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Struggling to find a natural deodorant that actually works? We tested top-rated products to discover the best natural deodorant. Learn how to navigate the deodorant aisle like a pro.
Scanning an entire aisle dedicated to underarm sweat is time-consuming. And if you’re looking for an effective natural deodorant, you could spend hours and hundreds of dollars researching and trialing different brands.
At Thompson Tee, we believe underarm sweat solutions shouldn't compromise your health.
You see them on the shelves and online, but what separates deodorant and antiperspirant? And which is more natural?
Deodorants prevent body odor by stopping the breakdown of odor-causing bacteria in the armpits.
Like deodorant, antiperspirants conceal the smell of sweat. But they also contain the active ingredient aluminum, which plugs your sweat ducts to block sweat. Because deodorants don’t contain aluminum, regular and natural deodorants are not considered antiperspirants.
Studies have loosely linked aluminum to certain diseases, but the connection has not been proven. Still, you might prefer to avoid potentially harmful ingredients and stick with a natural deodorant.
Natural deodorants don’t stop sweat like antiperspirants. But there are a few reasons you might go with deodorant instead:
You prefer not to use chemicals
Beyond aluminum, most antiperspirants also contain other chemicals including propylene glycol, parabens phthalates. Truly natural and organic deodorants block odor without the use of potentially harmful chemicals
You have sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, ingredients like alcohol, aluminum (and even baking soda) could irritate your skin. Deodorants derived from gentle, natural ingredients offer a safer, gentler alternative.
You have axillary hyperhidrosis
If you suffer from spontaneous sweating, antiperspirants and deodorants don’t work well.
You want to avoid yellow stains
When mixed with sweat, aluminum found in antiperspirants is known to cause yellow stains. Swapping antiperspirant for a natural deodorant could eliminate this issue and save more of your shirts.
Few natural deodorant brands follow through on their promise to be truly chemical-free. The following 8 natural deodorant brands have completely natural and organic recipes:
Primal Pit Paste offers both a deodorant stick and deodorant paste options. Because it’s made with beeswax, the solution could leave a residue and is more difficult to apply.
Schmidt’s natural deodorant contains essential oils, arrowroot powder, shea butter, candelilla wax and coconut oil.
With just one or two applications, Schmidt’s can keep you odor-free for most of the day. With more applications, the brand has been shown to cause yellowing on white tees. The rough, gritty texture also pulled out some armpit hairs during application.
Of all the brands tested, Schmidt’s is one of the best natural deodorants for combatting odor.
Arm & Hammer Essentials is free of aluminum, parabens, colorants and animal-derived ingredients. However, it contains one suspect ingredient, propylene glycol. However, Arm & Hammer Essentials works well — especially for the price. If you’re price-sensitive and the use of propylene glycol in deodorant doesn’t bother you, Arm & Hammer Essentials is an effective natural deodorant.
Truly’s Natural Deodorant is a cream deodorant that you apply by hand. The cream used an unusual ingredient — powdered sugar, which actually kills bacteria in large amounts.
Of all the natural deodorants tested, Native Deodorant was the only that shielded odor until the following day.
With a simple ingredient list of corn starch, palm oil, baking soda and tea tree oil, Jungleman Naturals is a great option for men and women with sensitive skin. As one of the few natural deodorants that doesn’t use wax or shea butter, the stick also glides on a tad smoother than the rest.
Beach Organics Skincare offers an organic natural deodorant with simple ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic cornstarch, baking soda, organic beeswax, essential oils and vitamin E.
Like other natural deodorants containing beeswax, the deodorant could also leave a residue on your skin after showering.
As an organic-certified, vegan and edible natural deodorant, North Coast Organics goes the extra mile to provide a truly healthy deodorant solution. For people who sweat heavily, North Coast Organics is not a powerful deodorizer.
Arm & Hammer Essentials
Like all consumer products, "natural" and "organic" labels don’t mean much. There are plenty of workarounds to claim a product is natural. Here are some suspect ingredients to avoid in deodorants:
The term "fragrance" often signals a trade secret mixture of chemicals in deodorant. Brands can use this phrase to not disclose the chemicals that comprises the scent. If you have hyper-sensitive skin, avoid fragrance in deodorants.
Many deodorant brands use talcum powder for moisture and odor control and to reduce friction during application. In its natural form, talc contains the cancer-causing agent asbestos, according to Cancer.org. However, the talc used in consumer products today is asbestos-free. Talcum powder has come under scrutiny for its link to ovarian and lung cancers. Studies on both humans and animals have produced mixed results.
Propylene glycol is used in antifreeze and other consumer products like deodorant. The FDA and World Health Organization recognize propylene glycol as generally safe for use in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. And companies like Tom's of Maine use vegetable-based propylene glycol — an environmentally safer alternative.
Still, the Environmental Protection Agency requires the use of gloves when handling the substance and disposal by burying, signaling its potential harm.
Before investing in natural deodorants, here are some possible downsides you should prepare for:
The combination of shea butter, baking soda and wax create a gritty, ChapStick-like texture that is often difficult to apply.
To ease application, press the product against your underarms for 30 seconds or so before applying so your body heat softens the solution.
Some natural deodorants leave a residue on clothes and skin with heavy application that can last even after you shower. Solutions made with candelilla wax — a thin, smooth wax — tend to leave residue less than products made with beeswax — a thicker and stickier solution.
Coconut oil forms the base of many natural deodorants on the market. With a melting point of 77°F, these natural deodorants melt faster than ones made with artificial ingredients.
Aluminum found in antiperspirant is known to cause yellow stains on white shirts. But some natural deodorants (that omit aluminum) can also cause yellowing on white shirts.
To shield body odor, you need a strong, pleasantly scented deodorant. To maintain purity, some natural deodorants are unscented or contain natural, less noticeable scents.
Baking soda is a highly effective deodorizer found in many natural deodorants. Too much baking soda can irritate the skin, causing rashes and redness. If you have sensitive skin, be wary of natural deodorants that use baking soda as a primary ingredient.
Thompson Tee co-founder Billy Thompson demonstrates how Thompson Tee's Hydro-Shield technology blocks even the most intense moisture
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