The Best Natural Deodorants & the Ones That Stink (PHOTOS)

natural deodorantsThe more I learn about the nasty ingredients many beauty products contain, the more I make an effort to be au naturel. A good chunk of my bathroom cabinet is stocked with products I can practically eat, but there's one area I've had a hard time cutting ties with: antiperspirant.

I knoooow, regular deodorant is horrible (aluminum! breast cancer!), but, on the superficial tip, I don't like smelling like a dirty sock. Years ago I gave natural deodorants a shot but never found anything worth getting into a serious relationship with. But now that I'm older and wiser (and more aware of just how bad antiperspirants can be), I decided it was time to toss the antiperspirant for good, hopefully not reeking up my house in the process. 

Looking to go full monty with your chemical-free toiletries (but don't want to smell like you just did CrossFit in the Phoenix sun)? I tested six natural deodorants so you don't have to.

Ladies? I think we have some winners. 

 

Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber

  • Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant

    1

    Given that I'm a big fan of Weleda products for both myself and my kids -- and given that anything rose-scented is all the rage these days -- I had high hopes for Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant. While this deodorant spray -- which, yes, smells incredible -- was kind of fun to apply (as much as applying deodorant can be "fun"), I can't say this would be the product I reach for pre-gym session. If I went to the gym. 

    A few hours after spritzing this on my pits, I felt kind of stinky. Obviously nothing will keep us as dry and non-rank as antiperspirant, but this just wasn't worth it to me.

    That said, since kicking it to the curb as my everyday natural deodorant, I have been using it as a mid-day pick-me-up, and it does a great job at masking any underarm ripeness that's already under way. And, come on, who doesn't want their pits smelling like roses? 

    On a scale of Stinky to Daisy Fresh: Wilting, 2-day-old daisy fresh

    Cost: $10.44 at Amazon

  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

    2

    In many circles, Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant is the natural deodorant. At $14, it certainly isn't the cheapest product in the world, but I've gotta say: I'm drinking the Kool-Aid on this one. Or at least daintily sipping it. This is a pretty damn good natural deodorant (especially when you've spent a week testing natural deodorants).

    The smell, like all Lavanila products, is heavenly. Of the several fragrance options, I went with "Vanilla Lavender," and someone told me I smelled like a seaside field of lavender that was lightly sprinkled with baby powder. Okay, I told myself that, but the smell is really that good. Lavanila definitely won't keep you as dry as basic drugstore deodorant, but it's a solid alternative that you can feel good and non-cancery about.

    What I really love about this product, besides the smell, is the "regular deodorant"-like consistency. It goes on dry and, like the Weleda spray, works great at masking odor when you reapply.

    On a scale of Rank to Princess Charlotte's Feet: Princess Charlotte's feet. Okay, fine, Princess Charlotte's feet after a day. 

    Cost: $14 at Lavanila.com

  • Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant

    3

    Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant can be summed up in two words: Womp womp. Though their toothpaste has been a staple in my house for years now (no cavities, Ma!), I cannot in good conscience advise someone to use this deodorant -- unless that person likes his or her underarms to smell like he or she has a long-standing feud with anything that smells powdery, fresh, or flowery.

    I feel bad knocking Tom's, but, it might be time to bring their "long-lasting" deodorant back to the laboratory for some additional testing. In short, I felt like it didn't work at all. 

    On a scale of Pass Me a Gas Mask to a Bucket of Peonies Quivering in the Summer Breeze: I'll take a surgical mask, thanks. (Sorry, Tom's!)

    Cost: $4.99 at TomsofMaine.com

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  • Lafe's Natural Deodorant Stick

    4

    If you've met Crystal Body Deodorant Stick, which is sold everywhere, including even the most "unnatural" of stores, you've met Lafe's Natural Deodorant Stick. The only difference? The Crystal brand seems to work better.

    After using Lafe's, I felt pretty sticky a short while later -- stickier than I remember feeling with Crystal -- and I wasn't a fan of the fact that the deodorant wasn't encased in anything. In other words, you just pop the top off, and hey! There's the mineral you're going to slather under your arms! 

    On a scale of Refrigerator in Desperate Need of Cleaning to Coco Chanel's Just-Slept-On Pillow: The burrito that's been sitting in your cubicle since yesterday 

    Cost: $4.79 at iHerb.com

  • Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Towelettes

    5

    Being that I'm a semi-fan of Crystal Deodorant Stick, I'm guessing that its younger sister, Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Towelettes, was adopted. 

    I would never use this as an everyday deodorant since it didn't really work at all. But! I did dump the remaining towelettes -- which are each individually wrapped -- into my purse, and I was pleasantly surprised when, in a pinch, I had to use them at my nephew's christening. They took away some of the church sweat, but sadly it didn't last long. 

    On a scale of Wet Dog to Mom's Apple Pie: Dog in need of a bath

    Cost: $2.30 at iHerb.com

  • Dr. Hauschka Sage Mint Deodorant

    6

    The first question I asked myself after using this deodorant was: Is it single? Because I'd like to marry it. But, like many relationships that start off with fireworks of passion, it fizzled a bit a short while later. 

    Don't get me wrong, Dr. Hauschka Sage Mint Deodorant is a good natural deodorant. (And at $24 a pop, it better be!) If it weren't for Lavanila, I would totally shell out the cash for this bad boy again. The smell is clean, and being that it has sage and mint, your armpit kind of feels like it just ate a menthol cough drop. Which is weirdly nice. The only thing, like many of these deodorants, is that it doesn't last very long, and with its wet roller ball applicator, it isn't the best for mid-day pit touch-ups. I'd say this is a good crisp fall day/winter deodorant. 

    On a scale of Bob From Accounting's Daily Tuna Salad Sandwich to Hot Out of the Oven Cinnamon Donuts: Donuts from this morning

    Cost: $24 at Skinstore.com

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