Everyone has their own reason for trying to make their beauty regimen more “green” or “less-toxic.” My personal reasons are many but ultimately led me down the path of wanting to find a natural way to deal with my sweaty underarms. When I say I have sweaty pits, I mean sweaty. I’m definitely not one of those women who can run for miles and still smell fresh as a rose garden and look like they’ve barely done any work. Not only do I sweat heavy when I’m exercising, but my anxiety causes me to break out into sweats at all sorts of inopportune moments. Consequently I have used an anti-perspirant/deodorant combination for years. The quest to find a “cleaner” alternative was on.
Schmidt’s Deodorant was the overall best natural deodorant I tried. Smells nice, application was easy, vegan product, no skin irritation regardless of how many times I reapply during the day.
Over the course of a year I tried a few different natural deodorants, free from aluminum and other antiperspirant ingredients. I should start by saying that there’s no such thing as a “detox” period for your sweat glands. Many brands say that their products will work better after your sweat glands have “detoxed” from antiperspirants for at least 2 weeks. I can’t find any legitimate, credible science to support this concept. The human body is incredible and can “detox” itself quite well.
Antiperspirant vs Deodorant
It’s important to keep in mind that switching from an antiperspirant/deodorant combination to a deodorant only means that your experience is going to be very different from what you’ve become accustomed to. Specifically, antiperspirants work by doing just that, they’re anti-sweat. These wonderful sticks usually use an aluminum based ingredient to help tell your sweat glands to stop producing sweat. This combined with the deodorant helps you feel dry and smell nice. Deodorant only means that there is no antiperspirant properties- you will sweat. At first, just getting used to your sweating can make you feel self conscious. You are the only one who’s noticing and honestly, it’s only because you just made the switch to deodorant without antiperspirant. Over time you will notice your sweat less and less because it will become normal again for you to be sweating. You’ll also find that reapplication becomes an important criteria for how much you like a product.
I’ve ranked each deodorant that I tried below by specific categories. Continue reading for full product reviews. Please note that all of products I tested were either vegan or cruelty free. The 2 brands that are cruelty free only but not vegan were Curie and Best Deodorant Ever- both products contain beeswax.
Best scent: Love Beauty and Planet ylang ylang scent
Best application process: Kopari
Best for reapplication: Curie white tea
Best overall: Schmidt’s
I was excited to try this brand because it’s easy to find at your local health food stores and Amazon, and it had the familiar application experience I was used to. This was the only brand I tried that uses activated charcoal. It glides on easily without needing to be warmed against your skin and is smooth to the touch. Unfortunately for me, this product combined with my sweat smelled absolutely terrible. Nothing improved it and no amount of reapplication reduced my odor. A positive was that no amount of reapplication irritated my skin, but it also didn’t help improve the product effectiveness. Despite all of its good qualities, this one was a no for me.
LIES! This was by far one of my least favorite of the natural deodorants I tried. I was so excited because this product is local and smells so fresh without being overpowering. Product is cruelty free but not vegan. This product contains beeswax. From the moment I started to apply, I knew it was going to be a rough trial. Not only did this brand not glide on smoothly, I found it easier to just stick my finger into the stick and then rub it into my underarm area. If your nails have any length at all, you end up with product underneath them. It was also challenging to not over apply and end up with giant deodorant pills in my arm pits. The scent was fresh and nice, but after about 30 min of sitting at my computer on a summer day, I noticed a smell. That smell was me. Unfortunately this was not going to work.
This was a total gamble. FabFitFun had this product as part of one of their edit sales for only $5. I took a chance. I would recommend this one with reservations. Note that this one is not vegan but is cruelty free. Their ingredients include beeswax. Application was easy and similar to what I was used to using antiperspirants, and the scent was fresh. I did feel like this one required re-application throughout the day to stay fresh. The scent was clean but a little too subtle for my liking. This is one that I continue to carry in my purse to have on me “just in case” but is missing a certain something for me.
This was the only aloe based deodorant I tried. I’ve found that it has enough power to keep me fresh as long as I’m not doing anything. Otherwise, this wasn’t a strong enough option. This brand didn’t cause any irritation issues though so it was okay to reapply multiple times throughout the day. Smells amazing- just like you’re in a rose garden. Because it’s aloe based it does have a bit of a sticky feeling when you first apply it, but the stickiness goes away quickly. I still use this deodorant occasionally during the winter after I’ve worked out, showered, and am just lounging the rest of the day. This brand might work well if you’re not a heavy sweater, but if you’re like me you’ll want to reserve it only for days you aren’t moving around much and the weather isn’t too hot. Or just skip it and use something else.
One of the most popular brands I tried. And it smells so good that you want to keep sniffing yourself. The application process was easy, required no time heating under my arms and it glided on like butter. I tried this deodorant for some workouts at home before being confident enough to try it while exercising in a group setting. This deodorant successfully kept my smell away and I swear only made their scent stronger as my body heated up. So I’m sure you’re thinking, “well then Kopari must’ve been your favorite!” and the sad answer is unfortunately no. While my body responded well to this brand’s ability to cover my smell, my skin revolted. This product gave me a pretty gnarly rash that took a few days to start but made my underarms felt like they were on fire. To add to my pain, this meant I had to take a couple of days off of any underarm products to try and let my skin heal. Not ideal.
From the moment I put this on I was in love. Application was smooth and the scent was to die for. Unfortunately for me, this product also gave me an incredibly painful rash. Another no for me, but might work well for someone else’s body. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could use this one.
I was perusing my local Costco and saw a 3 pack of the Rose scented Schmidt’s deodorant priced so well I was willing to roll the dice. You can also find this brand at most Target stores, Amazon, and other online retailers. This product required a short warming period in my underarms to help it glide on easily. Like many of the heavier deodorants, it was easy to apply too much and cause pilling in my underarms. The scent was amazing without being overpowering and was able to decently stand up to a workout. I still sweat because this is not an antiperspirant. But this product found a combination of scent and other ingredients that didn’t irritate my skin or assault my sinuses with a deluge of offensive smells. This has been my go-to deodorant ever since. I have tried multiple scents from this brand and have had no adverse reactions to my skin. I still sometimes struggle with application and put too much on, but it’s easy to rub any excess into your skin. Additionally I’m able to successfully reapply this product throughout the day as needed without causing skin irritation. I don’t think it quite earns 5 stars though, and that’s because I have noticed my white shirts have a slightly discolored underarm area requiring a good soak in oxiclean before washing.