Historically, the best natural deodorant was made with readily available ingredients that were sourced locally.
The ancient Egyptians were innovators when it came to combating armpit odor.
A typical formulation included ostrich eggs, nuts, tamarisk, and tortoiseshell ground into a paste with fat.
It wasn't until the 20th century that modern, commercial deodorant was marketed to the masses.
“In the 1910s deodorants and antiperspirants were relatively new inventions. The first deodorant, which kills odor-producing bacteria, was called Mum and had been trademarked in 1888, while the first antiperspirant, which thwarts both sweat-production and bacterial growth, was called Everdry and launched in 1903.” [source: Smithsonian]
But is it possible to find a deodorant that actually works and is sustainable and truly kind to the planet?
We think so! And our picks for the very best deodorants prove it. It's best to switch to natural!
Brand Ingredients & Efficacy Standards
Now, one thing to bear in mind while you read our awesome guide is that “natural” has no official definition under the law. So, for the most part, we’ve followed our own definition and guidelines.
To be considered a “natural product” it should contain mainly (or all) ingredients that are grown or harvested and that the packaging is environmentally friendly. Some of the ingredients that we especially like to see are vanilla, essential oils, coconut oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, green tea, sage, and lavender.
Our second and equally important consideration was that the products we chose had to stand up to a full day’s normal wear and tear. Ideally, it kept us smelling fresh from early morning after showering until we went to bed.
We think that’s a reasonable test – though if you’re the sporty type, you may want to use them again after strenuous exercise just to make sure.
Schmidt’s Natural | Low Cost but High Quality
Schmidt’s is probably the cheapest natural deodorant we tried. To be honest, we were expecting it to be only so-so.
Surprisingly, however, when we wore this natural deodorant for a full day it didn’t disappoint at all and we stayed fresh and pleasant all the way through.
They have seven scents of natural deodorants plus a variety of different formulations and they even do some “manly” scents for those who prefer something a little less essential oils floral.
That should mean there’s a natural deodorant choice here for everyone and men may really like Schmidt’s less feminine options. They are, of course, baking soda free as the best natural deodorants must be and there are no synthetic fragrance chemicals here – they use all-natural ingredients.
The care over sensitive skin is a nice touch too and there’ll be no wincing when applying this deodorant. We found that even if you have fairly active sweat glands that this best natural deodorant can stop odor-causing bacteria and neutralize odor before it becomes unpleasant.
You can find Schmidt’s online.
Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Sticks | The Grab It In A Drugstore Option
Tom's is well-known for their toothpaste but they also make other personal hygiene products.That includes these best natural deodorants.
Depending on where you buy it Tom’s can be nearly as cheap as Schmidt’s. As you'd expect there's no baking soda inside and the odor protection is pretty good.
We’ve got to be honest though; some of the ingredients are only “so-so” when it comes to being “natural”. Processed sunflower seed oil isn't as good as coconut oil or shea butter, for example, though it's not a “synthetic fragrance” either.
Sadly, this is a deodorant that also doesn’t pass the all-day-long test and we’ve found that you need to re-apply every 2-3 hours to stay completely clean smelling.
What is in Tom’s favor though is its ubiquity – you can find it pretty much everywhere.
You can check out Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Sticks online.
Dove Beauty Zero Aluminum | The Big Brand Deal
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that Dove Beauty’s “natural” creds are a bit borderline.
This natural deodorant product, however, is aluminum-free.There's no baking soda present either.
That's a big deal because aluminum may leave you sweat-free but it may also damage the body’s endocrine system.
The good news is that this is an excellent choice and it sails through the all-day test with flying colors.
It also moisturizes your pits when you wear it. This is beneficial if you shave regularly and rash easily.
As you’d expect from a brand as big as Dove’s – you can also buy this in nearly every major store.
You can find Dove Beauty’s Zero Aluminum online.
Soapwalla Cream Is A Creamy Choice
For something a little different there’s always Soapwalla’s deodorant cream.
It’s packed to the brim with ingredients that are indisputably “natural” and when you open the jar, you’ll be really impressed by the scent.
You put this on with your fingers and we worried that we might not do it right, but everything turned out fine for us. The whole day went by without any issues.
However, we have to report that some people say they find that this cream irritates their skin.
We don’t have any concrete reasons why this may occur but those with sensitivities may want to approach with caution.
You can check out Soapwalla Deodorant Cream online.
Jason Deodorant Sticks Will Keep You Super Dry
This is a super value product that isn’t quite the cheapest in the tests but comes fairly close to it.
What we found was that it lasted for a very long-time, in fact, it still seemed to be in full working mode when we woke to shower the next day.
It was really rugged and for those with high levels of perspiration, this might be the best choice.
However, it also seems to be less happy on sensitive skin and if you’re at all worried then test it carefully.
You can buy a Jason Deodorant Stick online.
Raves About Native Deodorants Online
Native deodorants take things to the next level.
Native deodorant products unleash their own acidophilus bacteria to help combat the stinky ones that feast on your sweat and lead to unpleasant odors.
We really like the fact that you get a wide range of scents from Native too.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the price is a bit higher than many others in our test, we think Native would be our top choice.
It smells great, it really works, and we feel that it’s the most “natural” of all the brands tested. If you can afford it, it’s worth it.
You can get your own Native online.
Schmidt’s Natural Etiquette Is The Balmy Option
Schmidt’s sneaks onto our list for a second time but this time with a very different product.
Their balm is one of the nicest products to use if you find sprays and even stick deodorants difficult or painful to apply.
Just use your fingers to rub it into the armpit as required.
The scent lasts all day which is good because we really wouldn’t want to have to re-apply this one in the office.
With 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, you can’t go wrong.
You can find Schmidt’s Natural Etiquette Balm online.
Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant Is For Seriously Sensitive Skin
One thing that you might not know about deodorants is that many of them contain baking soda.
Baking Soda is fine for “natural” products because it’s a substance that most of us will ingest during the course of any week without it doing any harm. It's not uncommon for deodorants to have ingredients like baking soda.
But it's not so good for some people’s skin and can cause a red-brown rash that really itches.
If that’s you then you might want to check out Bali Secrets’ excellent baking soda-free deodorant.
There’s no need to suffer with sensitive skin while using natural products.
You can check out Bali Secrets online.
Malin + Goetz Is The Streakless Choice
If you hate the streaks and smears that most deodorants leave under your arms or on your clothes you're not alone.
But now you can rejoice knowing there's a solution and that you don’t have to put up with that.
But the cure comes at quite a substantial price.
This deodorant is completely streak-free but boy, it’s expensive too.
It’s excellent but at this price it better be!
It’s very natural though with no paraben, no sulfates, no alcohol, no aluminum and it uses eucalyptus and citroneyll (both naturally occurring) to combat body odor.
Our clothes will last longer for using it though and that might, over time, make it a valuable investment.
You can check out Malin + Goetz online.
Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant Is The Long-Lasting Battler
Ursa Major also enters the fray of the non-streak deodorants and manages to be even more expensive than the Malin + Goetz but it has an extra selling point too – it lasts a long time.
In fact, we tested it for 2 days straight and it kept us smelling sweet throughout!
We’re not sure that will convince many people to lay out $20 for a deodorant.
It is worth keeping in mind because you might find it lasts twice as long as any other brand will.
You can purchase Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant online.
The Bottom Line
As you can see from our top picks there are plenty of excellent choices on the market that really work!
You may have to decide which ingredients are most important to you and whether the price is a big factor before you finally settle on the one that’s right for you.
Our favorite is probably the Malin + Goetz but we’d normally opt for something cheaper because this is an everyday product for us and we want to keep costs down.
You should also check out these fave vegan deos.
For additional information on natural beauty products don't miss our guide to natural beauty.