I’ll be honest: transitioning to natural deodorant is not something I’ve been looking forward to. Generally, deodorant is one of those products that just isn’t as effective in natural form. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried plenty of natural deodorants over the years (and I’ve even written about them before). I just hadn’t found one that I really, really liked.
Let’s get one thing straight: natural antiperspirant isn’t really a thing. It’s the aluminum that generally stops sweat (hence the term “antiperspirant”) so natural options are always deodorants (meaning, you’ll still sweat, but it shouldn’t smell bed). Lovely, I know.
Typically, people opting for natural deodorants want to avoid aluminum, but I’d also add to that list:
- Triclosan/triclocarban: I can’t even tell you the anger I experience when I read these in ingredient lists. Can’t we just ban them already? These antibacterial ingredients are thought to be endocrine (hormone) disruptors, are shown to be harmful to the environment and aquatic creatures, and may promote antibiotic resistance. Make sure to read ingredient lists carefully, because in some conventional companies, when they take aluminum out, this is what they put in.
- Undisclosed fragrance: I say “undisclosed” because I personally think that fragrance made from essentials oils is fine. Some people want to go completely fragrance-free, and that’s okay too.
- Propylene glycol: Propylene glycol is common even in some natural products. Ick. It’s classified as potentially harmful or toxic, and the CDC says that it might cause irritation if it’s used frequently. Don’t you use deodorant every day? No thanks.
- Phenoxyethanol: I’ve written about this paraben alternative before, and I give it a big thumbs down! The folks at “No More Dirty Looks” agree.
- Talc: Why do some so-called natural companies use this? It’s irritating, may be harmful if inhaled, and may be contaminated with asbestos. Seriously!
Now, on to the fun part! After reading countless ingredient lists and testing many, many products, here are my favourites (pictured above from left to right).
Green Beaver stick deodorant (I chose “citrus”)
Pros: Yay for Canada! Plus, this one uses some organic ingredients, and it’s affordable. This is probably my favourite out of all the options found at regular drugstores. It glides on really nicely–not cakey or chalky at all. I think that’s because of the aloe and glycerin, which are two ingredients my skin really seems to like.
Cons: It smells like lemon candy, so it might be a bit sweet for some people, but I liked it. I might want to go for something slightly less scented during the summertime, so bees don’t think I smell delicious (I sound crazy but this has happened to me before). For a really stressful day, I’d reapply once.
Lavanila “The Healthy Deodorant” (I chose “pure vanilla”)
Pros: This was probably my favourite scent out of the bunch. It’s also pretty easy to find in stores (at Sephora). The packaging is super cute, too.
Cons: Very pricey! I’m a bit of a vanilla junkie, so I loved the scent, but for people who might not want something so sweet, it might be problem. I was also really surprised to find that I think this was the least effective out of the bunch, for me anyway. Weird.
Consonant Dealkalizing Deodorant (I chose “pure unscented”)
Pros: I was scared to choose an unscented deodorant, but it’s all that was available at the store I was at (yes I know, I can order it online but I was lazy). This one ties for most effective out of the bunch, but I’d still reapply once for a stressful, crazy day. I’d love to try the scented option, and a lot more other products from this company.
Cons: It’s a bit chalky, and doesn’t glide on smoothly. Personally, I don’t care, but I can see how someone would if they’re used to synthetic formulas or ones with mineral oil.
Routine Natural Deodorant Cream (I chose “sweet jane”)
Pros: Another Canadian product! I love all of the nontraditional scent options for this product. All too often, natural deodorants seem to stop at unscented, lavender, and tea tree. Boring! This company has 12 scents and a variety of formulations with a beeswax or clay base.
Cons: Super expensive, but they say that it should last a year. Plus, I’m probably just being silly, but I don’t love applying deodorant with my fingers. I like to have the option of throwing a stick in my bag for emergency use, but to reapply this in a public bathroom stall seems super gross. I know people swear by deodorant creams so I really wanted to love it, but I don’t think it’s for me. Please try it though, because it was pretty effective and this is just my personal preference!
Sugar & Spice Natural Deodorant (I chose “japanese cherry blossom”)
Pros: Yet another local product! I love that. Some of the scents in the product range are a bit sweet or overpowering, but I found this one really lovely and subtle. It worked pretty well, given that I might want to reapply once just in case.
Cons: It seemed a bit like the Consonant formula in that it didn’t exactly glide on, and it seemed a bit chalky. The ingredient lists are somewhat similar so I guess that’s it. Again, not a deal breaker for me.
Overall? I hate saying that you have to lower your standards for natural products, but for deodorants, I think you do. But I also really think it’s worth it! I don’t mind tossing a stick in my bag and reapplying once if it means I’m avoiding all those chemicals.
Have you found natural deodorants you love? Do you disagree with anything I’ve said? Let me know–I’m always open to suggestions!