We tested and tried a selection of the best clean deodorants, and here's what we found.
While we usually don’t get too up-close and personal, generic deodorants are a significant source of harmful chemicals and can contribute to free radicals, toxin and heavy metal build up as our lymph nodes absorb our antiperspirants. Our bodies change with age, stress levels, and the daily goings-on of life, which means so does our skin, and it’s no different for our underarms. Here are the best clean and natural deodorants, and yes there is a key difference between drugstore antiperspirants which attempt to block your sweat, and deodorizing formulas, which are meant to mitigate body odor while allowing us to perspire, as we’re naturally intended to.1
Better Together Charcoal Deodorant Set
Best for: Transition to a clean deodorant
When making the transition to a natural deodorant, the key to getting past the phase where you’re not quite sure if its working is charcoal. This is also the case if you find that a formula you love is starting to become less effective. Charcoal has purifying and detoxifying properties that draw out bacteria and the buildup of toxins from chemical deodorants in your lymph nodes that can be responsible for body odor. When transitioning to a natural deodorant, the detox process happens automatically, but using a charcoal based deodorant or detox specific product will help speed the process along. The Better Together clean deodorant set is the perfect gateway to cleaner, happier underarms.
Free from: Deodorant: Aluminum, Synthetic Fragrance, Triclosan, Parabens, Baking Soda. Charcoal Soap Bar: Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance, SLS.Shop 2
Best for: Travel, on-the-go days
The perfect size to add to your makeup bag or purse without disturbing that perfectly balanced road trip luggage Tetris. We found that Corpus is best to have on hand for re-application or for freshening up during travel, a long day of meetings or on a socially distanced outdoor day, especially when wearing all those layers during an East Coast winter. Their scent offerings are refined and unique, and their website has a breakdown of each deodorant’s natural, plant-derived fragrance notes. We especially love that every aspect of the product – from its formula to its packaging to manufacturing – happens in the United States using renewable hydroelectric and solar energy.
Free from: Animal products (vegan), aluminum, parabens, talc, baking soda, phthalates, synthetic fragrance.Shop 3
Holi (Rose) N4 deodorant
Best for: Daily Use
After a tireless search for the best deodorant sans aluminum (the toxic ingredient mimics estrogen, and the underarm can absorb up to 100% of what you apply), Agent Nateur founder Jena Covello blended her own. Jena’s personal journey with endometriosis and adenomyosis led her to craft a lush deodorant blended with honey, lavender, and eucalyptus. We specifically tried the holi (Rose)N4 deodorant, a collaboration with skincare formulator Shiva Rose, and found that it stood up to daily tasks and stressors with a deep sweet rose and sandalwood scent that fades away respectfully after application.
Free from: Agent Nateur deodorant has a pure and simple enough ingredient list that we can share the full deal here: organic coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, sunflower butter, avocado butter, castor oil, rose essential oil, sandalwood essential oil, “love”.Shop 4
Base Layer Baking Soda Free Deodorant
Best for: Sensitive skin
For those with sensitive skin, in addition to chemical irritants, certain natural formulas can still cause discomfort or adverse reactions. With a PH level of 9 Baking Soda is often a culprit, as it can disrupt the skin’s acid mantle and strip away natural oils, leaving the skin unprotected from bacteria. Ursa Major’s Base Layer deodorant is both fragrance and baking soda free, and also contains calming and anti-bacterial plant ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera leaf juice, lemon peel extract, and royal jelly extract.
Free from: petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance or Color, Glycols, Silicones, PEGs
Best for: Everyone, those who prefer a paste formulation
A cream formulation that goes on easy, and a long way, Naú offers three different scents, our favorite being Vetiver which although is “for men”, we’d argue it’s for anyone that loves an earthy, woodsy, slightly citrusy note. Made with rice brand oil and tapioca starch, this clean deodorant leaves underarms feeling comfortably dry without a sticky or greasy feeling, and uses Zinc Oxide for the mineral’s antiseptic, cleansing and skin-healing effects.
Free from: Aluminum Derivatives, Parabens, Sulphates, Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol)Shop 6
What does waterless mean? No fillers or preservatives are needed, just botanical and active ingredients that are focused on deodorizing. We love that this formulation helps decrease stress on community water supplies in New Mexico. A silky, concentrated gel, a little goes a long way. It glides on smoothly and dries down immediately to a soft powder without any sticky residue, and comes in unique scents of Lavender Myrrh, Ginger Grapefruit, and Palo Santo Orange.
Free from: Sulfates, Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Phthalates, Silicones, Synthetic Fragrances, Cruelty FreeShop