7 Best Natural Deodorants: Aluminum Free & EWG Safe (Better Than Conventional Antiperspirants)

Don’t get conned by the term “natural” antiperspirant, it is a misleading term. An antiperspirant is a deodorant that blocks pores. This prevents wetness and odor caused by sweating. Nothing natural about that. And they get made from chemicals that are anything but natural!

But fear not! you are come to to the right place, here I put 7 aluminium, paraben and cruelty-free non-toxic deodorants to the test to make a quick reference list of the Best Natural Deodorants and antiperspirant which Are Kind to Your Skin and Your Clothes (approved by EWG).

Many are into all-natural antiperspirant. But how do you deal with the smell?

I am an expert in the field of boycotting antiperspirants and deodorants. We should let the body sweat. Not only do we release toxins like this but you can judge how healthy you are by how bad you smell. “Oh gross,” you might say.. “Oh well,” I will reply, “I am a smelly hippy….”

BUT, sometimes, as natural as we want to be, we have to consider those around us. If you mix with people all day or have to dress smart for work, you need to smell fresh as a daisy all day. And that goes for men and women.

Try changing your thinking from "antiperspirant" to plain and simple deodorant. A natural deodorant, with the right ingredients, will keep you smelling fresh and to stay dry in This Summer. Remember, natural deodorants will contain ingredients that absorb moisture. But you actually don’t want to use anything that will block moisture from leaving your pores. So the notion of “dry” will need to change.

The Low Down on Natural Deodorants

So first, I will share my “infinite knowledge” (lol) on how to find the perfect, non-toxic deodorant. Guaranteed to keep you fresh and dry all day. With no clogged pores and no poisons.

Second, I will list the ingredients to avoid and why they are harmful. This includes a list of ingredients that sound suspicious but are actually safe.

Third, I will give you some awesome options to choose from. It is mind-boggling, the number of natural deodorants out there!

And last but not least, I will give you an easy DIY recipe to make. Tried and tested. It prevents smelly bacteria from building up, keeps you dry and helps pull toxins out as you perspire.

Natural Deodorant vs Antiperspirants

My main beef with antiperspirants is that

  • they contain harsh ingredients that clog pores
  • and stain clothes.

Natural deodorants, on the other hand, don’t.

Antiperspirants, by clogging your pores to prevent sweating, actually stop your body from releasing toxins. Our bodies must sweat and release toxins. This is how our immune system stays strong and efficient.

Natural deodorants contain ingredients that are kind to our bodies and to the environment. They contain ingredients that kill the bacteria that causes odor. They don’t leave stains on your clothes. And depending on the ingredients can even keep you dry. This is what antiperspirants do, but with consequences. It seems a natural choice to opt for organic natural deodorants.

How to Find the Perfect Natural Deodorant

Did you know that your natural perspiration doesn’t actually have a smell?

It is actually the bacteria on your skin that reacts with sweat to cause a nasty odor. So, a natural deodorant should not clog pores. It should neutralize bacteria and pull toxins from the body.

When pores get clogged toxins aren't released. The reason we sweat is so our bodies can detox the natural way. Antiperspirants, made from harsh ingredients, get absorbed through the skin. This puts the strain on your liver which has to deal with more toxins. Some of these chemicals accumulate over time and may cause cancer.

I look for two things in a natural deodorant

1: It must contain anti-bacterial ingredients, to keep me smelling sweet

Essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil have natural, anti-bacterial properties. Colloidal silver and coconut oil are also anti-bacterial.

2: It must contain ingredients that will absorb moisture.

But remember a bit of “sweatness” is okay! I want to sweat to detox the natural way, but I want to smell good while I’m doing it and I also want my clothes to stay dry.

Arrowroot powder, baking soda (aluminum free), activated charcoal and bentonite clay all absorb moisture. And some help draw toxins from the body.

Is it as natural as you want it?

You can go extreme or somewhere in between. For example, if a product is organic or natural, it may not be cruelty-free. Likewise, a product that is cruelty-free may not be completely natural. I got caught out like this. I assumed my deodorant was natural because the brand is cruelty-free and uses organic ingredients. But they add synthetic ones too!

Concerned with cruelty-free products?

If the label says hypoallergenic or dermatologically tested, beware. This means it may get tested on animals and is therefore not cruelty-free. Sometimes a product gets labeled as hypoallergenic because it contains ingredients with soothing or anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to be super vigilant, check out “vegan” deodorants. They may not contain ingredients of animal origin, like honey. But this does not mean that other ingredients have not got tested on animals along the way.

What To Look For And What To Avoid

Basically, what I look for is a deodorant that is

  • fragrance-free, or naturally scented with essential oils,
  • paraben free,
  • cruelty-free (for vegans),
  • phthalates free
  • aluminum free and
  • alcohol-free

And it is always a roll-on, a paste or a crystal stick because I stopped using aerosols years ago.

When I started researching for this article I read the label on my current deodorant. I thought it was natural because the brand promotes organic ingredients, and is cruelty-free. So I got shocked when I read the label and found STRANGE INGREDIENTS. I googled them and felt relief, although some of them were synthetic, they were safe to use and non-toxic.

Suspicious Sounding and Synthetic but Safe to use:

Here are 3 ingredients, ranked safe by ewg.org. They are not natural (they are synthetic) but will help to keep you dry and smelling fresh.

Pentylene Glycol – a skin replenishing agent and solvent.

Undecylenol Glycine – an antimicrobial surfactant with hypoallergenic properties.

Cetearyl alcohol – a fatty alcohol that acts as an emollient. An emollient softens the skin. It can get derived from natural things, like coconuts, or synthetically derived. Unless it says it is naturally derived, take it as being synthetic.

6 most Toxic Ingredients To Avoid In Deodorants And Why:

Some of these synthetic and toxic chemicals are dangerous because they get absorbed through the skin. This makes them dangerous if used over long periods of time. The accumulative effects after prolonged use are often not known. But consider the potential they have to irritate the skin, disrupt hormones and even cause reproductive damage. It seems reasonable to prefer more natural ingredients.

The following is a list of 6 groups of synthetic toxins. All found in artificial deodorants and antiperspirants. I found long lists of synonyms for all these goodies. Use the links to check out the EWG's list of synonyms for these potentially hazardous fillers.

1. Parabens: Parabens are synthetic preservatives with anti-bacterial properties. Used without harm since the 1950’s, in the 1990’s they found a link between parabens and cancer. Although no scientific evidence can link parabens, used in cosmetics, to cancer, it has become known as a xenoestrogen. Marked as very hazardous on ewg.org. I found there are many types of parabens – only 4 out of 17 are safe. The rest all score over 3 and some as high as 8 on EWG's ranking system.

2. Propylene Glycol: This gets used to enhance fragrances, as a humectant, to decrease viscosity, and as a skin conditioner. The problem is it is an irritant to the skin and can cause rashes and allergies in solutions as low as 2%.

3. Phthalates: These are one of the real baddies! Asthma, allergies and reduced sperm mobility are three side effects from this “plasticizer” that gets used in synthetic fragrances. It is an endocrine disruptor and often it won’t get listed as a separate ingredient. This is why I go for deodorants marked fragrance free, just to be sure.

4: Triclosan: This synthetic, anti-microbial accumulates as toxins in the fat cells. It can disrupt thyroid function, essential for proper growth and development, healthy reproduction, metabolism, and brain function. It has a ranking of 7 which makes it another definite to avoid.

5: Aluminum: Aluminum is a controversial ingredient with neurotoxic properties. Much like alcohols, and parabens, you get a few safe types or derivatives. And then you get the evil twin, that gives the whole family a bad name!

I avoid anything with aluminum, only because I can never remember which ones are safe and which aren’t. It gets used as an anti-caking agent, a colorant, and a bulking agent. The substance known as the aluminum powder is the metallic compound with high toxicity. Other stuff like alumina or aluminum oxide is safe.

6: Alcohol: Alcohol is a very available, cheap additive that multiple uses. It acts as an astringent and controls viscosity. It has anti-microbial properties and is a solvent and an anti-foaming agent. It is not so good for you in the long run and may add to system toxicity. It also damages the skin when used with regularity. 

Again, not all alcohols are bad. It is best to avoid denatured alcohol and benzyl alcohol. And like the other villains, they use many names. Safer forms of alcohol, derived from natural sources, form part of the fatty acids. Cetearyl alcohol has the opposite effect of denatured alcohol and acts as an emollient or emulsifier.

7 Best Natural Deodorant or Antiperspirant That Actually Work

I chose the following 7 products for three reasons.

  • I have tried them myself and can recommend them.
  • They claim to offer protection against wetness and odor.
  • They have been ewg.org verified.

A Note On The Environmental Working Group 

I discovered ewg.org verifies products that contain synthetic ingredients as well as natural. I prefer products that are completely natural. So many of the brands reviewed do not show up on the ewg.org website as they are 100% natural, chemical and cruelty-free.

Certain brands say they are vegan-friendly but glycerol appears as an ingredient. Glycerin, or glycerol, can be from plant or animal sources and even synthetic. So if this is in a deodorant and does not specify whether it is plant, animal or synthetic I avoid it.

Best Pick for 2018: EWG Verified

No aluminum, no glycol, nothing harsh, no problem.

EWG's rating: 1

Fakespot Grade: A Super Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

Qet Botanicals is my Top Choice because it feels good once applied (not greasy or wet) and lasts throughout the day.

This deodorant lasts over 12 hours, is easy to apply and smells heavenly. 

It is EWG verified and grades A on Fakespot. It is handmade in small batches and is also Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO), as well as being USDA approved.

Qet Vanilla Putty is 100% natural and organic. It is free from:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • PEG’s
  • Glycol
  • Aluminum
  • Sulfates

When you apply it, it leaves a nice dry feeling from the start, unlike some natural deodorants that don’t seem to dry or absorb well.

Perfect for Sensitive Skin

EWG varified product to Safely and naturally eliminates underarm body odor

EWG's rating: 1

Fakespot Grade: A Super Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

Mary Ann’s deodorantis is handcrafted in small batches in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a level III ecoregion. 

Mary Ann’s rates A on Fakespot is easy to apply and keeps your pits dry and bacteria free. Which means no bad smells will be coming from pits applied with this citrus laced deodorant. Suitable for men and women.

Made with only organic and natural ingredients it contains:

  • Shea Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Baking Soda (aluminum free)
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Orange and Grapefruit Essential Oils

Best Natural Deodorant FOR WOMEN

Aluminum-Free & Long-Lasting, nonGMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free. Made In USA

EWG's rating: NA

Fakespot Grade: A Super Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

All Nalani’s skincare products are 100% chemical free and 100% all natural. Even the water they use in their products gets distilled and deionized. They are a cruelty-free brand with three deodorants in their range. Lavender, citrus spice and unscented will suit both men and women.

Nalani deodorants are aluminum, paraben, phthalates, and alcohol-free.

The ingredients are all organic except for the beeswax. It contains

  • Coconut oil, sunflower oil, soy oil and sustainable red palm oil
  • Arrow root powder, bentonite, and kaolin clay
  • Beeswax
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe vera
  • And either lavender, tea tree or citrus oils

Tests to verify this deodorant staying power got done and it is strong enough to use even if you are very active. Nalani grades A on Fakespot.

Best Natural Deodorant FOR Vegan: EWG Verified

A tough and effective natural deodorant for men who want to smell great and feel good about their health.

EWG's rating: 1

Fakespot Grade: A Super Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

This deodorant is different to the pastes I have tried, because you have to stir it before applying and it carries a warning that it may sting if applied directly after shaving. It is described as a cream instead of a paste. 

This is because it contains only

  • Bicarb/Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Glycerin
  • and a range of essential oils.

Purelygreat is EWG Verified - Vegan, Cruelty Free - No Aluminum, No Parabens, BPA Free 

It contains glycerin, obviously from a plant source because it is labeled vegan. Pastes usually have beeswax, clay or some other type of ingredient that causes the product to solidify. These usually absorb into skin once heat is generated from applying. Purely Great stays less set and thus needs to be stirred first.

They also have sticks, which contain a long list of ingredients, not all natural or organic. They have a range of fragrances for men and women.

Best Natural Deodorant Stick

Natural antiperspirant which neutralize odor-causing bacteria and help you feel great at work, play and rest.

EWG's rating: 1

Fakespot Grade: B Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

This brand offers sticks and jars of long-lasting deodorant. It is completely natural and offers protection from odor. They offer something for everyone. If you need a “natural” antiperspirant, you could try their Primal Pit Paste Charcoal Detox Deodorant Jar

They have scents like jasmine, lime and coconut, patchouli and even orange. Or you can go for a natural, unscented stick.

Their antiperspirant’s are

  • paraben,
  • aluminum
  • and cruelty-free.

They also use BPA free packaging, so the empty containers and roll-ons are recyclable. Primal paste grades B on Fakespot. I have used the paste and found it works well. I have not personally tried the stick.

Best Natural Deodorant Stick

Natural antiperspirant which neutralize odor-causing bacteria and help you feel great at work, play and rest.

EWG's rating: 1

Fakespot Grade: B Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

This brand offers sticks and jars of long-lasting deodorant. It is completely natural and offers protection from odor. They offer something for everyone. If you need a “natural” antiperspirant, you could try their Primal Pit Paste Charcoal Detox Deodorant Jar

They have scents like jasmine, lime and coconut, patchouli and even orange. Or you can go for a natural, unscented stick.

Their antiperspirant’s are

  • paraben,
  • aluminum
  • and cruelty-free.

They also use BPA free packaging, so the empty containers and roll-ons are recyclable. Primal paste grades B on Fakespot. I have used the paste and found it works well. I have not personally tried the stick.

keep you smelling fresh all day

A antiperspirant with no aluminum that you can trust. 

EWG's rating: NA

Fakespot Grade: B Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

North Coast Organics have natural, certified organic, non-GMO deodorants. They are long lasting and will kill the bacteria that causes odor. Vegan and cruelty-free. Made in small batches in the USA.

Naked comes in travel pack size, 2 pack size and regular 2.5 oz (70.9g). It is a B-corporation company.

Naked contains only 5 ingredients                      

  • coconut oil
  • shea butter
  • carnauba wax
  • arrowroot powder
  • bicarb (baking soda)
They also have a Death by Lavender and a Revolver fragrance, which contains extra essential oils. Naked grades A on Fakespot.

Natural Deodorant with Effective odor protection

Effective odor protection without the stickiness. In the office, the gym, during a night out or on a long distance flight

EWG's rating: NA

Fakespot Grade: B Trustworthy Amazon Reviews

Bali Secrets is an alum deodorant stick. For those of you haven’t come across this, alum is also known as aluminum potassium sulfate. Potassium alum is a natural safe inorganic salt that acts as an astringent. It is non toxic.

When you use the mineral stick it is different to roll-ons. You will need to lightly moisten it before applying.

Bali Secrets contains

  • Seaweed extracts
  • Potassium alum (natural mineral salts)
  • Distilled water
  • Ethanol
  • Coconut oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Essential oils (rose, lavender, galangal, mint, Magnolia)

They offer a 30 day, money back guarantees. This stick doesn’t stain clothes and it offers strong protection for active people. It can get used by men and women. Bali Secrets grades A on Fakespot.

Different Types of Natural Deodorants and how to use them

Stick – usually you will need to moisten the crystal before applying. Don’t soak it though. You will need to get used to this if you haven’t tried mineral deodorant sticks before. But it is worth the effort. They have always worked well for me.

Paste – Apply by scooping a pea size amount out of the jar and rubbing into your underarm areas. Use more if you feel you need to, like if you don’t shave.

Roll-on – I find this type the most convenient to use, especially when I travel. Some brands need a bit of body heat before they roll on, so it is trial and error before you find one that suits you best.

Why Natural Deodorants Work and How to Make Your Own 

Make your own natural deodorant in 4 easy steps, with just 5 ingredients

I formulated this recipe based on ingredients I already had. But once you have the basic formula you can experiment with gay abandon!

Make your own natural deodorant in 4 easy steps, with just 5 ingredients

You will need: (tbs = tablespoon)

  • 3 tbs coconut oil (anti bacterial)
  • 1 tbs baking soda (absorbs moisture)
  • 1 ½ tbs arrowroot powder (absorbs moisture)
  • 2 tbs bentonite clay (draws toxins)
  • 10 drops essential oil of your choice (optional) You can choose an oil with anti-bacterial properties or one just for the fragrance, which will have other properties.
  • a small glass bowl
  • a fork
  • a small brown glass jar with lid

Method:

  • Put all ingredients, except essential oil, into a glass bowl.
  • Taking a fork, mash up all ingredients into a smooth paste.
  • Add essential oil, mix again.
  • Transfer into a dark, glass jar.

I am really amazed at how dry I stay and how long it lasts. This recipe should make enough for a week or two.

So, now you have some background story on why we sweat, why antiperspirants are no good and why natural deodorants are the way to go. We also briefly covered the ingredients you may want to avoid. I hope the 7 items reviewed gave you a broader scope of options to try if you’re a newbie to naturals.

And try out my cool DIY recipe. We’d love to hear your comments on what deodorants you prefer and whether you have also tried making your own.

7 Best Natural Deodorants_ Aluminum Free & EWG Safe (Better Than Conventional Antiperspirants)

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