While highlighters and fragrances get all the glory, nothing’s more essential to your beauty routine than a good deodorant, right? And it seems that lately, the organic varieties, which are touted as having a lower toxic load than their more chemical counterparts, are garnering all the buzz. So we raised our arms to test them and determine whether they’re really up to snuff—or sniff as the case may be. Here, our 6 editor-approved au naturel picks.
1. Nourish Fresh & Natural Organic Stick Deodorant
Test driver: Selene Milano, senior beauty editor
Road test: “When it comes to my deodorant, I am a total monogamist. I wear a big brand formula every day and never waiver,” says Milano. “But with a tween daughter on the brink of wearing pore-plugging anti-perspirant, I was eager to find a stick without serious chemicals. This USDA certified organic one contains naturally deodorizing cornstarch and essential oils to ward off any foul stench. I wore it for three days straight and became a total convert. It smells very fresh and subtle and definitely does the trick.”
Verdict: “Not only does it keep me smelling fresh, it leaves no stains, which is a minor miracle.”
2. Agent Nateur N°3 Deodorant holi(stick)
Test driver: Sheryl George, beauty editor
Road test: “I’m not saying it’s what on the outside that counts, but a pretty package does help,” says George of this chic little bottle. The coconut oil base is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so “I couldn’t detect any body odor even after a whole day, and my underarms felt completely dry,” adds George. “I also liked that the formula wasn’t too crumbly and didn’t leave white streaks on my brown skin.”
Verdict: “While the glide isn’t as smooth as my usual deodorant, I’d definitely continue using this natural version.”
3. Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda-Free Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit
Test driver: Marianne Mychaskiw, associate beauty editor
Road test: Be warned, this pot of deodorant requires a finger application, so you’ll have to get your hands a little dirty. “I’ve never used a deodorant cream in my life, so while the initial thought of application was intimidating, it was more or less like I was putting lotion on my armpits,” says Mychaskiw. While many natural formulas rely on baking soda and clay to absorb oils, this version regulates funk with magnesium and arrowroot powder, which proved to be sufficiently smell stopping.
Verdict: “While I still worked up a sweat, you’d never know—I smelled just as fresh and citrus-y at the end of the day as I did at the beginning.”
4. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant in Bergamot + Lime
Test driver: Dianna Mazzone, assistant beauty editor
Road test: A hydrating shea butter base with baking soda and arrowroot powder help soak up sweat and odor. But it was the bergamot + lime scent that won over Mazzone. “I fancy myself a bit of a fragrance enthusiast, and this blend smelled super high-end. But if you’re not a fan of bergamot, you might be a little taken aback by how tangy it is,” she says. As for the application’s glide factor, “with a little trial and error, I discovered that the less of the stick I had exposed, the more smoothly the formula went on, says Mazzone.
Verdict: “The staying power was impressive: I felt just as fresh throughout the day as I typically do with my regular, not-so-natural deodorant. Granted, I was running around the office and not the gym, but it worked well enough that I’d be willing to give it a go during my next fitness class.”
5. Tom’s Of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant in Apricot
Test driver: Erin Lukas, beauty writer
Road test: “No matter how hard I strategize, I always wind up with deodorant marks on my dark clothing, but this stick kept me streak-free,” says Lukas. The product is clinically proven to have 24-hour odor protection thanks to zinc, which traps odor. A barre class provided the ultimate test: “Although I definitely was sweating mid-plank, the only smell my nose picked up was the deodorant’s amazing apricot scent,” says Lukas.
Verdict: “I seriously can’t get enough of this stick’s scent—I’m going to continue using it.”
6. Lavanila Labratories The Healthy Deodorant Solid Stick in Vanilla Lavender
Test driver: Sophie Wirt, beauty intern
Road test: This aloe vera-based stick took a little effort to apply, “I had to put a lot on to feel like I was wearing anything at all,’ says Wirt. But a “smell check” every two hours proved that the formula prevented any unpleasant odors—even after a cardio workout, “but I felt moister than I do with my regular antiperspirant, since deodorants don’t keep you from sweating.”
Verdict: “I would totally wear this deodorant in the future. It’s fresh, clean, and I could get used to the dampness factor.”