June 12, 2024
Should You Switch to Natural Deodorant?

People can generally be sorted into two categories: those who aren’t afraid to switch up their personal care routines and those who need a lot more convincing to step away from the products they know and love. If you’re in the latter category, you might be hesitant to try a natural, plastic-free deodorant. We had a lot of questions at first, too. What is natural deodorant, exactly? What’s wrong with my old pit stick? Does natural deodorant even work?

To clear up one misconception right away: yes, natural deodorants work, but how they tackle smelly underarms may be a little different than what you’re used to. Keep reading to find out more about natural deodorant and why more and more people are making the switch.

Natural Deodorant vs. Commercial Deodorant vs. Antiperspirants

Most people use the word deodorant as a blanket term to describe any product that helps control underarm sweat, but as it turns out, most of the “deodorants” you see stocked on drugstore shelves are technically antiperspirants or antiperspirant deodorant hybrids. This distinction is important because deodorants and antiperspirants work in two very different ways. While deodorants typically use a combination of antibacterial power and fragrance to mask body odor associated with sweat, antiperspirants use aluminum compounds to block your sweat ducts and temporarily reduce the amount of sweat you produce.

It’s not your sweat that stinks — it’s the bacteria feeding upon your sweat. That’s why many natural deodorants contain wetness-absorbing ingredients (think arrowroot powder or activated charcoal) to help keep you dry without impeding your body’s natural sweating process.

Of course, if you’re a heavy sweater or live in a humid environment, the moisture-absorbing ingredients in natural deodorant probably won’t keep you dry for long. That’s why natural deodorants also contain naturally-derived scents that release gradually over the course of the day to help mask any unpleasant body odor. With one quick swipe of your natural deodorant in the morning, you can enjoy subtle hints of vanilla bean or citrus all day long.

Why Are So Many People Making the Switch to Natural Deodorant?

Natural deodorants are flying off the shelves lately — but why is that? Here are a few reasons people are ditching their old pit sticks for au naturale formulas.

  1. Natural Deodorants Contain Cleaner Ingredients – It’s no secret that commercial deodorants and antiperspirants are both teeming with questionable chemicals. Phthalates, preservatives and triclosan are just a few of the many toxic ingredients lurking in commercial antiperspirant and antiperspirant deodorant formulas. In contrast, natural deodorants champion cleaner ingredients that obliterate odor naturally.


  1. Natural Deodorants Are Aluminum-Free – In the last few decades, researchers have suggested a possible connection between the use of aluminum compounds in antiperspirants and breast cancer. Others have raised concerns over the potential link between aluminum-based products and Alzheimer’s. Although these links are alarming, it’s worth noting that the FDA and the American Cancer Society say there is not yet sufficient evidence to say with certainty that antiperspirants increase the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, many people are choosing to play it safe by switching to metal-free formulas.
  2. Natural Deodorants Stop Odor Naturally – Did you know that sweating offers numerous health benefits? Not only does sweat help you stay cool when your body is overheating, but it also releases small amounts of toxins from the body, such as heavy metals and BPA plastics. Natural deodorants don’t plug your sweat ducts like antiperspirants do, which allows your body to sweat freely.
  3. Natural Deodorants Are Kinder to the Earth – Between their long list of synthetic ingredients and hard-to-recycle plastic packaging, conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are terrible for the environment. If you’re looking for an earth-friendly alternative, why not try a no-plastic deodorant made from plant-derived ingredients? Unlike their conventional counterparts, plastic-free deodorants are typically housed in 100 percent compostable packaging that can go back into the ground at the end of its lifecycle.
  4. Natural Deodorants Are Gentler on Sensitive Skin – Tired of dealing with itchy, red armpits? A natural deodorant may be your best bet. Natural deodorants are typically free from dyes, artificial fragrances, preservatives and other common skin-irritating ingredients.

Transitioning to Natural Deodorant: What You Need to Know

If you’re ready to make the switch to botanical-based deodorant, you have no shortage of options available. But before you commit to a particular brand, there are a few things you should know.

  • Read the product label carefully. Just because a deodorant is labeled “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe. Always read the ingredients label and take the time to research hard-to-pronounce ingredients.


  • Expect a temporary spike in odor. If you’ve been using commercial pit sticks for a long time, it may take a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to a new formula. You can combat the stench naturally by showering daily and washing with a plant-based soap bar.
  • Reapply as needed. Since natural deodorants don’t plug your sweat ducts, you may need to reapply your deodorant throughout the day to ensure you stay fresh-smelling. It may be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it to ditch the chemical-laden stuff.
  • Wear natural fabrics. To help your armpits stay dry, wear breathable tops with moisture-wicking properties. Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, bamboo and hemp are great at wicking away sweat!

Making the Leap to Natural Deodorant Takes Time

We hope that the first natural deodorant you try will be a winner, but if it’s not “the one,” try not to get discouraged. We all have different lifestyles, pheromones and skin needs. If three weeks have come and gone and your natural deodorant isn’t keeping you as sweet-smelling as you’d hoped, try a different brand on for size. We promise there’s one out there for everyone!