Sweat gets a bad rap. True, excess sweat at the wrong time – such as during a social occasion – is sometimes embarrassing, but sweating, in general, is a perfectly natural and essential function of our bodies.
The bad thing about sweat is that it often smells, especially in our armpits. Fortunately, the world has deodorants and antiperspirants to address this issue. Unfortunately, many of the most popular ones contain chemicals and harmful toxins.
Thankfully, there are natural deodorants for folks who prefer chemical-free products. We’ll review what we believe are the best natural deodorants available – beginning with Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant – while describing how they’re different than conventional products, and even how to properly apply them.
First, however, let’s take a look at some buying tips that we hope help you to choose the right natural deodorant for you.
- Before you buy: 10 Things to consider when purchasing a natural deodorant
- 7 Best natural deodorants for men 2018
- Applying your deodorant 101 (A simple, 7-step illustrated guide)
- Natural deodorant vs. regular deodorant vs. antiperspirants
- How we compiled our list of top natural deodorants
Before You Buy: 10 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Natural Deodorant
We’ll talk a lot about ingredients in this post, as well as the differences between natural deodorants and regular deodorants and antiperspirants. And we think ingredients should be your number one consideration when choosing the right natural deodorant for you.
1. Look for 100% ingredients
You’ll find grocery and pharmacy shelves packed with deodorants derived from unhealthy chemicals, but your quest is to find the best “natural” deodorants. By natural, we mean 100% naturally-derived ingredients sourced from plants, fruits, flowers, even clay. Check the deodorant’s label carefully to make sure that they haven’t snuck something non-natural in the mix.
2. Avoid aluminum
Aluminum is a controversial ingredient found in many antiperspirants. Why controversial? Because numerous studies show that aluminum may cause a variety of serious health issues, including DNA mutations and tumor cells. There’s also a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid aluminum at all costs when choosing your deodorant.
3. Avoid other toxic crap
Most deodorants – the non-natural ones, that is – contain other unhealthy synthetic ingredients that are toxic. Many studies even link them to cancer. Avoid parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and any other suspect ingredients when choosing your deodorant.
4. The ingredients you do need
Natural deodorants sometimes get the rap that they’re not as effective in fighting odor as regular deodorants but, in most cases, it comes down to looking for certain ingredients. Natural ingredients such as baking soda, cornstarch, and tapioca powder have strong absorptive powers and minimize moisture on your underarms while adjusting the pH in the affected area.
5. It’s easy to use
Look for a deodorant that’s easy to use – not one that requires an engineer to figure out its inner workings. Stick applicators and sprays are typically easiest, but a lot of folks are comfortable with using their fingers to apply deodorant creams.
6. It doesn’t irritate your skin
Rashes are more common in deodorants with harsh ingredients, such as chemicals, but some people are allergic to natural ingredients like baking soda and essential oils. Again, read the label carefully. The good news is that certain natural deodorants work well on sensitive skin and include ingredients such as clay instead of baking soda.
7. Fragrance or no fragrance?
Many natural deodorants are fragrance-free, meaning that they shouldn’t have much scent at all (if any). But natural ingredients may provide their own scent, which is fine if they aren’t overpowering -which they almost never are.
8. They don’t stain
There’s nothing quite like the look of white streaks on your shirt that were left behind by your deodorant. And we don’t mean that positively. Choose deodorants that don’t stain.
9. They dry quickly
Some deodorants cause stains because they don’t dry quickly. Slow-drying deodorants not only rub off on your clothing but are often uncomfortable, as well.
10. Know what you’re getting
One thing to note about natural deodorants: they don’t stop perspiration as well as antiperspirants. That’s why you should experiment with natural deodorants to find one that does a good job of absorbing sweat and neutralizing odor.
Let’s move on from “how to buy” to “what to buy,” namely, our natural deodorant reviews for 2018.
7 Best Natural Deodorants for Men 2018
So, who says natural deodorant doesn’t smell as good as chemically-enhanced deodorants? Not us, at least not when we’re talking about Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.
Schmidt’s combines the pleasing, soothing smells of lavender and sage which not only neutralizes odor but provides a long-lasting scent that is second-to-none. As a natural deodorant should be, it’s also free of aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates and other chemical junk.
Instead, Schmidt’s contains baking soda, which helps neutralize odor, and arrowroot powder, to absorb moisture, while shea and cocoa-seed butter moisturize.
Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant comes in a cream form, meaning you apply it with your fingers. It works into a somewhat gritty salve between your fingers as you prepare it for application, and you’ll immediately notice its lavender-field scent. The jar comes with a spatula to remove the cream, but you only need a pea-sized amount to cover each underarm.
Made in Portland, Oregon, Schmidt’s comes with a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee, which is always a plus.
- Intoxicating, refreshing scent
- Neutralizes odor and absorbs moisture
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Some users say the cream is too stiff before you warm it between your fingers
When it comes to finding the best natural deodorant that works, Schmidt’s always will show up in your search. It smells great, lasts long, and absorbs moisture that leads to odor.
The secret behind the Crystal Body Deodorant Stick for Men is natural mineral salt, which provides a protective barrier that holds off bacteria that causes armpit odor. It’s also hypoallergenic and safe – and even used in cancer treatment centers throughout the U.S.
Just a quick word before we move on: natural mineral salt is also known as potassium alum, meaning it contains some aluminum – of which we’ve already talked about in not-so-kind terms. But potassium alum is FDA-approved for safe consumption and even found in food products.
The first thing you’ll notice when opening your Crystal Body Deodorant Stick for Men is its shape: it looks like a large, clear crystal. To use it, you simply wet it with some water, shake off the excess moisture, and give your armpits a nice coating. It goes on easily, dries quickly, and doesn’t stain your clothes.
While the Crystal Body Deodorant Stick doesn’t protect from sweating – your pits may get damp – you don’t have to worry about offensive odor. Some reviewers suggest that you can even use it to prevent foot odor (suit yourself).
Another thing we like about this product is its longevity. One application is said to supply up to 18 hours, or more, of odor protection.
Crystal Body Deodorant Stick for men is fragrance-free and doesn’t mask odor by plugging up pores with harsh chemicals, it prevents body odor naturally thanks to its protective layer that wards off odor-causing bacteria.
Finally, it’s a great value for its price, which is lower than most deodorants, and for how long the deodorant stick lasts (with some users reporting that they got a full year’s use from it).
- The best natural deodorant without baking soda
- Very long-lasting
- Doesn’t prevent sweating
The Crystal Body Deodorant Stick ranks high on any list of the best natural deodorant that works. You wet it with water and then apply it with the confidence of knowing you won’t leave a mess behind.
While Green Tiding won’t prevent you from sweating like an antiperspirant – few deodorants do – users say they sweat less after using it for about a month. Interesting – and one of many reasons to like this all-natural product.
Green Tidings takes its “all-natural” label seriously and its deodorant contains none of the chemicals found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, chemicals such as aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, and triclosan. Yes, some deodorants contain triclosan, which the FDA classifies as a pesticide. Avoid it like the plague.
What it the All-Natural Deodorant does include, however, is baking soda (which is anti-bacterial and absorbs perspiration), shea butter, candelilla wax, magnesium oil (a natural odor-stopper that’s also important for mineral health), and tapioca starch – which soothes and softens the skin while absorbing moisture.
It also includes organic lavender essential oil, which acts as an antiseptic and also used to treat acne, psoriasis, and other skin irritations.
The Green Tidings All-Natural Deodorant is unscented, which means there’s no added scent, but you’ll notice some fragrance that comes from its many natural ingredients.
Again, while this deodorant won’t prevent you from sweating, antiperspirants designed to make you stop sweating may kick your body into overdrive in its attempt to make sweating happen. Let’s face it, our bodies sweat and that’s almost always a good thing.
Type: Lotion bar
- Soothes and softens the skin while protecting against odor
- Strong list of natural ingredients
- You only need to apply a small amount
- Some users report a rash when first using it
Green Tidings takes it’s all-natural reputation seriously so that you won’t find even a hint of harmful ingredients in their deodorants. It provides a natural defense against body odor.
Natural deodorants consist of ingredients that won’t harm the skin – or potentially cause serious health issues – in the way that many chemical-based synthetic deodorants do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop rashes, itching, and other minor irritation while using natural deodorants. It may be the result of essential oil sensitivity, or a sensitivity to the pH of the baking soda in the products.
Real Purity Roll-On Deodorant was created with skin sensitivity in mind, as its natural and organic ingredients provide long-lasting, non-irritating protection. It’s the best natural deodorant for sensitive skin. It also contains pure natural oils that provide a refreshing scent.
Real Purity doesn’t contain aluminum or other harmful ingredients such as preservatives, colors and, as mentioned, artificial fragrance. Here’s a look at some of what it does include, however:
- Aloe vera leaf juice
- Sandalwood oil
- Vitamin E
- Lavender oil
- Rosewood essential oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Organic apricot kernel oil
- Sage essential oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Rosemary oil
Lavender oil is the ingredient that eliminates odors, while organic apricot oil helps keep your skin dry. Some reviewers report that Real Purity Roll-On felt too wet at first, but that their body quickly adjusted, wetness disappeared, and a dry, clean sensation took its place.
Another reason to like Real Purity is that most of its products consist of locally-sourced ingredients.
Type: Roll-on deodorant
- Good for sensitive skin
- Natural & organic
- Natural scent
- Scent is too strong for some
Real Purity is a roll-on deodorant that’s great for people with sensitive skin but also that works well for everyone. It’s natural, organic and comes from a company with a strong reputation for environmental friendliness.
A natural deodorant’s scent doesn’t usually have the kind of importance of its ingredients, but that doesn’t mean scent isn’t important to users. Why not smell good, too, while you’re protecting yourself from harmful chemicals and toxins found in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants?
Sam’s Natural Deodorant Stick provides the best of both worlds: a chemical-free and eco-friendly product that comes in 17 distinctive scents. Their Original scent is their most popular, but you can find a scent to fit your personality and mood.
It’s easy to see why the original scent is popular; it’s a blend of spicy mahogany and soft notes of creamy vanilla that provides a burst of freshness to your sometimes-smelly pits.
While scent provides a selling point, Sam’s Natural Deodorant Stick won’t be on this list if it wasn’t natural. And it qualifies in every category under “natural” – it’s aluminum-free, paraben-free, chemical-free, and also doesn’t contain propylene-glycol. It’s also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and comes packaged in a 100% recyclable tube with a label made from biodegradable wax inks.
The Sam’s Natural Deodorant Stick’s list of ingredients includes baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot powder and candelilla wax. Here’s how they work:
- Baking soda works to neutralize odor-causing bacteria.
- Coconut oil fights bacteria and fungal growth that cause odor while moisturizing the skin.
- Arrowroot powder helps absorbs perspiration wetness.
- Candelilla wax holds everything together to produce the deodorant stick.
The Sam’s Deodorant Stick’s fragrance comes from a blend of essential oils such as sage lime, sandalwood, patchouli and cedar.
Founded in 2011, Sam’s first product was an all-natural soap strong enough to clean even the dirtiest, grimiest hands (i.e., the hands of a mechanic or carpenter), but they expanded into a variety of other products meant for use in everyday life by everyday people.
Their mission includes focusing on integrity, trust, and transparency about how they make their products, while out-sourcing ingredients only from trusted U.S. suppliers. Sam’s also offers a full refund from within 30 days of purchase if you’re not satisfied with their product.
Sam’s makes all of its products come in small batches, which improves freshness and helps the product last longer. Their Natural Deodorant Stick will last you a long time anyway because you need only a swipe or two for long-lasting protection.
Type: Deodorant stick
- A wide variety of scents
- You only need to apply a small amount
- Made in small batches to ensure overall quality and freshness
- May develop a rash if you apply too much
Sam’s Original Natural Deodorant Stick combines scent with an all-natural approach that’s the cornerstone of everything that they do. You only need to apply a small amount of it to get the long-lasting odor protection that you desire.
From the Land Down Under comes Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant, an all-natural, unscented product that’s among the best natural deodorant for men.
Like Real Purity Roll-On Natural Deodorant, Nasanta is excellent for men with sensitive skin. For one, it was clinically-tested in Sydney’s Dermatest Labs for its degree of sensitization, for another, it’s free of irritating ingredients such as alcohol, and even baking soda – which causes stinging, itching, and irritation in some users.
Wait, no baking soda – a common ingredient found in many, many natural deodorants? Instead, Nasanta is, as its name implies, infused with magnesium or, more precisely, magnesium hydroxide. Nasanta sources the stuff from Japan and it has a variety of health benefits, including energy production, protein synthesis, nerve transmission, and muscle relaxation.
For deodorant purposes, however, magnesium hydroxide serves to neutralize body odor while allowing you to sweat naturally. And, despite its sometimes bad reputation, sweat is good for you. Humans need to sweat.
Unlike other deodorants, Nasanta’s list of ingredients is relatively short and includes magnesium hydroxide, glycerin, deionized purified water, and xantham gum. It doesn’t include aluminum, parabens, and is even free of essential oils and talc. Furthermore, Nasana never tests its products on animals.
If you’re looking for a deodorant with a strong, noticeable scent, then Nasanta Magnesium deodorant probably isn’t for you. After all, it’s unscented – again, it doesn’t contain essential oils – which is good for folks with sensitive noses, whether it’s you or the folks who work alongside you.
Nasanta’s Magnesium Deodorant for Men goes on clear so you don’t have to worry about staining your clothes and doesn’t take long to dry. It comes in a 2.7 fluid ounce container and should easily last you three months (after which it’s time to discard it and buy a fresh one).
Nasanta is another company that backs its products with a money-back guarantee. If, after 30 days, you don’t like their Magnesium Deodorant for Men, they’ll give you a full refund.
Type: Roll-on stick
- Ideal for sensitive skin
- Simple, chemical-free list of ingredients
- You don’t need a heavy application of it to provide all-day protection
- May feel “sticky” for some users
Made in a country (Australia) that has a strict testing process regarding cosmetic and beauty supplies, Nasanta Magnesium Deodorant is an excellent choice for many men. Not only that, it’s a product that passes the test for neutralizing body odor without clogging your sweat glands.
Developed by a CrossFit trainer who was wary of chemical-laden deodorants that were routinely passed out at fitness shows, Primal Pit Paste is designed to handle heavy body odor naturally.
P3’s Deodorant battles B.O. with a refreshing scent derived from all-natural ingredients that lasts all the way through your day. Among the organic oils found in this deodorant are coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, calendula oil, argan oil, while shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter help give it its consistency.
P3’s all-natural deodorant also gets it done with baking soda, its primary odor-neutralizing ingredients, while leaving out the harmful stuff: parabens, aluminum, and other toxins. All of its products are cold-pressed, meaning that they don’t heat their essentials oils above a certain temperature. That’s important because, while heating at higher temps extracts more oil, it also neutralizes some of their overall effectiveness.
Primal Pit’s deodorant formula includes candelilla wax, which helps the deodorant stand up to underarm heat that can cause odor-causing bacteria. It also contains arrowroot, a natural starch that absorbs moisture. But, unlike conventional antiperspirants and deodorants, it won’t clog sweat pores.
But there’s so much else to like about Primal Pit Paste’s deodorant: it’s suitable for use by men and women, it offers baking soda-free alternatives in all of their products while recognizing that some users’ skin is sensitive to baking soda, and it comes in stick and paste form.
The stick P3 deodorant stick comes in the traditional form in which you swipe the deodorant onto your underarms in the typical applicator format, while the paste comes in a jar that’s applied with your fingertips. In either case, a little goes a long way, but you do need to wait a couple of minutes to let the deodorant absorb into your skin before dressing.
If you do notice some irritation when first using this product, it may simply be your skin’s initial reaction to baking soda. Symptoms should subside within a few days; if it continues, you can always switch to one of Primal Pit Paste’s non-baking soda deodorants.
Type: Deodorant stick and paste
- Fresh scent that’s not overpowering
- Comes in stick and paste form
- Suitable for men and women
- May cause a rash
A lot of users swear by Primal Pit Paste and with good reason. It effectively combats underarm odor, is versatile enough for use by men and women, and it comes in a stick and paste form.
Applying Your Deodorant 101
Most of us have applied deodorant since we were in junior high school, or at least when we first hit puberty, and never found anything too complicated about the process. You know, take a few swipes until you’ve covered your pits with deodorant or antiperspirant and then get on with your day.
That’s doesn’t mean we’ve always done it the right way, however. There’s a technique for applying deodorant, as well as a few rules for the road.
1. Clean up first
Your morning shower provides the perfect opportunity to lather up your armpits with a quality soap or body wash and remove all the traces of sweat, bacteria, and old deodorant left behind from the day before. Only after your ‘pits are clean should you apply your natural deodorant.
2. Stay hydrated
OK, so this isn’t part of the actual technique for applying deodorant, but it’s important if you want to keep your body odor to a dull roar. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will water down your sweat, so to speak, and make it less odorous. Even certain foods you eat may make you sweat more pungent – foods that contain sulfur, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, as well as strong spices and alcohol.
3. Apply it more than once
While many natural deodorants last quite a while, you may need to reapply it during the day. But how long a deodorant lasts may vary widely from person to person.
4. But don’t over-apply
A little natural deodorant goes a long way, especially when compared with conventional deodorants. Apply your natural deodorant in small amounts at first, not only to get an idea of how much you need but to also keep you from using so much it stains your clothes. Start with small swipes at first, and usually a couple of passes will do.
5. Cover the entire area
Make sure to apply your deodorant to the entire underarm area. If need be, take slow swipes to make sure you’re providing adequate coverage. Apply enough pressure to coat all of that hair in your underarms.
6. Be patient
It may take a week or two to for your body to sweat out all of the toxins built up from your antiperspirant. Many people notice excess sweating during this detox period, but eventually feel as if they’re sweating less after having switched to a natural deodorant. Also, a damp armpit doesn’t necessarily mean a smelly armpit.
7. Watch what you wear
Again, this has nothing to do with actually applying your deodorant, but natural clothes and fabrics are better at wicking away moisture than synthetic ones. Cotton, wool, hemp, and bamboo fabrics help keep moisture away from your skin and wash out better than synthetic blends.
Natural Deodorant vs. Regular Deodorant vs. Antiperspirants
Throughout this post we’ve discussed natural deodorant, regular deodorant, and antiperspirants. While all three work toward a similar goal – to keep men from experiencing body odor – they’re three different types of products.
Perhaps the most important difference is between deodorants and antiperspirants. Deodorants contain ingredients that fight the bacteria that causes your armpits to smell. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain chemical (aluminum) compounds that block sweat ducts to keep you from sweating. In other words, no sweat = no odor.
Natural deodorants work like conventional deodorants in that they reduce the amount of odor-causing bacteria on the skin. But it’s their list of ingredients that set them apart.
Instead of having a chemical ingredient base, natural deodorants use ingredients such as essential oils and plant extracts to reduce bacteria. Essential oils also provide a fragrance to help mask the odor. Other ingredients may include baking soda, shea and cocoa butter, vitamin E, and more.
All-natural crystal deodorants, made from mineral salts, also work to reduce bacteria that leads to underarm odor. What you won’t see in natural deodorants are ingredients such as aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, and animal by-products (or products tested on animals).
As mentioned previously, natural deodorants – like regular deodorants – don’t block sweat glands like antiperspirants. You’ll still sweat, but many users report that they sweat less with extended use of natural deodorants.
Natural ingredients, as their name suggests, consist of natural ingredients. Regular deodorants, however, contain a variety of chemicals, many of which are considered toxic. They also contain artificial fragrance, which makes them smell good while they’re providing a shield against odor-causing bacteria.
The primary function of antiperspirants is to keep you from sweating. That’s important in the fight against underarm odor because, well, sweat causes odor, and because we have two types of sweat glands, both found in high concentrations in our armpits.
One of the types of sweat glands – the apocrine glands – carry secretions of proteins and fats from within your body and combine with sweat to cause odor when they react with bacteria. Antiperspirants do their thing by clogging, blocking, and closing sweat pores so they can’t release sweat.
The biggest problem with antiperspirants isn’t how effectively they prevent sweating, because they do a fine job of that, but that they contain a host of potentially toxic chemicals, such as aluminum compounds. Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find in antiperspirants are aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, and aluminum chloride. Why aluminum? Because it stops sweating, plain and simple.
Another issue with antiperspirants involves our body’s need to sweat. Humans go to great lengths to keep from sweating – and there’s nothing quite as humiliating than a sizable sweat stain on the underarm of your shirt – but we need to sweat because it’s the body’s way of releasing toxins. So, blocking the sweat ducts prevents toxins from releasing from the body.
Most of the synthetic fragrances found in antiperspirants are derived from petroleum that includes potentially harmful chemicals. And, in some cases, manufacturers aren’t specific in what they put in their fragrances, at least not on their product labels.
How We Compiled Our List of Top Natural Deodorants
Natural deodorants abound, although perhaps not as abundantly as conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. But there are plenty of natural products around, and choosing the right is sometimes a challenge – as is singling out what we think are the best products available.
Our first criteria for evaluating natural deodorants is the quality of their ingredients, not surprisingly. If it’s truly “natural,” then it shouldn’t contain chemicals and toxins. But other ingredients come into play, such as essential oils and butter, while the scent is another consideration, although it’s hardly a primary one when you consider at many natural deodorants are all about preventing odor and not masking it with fragrance (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
We always consider price when researching products and strive to find products that fit every man’s budget, big or small. Finally, we like products that get lots and lots of positive reviews online. If they do, they must be doing something right.
And that wraps up our reviews of the best natural deodorants for men. Do you use any of the deodorants on this list, or have a favorite one of your own? As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions!