If the recent heatwave has taught me anything is that I can sweat from the most random places.
Eyelids. Forearms. Boob crack… Even if I don’t actually have a boob crack.
Unable to escape my own sticky skin, I thought to myself: What a great timing to talk natural deodorants!
After conducting a poll on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I came down to two conclusions regarding non-toxic deodorants: 1) Many of you are already huge fans 2) Just as many of you think they don’t work.
Or to use my friend’s Steph beautiful prose which, I think, expresses out loud what many women feel inside: «Honestly, every single one I’ve tried makes me smell like sh** by the end of the day».
The Natural Deodorant’s Little Guide
Before moving onto to your 15 favourite natural deodorants, a little educational session is needed. Like, why should you switch to a natural deodorant in the first place? How should you transition properly?
Since I’m no expert, I’ve reached out to Mila Juristovski, co-founder of Nala, a clean deodorant brand, to answer the most common natural deodorant-related questions.
Based in Vancouver, the company was born in 2017, a few years after Mila’s husband passed away because of cancer. This personal tragedy, which ignited a deeper inquiry, eventually led Mila and her daughter to launch Nala, a safe and non-toxic alternative to traditional and harmful deodorants. In other words, products meant to keep us around, for as long as possible, for those important to us.
Why should we ditch our regular deodorant for a clean version?
“Research shows that some compounds used in antiperspirants and deodorants may disrupt reproductive and developmental hormones. Some of these compounds are then absorbed and stored in your underarms’ fat cells.
Your underarm tissue contains hormone receptors, which could react to some of those ingredients of concern:
- Aluminum: changes your estrogen receptors; cause gene instability. Linked to liver, kidney and brain issues.
- Carcinogens: substances that can lead to cancer.
- Parabens: Mimic estrogen in the body for men and women; may promote the growth of cancerous cells.
- Phthalates: interfere with, mimic or block hormones.
- Propylene glycol: considered a neurotoxin; known to cause liver and kidney damage.
Limiting your exposure to these ingredients found in conventional cosmetics allows your body not only to self regulate your natural sweating cycle but also prevents health issues.”
When switching to a natural deodorant, many say there’s a transitional phase during which we might have a stronger body odour. Is this true?
“When you switch to a free-from deodorant, your pores are clearing/unclogging in the early stage, and releasing toxins that have accumulated in your armpit. It can be normal to smell and sweat more than usual for about 1-2 weeks.
To aid in this detox process, it’s best to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water to flush out toxins. Use Nala’s Detox deodorant at night to help remove toxins while you sleep, or right before you engage in rigorous activities, where you’ll already be sweating.”
For people who’ve tried natural deodorants and say they don’t work, what would you say to them?
“Skincare isn’t “one size fits all”. It takes time to find the right formula for your skin concerns. Detoxes may take up to 30 days for your body to fully transition from aluminum and other ingredients found in traditional deodorants. Factors such as low hydration levels, stress, or diet may affect individual time frames.
It is important to start with the lower strength of the deodorant to give body time to adjust. Once your body is fully adjusted (no reaction to baking soda for example) you may switch to a stronger formula such as our Sandalwood & Bergamot. Or create your own Personalized Deodorant, where you can customize by scent and strength for your individual needs.”
Your 15 Favourite Natural Deodorants
Natural deodorant rookies, read on. Fifteen clean deodorant enthusiast agreed to share their absolute favourite one. You know, THE one that truly works.
1. Baumier Fir Deodorant, Déo Naturel, 12 $
“Not many people know about this Quebec-based company, but their deodorant is the best one I’ve tried in my entire life! There’s no sweat, even when it’s 40ºC out, and no irritation after shaving.” -@jessikalaramee
2. Personalized Deodorant (Citrus Scent), Nala, 29 $
“It smells aaamazing. Like lemongrass freshness and moist, salty sand. I like it also because it works for long hours. I put it on in the morning and by my 7pm yoga class, it still smells great.” -@naomiehadida
3. Solid Deodorant with Palmarosa, Lamazuna, 15$
“This zero-waste solid deodorant lasts for a really long time. I buy one or two a year! You just have to run it under water, rub it on your armpits, and you’re done! It smells very nice and, most importantly… It works!” -@smallorange__
4. Cucumber and Mint Deodorant, Native, 12 $
“I’ve been told natural deodorants don’t mask body odours, but this one actually works! Its scent is fresh and subtle, and it doesn’t pill.” -@farabenosman
5. Eucalyptus Deodorant, Malin + Goetz, 26 $
“The smell is subtle, so it doesn’t compete with my perfume. The eucalyptus is refreshing and it doesn’t stain my clothes. And the texture feels great on the skin, like a compact gel.” -@mardjii
6. Sandalwood & Bergamot Deodorant, Nala, 29 $
“It’s one of the few that doesn’t make me stink! And the bergamot smell is just amazing.” -@bonnicheese
7. Superstar Deodorant, Routine Cream, 24 $
“I just discovered Routine Cream and IT WORKS. My friend gave me a sample of Superstar and it’s actually held up in the heatwave.” -@hannahisolde
8. Green Forest Deodorant, Druide, 10 $
“I’ve tried many natural deodorants and it’s the only one that doesn’t make me sweat, which is quite considerable. And the smell is lovely. Plus, it’s available through Lufa, so I can easily order it whenever I do my groceries.” -@annieb4stien
9. Unscented Deodorant, Native, 12 $
“Using a scentless deodorant can be scary, but this one works really well. Better than any other ones I’ve tried, aluminum-free or not! Plus, my armpits stay dry, whether I’m working out or on hot summer days.” -@laurencegpecek
10. Clay and Shea Cream Deodorant, Faveur, 15 $
“The smell is very nice and natural. I wear it everyday because it doesn’t leave smears on my black clothes, which is super important for me!” -@maisonmude
11. Coconut Oil Deodorant, Kopari, 14 $
“I’ve tried many, but this one is my faourite. I apply it only once during the day or twice if I have something at night. Coconut oil can sound a little intense, but the smell is actually very gentle.” -@missnoemia
12. North Woods Deodorant, Tom’s of Maine, 13 $
“I like their men’s deodorants. Their scents are more interesting! This one is really efficient and it’s not sticky like other natural deodorants.” -@maksymejoaillerie
13. Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant, Native, 12 $
“I like this deodorant because: 1) I can’t stand smelling like baby powder anymore 2) Its creamy texture, almost mattifying, is not sticky 3) Anything Australian, I’m in.” -@rosecoco
14. Cedar & Mint Deodorant, Rose Citron, 9 $
“First, the smell is divine. Next, it’s available in bulk. Finally, it’s the only natural deodorant that really works for me!” -@espacepianoblanc
15. Lavender Deodorant, Tom’s of Maine, 11 $
“Contrary to other natural deodorants I’ve tried, this one works wonders. I like knowing that I’m using an aluminum-free deodorant. Plus, the lavender smells so good.” -@msgabot
Did I forget any? If you think so, let me know in the comments :)
Joëlle Paquette is a sutainable fashion and clean beauty blogger and copywriter based in Montreal, Canada. After 10 years of working as a journalist for different magazines, she now specializes in writing conscious content for brands built on strong environmentally and socially responsible values. She also pet a corgi once—a very special day she will never forget.
Follow her on Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out on anything @veryjoelle 🌼
OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE