Maybe you've already made the switch to non-toxic nail polish or organic lipstick and are ready to take the natural next step in pursuit of a natural beauty routine, or maybe you're just tired of using deodorants that smell like a noxious combination of plastic flowers and baby powder. Either way, more and more people have started paying attention to what, exactly, is inside their deodorant — which means it's about time for us all to rethink the product we rub into our armpits every day.
For years, rumors have swirled that there's a solid link between certain cancers and the aluminum chloride and parabens found in antiperspirants. Although that may not be proven, what is certain is that many chemical antiperspirants are made with ingredients that aren't entirely in line with the clean, green beauty movement.The entire ethos isn't exactly au naturel, either: Antiperspirants minimize sweating by blocking the sweat glands with aluminum salts, while deodorants allow you to sweat, simply masking any odor.
Now, if the switch to natural deodorant is appealing to you, bear in mind that you will notice a difference when you make the change, because chemical antiperspirant and natural deodorant work differently. Your sweat glands, which have been clogged by aluminum salts, will have, well, a bit more freedom to perform their proper bodily functions. Though the floodgates won't necessarily open, there may be a transitional stage when you're more aware of your underarm sweating before your body reaches its natural equilibrium.
The natural deodorants ahead are worth sticking it out through that transitional period. Fresh, healthy, paraben-free pits that actually smell like roses and bergamot are waiting on the other side.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Schmidt's Lily of the Valley Natural Deodorant
With scents like cedarwood, lavender, and rose, it's hard to pick the best-smelling natural deodorant from Schmidt's — but considering this one smells of a fresh field of lily-of-the-valley, features a cutesy illustrated label, and has 5% of proceeds going to The Jane Goodall Institute, which works to protect chimpanzees worldwide, it's pretty damn hard to beat.
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Corpus Natural Deodorant
Deodorant has officially reached peak chic with this effective vegan formula, which omits aluminum, talc, parabens, baking soda, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances and comes in a sleek, sexy mint-green tube that will look right at home next to your Diptyque candle and Byredo perfume.
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type: A Deodorant
An aluminum-free deodorant that can actually hold up in a 45-minute SoulCycle class? Count us in. Just in case you're worried your morning spin-class sweat will carry on throughout the day at the office, this brand offers a lightly fragranced formula that smells just like a fresh-pressed juice.
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Farmacy Freshen Up
This brand-new vegan, cruelty-free option tackles three different underarm-related concerns: sweat, by using kaolin clay to absorb wetness; odor, which is neutralized by a blend of tea-tree oil, peppermint, bergamot, and rosemary; and discoloration, thanks to papaya enzymes, which gently exfoliate and brighten the area. There's no aluminum, baking soda, or synthetic fragrance added, either — just natural botanicals and essential oils in a clear, cooling formula.
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Megababe Beauty Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant
First, Megababe made anti-chafing kind of chic with the Thigh Rescue anti-friction stick; then, the brand conquered the deodorant category with an aluminum-, alcohol-, paraben-, and baking soda-free formula that can't stop selling out. With a passionate fanbase, a warm, rosy fragrance, and a history of waitlists numbering into the tens of thousands, this is the clean deodorant that could turn even the biggest skeptic into a believer.
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So maybe you're a tough customer, someone who wants to make the switch to natural deodorant but has found them all too ineffective, too expensive, or too ugly. For you, Goldilocks, there is Myro, a new brand that is reimagining the natural-deo category as you know it. Through its website, the direct-to-consumer company lets you pick one of five sleek refillable cases and one of five perfume-worthy scents for a total of $10. Subscribe, and a month later you'll get three new scent cartridges ($10 per) delivered to your door, ready to be popped in. Beyond being aesthetically- and olfactorily (is that a word?)-pleasing, the formula is free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates, talc, and baking soda, too.
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Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus deodorant
Both alcohol and aluminum-free, this all-natural deodorant is formulated with antiseptic eucalyptus extract and citronellyl to help keep odor at bay. The unique combination of ingredients leaves no residue or stains, so you'll feel fresh all day and won't find telltale yellow marks on your clothes.
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Kaia The Takesumi Detox Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant
This detoxifying deodorant is a revelation, particularly for those who are looking to go natural for the first time but don't know where to start. The bamboo charcoal that gives the formula its power — and its dark-gray color — actually absorbs impurities from your sweat glands, including the buildup from prior chemical deodorants, so that you'll actually smell less even if you forget to put it on. (It happens to the best of us.)
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Follain Undercover Agent Deodorant
Follain has always been at the forefront of the clean-beauty charge — now, the eco-conscious retailer is getting into the deodorant game, too, with an aluminum-, paraben-, baking soda-, and cruelty-free formula. What the classic twist-up stick does have is activated charcoal and cornstarch to absorb moisture, and a light, fresh bergamot and tea-tree oil scent.
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Lush The Greeench Deodorant Powder
The thyme, tea tree, and sage in this nifty little bottle combat odor and keep you fresh. Though this doesn't look like your typical roll-on deodorant or spray (and it isn't), the absorbent lycopodium powder will keep your armpits dry. Simply sprinkle onto the palm of your hand and rub into dry, clean skin.
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Aesop Spray Deodorant
This aluminum-free deodorizing spray is formulated with eleven essential oils that help to neutralize scents. After cleansing, point and spray the bottle under each arm and allow to dry before dressing. Reapply throughout the day as required.
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Kopari Beauty Coconut Deodorant
If you want your armpits to smell like a piña colada — and why the hell wouldn't you? — this 100% plant-based deodorant is your ticket to smooth, toxin-free pits that smell like sweet coconut milk. Sounds weird, but it works.
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Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant
This dermatologist-recommended deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful antioxidants and beta-glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment — and it smells downright dreamy, too.
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Ursa Major Base Layer Deodorant
Smelly sweater-pit stains are a thing of the past thanks to this fresh deodorant, which uses kaolin clay to vacuum out excess sweat and oil, shea butter for soft-to-the-touch hydration, and aloe-vera leaf juice to soothe irritation — with a completely scent- and baking soda-free formulation, to boot.
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Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Citrus Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick
Let us count the way we love Meow Meow Tweet's all-natural deodorant stick: The tube is totally biodegradable, the scents are fresh as heck, and most importantly, it actually works. (Bonus points for cute packaging!)
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Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant
If you like to be overwhelmed by choice (in a good way), then Native's paraben- and aluminum-free deodorant is totally for you. In addition to being available in a ton of different scents (including fragrance-free for sensitive types), the solid stick masks B.O. and doesn't irritate skin.
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Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter and Rose Deodorant
Our lifestyle market editor name-checks Love Beauty and Planet's Bulgarian rose deo for its gorgeous scent (that smells like real roses, not the artificial stuff), and for its recyclable canisters, which are made from 43% recycled plastic.
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Dove Zero Aluminum Cucumber & Green Tea Deodorant
If you grew up in the '00s, there's a very good chance you're familiar with Dove's Cucumber & Green Tea scent family, which spans body washes, bar soaps, and yes, deodorants. Their new zero-aluminum collection hydrates with the same moisturizers you know and love from their traditional solid sticks, but without any scary stuff.