Giving up conventional antiperspirant was very difficult for me. I tend to sweat easily under my arms when I get hot, so thinking about dealing with sweat stained shirts was unpleasant. After a few years of going back and forth between mainstream antiperspirants and natural deodorants, I finally committed to only using all-natural deodorants for the rest of my life. I’ve been aluminum-based antiperspirant free for several years now.
My unfiltered thoughts on this subject are this. In the short-term, I loved using antiperspirant. They work really well at keeping you dry. Natural deodorants will never function like an antiperspirant. They will not keep you from sweating…I’m sorry, I know from the outside looking in it is a pretty big bummer and a huge deterrent from switching to a natural deodorant.
But here’s the rub with antiperspirants – they keep your body from detoxing. They make your body unable to release sweat, when nature has built us to do exactly that, and for good reason. We are meant to sweat! I’m not a doctor so just type “why is it normal to sweat” or some variation of that into a search engine and go on and educate yourself on that topic. Why you’re at it, search “why conventional antiperspirant is unhealthy”. It’s scary, OK?
One thing that many people experience with natural deodorant is a sensitivity to baking soda, an ingredient in many formulas. I’ve used some deodorants with baking soda that left me with terrible, painful rashes that looked like the skin under my arms was raw…and I’ve used formulas with baking soda that worked really well with no irritation whatsoever.
In my humble opinion, I’ve found that the more indie, small brands making natural deodorant tend to be the ones with the highest probability of irritation and low efficacy. What I’ve found is that some more “well-known” brands have really put a huge amount of effort into creating natural deodorants that are gentle and effective at the same time. The deodorants I’m mentioning here are merely ones that I’ve tried that work decently without irritation. There are others out there that have gotten lots of good press (one that comes to mind is the Agent Nateur Holi(stick).
Of the six varieties I’m discussing in this post, I’ve judged them based on these factors: effectiveness, cost, application, ease of availability, scent, and packaging. I’ve also listed them in order from least favorite to favorite. Having said that, even #6 is still pretty decent.
#6 Jason Naturally Fresh Deodorant
This deodorant is pretty easy to find in natural stores and online. It’s pretty affordable and is super convenient because it’s in a typical plastic twist-up tube, just like mainstream antiperspirants. The efficacy is OK – it’s not the best I’ve used, but it didn’t cause irritation and it worked OK for a day at the office or any other season besides summer. The ingredients are not clean enough for my liking, but it will do in a pinch. I won’t repurchase, primarily because I prefer a cleaner ingredient list.
#5 LaVanila in Vanilla Grapefruit
I really like LaVanila deodorant. This was my first purchase and it has lasted quite a while and there is still product left. This is not my heavy-duty deodorant – I keep this on my vanity and use it between using other deodorants on days I’m at the office. I wouldn’t use this on a day I’m going for a hike, for instance. However, the packaging is beautiful, the scent is light and pleasant, and it works just fine for normal days. I would repurchase this particular variety, but I really want to try their Sport Luxe formula.
#4 Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant, jar
This deodorant is great – it works really well and smells amazing. However, I do have a couple points to bicker about. One: I don’t like applying deodorant with my fingers, and I never will. I don’t care how good the formula is, I don’t want to scoop out deodorant with my fingers and apply and then have to wash my hands with soap. It’s just inconvenient for me as a mom with a full-time job. Two, it’s also a bit pricey for me personally, at $14 a jar. For me it didn’t seem to last any longer than any other deodorant. That being said, it is supremely gentle and very effective. And the scent of sweet, subtle grapefruit is perfect.
#3 Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick
When I heard MMT released a stick version of their deodorant, I bought two travel size sticks. This formula does contain baking soda, but not so much that it is irritating. So it works well, smells great, and comes in stick form. Those are huge pros, but I have a couple of cons as well. One is the price. Full size is $22, and at this point in my life, I can’t justify a deodorant at that price. The second con is the packaging and it’s a double-edge sword. The packaging is actually bio-degradable cardboard and it scores major eco points for that decision. However, I have had big issues getting the product to come out. I’ve pushed and pushed with my finger to have it barely move. Then I used a pen to help me out and a huge chuck of product propelled out – and once that happens, there is no way to put it back in. If the packaging could somehow be made a bit more user-friendly that would be excellent. Still, it is pricey.
#2 Blissoma Scentless Stick Deodorant
At $16 for a full size, Blissoma is cheaper than the MMT stick at the outset, but you get more bang for your buck with MMT. MMT full size is 4.5oz for $22 and Blissoma is 2oz for $16. However, I still really enjoyed the Blissoma formula, which is saying a lot. It has no scent at all for those who are sensitive. The formula is much drier than MMT, which I actually prefer. As far as efficacy, it worked really well.
#1 Schmidt’s Stick Deodorant in Bergamot + Lime
For me, this is the cream of the deodorant crop. It works damn well. It smells amazing. It is conveniently in a twist-up tube. It’s pretty affordable at $9 retail for 3.25ozs. It fairly easy to find (believe it: I bought the one pictured at TJ Maxx for $4). The formula glides on so easily without being wet or pasty. It hasn’t caused me any irritation yet, but I typically only use it every other day. I love this deodorant.
What is your favorite all-natural deodorant? Let me know in the comments!