Bop or Flop: Natural Deodorants?
Ahh… “natural deodorants.” I don’t know if it’s just me but the first feeling that comes to mind even typing those two words together during the peak of summer is:
I’ve always wanted to make the switch to fab natural deodorants. Something about using something only a select number of people can fully commit to seems so elite, and maybe that’s just my ego peeking through.
Antiperspirants vs. Natural Deodorants
Natural deodorants, unlike the Cucumber Melon antiperspirant in your bathroom, essentially allow your armpits to fully breathe – aka release all of those wonderful toxins your body naturally builds up, through your pores.
On the contrary, antiperspirants use aluminum as their main ingredient to clog the pores in your armpit, controlling the flow of your victory juice (aka sweat).
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Is Natural Deodorant Worth the Hype?
If you’re like me and ready to take the leap to swapping your antiperspirant for a more natural option, I tested out 5 different natural deodorants so you don’t have to (don’t thank me all at once).
A little background info: I live in Hawai’i and work out 6-7x a week, weightlifting. So, it’s safe to say that I’m constantly sweating but honestly… I’m pretty surprised with the way this little test turned out.
Oh! Before I forget (literally the most important detail): switching to natural deodorants is a process. Realistically, about 2 weeks to actually see (aka smell) a natural deodorant work.
I mean think about it – some say your armpits literally have to do an entire detoxing process to rid your armpits of years and years and yeaaaaars of aluminum build-up and toxins you’ve been holding on to. If nothing else, it simply takes time for your body to adjust to new ingredients.
Luckily, you do have some options, such as special detoxing soaps and underarm masks to help you during your detoxing period. My go-to way is good ol’ tea tree oil, which is what I used during my detoxing period.
Now onto my natural deodorant journey.
Natural Deo #1: Beautycounter
Did the price make your jaw drop too? I’ll speak your mind for you, don’t worry: “$31 for some deodorant?!”
1. Sustainable. The cute pink container you see is actually a refillable case! Really digging that this deodorant is sold with the intent of replenishing the pit essential with refillables.
2. Light scent. If you’re not a huge fan of super frangranted deodorants, this might be a good option for you.
3. A little goes a long way. It’s not a deodorant that you need to pack on. 1-2 swipes and you’re good to go.
4. Keeps you dry. I didn’t experience any major sweat drippage. Even after working out, I still felt like my pits were dry.
1. Contains baking soda. Now… baking soda isn’t for everyone and that’s definitely one thing you learn when making the switch to natural deodorants. Baking soda actually helps to absorb your pit wetness and neutralize odor. For someone like me, baking soda is super super irritating. While this deodorant had 5 stars out of 2,655 reviews, I actually had to stop using this deodorant because I started to get a rash.
A look into my personal diary…
Last night before bed, I wiped the excess antiperspirant deodorant off and wiped my armpits down with tea tree oil before applying the Beautycounter deodorant. I kid you not, I laid in bed, eyes wide open, scratching my armpit. What a way to end the night. I really want to know who did this little survey. “100% said The Clean Deo is non-irritating” am I… more sensitive than everyone? Beautycounter. Babe. I just wanna chat.
“Lexi, why are you even putting this product in the review lineup??”
So glad you asked. During the final days of this experiment, I decided to take the risk of trying this deodorant out again and to my surprise… no irritation.
2. The price. I could not imagine spending $31 on deodorant while the price of gas on the island is $5+ a gallon BUT, the refills actually sell for a cheaper price ($11 difference). If you have the means in your budget for this deodorant, go for it but I literally just… can’t. Okay moving on.
3. Visible sweat. Okay bouncing off my no. 4 pro, while this deodorant keeps you dry, I did get a super faint yellow residue on my shirt. Not the biggest turn off but, would I use this product while breaking the labor day golden rule? Debatable.
Next Up: Lemon Juice
And not just any lemon juice. I’m talking about freshly squeezed lemon juice. This option actually surprised me the most. I actually felt the most ‘clean’ after using the juice and maybe it is because it’s just so natural. You know the phrase ‘less is more’? Just keeping it to the basics with no ingredients you can’t pronounce may just be why lemon juice was more effective for me in the gym.
It was odd that I didn’t have any horrific smell, but I learned this is because the citric acid in lemon kills the bacteria that makes you stink.
1. Cost efficient. Lemons are super inexpensive, especially as a deodorant choice. For this method, I took a cotton ball and dabbed it on the lemon to get the juice, applied it to my pits and I was set. Since they’re so juicy, it took me a couple of days to just get through 1 lemon.
2. As natural as it gets. If you’re looking for a super super ‘clean,’ natural alternative, this is your 1-ingredient-only friendly option.
1. Visible sweat. Now look, I’m all for sweating in the gym (literally why I go). If visible pit stains are something you try to stay away from, this would not be the best method. Since it’s only 1 ingredient, there is nothing natural that the lemon produces to stop you from sweating (remember how I said the Beautycounter deo had baking soda in it and why that’s important? Yea, lemon = nothing)
2. The waiting game post-shaving. Miss Lemon doesn’t play. Unless you want to shed literally tears, do NOT (I cannot stress this enough), apply the lemon after shaving. My morning routine starts at 3:30am and I just don’t have the time to wait to apply it after shaving.
3. Not on-the-go friendly. Imagine you need to reapply your deo throughout the day. Do you put the juice in the jar? Pack a lemon in your duffle? Also, again.. let me emphasize that I wake up at 3:30am. Do I stumble into the kitchen and chop a lemon? Or wait, do I meal prep it?
Megababe (the true winner in my eyes)
Megababe wasn’t originally on my radar buuuut, when BeautyCounter failed, I needed a quick, in-store easy-to-grab option. Behold *que the angels singing* Megababe. I can’t lie, I do have a few downfalls for the deo but, the pros def outweigh the cons for me with this one.
1. The smell. I went with the Fruit Enzyme scent with Bilberry Lemon & Orange. Delicious. I’ve also tried ‘Rosy Pits.’ The Megababe site says ‘ rosy scent will have you sniffing your pits all day long!’ which is 100% true.
2. Baking soda free. My pits are rejoicing.
3. Available locally. This deo is available at your local Target, and while I heavily enjoy any reason to go to Targét, it’s always nice to be able to pick something up as needed vs. waiting for it to be delivered. You can also grab it at Ulta as well!
4. Price. Compared to most natural deodorants on the market, this is actually one that’s on the more affordable side.
1. Visible sweat. Interesting fact: this deo contains Arrowroot which is listed as a key ingredient to absorb wetness. Arrowroot and cornstarch are actually two alternatives to baking soda that some natural deos can contain (all three are options to replace aluminum aka the queen of antiperspirant).
Are you seeing what I’m seeing?
I didn’t have the best of luck with sweat absorption with this deodorant, and not just in the gym. My pits will literally drip throughout the day even in a tank top.
Another Fave: Tea Tree Oil
Small and mighty. Pits aside, tea tree oil can be an essential in your self-care line-up. You can literally use it anywhere. Your hair, your skin, pits *wink*, your yoga mat just be sure to dilute it. Again. Small and mighty.
The amazing thing about tea tree oil is that it’s an antiseptic so it can kill certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Again, I used tea tree oil when going through my aluminum detox period.
1. Super versatile. You can literally use tea tree oil anywhere. I personally use it on a daily basis whether I’m using it on my pits post-shave or, in my skincare routine.
2. As natural as it gets. Another option for a ‘clean’, single-ingredient lover.
3. High in natural astringents. It’s actually known as a remedy for excessive sweating. I mean look at the proof.
1. Needs to be diluted. It’s not the end of the world but, it can be difficult to quickly re-apply while on-the-go because, this isn’t a swipe-and-go option. Ideally, you need to dilute this before use on a cotton ball with water because tea tree oil is super potent. Did I say small and mighty?
Native Redeems Itself
Native was actually the first natural deodorant brand I ever used when I tried to hop on the bandwagon back in 2017. At the time, the bandwagon just couldn’t be my choice of transportation, clearly. The baking soda version of the deo broke my armpits out so bad, I couldn’t even put my armpits down. It was BAD.
Now that it’s one of the most popular natural deodorant brands out there, I’m happy I can join the crowd, using their Sensitive version.
1. Options. Love to see it. Regular, Plastic free, and Sensitive options (aka baking soda free) plus, their scent line-up is great!
Like they literally just released a Pumpkin Spice Latte which is available for deodorant and body wash… I don’t know how I feel about it, I need to head to Target to go smell it… but I’m kind of excited.
Total disclaimer: their Regular deodorants have a bigger scent line-up compared to the Sensitive options.
2. Price. Like Megababe, it’s a great price point for the natural deodorant market. As you can see, you also have the option to subscribe and save or bundle up and save. #budgeting.
3. Available locally. Native is available at CVS, Target, and Walmart so you can always pick it up for easy access.
1. Visible sweat. You know the drill at this point. This is just simply a major downfall of baking soda free options.
Considering Making the Switch?
I’m 100% rooting for you! Try it out! It’s always a journey getting to know your body and making the switch to natural deodorant is definitely a journey. It takes a lot of trial and error finding something that truly works for you (especially if you’re a sweater like me). Don’t get discouraged – I promise the hunt for the perfect natural deodorant gets better.
If you decide to switch it up, leave a comment below and let me know which brand you grabbed!