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Odds are, you wear deodorant on your skin all day, every day. Most people never even think twice about it, as deodorant use is such a part of everyday life that we apply it without even looking. But maybe it’s time for you to reconsider exactly what’s in the deodorant you use.
When was the last time you looked at the ingredients list of your deodorant? It might not have been that long ago, given the recent health scare over a potential link between aluminum chloride and breast cancer (yes, men can get breast cancer too). Although this has now been thoroughly debunked, it’s made us wonder what else we slather under our arms every day.
Antiperspirants work by stopping you from sweating, through the use of aluminum chloride. Aluminum chloride blocks the sweat pores on your skin so you don’t sweat. Although we do remove some toxins from our bodies through sweating, blocking off small areas such as under our arms doesn’t have an effect on your body as a whole, and there haven’t been any studies showing adverse effects from using antiperspirants in general.
So why make the switch to all natural? Well, antiperspirants don’t pose any known health risks, but that isn’t to say we might not find out about future health risks after longer research trials have concluded. It takes decades to be certain a chemical is safe for the body. A good example of this is lilial, a synthetic perfume that is often used in cosmetics. Although lilial has been used for decades, it was banned by the EU in 2022 as new studies revealed it can affect your fertility.
Natural isn’t necessarily good for you. Poison ivy might be 100% natural, but it’s not a good idea to put it on your skin! However, we do at least have a lot more experience with natural ingredients, and the effects they have on our bodies.
Many people are choosing to change to all natural ingredients in the hope of avoiding currently unknown health risks. If you’re considering making the change to an all-natural deodorant, we’ve put together a list of the 18 best natural deodorants for men for you to try.
The Best Natural Deodorants for Men in 2023
1. Blu Atlas Coconut Apricot Deodorant
Let’s cut right to the chase: Our top pick is Blu Atlas’ Coconut Apricot Deodorant. This delicious smelling deodorant is made from 99% natural ingredients, sourced from natural origins such as plants, fruits, and minerals. The ingredients list is short and easy to read, so you know exactly what’s going on your skin.
Like many natural deodorants, this preservative, phthalate, and paraben free deodorant functions in multiple ways. Bamboo extract stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria, aloe and horsetail extract soothe the skin, and bentonite clay, arrowroot powder, and cornstarch absorb excess moisture.
Blu Atlas’ deodorants don’t contain any aluminum chloride, so they don’t stop you sweating, but they do stop your sweat from smelling. Confused? Sweat only smells when it’s broken down by bacteria into waste products, so if you keep the bacteria away, you keep the smell away. Bamboo and sage extracts both work to keep odor-producing bacteria at bay, keeping you smelling fresher for longer.
If you’re sensitive to fragrance, Blu Atlas also makes a fragrance-free version that works just as well. We prefer the tropical smell of coconut and apricot to the original classic, but both are worth a try. Blu Atlas also keeps their products vegan and cruelty-free, which is a must have for any body care product.
2. Kosas Fragrance Free Chemistry Deodorant
One of the ways to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria is to change the pH of your skin. Kosas Chemistry increases the acidity of your skin just enough to deter harmful bacteria, but not enough to cause any irritation.
The beneficial effect this deodorant has on your skin is what propels it to second place on our list of best natural deodorants. Healthier skin means stronger skin, which is less prone to chafing or infection. Like Blu Atlas, this deodorant also contains aloe vera juice, which is soothing to the skin. Mandelic acid, lactic acid, and bioactive peptides all help condition your skin to keep it healthy, and a touch of jojoba oil prevents any dryness.
The stars of the show are the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), which are often used in moisturizers due to their ability to dissolve any build up of dead cells and oil, while simultaneously reducing blemishes or dark spots on the skin. When used on your armpits, they also help prevent ingrown hairs. Not only will you smell fresher, but your skin will look and feel better!
3. Aēsop Déodorant
This deodorant smells amazing. Seriously, it’s like a woody, masculine cologne, but for your armpits. This is probably due to the incredible array of essential oils and plant extracts that have been added to prevent bacterial growth on your skin. Witch hazel, tea tree oil, and thyme oil are included in this deodorant, due to their antimicrobial and antifungal benefits, along with a host of other essential oils with similarly helpful properties.
Other than masking any body odor with an amazing scent and keeping bacteria at bay with essential oils, this deodorant also contains zinc ricinoleate, which is incredibly effective at neutralizing body odor. Using a spray allows you to get better coverage, but if you’re a fan of roll-on deodorants, Aēsop also sells this deodorant in roll-on form.
4. Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
It’s a pun! Ursa Major’s Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant contains a number of ingredients designed to nourish your skin, including hops. You’ll usually encounter hops in beer, but it turns out they’re also great for your skin, and have both an ant-iinflammatory and antimicrobial effect.
Other antimicrobial oils in this deodorant help give it a fresh, crisp, minty scent. Rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils all have excellent reputations for stopping the growth of yeast and bacteria, as well as smelling amazing. Instead of the acid-increasing properties of Kosa, this deodorant decreases the acidity of your skin through the use of baking powder. This prevents bacteria from growing just as well as increasing the acidity does, but some people can find the alkalinity of baking soda can be irritating.
This stick deodorant also contains tapioca starch, to help absorb excess moisture, and shea butter to keep your natural skin barrier strong. Although we like the smell of Hoppin’ Fresh best, Ursa Major offers a huge range of other scents, including ones in spray and roll-on form, which all work just as well.
5. Busy Co Get the Funk Outta Here Deodorant Wipes
Switching to a natural deodorant means evicting all the smell-causing bacteria from your skin, and this can take a few weeks. You’ll want to wash at least once a day for the first week, and you might also want to consider using some deodorant wipes during the day.
These wipes earn their high spot in the competition due to the fact they contain the probiotic lactobacillus. Lactobacillus are healthy, acid-resilient bacteria that don’t break your sweat down into bad smelling compounds. They’re also very territorial, and will fight off other bacteria, including ones that cause body odor, so you don’t have to constantly wash them away. This helps reduce the transition time from aluminum to natural deodorant, while the bergamot, cedar, and camphor scent of these wipes ensures any remaining body odor is masked completely.
Busy Co deodorant wipes are biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about adding more plastic to the environment with these single-use towelettes. They contain aloe and oat kernel extract to soothe the skin, and citric acid to make your skin more acidic. You’ll only want to use these wipes in combination with deodorants that don’t contain baking soda or magnesium hydroxide, or the two will cancel each other out.
6. Schmidt’s Fresh Fir and Spice
Schmidt’s is another brand that has the natural deodorant formula down to an art. This deodorant contains magnesium hydroxide, a naturally occurring salt from the Dead Sea, which reduces the acidity of your skin. Schmidt’s also doesn’t contain any baking soda, so you can use it when other acid reducing deodorants might cause irritation.
Schmidt’s is one of the most effective natural deodorants out there, with thousands of people willing to swear by it. They have a huge range of scents, so you can choose your favorite, and their formula will keep you smelling fresh even through a workout. We’re not quite as fond of the texture of this stick deodorant, as it can be a little grainy during application, but we can’t fault the performance.
7. Crystal Unscented Mineral Deodorant Stick
How’s this for a simple ingredients list: Potassium alum salt.
Crystal deodorant has only one ingredient, potassium alum. This naturally forming mineral has been used as a natural deodorant in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. It works by depositing a thin layer of salt on the surface of your skin, which makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. It is not the same as the aluminum salts found in antiperspirants, and won’t stop you sweating.
There are a couple of disadvantages to using Crystal deodorant. Potassium alum is very water soluble, so it can be washed away if you sweat a lot. You’ll also need to be careful never to put it into water or leave it wet, as the stick will crumble and break. To use, rub the crystal over damp skin.
Potassium alum doesn’t work against all odor-causing bacteria. While it might be extremely effective for some people, other people will find it does little to nothing against their particular microbiome. Most natural deodorants work in multiple ways, but the disadvantage to such a simple product is that it only works in a simple way.
However, if you have sensitive skin, there’s definitely no baking soda, sulfates, fragrance, or anything else that might irritate your skin. If you find you’re one of those people who reacts to everything, you might want to give Crystal deodorant a try.
8. Salt & Stone Bergamot and Hinoki Natural Deodorant
Although Salt & Stone sounds like an excellent name for another potassium alum salt deodorant, this is another magnesium hydroxide-based stick deodorant. This deodorant contains the usual acid reducing agent, as well as tapioca starch to absorb excess moisture. Where it differs from other natural deodorants is in the addition of hyaluronic acid, probiotics, and tocopherol.
We’ve already gone over the beneficial effects of applying probiotics to your skin, particularly during the transition phase. Hyaluronic acid (not to be confused with AHA) is a slippery moisturizing gel that our bodies also produce naturally. It keeps your skin soft and toned, and helps reduce inflammation. If you have issues with dry patches, eczema, or irritated skin, hyaluronic acid will help speed up the healing process.
Tocopherol is produced by plants, but it has similar properties to hyaluronic acid. It helps to soothe irritation and promote healthy skin growth. The combination of probiotics, hyaluronic acid, and tocopherol makes this deodorant excellent for healing damaged skin. This isn’t a cure for eczema, yeast infections, acne, or anything else, but it does help speed up the healing process once the root cause has been addressed.
9. Pretty Frank Baking Soda Free Unscented Deodorant
Pretty Frank offers both baking soda free and baking soda containing variations of their unscented deodorant, both of which are acid reducing. The baking soda free version is less likely to cause irritation to your skin, but doesn’t work quite as well. It’s still good enough to keep you feeling fresh all day, though!
This deodorant contains arrowroot powder to absorb sweat, magnesium hydroxide to reduce acid, and a mixture of coconut and shea butter to keep your skin hydrated. In order to prevent staining, you’ll want to let this deodorant dry completely before putting your shirt on. This goes for all deodorants, natural or otherwise. They don’t work very well when rubbed on to fabric instead of your skin.
10. The Natural Deodorant Co Clean Deodorant Balm for Men
If you’ve never tried a cream deodorant, it takes some getting used to. The upside is that you can work the cream into your skin, making it much more effective than a roll on or spray deodorant. The downside is you have to stick your finger in the goop, and it’s easy to accidentally apply too much. But if you’re willing to put a little extra effort in, cream deodorants are the best at doing what they need to do.
This deodorant balm contains arrowroot to absorb excess moisture, and both baking powder and magnesium oxide to reduce acidity. This makes it very effective, but also runs the risk of irritating your skin if you use too much. There’s also a helping of essential oils including grapefruit, manuka, lime, and spearmint, which all help to keep bacteria at bay.
Cream deodorants are usually much more moisturizing than roll on or spray, and this is no exception. Coconut and shea butter are mixed with olive oil to give a smooth consistency thath melts into the skin. It can feel a bit strange massaging it into the skin if you don’t shave your armpits, but it still works just as well.
11. Native Sea Salt & Cedar Deodoran
Hooray for another deodorant with probiotics! Like the deodorant wipes mentioned earlier, this formula contains lactobacillus acidophilus, the human-friendly bacteria that fights off harmful and odor-causing bacteria. This makes this deodorant excellent for those new to natural deodorants, as your skin microbiome adjusts much faster.
This is a strong acid reducing deodorant, containing both magnesium hydroxide and baking powder. Lactobacillus may be great for your skin, but they also produce lactic acid as a waste product. The extra strength combination of magnesium hydroxide and baking soda neutralize that acid, keeping the skin acidity low.
Native is another brand with an incredible number of different scents available, as well as an option for sensitive skin.
12. Each & Every Cardamom and Ginger Aluminum Free Deodorant
You have to appreciate it when a company goes out of their way to ensure you understand what’s in their products. Each & Every don’t just have the ingredients list on their website, but an explanation of what every ingredient is and where it comes from. And for those who have sensitive skin, you’ll be glad to know that they don’t just list “fragrance” on their ingredients list, but instead tell you what the scent is made of. It’s always 100% natural, of course.
This deodorant uses a combination of tapioca starch to absorb excess moisture, and magnesium carbonate to reduce the acidity of your skin. Each & Every Aluminium Free Deodorant also contains piroctone olamine, an antifungal agent that can help prevent itching.
The cardamom and ginger scent also contains cardamom and ginger essential oils, which have antibacterial effects. But if you’re not fond of gingerbread, there are a range of other scents available (including unscented).
13. Sam’s Natural Sandalwood Deo Body Deodorant
This deodorant has been highly recommended by a number of trusted sources. It has excellent staying power, and one application will see you through the whole day, even if it’s hot out. It also leaves the skin and hair of your armpits soft, which helps prevent chafing.
Sam’s Natural Body Deodorant works through tried and true methods you may be familiar with by now. There’s arrowroot powder to absorb excess moisture, baking soda to lower acidity, and rosemary and tea tree essential oils to inhibit microbial growth. You see this combination again and again, because it’s one that works.
Sam’s deodorant also contains coconut oil, which is why it makes your skin and hair soft. However, this can also stain your clothing if you apply too much. The deodorant needs to be able to dry completely on your skin before you dress, or it can cause yellow oil stains.
This deodorant is so effective because it contains a high concentration of active ingredients and less filler agents. While this boosts its odor-crushing abilities, it can be a little too much. The high concentration of essential oils and baking soda can irritate some people’s skin, causing a minor itching or burning sensation. If this occurs, stop using the product immediately – you won’t adjust to it, and it will only get worse with repeated use.
14. Humble Bergamot & Ginger
Humble lives up to its name, with simple cardboard packaging and a gentle, all natural ingredients list. Capric triglycerides are derived from coconut oil and help soften your skin and hair, while beeswax is added to harden the mixture. Cornstarch and baking soda absorb excess moisture and lower acidity, and a sprinkling of essential oils is added for their scent and antimicrobial action.
Although Humble Deodorant doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd, it’s refreshing to see a well crafted, simple product that doesn’t contribute any plastic to the growing waste issue. Humble also has a reputation for treating their employees well, and donating at least 1% of their profits to environmental charities. While the deodorant itself is effective, but nothing special, the business model is outstanding.
15. Bioturm Silber-Deo Roll On
Odds are you’ve heard of the antimicrobial properties of colloidal silver. Commonly used in wound dressings and mild disinfectants, colloidal silver is non-irritating, effective, and easily sourced. If you’re like us, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out why we don’t see it in natural deodorant more often.
This deodorant isn’t as strong as some other products on this list, but the colloidal silver seems to consistently make a small difference. If you’re looking for something that works when nothing else does, you might want to try Silber-deo.
Silber-deo is also an acid-increasing deodorant, and works well with other deodorant products containing probiotics. Glycerin is used to balance moisture levels, helping your skin stay soft and dry. This deodorant won’t keep you dry through a workout, but it’s great for days when you’re just going to the office and back.
16. Duke Cannon Trench Warfare Natural Charcoal Deodorant
We’re trying to think of a more manly brand name than Duke Cannon Trench Warfare, and we haven’t managed to find one that doesn’t make us laugh. This macho deodorant contains charcoal powder to help destroy scent, while a masculine combination of bergamot and black pepper adds some firepower to your presentation.
On a slightly less militaristic note, this deodorant also contains aloe, witch hazel, and tocopherol, all of which are noteworthy anti-inflammatory compounds. Stearic acid and propylene glycol help to keep the skin soft and moisturized, while the witch hazel also acts as an antimicrobial agent.
While activated charcoal is known for its odor-absorbing properties, there’s no mention of activated charcoal on the packaging, just plain charcoal. This shouldn’t do much more than color the deodorant gray, but it seems to work anyway.
17. Superstar Routine Deodorant Cream
Our second cream deodorant on this list also contains charcoal powder, but in this case it is activated. It’s also present in high enough concentrations to be visible against white fabric, so this isn’t one for when you’re wearing your finest white shirt.
If it wasn’t for the staining potential, this cream would be much higher on our list. It contains a good mixture of ingredients, and works well. It’s also another deodorant that happens to smell amazing. A mixture of vetiver, vanilla, patchouli, tonka bean and cardamom gives a woody-spicy vanilla scent to it, while, you guessed it, essential oils inhibit microbial growth.
This deodorant also contains both magnesium hydroxide and baking soda, making it one of the stronger members of our top 18 best natural deodorants for men. This scent is also available in stick form, but we find the cream to be much more effective.
18. Soapwalla Citrus Deodorant Creme
This is another amazing cream deodorant with just one little setback stopping it from climbing the ranks. This woody-citrus cream deodorant works excellently, and smells amazing. Despite containing baking soda, it’s less likely to upset the skin than other baking soda deodorants. This is possibly due to the soothing mixture of shea, jojoba, and cocoa butter, which sinks right into your skin and hair, leaving it soft, but not greasy.
The one small issue is the fact that this cream doesn’t handle warm weather well, and can separate over time. While this doesn’t change the effectiveness of the cream, it does mean we find ourselves having to mix it with a finger before use, which is a little awkward. In very warm weather it liquifies completely, and you’ll need to store it in the fridge. It turns out applying cool deodorant cream on a hot day is actually very pleasant.
Frequently Asked Questions
I tried switching to natural deodorant and I smell terrible. What am I doing wrong?
Making the switch requires a several week adjustment period, and you have to have the right natural deodorant for you for it to work in the first place. You might want to try keeping a packet of deodorant wipes in your bag or desk, so you can freshen up halfway through the day while your microbiome adjusts.
If it’s been a couple of weeks with no improvement, it’s time to try switching to an acidbased deodorant like Kosa, or, if you are already trying an acidifying deodorant, try switching to a baking-soda based deodorant like Ursa Major. If there’s still no improvement after a couple of weeks, natural deodorant might not be for you.
Why is my natural deodorant giving me a rash?
Some people can’t tolerate baking soda on their skin, even in small concentrations. If you’re using a deodorant containing baking soda, consider trying a baking soda free formula like Blu Atlas. Don’t keep using any deodorant that gives you a rash, and if symptoms are severe or persist after you stop using the deodorant, see your doctor.
Are natural deodorants actually better?
This is entirely a personal choice. Natural deodorants will work well for some people, but simply aren’t an option for others. If you’re worried about coming into contact with toxic chemicals, natural deodorants are the best way to avoid potentially irritating synthetic compounds. If you can’t find any natural deodorant that works for you, you might have to go back to your old synthetic if you ever want to see your friends face-to-face again.
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