Looking to say goodbye to traditional anti-perspirant for good? There are plenty of reasons why people choose to make the switch to natural deodorants, between wanting to go aluminum-free, vegan, cruelty-free, or committing to a deodorant with sustainable packaging. But switching to a natural scent can be a bit of a learning curve.
First of all, you’ll have to do that super-fun armpit detox period – during which you basically smell worse before you can smell better – and then there’s the efficacy issue to consider. It’s the main criticism people have of natural deodorants: Do they really work and are natural deodorants strong enough?
The answer is: well, it depends. Some natural deodorants are stronger and more effective than others (as with the traditional stuff), thanks to different ingredient combinations and formulations. If you want to skip the whole trial-and-error thing, we’ve narrowed it down for you. If your sweat is particularly stinky and you know you need something strong, try any one of these strongest natural deodorants.
Made with organic ingredients including organic coconut oil, avocado butter, and raw organic honey, customers love the unisex scents that Agent Nateur offers. Floral, but not too flowery, and masculine, but not too cedar-y, that mix of both notes is why people of all genders love it all the same.
Other ingredients include beeswax, sodium bicarbonate, sunflower butter, castor oil, and various essential oils, which all work together to mask musk. Their deodorants are never made with GMOs, parabens, sulfates, aluminum, petroleum, or pesticides. The brand contends that raw organic honey’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties prevent moisture from accumulating throughout the day, and kill odorous bacteria.
Apothecanna Everyday Deodorant Spray is one of the most beloved natural deodorants out there and has developed a kind of cult-like following – especially amongst gym rats. It’s long-lasting and made with food-grade essential oils and zinc ricinoleate, as well as fresh, natural scents like mandarin, cedar, and geranium to counteract the cannabis, de-congest clogged pores, and soothe the sensitive underarm skin.
The one main caveat to the Apothecanna Everyday Deodorant Spray, however, is how often you have to use it. While it’s a super-strong formula recommended for athletes and frequent exercisers, the website recommends reapplying the spray every six to eight hours or “more frequently in situations of heavy perspiration.”
Curie is a clean, effective, and aluminum-free natural deodorant that comes in both a deodorant spray and a classic stick. And it really, really works. The brand’s deodorant sprays are formulated with probiotics, as well as witch hazel, sage oil, and triethyl citrate – a safe additive that Environmental Working Group (EWG) scores as a 1 in terms of safety. They’re also safe to use on any part of your body, from under your boobs, to your back – wherever you sweat.
Is it strong? Definitely. One reviewer wrote, “This is the best stick you will find, people [sic]! It took me months to find a natural deodorant I still didn’t stink in and after seeing Curie on Instagram, I had to try it… It’s not irritating and truly lasts longer than even Dove.”
Oh, and for an added bonus, their packaging is recyclable, and the spray is packaged in a non-aerosol bottle. You also have three signature scents to choose from, including: Orange Neroli, White Tea, and Grapefruit.
When it comes to Humble Brand’s ingredients list, the company keeps things true to their name. Each deodorant is made from four simple, all-natural ingredients – fractionated coconut oil, non-GMO cornstarch, beeswax, and all-natural baking soda – plus essential oils for a natural scent.
Their latest deodorant venture is the Comfort Bar, a CBD-infused deodorant bar enriched with 1,000 milligrams of organic broad-spectrum hemp extract. There’s no aluminum, alcohol, dyes, parabens, or artificial fragrance. Humble Brand’s Comfort Bar is also vegan, cruelty-free, and partners with 1% for the Planet. But most importantly: Does it work?
According to CBDClinicals.com, CBD might just be the key to eliminating odor naturally. The website says, “CBD deodorants target the same result as many traditional deodorants, which is to eliminate odor. However, CBD deodorants work in more natural ways than regular deodorants, without the need for any harsh chemicals.”
By using the natural terpenes in cannabis, combined with natural essential oils, CBD-infused deodorant gets the job done.
Each & Every
The first thing you’ll notice about Each & Every is that it smells good. Like, really good. They have a scent for just about everything; you can even smell like a Christmas pine tree come the holidays with the Black Spruce & Fir and Cedar & Pine scents (if you’re into that sort of thing!). With such strong and fragrant scents, the smell of sweat doesn’t stand a chance. Other perks include plant-based, sustainable packaging, it’s EWG-verified, vegan, cruelty-free, and sensitive skin-friendly.
Ursa Major is an all-natural skincare brand based out of Vermont. In addition to making a fan-favorite natural deodorant, Ursa Major also specializes in face wash, bar soaps, lotions, and even haircare products. Some of the deodorants are baking soda-based, while others aren't, and their formulas are always non-staining. And not only do they eliminate odor, but also the bacteria that’s causing the odor.
Koalin clay, a key ingredient, is a “soft and mild clay,” the website contends, which. Has moisture-absorbing properties. This is probably why it works so well. Combined with saccharomyces ferment – a probiotic enzyme known to reduce odors – and hops – which also apparently neutralizes unpleasant odors – these three work together to create the trifecta of moisture-wicking ingredients.
Other perks include that it’s toxin-, aluminum-, fragrance- and paraben-free. You should note, however, that the website says that it takes up to three weeks to notice a change after switching to Ursa Major. Especially if you’re going from traditional to all-natural, the detox period might be more noticeable, but don’t let it deter you. Give it the full three weeks trial!
According to LAVANILA, the brand makes “healthy deodorant.” While none of their products include parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes or fragrances, chemical sunscreens, sulfates, or aluminum, LAVANILA’s deodorants are made with non-toxic and non-irritating ingredients safe for all skin types.
LAVANILA’s deodorants use a “breakthrough technology” called Beta Glucan Technology. According to their website, this is a “health-promoting technology” that “breaks down sweat molecules and prevents odor while nourishing delicate underarms.” With strong notes of vanilla in every scent – Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, and Vanilla Grapefruit – LAVANILA effectively masks the smell of sweat.
In addition to its natural, organic ingredients, zero-wasters will love LAVANILA’s brand ethos, too. All of their natural ingredients are harvested ethically and sustainably and for every order placed on their website, the company plants a tree. More trees and pits that don’t smell? It’s a no-brainer!
milk + honey
Known for their “hyperclean” beauty and wellness products made by their in-house estheticians based in Austin, Texas, milk + honey makes long-lasting deodorant formulas: Baking Soda-Free Deodorant, Regular Strength Deodorant, Extra Strength Deodorant, and cream deodorants, too.
A stand-out formula from the milk + honey brand is its Lavender Tea Tree Oil Extra Strength Deodorant No. 09. For religious athletes and people who frequently work out, their Extra Strength Deodorant No. 09 offers a boost of extra deodorizing help thanks to bacteria-eliminating tea tree oil and moisture-absorbing arrowroot powder. It features an aluminum-free formula that’s cruelty-free, esthetician-approved, and devoid of gluten, parabens, and propylene glycol.
Kaia Naturals is strong and comes in several scents. The main ingredient in all of Kaia Naturals’ deodorant products is charcoal. Like baking soda, studies show that activated charcoal is an effective odor absorber. It's also gentle on the skin, aluminum-free, made with no synthetic fragrances, and never tested on animals. It also is certified with the Credo Clean Standard, which means none of its products are ever made with any of the ingredients found on Credo’s Dirty List.
All of the Kaia Naturals deodorants are strong, but if you’re really looking for a one-two punch of deodorizing, the company also offers the “Better Together” method. According to the website, it’s “a proven underarm practice that uses the power of activated charcoal to transform any natural deodorant into extra-strength protection. The better together duo includes the charcoal underarm bar and takesumi charcoal deodorant.”
Together, the website says, the products mask the stink associated with the “deodorant detox” and is long-lasting, too – for a full 24 hours. You also don’t have to worry about getting white streaks of deodorant on your clothes. Because activated charcoal is the main ingredient, the deodorant is black and goes on clear.
Natural deodorant company Pretty Frank — formerly known as Primal Pit Paste — comes in recyclable glass jars, with stick options, as well, and the formulas are still aluminum-, paraben-, and synthetic fragrance-free. So, despite the name change, the company still offers everything shoppers loved about the original brand. Certified Leaping Bunny and cruelty-free, you can choose between two different formulas: baking soda-based or zinc-based formulas, depending on your preferences.
Regardless of the formula you choose to wear, Pretty Frank is strong AF. A stand-out formula from the milk + honey brand is its Lavender Tea Tree Oil Extra Strength Deodorant No. 09. For athletes, their Extra Strength Deodorant No. 09 offers a boost of extra deodorizing help thanks to bacteria-eliminating tea tree oil and moisture-absorbing arrowroot powder. It features an aluminum-free formula that’s cruelty-free, esthetician-approved, and devoid of gluten, parabens, and propylene glycol.
If you're seeking out roll-on deo, Real Purity is a standout, and plenty of celebrities swear by it, too. It never irritates, is made with naturally sourced and organic ingredients, and is made in the USA. So, why does it work so well? It’s jam-packed with essential oils – like, a lot – from grapefruit oil, sandalwood oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, geranium oil, sage oil, rosewood oil, and apricot oil.
But additional (natural!) ingredients like Aloe Vera leaf juice, vitamin E, and kosher vegetable glycerin work wonders together to sop up any potential moisture. It’s tough on sweat, smells delicious, and people love that you don’t need to keep reapplying it throughout the day; it’s that long-lasting.
Keep things all-natural and test one (or all) of these options, to ensure you keep things all-natural and sweat-free, all the time.