Four Natural Deodorants that Actually Work

Mar. 21, 2018In recent years, there’s been a lot of public outcry over what we didn’t know was in our deodorants — nasty ingredients that have been linked to a myriad of health problems, which — coincidentally enough — have been steadily on the rise.



As consumers try to find the balance between managing BO and screening what they use for toxic ingredients, some great companies have stepped up to the plate with better alternatives.

 

Why Customers Want Alternatives

The problem with many mainstream deodorants isn’t an issue of consumers being picky — surface-level research reveals that numerous studies have pinpointed several ingredients commonly used in deodorants as being directly linked to health problems, from rashes to breast cancer.

 

The Aluminum Problem

Aluminum is a well-documented neurotoxin that accumulates in the body’s brain tissue over time. Though 95% of aluminum is eliminated by our kidneys, for some reason brain tissue holds onto it. As a result aluminum exposure has been heavily linked to neurological and developmental disorders, including Alzheimer’s and cognitive delays.

 

Artificial Fragrances

Artificial fragrances are another major issue in the ingredients lists of most mainstream deodorant brands. At the surface level, these fragrances cause rashes and allergies, but on a hormonal level, have actually been shown to interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

 

Parabens and Phthalates

There have been some studies that have linked the use of deodorants to the incidence of breast cancer, including an increase in breast cancer incidence in the areas where antiperspirants are commonly applied.

Aluminum is suspected of being a factor, because of its ability to interfere with our DNA. However, a study of breast cancer patients revealed that there was evidence of parabens in 99% of those patients.

As a result, many deodorant brands have been steadily removing parabens and phthalates from their products, but be on the lookout — these ingredients are notorious for hiding in beauty products of all kinds.

Brands We Love

Okay, so full disclosure here — I only started using deodorant during this pregnancy. The five years prior to that? Nada. Zip. NOTHIN’. I’d rather smell like sweat than subject myself to what I had found in the tubes of deodorant at the grocery stores, and after several piles of goop melted in my gym bag, I gave up on making my own.

That said, hormones are somethin’ else, and when I got pregnant this past year, I decided to dabble.

Here are a few of the brands I tried. YOU GUYS — there are so many options out there for natural deodorants, and I feel amazing knowing I don’t have to compromise my health to avoid literally making myself sick with my funk. Check ‘em out.

 

#1 — Tom’s of Maine

One of the biggest names in natural deodorant right now, Tom’s of Maine has a HUGE fan following for everything from their natural toothpastes to their baby products. I was SUPER stoked to try out their delicious Wild Lavender Deodorant.

 

What’s In It

Tom’s of Maine is REALLY awesome about being transparent in the ingredients they use. Looking at their list, I was at first a little perturbed to see propylene glycol on there — it’s usually derived from petroleum. However, Tom’s spells out really clearly that theirs comes entirely from vegetable sources.

What’s more, even with the powerful fragrance in this stuff, there are absolutely no artificial fragrances in their deodorant.

 

How Their Deodorant Did

I’ve used Tom’s toothpaste, their bubble bath — all kinds of products, but somehow this was my first chance at trying their natural deodorant.

They have SO many fragrances to choose from, but being that I never wear perfume anymore (except for Pacifica — LOVE that stuff), I went for something flowery — the Wild Lavender scent.

For someone like me who very seldom uses scented anything, the smell was a little overpowering at first, but I’m MEGA sensitive. That said, the formula was so mild. I didn’t experience any breaking out, any skin irritation of any kind, and the deodorizing might of this stuff was seriously impressive. At nine months pregnant, I have a super nose, and my BO was completely undetectable.

The best part though? This stuff goes on SO smoothly. Some natural deodorants can be a little dry and pull on your skin when you apply them, but Tom’s was like buttah.

TRY TOM’S OF MAINE DEODORANT

 

# 2 — Green Tidings

When I first discovered this little company, I was seriously impressed by their ethos. Not only is their deodorant formula natural and non-toxic, but it’s produced in the US in a solar-powered facility! Even more amazing, Green Tidings is actually a non-profit that provides employment opportunities to people suffering from disabilities.

 

What’s In It

One thing I really love about this brand is that the ingredients aren’t produced in a chemical lab somewhere — things like fair-trade shea butter, baking soda, and coconut oil made me breathe easy and do a little less Googling as I got my head around this one. There are no synthetic ingredients or artificial fragrances in the Green Tidings formulas, and even the wax they use is vegan!

 

How Their Deodorant Did

Green Tidings also has a really lovely lavender-scented deodorant formula, but I decided to give the Unscented one a go this time around. I was REALLY impressed with the odor-stopping power of this stuff. Despite being unscented, it completely blocked out any developing afternoon funk.

The only thing I wasn’t entirely crazy about with this formula was that it was a little dry rolling on, but after that first swipe, things got a lot smoother. My house gets really cold in the evenings, though. So, I’m suspecting that with this really natural formula, you just want to keep your deodorant somewhere a bit warm to keep it soft.

TRY GREEN TIDINGS DEODORANT

 

#3 — Routine Cream

This Canadian brand had me at first whiff. Their brand is built on the idea that deodorant shouldn’t make you worry about cancer, but there’s no reason to stink if you don’t want to. With TONS of yummy fragrances to choose from a cool glass jar package (I mean, who doesn’t love a good jar?), I was really excited about trying this one.

 

What’s In It

Routine Cream has a wide variety of formulas, so those with specific preferences or allergies are going to love the diversity here. There are vegan formulas, some with baking soda, some without — but NONE of the yucky, cancer-causing junk.

 

How Their Deodorant Did

If I had to pick a favorite in this lineup, it’d have to be Routine Cream. Normally I’m not a fan of deodorant that comes in a jar versus a tube, but for Blackberry Betty, I’m willing to make an exception.

Sure, you have to apply this deodorant with your fingers, but the formula is creamy enough that it’s not like trying to wipe lip balm on your armpits — just a quick swipe and you’re done. It knocked my pregnant chick BO back with the force of a thousand pies, and I was craving peanut butter and blackberry sandwiches… like, the first WEEK of using it. It’s that good.

GET ROUTINE CREAM’S BLACKBERRY DEODORANT

 

My husband was also a fan of this brand, though he admitted the fingertip application was a little out-there for him. He used the Superstar formula — a brilliant concoction of magnesium, prebiotics, and charcoal, and was a pretty big fan of it. The magnesium reduces stress sweats, the prebiotics keep odor-causing bacteria in check, and the charcoal detoxifies.

GET ROUTINE CREAM’S SUPERSTAR DEODORANT

 

#4 — Every Man Jack

Effeminate natural deodorants are pretty much everywhere, but I was really excited about finding this brand geared specifically towards men. Gone are the days of Axe and Old Spice being appealing — the modern woman likes her man to smell nice, but be just a tiny bit less flammable.

This company doesn’t just do deodorant, either. With shave kits, skin, and even hair care products, you can start slowly phasing out the crap you graduated high school with.

 

What’s In It

Every Man Jack is really super clear about one thing on their site — they strive to use natural ingredients whenever possible and include none of the cancer-causing junk. Their formulas are free of paraben, aluminum, phthalate, dye, and artificial fragrances. Even better, they don’t test on animals, and their products are 100% made in the USA.

Looking over their labels, there’s nothing in here that rings alarm bells — everything is naturally derived, safe, and non-toxic, making me a-okay with testing it out on my husband.

 

How Their Deodorant Did

My husband hasn’t worn deodorant probably in the last five years, but he consented to be the guinea pig for some of the more macho scents in this lineup. He got a tube of Every Man Jack’s deodorant in Fresh Scent to try, and — SHOCKINGLY — had few complaints.

This is a good natural deodorant for guys who have been using the roll-ons for years and maybe aren’t ready to get their fingers into goopy formulas like Routine Cream. It goes on super smoothly, no pulling, and even for a guy like my husband, the scent wasn’t too overpowering.

In short, it’s user-friendly, it’s effective, and the ingredients pass our scrupulous test — Every Man Jack might just make more than one appearance around here.

TRY EVERY MAN JACK’S DEODORANT

 

What’s your favorite natural deodorant brand? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram, and tag us in the post! @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine

 

Destiny Hagest

By Destiny Hagest

 —  Destiny is a freelance writer with a background in sustainability and natural health. She lives in the mountains of central Montana with her husband and young son. When she's not writing or chasing her toddler, you can find her wandering the quiet wilderness in search of wild herbs and antler sheds.

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