux Owens switched to Arm & Hammer after seeing their partner undergo a reaction to regular antiperspirants. “I wanted to try an option that had [fewer] negative health consequences,” they told me.
While there are countless of pricy options, Owens wanted an option that was budget-friendly. Arm & Hammer was the obvious choice. It’s available at drugstores, and priced reasonably, often for less than half of other natural deodorant options.
“I honestly have no complaints,” Owens said to me. “This brand has many essential oil scents and I prefer them over the perfumes in regular deodorant!”
And it lives up to the natural deodorant hype, says Owens. They have been using it for several years and “I really haven’t noticed anything negative for me.” The best part, Owens didn’t need to do any kind of detox, and there was no transitional period with Arm & Hammer. “It was basically the same as trying a different brand or scent for me.”
The Lux Deodorant Option: Native
Candice Christian, an Orlando based plus-size model, tells me, “I had been using ‘men’s’ deodorant for so long because the [women’s] smells were no longer working on me. I looked into clinical deodorant and realized that the aluminum level doubled or even tripled in the clinical ones.” After falling into an internet black hole, researching and testing at least 10 other deodorant options, Christian found Native.
“This brand seemed to use all clean products and they are very sustainable,” she tells me. “They even offer a plastic-free packaging option.”
Christian tells me that she finds that natural deodorants seem to last far shorter than traditional deodorants, so you might need to reapply once a day. But that drawback isn’t stopping her. “I will never go back to normal deodorant, Christian tells me. “My armpits get less ingrown hairs, they smell less when I don’t have deodorant on, and they even have lightened up a bit.”