The best natural deodorant

Jennifer Blair

These days, many of us have concerns about the ingredients in the beauty and personal care products we use. Deodorant is a particular issue because it usually contains aluminum, parabens and/or artificial fragrance that may pose cancer and other health risks. Natural deodorant is an ideal alternative because it doesn’t include any chemicals or synthetic fragrances but still keeps you smelling fresh. 

Our buying guide is loaded with plenty of tips you need to choose the best natural deodorant for your bathroom. Our top pick, Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant, is a standout for its vegan, cruelty-free formula that absorbs into the skin quickly and easily.

What to know before you buy a natural deodorant

Conventional vs. natural deodorants

Deodorants usually contain alcohol-based ingredients and antimicrobial agents to stop odor-causing bacteria from growing and multiplying. Conventional deodorant mainly uses aluminum to block your sweat ducts to prevent the bacteria from having a breeding ground. They also feature parabens, which are preservatives that give the formula a longer shelf life.

Natural deodorants don’t contain aluminum, but they do feature moisture-absorbing ingredients to remove sweat. They also feature antibacterial agents to keep bacteria from growing. All of their ingredients are natural, though, which puts many people’s minds at ease.

Common natural ingredients

Natural deodorants often feature natural starches like baking soda, arrowroot, or cornstarch. These powder ingredients are highly effective in absorbing sweat and keeping you dry. They can also help fight odor and bacteria.

Many natural deodorants feature a base of coconut oil or another natural oil. Essential oils like sage, tea tree, lemongrass, eucalyptus and peppermint are also included to serve as antimicrobial and antibacterial agents. They have the added benefit of providing a pleasant natural fragrance too. Stick natural deodorants often contain wax. This gives them a firm texture similar to conventional deodorant.

Some of these natural deodorant ingredients are known to potentially stain clothing. Baking soda and coconut oil are the worst culprits, so make sure your underarms are completely dry before getting dressed.


Many natural deodorants don’t use any animal testing or animal products, making them cruelty-free options. Crystal deodorants are completely vegan because they consist only of mineral salt. Crystal deodorant is an excellent option if you have sensitive skin because it’s preservative-, fragrance- and artificial ingredient-free. The hypoallergenic formula is unlikely to irritate the skin.

Natural deodorant features

Application style

Natural deodorants are available in a few different types, which affect the way you apply the deodorant.

Stick or roll-on deodorants are usually the most common. Stick formulas often come in an oval container and you swipe the deodorant beneath your arms. Roll-on deodorants are a liquid dispensed through a rollerball applicator. It has a round shape that makes it easy to apply under the arms.

You can also find many natural deodorants that come in a glass or plastic jar. You use your fingers or a beauty spatula to scoop out a small amount and rub it onto your armpits. With this type of deodorant, a little bit goes a long way.

Some natural deodorants come in a spray bottle with a nozzle that allows you to easily apply them under your arms. Spray formulas dry quickly and aren’t as likely to stain clothing.


Natural deodorants typically use essential oils to give them a pleasant scent. You can find deodorant in scents like lavender, sage, lemongrass, cedarwood, sandalwood and patchouli. Fragrance-free natural deodorants are also available, which are a good option if you’re sensitive to scents.

Natural deodorant cost

You’ll usually pay $2-$5 for a natural crystal deodorant or basic unscented roll-on or stick formulas. Formulas scented with essential oils that come in a spray bottle or jar typically run from $5-$15, but high-end natural deodorants can cost more than $15.

Natural deodorant FAQ

What’s the shelf life for natural deodorant?

A. Natural deodorants don’t have the same self-life as conventional deodorants because they don’t have any chemical preservatives. They should typically be used within six months of purchase.

Is it normal to experience a reaction to natural deodorant?

A. When you transition from a regular deodorant to a natural deodorant, you can actually go through a detox period. You may find that your underarms are itchy, develop a rash, or have a stronger odor. The process typically takes between two and four weeks.

Which natural deodorant should I get?

Best of the best natural deodorant

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant: available at Amazon

Our take: Available in many pleasant natural fragrances and styles, Schmidt’s formula combats odor naturally and effectively. A true standout.

What we like: Unique formula fights odor and absorbs wetness. Doesn’t contain any aluminum or parabens. Formula is certified vegan and cruelty-free. Doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.

What we dislike: Can cause white stains on clothing.

Best bang for your buck natural deodorant

Sam’s Natural Natural Deodorant Stick: available at Amazon

Our take: A natural deodorant that comes in unscented and a range of mild scents and can help you smell fresh all day.

What we like: Contains baking soda and coconut oil to combat odor-causing bacteria. Arrowroot powder helps absorb moisture. Comes in 100% recycled packaging.

What we dislike: Some users have experienced skin irritation.

Honorable mention natural deodorant

Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant: available at Amazon

Our take: A highly effective formula for fighting odor and moisture naturally.

What we like: Contains tapioca starch to absorb wetness. Also features coconut oil to smooth and hydrate the skin. Only requires a couple of swipes for effective protection.

What we dislike: Some buyers report that it works initially but eventually stops.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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