natural deodorant review

I’ve easily made the switch to more natural products for my hair, makeup, cleaning products, etc. But a natural deodorant?

If you’re trying to conceive or have PCOS or other hormone imbalances, you probably already know that you should be avoiding toxins and endocrine disruptors in your health & beauty products. But the problem is finding natural products that actually work, amiright

And trust me…I’m a long-time Secret Clinical Strength gal. So I was dubious about trying a natural deodorant. 

First off, there’s a difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. If you didn’t know the difference:

  • Antiperspirants prevent you from sweating

  • Deodorants only prevent odor 

I don’t know about you, but I sweat a lot. Especially as we are heading into summer. So, I want something that’s going to keep me dry as well as smelling fresh.

I mean, how unattractive are giant sweat pools under your arms? C’mon, we all had those teachers in middle school with the constantly drenched pits, and we all made fun of them behind their back. (Or at least I did!)

On the topic of odor, I don’t think my pits are particular smelly. I rarely smell bad even after working out, because, you know, daily showers and all. I also shave my pits (TMI?), and that definitely helps in the smell department. Not that I’m judging if you don’t shave yours…you do you!

So, my number one priority in finding a natural product that works for me is that it must keep my pits dry. 

I know…I’m asking a lot. 

So, how did I test the products? 

I purchased 5 natural deodorant products with the intention of trying them each for 1 week. I wanted to see how they performed under various conditions (going to work, working out, blogging from my couch, etc.)  

And I decided to give it a week each because, according to the helpful “What to expect when switching to a natural deodorant” email Schmidt’s sent me after ordering their natural deodorant, it can take a while for your armpits to detox

Seriously, they sent me links to a ton of articles about armpits. (File this under the “who knew?” category.)

 “How to Take a Shower.” I kid you not. 

Which deodorants did I test? 

I selected the natural deodorants based mostly on recommendations from friends and/or Instagram health & beauty influencers (aka, my imaginary friends). 

And I mostly chose men’s scents because A) I don’t like smelling like a flower or baby powder and B) Men’s products are typically stronger. 

And, with the exception of one, I chose ones that were available in stick form. Many natural deodorants are only available in a tub, because it’s apparently difficult to get them to stick together without chemicals. 

I don’t even like dipping my fingers into lip balm tubs, so deodorant tubs are seriously pushing it. But I wanted to include one for comparison. 

Note that I did not try any of the recipes for homemade natural deodorant that are out there on the interwebs. It’s 2018, people. Mama is a solopreneur and ain’t got time for that. 

The deodorants I tried were:

  1. Primal Pit Paste – Lavender
  2. Tom’s Antiperspirant Deodorant – North Woods
  3. Schmidt’s Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant – Charcoal + Magnesium
  4. Native Deodorant – Citrus & Herbal Musk
  5. PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant

 

I’m not going to lie…2 of them never made it past one day of use. I just couldn’t. 

But, surprisingly, I found a couple of options that actually work! Here are my findings….

The Results

I ranked various features of each deodorant on a scale of 1 to 5.

I also included the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Score (1 = best, 10 = worst).

For the record, I couldn’t find any deodorants in the database listed higher than a 7 (which is still pretty bad). Even my beloved Secret Clinical Strength only ranked a 6 (moderate hazard).

Scroll down to the bottom for a complete comparison chart of the results.

1. Primal Pit Paste – Lavender

Primal Pit Paste Lavender

Ingredients: arrowroot, coconut oil, shea butter, sodium bicarbonate, and lavender oil. 

Cost: $11.85 on Amazon

Ease of application: 3 of 5

It comes in a stick, but the texture is somewhat gritty, and it is very sticky. It left large clumps of deodorant in my pits.

Scent: 4 of 5

Not much that can be wrong with lavender essential oil. 

Dryness: 1 of 5

This did not go on dry, nor did it keep me dry. I can’t say that I had any sweat, per se, but I don’t think it could escape through the thick layer of melted candle wax covering my pits. 

Odor: 5 of 5

No discernible bad smells after a day at work. 

EWG score: 1

This is as non-toxic as it gets. 

Overall Rating: 2 of 5

I wanted to like this. It came recommended by a personal friend as well as several Instapeeps. But I just didn’t. (The Man also tried this one accidentally and said “Hell no. WTF is this?”) Spoiler alert: This was one of the two that I couldn’t use for more than one day. I just couldn’t deal with the all-day sticky feeling. 

2. Tom’s Antiperspirant Deodorant – North Woods

Ingredients: aluminum chlorohydrate, palm kernel oil, stearyl alcohol, dicaprylyl ether, soybean oil, castor oil, talc, natural fragrance, olive leaf extract, maltodextrin. 

Cost: $4.99 at my local grocery store

Ease of application: 5 of 5

Just like a normal deodorant…mostly because it is a normal deodorant. 

Scent: 5 of 5

I really really like the smell of this one. Bonus points for reminding me of the conditioner that I used in college. 

Dryness: 4 of 5

Not quite as dry as Secret Clinical Strength, but pretty close! This one worked well during warm weather, at the gym, and after a long day at work.

Odor: 5 of 5

Still smelled like the North Woods after a long day. 

EWG score: 1 or 3 (?)

This particular product is not listed in the EWG database, but 2 similar products from Tom’s are listed as 1 and 3. This does contain aluminum, which is scored a 3, but according to Tom’s, the aluminum is responsibly sourced. Still, if you’re avoiding aluminum, this one’s not for you. 

Overall Rating: 4 of 5

Nobody recommended this one to me, but I found it in my local grocery store and figured I’d give it a try. And I really liked it! It does contain both aluminum and alcohol (which can dry your pits out). But, overall, I think it’s a good transitional product if you’re trying to reduce your chemical exposure, but still want something that’s not too “weird.” It definitely works, and if no more natural alternatives are available, I’d definitely use it again.

3. Schmidt’s Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant – Charcoal + Magnesium

Schmidt's deodorant

Ingredients: arrowroot, coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, fractionated coconut oil, candelilla wax, jojoba oil, magnesium hydroxide, activated charcoal, natural fragrance, vitamin E (from sunflower oil).  

Cost: $9.99 at schmidtsnaturals.com

Ease of application: 4 of 5

This one is in a stick form and it goes on smooth and dry. It is gray, which could also prevent white marks on your clothes. Not sure if it might leave gray marks on white clothes, since I never wear white clothes. 

Scent: 3 of 5

This has a fresh, clean scent, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Dryness: 5 of 5

This kept me bone dry all day long. And, unlike some of the others, it feels dry during application, as well.

Odor: 5 of 5

Prevented odor completely, even after a hot day and working out at the gym. 

EWG score: not rated

I’ve found that the EWG database often doesn’t have listings for newer products. Based on the ingredients, this one is pretty damn clean. 

Overall Rating: 5 of 5

I was surprised by how effective this was. It worked like a normal deodorant, had a pleasant smell, and kept me completely dry. The charcoal makes it gray, but I liked the gray color, since I wear a lot of black clothes. Additionally, this one is alcohol free. I will definitely be ordering it again. (The Man liked this one, too.)

4. Native Deodorant – Citrus & Herbal Musk

Schmidt's deodorant

Ingredients: caprylic triglyceride, arrowroot, stearyl alcohol, baking soda, shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, beeswax, jojoba esters, L. acidophilus, maltodextrin, fragrance, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecyclenate, vitamin E. 

Cost: $12.00 at www.nativecos.com

Ease of application: 4 of 5

A solid stick that goes on dry. Maybe too dry. It felt a little scratchy during application. 

Scent: 4 of 5

I really like the Citrus & Herbal Musk scent. It’s pleasant, but not overpowering. Other “flavors” of men’s deodorants include Eucalyptus & Mint and Cedar & Sea Salt. Women’s comes in a large variety of fruits, flowers, and food. Want to smell like Lychee & Goji Berry? Matcha Tea? Fig & Honey? Native may be the brand for you!

Dryness: 4 of 5

This one kept me mostly dry during all my usual activities (work, gym, being around and about).

Odor: 5 of 5

Also prevented odor completely. No breakthrough B.O. 

EWG score: not rated

Like the Schmidt’s, this one’s not listed yet in the EWG database. The ingredients that sound “chemical-y” (glyceryl blah-de-blah) rank a 1 in the database. 

Overall Rating: 4 of 5

This one was pretty effective, but not better than Schmidt’s, and it costs $2 more. Plus, Native contains alcohol, which can dry out your pits. Interestingly, it contains the probiotic L. acidophilus, which may help prevent bacteria growth. I didn’t hate it, but I preferred others more.

5. PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Schmidt's deodorant

 Ingredients: tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, witch hazel, cacao butter, magnesium hydroxide, activated charcoal, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, tangerine leaf oil, bergamot oil, clary oil, lemongrass oil, tea tree oil, thyme oil, clove oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, and lots of flower extracts. (TBH, my 40+-year-old eyes had a lot of trouble reading the tiny ingredients). 

Cost: $12.99 at Amazon (when I bought it, it was  $18)

Ease of application: 0 of 5

This was in a tub, which already made me not like it. And it didn’t occur to me until I was applying it that you actually need to get both hands dirty…(try rubbing your right armpit with your right hand to see what I mean). And you need to really scrub your fingers/under your fingernails to get it off.

Scent: 1 of 5

How to describe the scent? It’s like Ben Gay combined with Vaporub. If that’s your thing, you might like it. I didn’t.

Dryness: 1 of 5

I was already sweating from the time it took me to shower, apply the deodorant, and get into my car. So, no.

Odor: 3 of 5

I didn’t have B.O., but I did smell the unpleasant menthol smell all day. 

EWG score: 2

This one got dinged for its unspecified oils, magnesium, and vitamin E. (Note that Schmidt’s also has magnesium & vitamin E). 

Overall Rating: 1 of 5

This sucked. I mean, it really sucked. It came highly recommended by a friend, but I hated the application process and the smell, and it did not work at all. I did not use this one for more than one day. Before you jump on me and tell me my armpits needed to “detox” first, note that I had already been using natural deodorants for 4 weeks by the time I tried this.

The Bottom Line on Natural Deodorants…

I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t expecting any of these to actually work. But I was really impressed by the performance of the Tom’s, Schmidt’s, & Native. And I’ll just say that the Primal Paste & PiperWai fulfilled my low expectations for natural deodorant. 

Schmidt’s Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant was my favorite, hands-down. I will definitely be purchasing that again. 

Natural deodorant comparison chart

Did your favorite make my list? Leave a comment!

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