I Tried It: Natural Deodorant in the Middle of Summer


Not to toot my own horn or anything, but my current beauty routine is the eco-friendliest it’s ever been. About a year ago, I decided it was time to start paying attention to what I put on my body. I switched to a plant-centric regimen, and—despite NUMEROUS fears and reservations—saw improvements in both my skin and hair. Fast-forward to today, and I’ve incorporated natural products into almost every facet of my routine. Every area except one—deodorant.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to love natural deodorant. I know that traditional antiperspirants contain some pretty controversial ingredients—aluminum, parabens, and triclosan, to name a few—but I’ve never found a natural alternative that got the job done. Every formula I’ve ever tried—be it salt crystals, baking soda, or literal ROCK-looking things you rub on your underarms—has left me smelly, sweaty and disappointed. I always went crawling back to my extra-strength drugstore antiperspirant.

But as more and more natural deodorants popped up on my radar, I began to wonder if I’d misjudged them. The latest aluminum-free alternatives certainly looked chicer—a far cry from their weird crystal/rock counterparts. Had they stepped up their formulations, too? I decided it was time to suck it up, face my fears, and give the latest crop a go. (And yes, I am just crazy enough to start testing new deodorants in the middle of summer.) Read on to see how it went:

ebaviva natural deodorant
Erbaviva Organic Deodorant

The rundown: Most drugstore antiperspirants have an ingredient list that requires an advanced chemistry degree to understand. Not so with this spray-on deodorant from Erbaviva. In fact, it’s as pure and simple as it gets, crafted from just herbs, essential oils and organic grain alcohol. Simply spritz on your underarms for a refreshing and safe burst of bacterial and odor protection.

The results: The blend of essential oils and alcohol smelled deliciously zesty, and really did keep my armpits stink-free, soft and citrusy-smelling for about five hours. I really loved that I could spritz this one on, too. (No touching my armpits! Yay!) Since this formula is a deodorant only, it won’t keep you dry, but it will effectively neutralize your body odor. Plus, the sleek amber glass jar looks beautiful in your bathroom.

Notes: If you’ve just shaved, wait a few minutes before spraying this on. The alcohol may sting a little.

ursa major natural deodorant
Ursa Major No BS Deodorant

The rundown: If you’re super sensitive, even all-natural ingredients can irritate your skin. This unscented, baking soda-free deodorant has everything you want and nothing you don’t, offering up to 24 hours of odor protection. The aloe-infused formula soothes sensitive skin, while hops and kaolin clay absorb excess moisture to provide long-lasting, fragrance-free protection.

The results: Admittedly, I was nervous to try an unscented natural deodorant. I mean, what would mask my own human “fragrance”, five hours into the day? After trying it however, I was genuinely surprised at how well the unassuming white stick worked. It really did keep my sweat under control for the entire workday, and since I didn’t wind up stinking, I didn’t miss the fragrance one bit.

Notes: If you’re not sensitive to baking soda, and actually like a bit of fragrance, you might want to try Ursa Major’s best-selling Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant. It’s the same award-winning formula, with a crisp aroma of eucalyptus, rosemary, grapefruit, ginger, chamomile, and lemon added. Yum!

agent nateur natural deodorant

Agent Nateur No. 3 DĂ©odorant

The rundown: Made from food-grade ingredients, this creamy deodorant stick is so naturally pure, you could take a bite out of it. (Not that I recommend doing this, of course.) The aluminum-free formula has a delicate lavender and eucalyptus aroma, and will leave you fresh for up to 24 hours.

The results: Agent Nateur goes on creamy and smooth, just like traditional deodorant, and has some seriously chic packaging. The best part? This stuff WORKS. Like really, really works. In terms of moisture control, the absorbent baking soda and antibacterial honey really does the trick, keeping me fresh through my afternoon workout, even. I love the light, lingering scent, too—it’s noticeable, but not overpowering. What’s more, it doesn’t mark up my black tops—a serious plus, if you ask me.

Notes: This formula has a coconut-oil base, and offers antimicrobial and skin-softening benefits.

Final thoughts: Overall, I’m thrilled with my new deodorant discoveries, and I don’t see myself switching back anytime soon. When trying out natural formulas, I do think it’s important to have realistic expectations, however. They’re not going to keep you 100% bone-dry through marathons, and they won’t last for 48 hours like drugstore antiperspirants claim to. But, when you really think about it…who needs 48 hours of protection, anyway!?

Do you use natural deodorant? What’s your go-to? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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