The 9 Best Natural Deodorants of 2021

A list of aluminum-free deodorant alternatives

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
This roll-on works for a day or longer, rolls on easily and dries fast, and has a clean scent.
A simple paper container means this hard-working deodorant’s can be easily recycled and composted.
This deodorant is sweat-activated, meaning it kicks in exactly when you need it to.
A line of dreamy scents in the prettiest packaging enclosing a smooth formula that works well up to 12 hours.
Native Deodorant combines baking soda and shea butter for odor-free, moisturized skin.
Best for Sensitive Skin:
Schmidt's Deodorant Stick at Walmart
Schmidt’s natural deodorants are made without baking soda and other irritants.
Formulated for sensitive skin, this deodorant uses Dead Sea salt instead of baking soda.
This stick deodorant is half to a quarter of the price of some of the others on this list.
Primally Pure’s formula of essential oils powers through the sweatiest workouts.

The use of natural deodorant is on the rise, as many people seek to green their self-care routine. Although research has not found a definitive link between traditional aluminum-based antiperspirant formulas and breast cancer, many people prefer to avoid it, and as well as other synthetic ingredients.

But the reality is antiperspirant deodorants help you not smell and/or sweat, so making the switch to something natural can feel like a big leap for anyone who has relied on these formulas since their pre-teen years. If you’ve tried natural deodorant in the past and found yourself extra smelly, you are not alone. Your skin may need some time adjusting to natural deodorants, says Dr. Annie Gonzalez, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami. That’s because you've removed what's been blocking your pores, and start sweating some of the aluminum and other ingredients out. You might feel extra stinky, but that doesn't mean your natural deodorant isn't working. Your body is trying to detoxify. 

“Sweating is a natural process and something the body needs to do to remove waste,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “To speed up the transition, you can opt for a gentle exfoliator made up of ingredients like clay or charcoal, which help draw out odor-causing impurities, including bacteria, dirt, and oil. It takes anywhere from three days to two weeks for your body to adjust to the change.” We know from personal experience that if you bare with it, natural formulas can be effective.

Here are the best natural deodorants to try.

Best Overall: Weleda Citrus Deodorant 24 Hour Roll-On

Weleda 24H Roll-On Deodorant, Citrus

This formula is not only effective for 24 hours or more, it smells clean and natural, like a lemon-and-orange grove in the sunshine. It applies just like a more conventional roll-on product you might be used to, so this one’s great for those new to natural deodorants. It dries quickly after application. The formula includes fragrance derived from natural essential oils, and is free from parabens, phthalates, and animal products.

"This is the deodorant I wear when I’m going to have a long day away from the house, or I’m going for an all-day hike. It keeps smells at bay, doesn’t stain, and works exactly the way you want it too. I don’t love the wasteful plastic packaging though.” — Starre Vartan, Treehugger Writer

Best Eco-Friendly Packaging: Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick

Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick

The all-paper package for this deodorant means it’s easily composted or recycled and is plastic-free. The secret ingredient in all of Meow Meow Tweet’s deodorants is arrowroot powder, which is mixed with coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa seed butter for smoothness of application and then scented with essential oils.

Other scents in the same line include Lavender Bergamot, Rose Geranium, and Cedar Spruce. Meow Meow Tweet also sells a deodorant paste packaged in a glass pot.

Best Cream: Type: A Deodorant - The Visionary

Sweat-activated, this deodorant is formulated to kick in when you heat up. It also offers long-lasting stink protection with a time-release effect and won't stain clothes. This formula does contain baking soda, so those sensitive to it should avoid it, but it goes on smooth, not grainy (sometimes an issue with personal-care products containing baking soda). This formula does contain beeswax, an ingredient some vegans choose to avoid.

Type: A is certified carbon neutral, which means that any carbon emissions resulting from manufacturing their products will be offset by investments that store the equivalent amount of carbon. It's one approach companies are taking to slow climate change.

Caution:

Be careful with baking soda, which is a common ingredient in deodorants—it can work just fine for some (especially mixed with other ingredients as most are), but it’s the most common reason for irritation with a natural deodorant. Some use it successfully, but Dr. Gonzalez says it can be too harsh for the armpit area. “Our skin has a pH level of around 4.5 to 5.5, while baking soda has an average pH level of eight,” she says.

Best Scent: Corpus The Botanist Natural Deodorant

Corpus The Botanist Natural Deodorant

The Botanist's scent profile includes petitgrain, vetiver root, geranium leaf, and citrus rind essential oils, resulting in a bright, fresh fragrance that’s likely appealing to most people. Corpus’ Third Rose and No Green scent options are appealing as well.

The baking-soda-free brand makes for a particularly smooth application and works well up to 12 hours. The deodorant comes in a sleek, pale green container that will look great next to your other personal care items.

Best for Men: Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant

Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant

Baking soda is a key ingredient in Native’s deodorant sticks for men, and they also contain tapioca starch for dryness, cyclodextrin to time-release scent throughout the day, shea butter for moisturizing, and magnesium hydroxide, another odor-killer. Native offers both seasonal and classic scents, and has a new line of plastic-free deodorant sticks that come in a paper package.

What the Experts Want You to Know

 Whether you buy deodorant marketed to men or women is a personal choice, but Dr. Gonzalez says “the formulas are likely to be almost identical.” She explains that the main differences are packaging and fragrance. “Some deodorants made with men in mind contain higher percentages of odor-eliminating ingredients or are formulated to work better for longer armpit hair. Men and women both have armpit hair, so it's up to you to decide which deodorant is better.” 

Best for Sensitive Skin: Schmidt's Deodorant Stick

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant

Schmidt’s natural deodorants are made without baking soda, which can be irritating, and are also free of parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance. If you want an unscented version, that’s available, but if you have sensitive skin and still want a light scent, the brand offers a several different choices, including Rose and Hemp, Jasmine Tea, Coconut Pineapple, and more.

Best Baking Soda-Free: Each & Every Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

Each & Every Natural Deodorant

Formulated for sensitive skin, Each & Every replaced baking soda with Dead Sea salt. Almost every scent has earned the Environmental Working Group seal of approval, and the formula contains no synthetic fragrances, parabens, or gluten. The plant-based packaging is made from sugarcane.

The line comes in several interesting scent combinations, like Lavender & Lemon, Cedar & Vanilla, Cannabis & Green Tea, or Cardamom & Ginger. There’s also a scent-free option, or you can order all of them to try in a minis pack (view on Each & Every).

Best Budget: Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick

Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick

This inexpensive option promises 24-hour odor protection. The packaging here is the same as conventional stick deodorant, so there’s no learning curve for application, and you can find Tom's deodorants in many drugstores across the United States. The unscented version gets top marks from the Environmental Working Group for ingredient safety.

Tom’s of Maine deodorant is preservative free, as well as phthalate free, sulfate free, paraben free, artificial color free, and cruelty free. Some of our team members have found that Tom's doesn't work for them, and it does contain propylene glycol and glyceryl laurate, which some people prefer to avoid.

Best for Workouts: Primally Pure Deodorant

Primally Pure Deodorant

Primally Pure’s deodorants are scented only with organic essential oils and use no artificial fragrances. They do contain baking soda, but are free of parabens and talc. The formula is effective with a light application, which helps cut down on residue on your clothing. If your local recycling facilities accept Level 5 plastics, then you can recycle the tube.

"After two months of regular use, I can confidently say it is among the absolute best. It smells great and keeps me fresh all day long, even throughout sweaty CrossFit workouts." — Katherine Martinko, Treehugger Senior Writer
Final Verdict

Our top pick for natural deodorant is Weleda’s 24H Roll-On (view at Thrive Market), which has no baking soda and lasts all day. If it’s plastic-free packaging that you’re after, go with Meow Meow Tweet’s Deodorant Stick (view at The Detox Market).
No matter what brand you choose, give your deodorant the best chance to be effective by always applying it right after a shower.

What to Look for in a Natural Deodorant 

Ingredients

It's worth noting that there's no legal definition of what products can be labeled "natural," so it's important to check out the ingredients list. Look for natural ingredients that have been proven to eliminate and neutralize odors such as hops, kaolin clay, eucalyptus, and saccharomyces ferment. “If the one you're considering does not have at least one of these ingredients, it's probably not going to be very effective,” says Dr. Gonzalez. 

Ensure active ingredients are beneficial and do more than block odor. “All-natural deodorants should also work to nourish, soothe, and heal your skin. Look for ingredients like aloe and vitamin E to moisturize and regenerate the skin to keep underarms soft, smooth, and irritation-free,” says Dr. Gonzalez.  

Scent

Deodorant may be the most fragrant thing you wear, so it can be worth it to try out several different scents to find the one that’s right for you. Look for essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, mint, rose, citruses, etc. Dr. Gonzalez says to avoid deodorants that list fragrance as an ingredient, because synthetic fragrance is a known skin irritant. A few brands will specify that they use natural fragrance, which is usually safer if the brand overall is committed to natural ingredients.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger writers have been researching, writing about, and using natural deodorants for over a decade. We also consulted with a doctor about what to look for in a natural deodorant. We reviewed the ingredients lists of many deodorants to make sure our recommendations contain no aluminum, parabens, or phthalates/synthetic fragrance. All the deodorants on this list are vegan, except where noted. 

Author Starre Vartan has been an environmental and science journalist for more than 15 years. She founded an award-winning eco-website and has written a book on living green.

View Article Sources
  1. "Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer." National Cancer Institute.

  2. Perfume Allergies.” European Commission Health and Consumers Scientific Committees.