Here's What Actually Makes a Deodorant Natural
Unlike a face mask or manicure, putting deodorant on isn't exactly a way of indulging in a little bit of self-care, nor is it usually considered chic. But, it's a step that can't be skipped if you want to keep your sweat from smelling, well, a little less like sweat.
Traditionally, I've always bought whichever one is on sale, but in the past few years, I've started to pay more attention to the ingredients in the foods I'm eating, along with my beauty products. While I've made a conscious effort to cut a ton of unnecessary additives out of my skincare routine, I continued to neglect my deodorant.
For years, there's been talk and studies that suggest that the aluminum found in most antiperspirants (or deodorants that stop you from sweating) could be linked to breast cancer. While it hasn't been confirmed, that buzz about aluminum being linked to the disease, plus the fact that my mom just celebrated five years of being breast cancer-free, is what finally got me to seriously start looking into switching to natural deodorant.
Generally, antiperspirants work to minimize how much you sweat by using aluminum to block the sweat ducts from perspiring. However, some studies suggest that the ingredient could build-up and become absorbed by the body, mimicking the effect of estrogen, a hormone that's been said to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
As for natural deodorants, they don't contain aluminum, so they won't stop you from sweating. What a natural deodorant really does is simply keep any dampness under your arms from smelling. Many of these products are also free of talc, parabens, and alcohol.
One of the main ingredients that natural deodorants turn to in order to eliminate this odor is baking soda. Unfortunately, it can be pretty harsh on reactive skin types, which is maybe why your friends have complained that their natural deo was irritating.
"Baking soda can cause a rip roaring dermatitis, which is why some people experience inflammation when using natural deodorants with it this ingredient," Dr. Mona Gohara, a Danbury, Connecticut-based dermatologist, confirms.
To be completely honest, natural deodorants used to gross me out. When I first considered transitioning to one a few years ago, many of the formulas out there were these baking soda-based pastes that came in jars. You had to scoop them out and rub them on your underarms like you would with body lotion. It was messy. And they all smelled a little too earthy. The deodorants that did come in sticks were often greasy, made me feel wet, and I could smell my own stank in a few hours.
Now, natural deodorants that make you smell even worse are a thing of the past. Brands like Corpus and MegaBabe have created chemical-fee formulas that look super chic, but actually work — and sell out just as fast as any Kardashian makeup collection launch. Potential health benefits aside, I'm superficial when it comes to beauty products, so it helps that there's pretty natural options out there now, too.
As for me, Corpus has been the brand that's finally got me to become loyal to natural deodorant. I started using it a few months ago when a sample landed on my desk. The mint green packaging stood out. It was chic (like I said, I'm superficial), and Third Rose, the scent I tried, smelled like it came from a fancy perfume counter. What made me stick with Coprus' deodorant was that it actually worked. The first time I wore it was to a HIIT workout class. I was dripping in sweat, but all I could smell was the faint waft of the rose, violet, and cedar foot notes of my deodorant. I was impressed. Oh, and even though the stick looks waxy, it goes on clear and dries down for a smooth finish.
I'm not alone, either. In the past few months I've seen these chic sticks among others next to Glossier balms and Herbivore serums in product flat lays on my Instagram feed.
So, if you've been curious about trying natural deodorant, these seven deodorants are so chic you won't want to hide them in your medicine cabinet. But, more importantly, they actually work.
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Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant
With soothing essential oils, antioxidants, and beta-glucan technology that hydrates and protects skin, this deodorant keeps underarms smooth. The lightweight formula delivers long-lasting odor protection, and it goes on clear without any sticky residue. Plus, all of the scents (like vanilla lavender for example) are just delightful.
Aesop Herbal Deodorant
A major factor that's kept many people (including myself) from switching to aluminum-free deodorant is that many of the early ones on the market were a paste you had to put on using your hands. Aesop's spray was like a breath of fresh air (literally). The easy-to-use, fast-absorbing deodorant keeps unwanted stank under control thanks to a blend of rosemary, sage, and eucalyptus.
Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant
This deodorant is apparently so good that it can't stop selling out. Megababe is the brand that brought you the ingenious anti-chafing stick, and its aluminum-free deodorant is just as effective whether you're wearing it on a hot sweaty day or during a workout. The formula is a mix of natural ingredients like sage and green tea oil that work together to prevent odor-causing bacteria from forming on the skin.
Kopari Coconut Deodorant
You know that coconut oil has a laundry list of benefits, so it shouldn't be surprising that the antibacterial oil is the key ingredient in a solid natural deodorant. Along with coconut, Kopari's cult-favorite plant-based stick also includes sage oil to help reduce odor.
It's hard to believe you can grab one of these chic sticks on a Target run. With a ton of scent options to choose from like citrus musk, Native's formula keeps you smelling fresh without without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and talc.
Corpus Natural Deodorant
Using this deodorant feels just as luxurious as doing a sheet mask (seriously). The completely vegan, natural, aluminum-free formula is stacked with essential oils that don't feel greasy or soggy when you have it on. What's most impressive is the scents it comes in, which are free of synthetic notes. Each one smells like it could be an expensive Byredo or Le Labo fragrance. (Seriously, they're that good.)
You've probably seen this cute deodorant all over your Instagram feed. Myro's environmentally-friendly, reusable sculptural cases come in a handful of pastel colors with five fresh floral scents to choose from. What's more impressive than the fact that Myro has created a deodorant that's this photogenic is that it actually works. The formula is free of aluminum, parabens, talc, phthalates, and baking soda. It holds back odor and doesn't leave any white streaks on your clothes. Bonus: Subscribe and you'll get three new scent cartridges sent to you in a month.