When I embarked on this journey, I was a die-hard antiperspirant girl. To make matters worse, hearing countless stories from friends whose natural deodorants had failed them over the years made me a certified skeptic. Fast-forward a couple of weeks, 13 natural deodorants later, and a few too many public armpit sniffs, I stand before you a changed woman.
Things you should know about my pits and me: I'm a very sweaty person in the summer—as I think most people would admit—but I'm not super smelly. So if you suffer from body odor that's a bit more potent, take heed.
Natural deodorants offer a healthy alternative to aluminum-filled antiperspirants that leave our pits feeling so (heartbreakingly) fresh and dry. But after trying all different types, I can confidently say that there is one out there for everyone. Not all natural deodorants are created equally; there are pastes, sprays, roll-ons, and your usual sticks.
Read on for my armpit diary, which involves 90-degree runs, an apartment move, and way too many scorching subway trips.
Reset Yourself Pure Deodorant
This was the very first natural deodorant I ever tried. I wore it for two weeks and never smelled—even after a serious hot yoga session. The texture is a bit grainy compared to your average store bought deodorant, but it smells lovely. Something to note with deodorants like this one, which is formulated with baking soda: Only swipe once or twice, it's all you need. Applying layer after layer will most likely irritate skin.
This was the first spray deodorant I ever tried, and I was shocked when it started burning. The burning sensation was caused by the alcohol, but in many eyes, that's much better than aluminum. To avoid burning, don't spray immediately after shaving. Besides being a bit sticky for the first 30 seconds, I really liked this deodorant. It smelled strongly pleasant, sophisticated, and I had zero B.O.
L'Occitane Cedrat and Eau des Baux Stick Deodorants
L'Occitane's deodorants are super smooth and most resemble your average deodorant, but without alcohol or aluminum salts. They both went on smooth and completely clear. Somehow, L'Occitane made slathering deodorant a pleasant experience and I didn't smell once all day. Definitely stealing this one from the boys.
$18 each, usa.loccitane.com
Kiss My Face Natural Active Life Deodorant
I went for unscented Kiss My Face deodorant to switch it up. Lavender makes me happy, but I wanted to see if a natural deodorant could mask my B.O. without covering it up with another scent. Shocker: It worked. Very well, in fact. Though this felt a bit slimy upon application, it kept me free of smell on the day I decided to wear a three quarter sleeve wool dress when it was 90-degrees. Needless to say, I trust Kiss My Face.
Purely Great Women's Lavender Cream Deodorant
This was my first rodeo with cream deodorants, and I was scared when they arrived with popsicle sticks. I soon found the sticks were for stirring, which kind of grossed me out, but I eventually became comfortable enough to just go in with my fingers. I was warned there would be a "learning curve" when using cream deodorants, and while I agree, this type of deodorant isn't as scary as I'm making it sound. They're just different. Check the ingredient list if you need convincing to take the plunge—guaranteed you won't be able to resist the long list of all-natural ingredients and essential oils.
Primal Pit Paste and Stick
The Primal Pit stick reminded me a lot of the Reset Yourself deodorant, but instead of fruity coconut, I smelled like jasmine and lavender. I was in a hurry and accidentally swiped one over my armpits upwards of six times, but the baking soda formula did not irritate my pits and kept me fresh all day long. Disclaimer: The pastes are intimidating, but they work.
Jason Nourishing Apricot Deodorant Stick
This deodorant smelled so sweet I almost purchased an apricot on my way to work. Not much to report here: It went on super smooth and kept my B.O. at bay for the whole day. I would definitely make this a mainstay in my cache of deodorants.
Captain Blankenship Lime & Vetiver Deodorant
This cream deodorant was thicker than the others I had tried, with a consistency that resembles more of a paste. Probably my favorite aspect of these creams is that you apply with your fingers, and it actually feels really nice. In my book, rubbing a moisturizing paste into your armpits is seriously underrated. Besides just loving the name of this Captain Blankenship deodorant, it smelled delicious and is formulated with organic coconut oil and Shea butter. If you're moisturizer obsessed (like me), this one's for you.
Tom's Long Lasting Roll-On Deodorant
I've heard some negative things about Tom's (sorry Tom), but after trying this little roll-on guy a few times I can report that I am pleasantly surprised. The vegan, lavender-scented roll-on (the only one I tried) was the perfect mix between a spray and cream deodorant.
Osmia Organics Deodorant Cream
If you're looking for a deodorant you can keep in your bag to reapply throughout the day as needed, this Osmia Organics deodorant is for you. The packaging is slightly larger than a dollar coin, but is surprisingly deep. The gray-green coloring made me nervous, but it smelled delicious. It's made with clay (yes), baking soda, organic oils (like shea and jojoba), and essential oils.
Weleda Spray Deodorant
Again, the alcohol stings a bit on contact, but those few seconds were worth it. I sweat a lot the day I wore this, and though my pits were wet, they definitely were not smelly. Out of the three scents, which all smell a-mazing, the sage was definitely my favorite.
Earth Science Natural Deodorant
When I swiped this natural deodorant on in a hurry, I could barely even smell the mint rosemary. I have nothing to report other than it just worked. The vegan stick closely resembles your average deodorant, so if you're looking to transition to using a natural product, starting here is a great idea.
Meow Meow Deodorant Cream
The consistency of Meow Meow's cream was very similar to Captain Blankenship. Again, it was uber moisturizing and it really made me feel like a queen. I don't know what it is about rubbing cream deodorant into my armpits, but I urge everyone to try it. Another plus? Most cream deodorants recommend using a pea size amount per pit, which means these containers will last a long time.
After trying (and loving) ten natural deodorants, I am convinced the stigmas surrounding these heath-conscious B.O. fighters are unwarranted. Will I be giving up my favorite deodorants and antiperspirants cold turkey? No way. But it's comforting to know there are natural options out there that work and I will continue to use them.