Natural Deodorants That Actually Work in 2019
For the past two months, I have been doing my research and looking to find the best natural deodorant on the market. I wanted to explore all kinds of options. Crystal deodorants, liquid deodorants, alcohol based deodorants and even a jar of deodorant that needs to be manually put on the underarms. I've kept it broad, and here is where I wanted to do a deeper dive into what I have found after trying 10+ non aluminum based deodorants. Not everything here is a winner, but a few of them do a pretty good job.
When you switch from an aluminum based deodorant to a natural one, you absolutely should expect to smell like trash for two weeks. Your body is ridding itself of the aluminum toxins (and specifically ridding your body of the toxins the aluminum has been keeping INSIDE your body) and this is why you smell worse than your trashcan for at least a week. Some people's bodies take a lot longer too. My detox period was about three weeks. I didn't hug anyone and I took multiple showers a day so Aaron didn't disown my ass.
During my press trip to Los Angeles a few weeks ago (read this post for the breakdown of the trip) I had my hair and makeup done for my Kut from the Kloth photo shoot. The makeup artist noticed I had Secret (clinical strength) on the table, and she started to tell me about all the research that shows that aluminum in deodorants has actually been correlated to breast cancer. Sure I knew aluminum was bad for me, but I didn't realize just how bad it was for me. This research linking it to cancer got me so spooked. I went to a drugstore and grabbed Crystal. The lavender and white tea scent is the one I opted to use for the first few days of my detox.
Surprisingly a lot of my friends still don't know that you have to apply deodorant after you've taken a shower. You can't apply midday and expect not to sweat. The best time to do the application is after you shower in the evening. This way your body has the deodorant application overnight, and you'll be set to go in the morning. Giving your body the deodorant several hours before you plan to be out and about is ideal. That way the deodorant can dry and adhere to your skin overnight. If you prefer to shower in the morning, that's fine too. Just make sure to apply a deodorant that has more of a drier formula because as you begin to run around through your day's errands, your deodorant won't have a proper chance to dry. This means you'll be wet from the application, on. Not ideal.
Something I've come to realize is that most natural deodorants are not going to be antiperspirants. As you know, the standard deodorant with aluminum, is quite literally blocking your sweat glands from sweating. This is why you tend to be less sweaty when you use aluminum. You honestly can't imagine how bad keeping in those toxins is, so if you haven't made the switch yet, now's a great time to do so. These are odor protectors, so you want to find the one that will keep you the most dry and the most fresh.
The lavender and white tea formulation was my very first natural formulation. It didn't really help with smell or dryness. While the smell was pleasant, mixed in with body odor, it's not a cute smell. I tried this formulation recently to ensure I gave it a chance. Unfortunately it doesn't work even weeks into my natural deodorant period. The next one I tried was Freshly Minted which smells beyond incredible. It's not an overly minty smell, but more so a satisfying fresh smell combining fresh sheets with a little mint. Hard to explain, but Haley and I were both in love with this scent. This formulation was very wet, even though it's in a stick.
When it comes down to it, I think the formulation is a little too liquidy which doesn't allow my skin to ever properly dry. Mainly because I sweat almost immediately.
Now the doozy of Crystal is that I tried this unscented mineral deodorant stick. This is literally like rubbing a rock on your underarms, but the trick is that you wet the mineral and then apply to each armpit. The goal here is that the mineral creates a barrier on your skin to prevent bacteria that produces odor. This is an unscented approach and worked so much better than I expected. Once you dip the stick in water, the stick will dry out as you apply to one underarm. You'll have to wet the stick again, and then apply to the other underarm. This is definitely something you would do after scrubbing your armpits in the shower, and coming out fresh. While there's no pleasant smell associated with this stick, it works surprisingly well.
Overall I'd say the typical stick formulations would be great for those with drier armpits because the formula is very hydrating. If you tend to be a super sweater like me, you'll opt for the mineral stick. It may seem hokey but it really does work!
This Blossom for Her scent smells pleasant, and I did purchase it in a desperate time. I remember forgetting my deodorant for the day, and I had to just grab one because I didn't apply any so I thought I'd get a new one so I had more options to try. Unfortunately it's a very liquidy formulation and it never fully dries. When the formulation is more on the wet side, it never seems to work for me because my skin doesn't absorb the formula and it keeps my underarms wet for longer and the body odor start to permeate. After I ditched this deodorant, Aaron gravitated to it (it does have a musky element to it) and he seems to love this one quite a lot. The rose and vanilla from Schmidt's, and this Herban Cowboy one are his go-to options, which goes to show that everyone has a different need when it comes to our bodies. Also, he sweats significantly less than I do. I'm super sexy with my sweaty ass, I know I know.
Madame Lemy has by far been the most surprising, and most effective natural deodorant. First of all, it gets a 10/10 for the packaging alone. This product is in the form of a powder which is a great way to absorb sweat and help prevent the area from getting wet throughout the day. This rose scent is very pleasant, and not too overpowering. It's lightweight and works well to keep the area dry and smelling fresh for a full day. The only downside is that because it is a power puff, you have to apply before you put your clothes on. Otherwise you'll end up with white powder on your outfit for work, so make sure to dry off from the shower, and then powder yourself before the clothes come on.
We've had Schmidt's in our home for years, but I could never fully commit because the detox period always made me quit after two to three days. The scent I gravitated to was the rose and vanilla. This scent is pleasant, but unfortunately it doesn't work for my body. It's true that certain scents simply don't work with our pheromones and the pleasant smell of the deodorant simply can't mask the body odor. However, I know Schmidt's is a great brand so I continued to try various scents and formulations. The next scent was Lily of the Valley, which was perfect for sensitive skin. Since some deodorants really do cause an adverse reaction in my underarm area, I thought I would try this one. Unfortunately this scent only gives me about 12 hours of odor protection. Keep in mind my goal is simply odor protection, and not the anti-perspirant piece. No deodorant can make me not sweat at all, but the goal is to keep it to a minimum and of course ALWAYS cover the odor. After about 12 hours, the deodorant wears off and it's time for me to hit the shower. This is also not including a massive workout, and just laying low and doing errands around the house. The scent that works well for me in particular is tea tree. During some desperate times, I would put some tea tree oil on a cotton pad, and gently dab that onto my underarms. Knowing tea tree helps with odor, this has been the stick formulation that knocks it out of the park for me.
After Lily of the Valley struck out for me, I reached out to Schmidt's to get some more scents and also a new formulation. The one I really focused in on was the deodorant that comes in a jar. It's a solid formulation in a jar, which requires you to use a little spatula to get the product out. You have to rub it between your fingers to warm it up a bit and then you apply directly to the underarm area. This jar formulation is much more highly concentrated than the deodorant stick formulation, and low and behold, it works wonders. This formulation actually kept me dry for 10 hours, and also kept the odor away for a full day and night. I applied around 9 PM, smelled fresh the next morning and had no issues until my nightly shower the next day. This lavender and sage formulation is a winner.
This was an interesting formulation to test out, because this deodorant is also not made with aluminum. However it is made with alcohol which is how you get the term pit liquor, which I personally think is super clever. Because this is made with alcohol (quite literally) if you just got out of the shower and you shaved, it's going to sting a little. There's no inactive ingredients in Pit Liquor, which is wonderful. Not to mention all the ingredients are organic. This works fairly well, but since it's a liquid formulation I do have the issue of this staying wet and never fully absorbing into my underarm. It does give me good coverage for approximately 8 hours. Towards the end of the 8 hours, I do find that I smell a little and mixed with the whiskey, it's not pleasant. The other downside here is that this is alcohol, so you do end up smelling a bit like whiskey in the underarm area. It's not super strong, as it dissipates once it dries, but if you don't care for the smell of whiskey (or alcohol in general) I would steer clear of this one. I happen to love the smell of whiskey, and alcohol (as I'm sure a lot of you may) so this is a great short-term option for me, when I want to switch things up with my underarms.
This was a late arrival into the mix, and I had the least amount of time with this product. However, it surprised me because of the incredibly moisturizing formulation that wasn't wet and overly liquidy. This dries solid, but has that nourishing feel so it doesn't seem like you're rubbing a rock on your underarms. The scent was quite pleasant, and I found that this deodorant lasted me almost 16 hours without any odors. Citrus Vetivert is the scent I went for, but I also enjoy the Lavender Lemon. The simple ingredients behind the brand can be found here, and there's not much going on when it comes to ingredients. When it comes to products like deodorant, you really want to focus in on the ingredients being used and also to ensure what each ingredient may contain.
The Top Four, for me
Madame Lemy is my favorite deodorant out of the bunch. It works the best, it smells the best, it's perfect for travel, it lasts a long time and most importantly, it works. Once you give yourself 2 weeks to adjust, this product is going to a total lifesaver. 9/10
Each + Every is the perfect formulation. Not too dry, not too wet and liquidy, and it feels super hydrating. The scent is also really pleasant and I find that it works for almost 16 hours on me. 9/10
The Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, in a jar, is super effective given its concentration is a lot higher than the stick formulation, which didn't do it for me. Downside is you have to get the formula on your hands, warm it up and then put it evenly on your underarms. 8/10
When it comes to a mineral deodorant, with limited ingredients, I'd recommend the Crystal Mineral Deodorant Stick. This is definitely super interesting, and doesn't work for hours on end but it's dry and it does keep the smell at bay, which is all I'm looking for in a deodorant. 7/10
Since I know several of you will ask about other brands, I will admit I've tried Native in the past, but it was during a detox period and I ignorantly thought the deodorant just didn't work. I plan to add it to the next round of reviews, so let me know other deodorants to try!