Once considered only for the truly hippy-dippy, natural deodorants have come on leaps and bounds since their first introduction to the world. Customer demand for better natural deodorants that actually keep odour away and help with sweat has meant that brands have had to seek out new technology that facilitates natural and eco-friendly ingredients whilst keeping ingredients like aluminium out. And it’s really the a-word that most people have an issue with when it comes to deodorant. Aluminium is actually only found in antiperspirants i.e products that help you sweat less rather than deodorants that are only designed to make sweat smell better. Aluminium works by blocking the pores on the skin, preventing sweat from coming to the surface and it has been linked to causing breast cancer, although there is very little research to prove that this is a problem.
Natural deodorants do not contain aluminium which means, historically, they haven’t always been that effective at keeping sweat and body odour away but that’s where brilliant product development comes into its own.
Another problem that many have with traditional antiperspirants and deodorants is their impact on the planet. Its been widely reported that the deodorant industry produces over 15 million pounds of plastic waste each year; a problem that natural deodorants tackle head-on by using recycled packaging as well as making their products as recyclable as possible or refillable.
This is why it’s so essential that we all try and switch to the best natural deodorant that works, in every sense of the word, for us. As a team, we are pretty confident we have tried every single one out there and these are our pick of the best whatever you’re looking for and whatever budget you have.
1.The best ‘beauty’ natural deodorant: Glossier Deodorant, £18 (refill is £15)
If eco and natural products aren’t really your vibe because you don’t see yourself as someone who wears organic hemp while practising yoga and drinking kombucha, then of all the natural deodorants out there surely the Glossier one will appeal the most. It comes in a refillable outer and the inserts and completely recyclable and available in three scents, one of which is Glossier You the brand’s iconic scent that is a firm GTG favourite. There is also an unscented version but we think if you’re reaching for Glossier then chances are you’re going to want one of their amazing scents. It uses potato starch to absorb moisture and magnesium hydroxide, a pH adjuster to help reduce sweat.
Unlike many other natural deodorants, this one comes in a roller ball format and has a light gel light texture which might make changing from your regular deodorant to a natural one an easier switch. There is a very subtle scent which smells of clean laundry, fresh air and a hint of lemon zest. The formula is made up of prebiotics that helps control odour and sage oil which soothes the skin. We really put it through its paces by going for runs and it matched any ‘regular’ deodorant. Whilst the rollerball component is not recyclable, every other section of this is.
Containing an active magnesium complex that controls the growth and activity of bacteria on the skin, this is a solid deodorant that does actually keep odour at bay. Beauty Director SJ says, "my husband has always been wary of natural deodorants but he is very impressed with this one . I've even given this to my eldest daughter for her first foray into wearing deodorant. She feels like a grown-up and it keeps her odour free after sports matches." The scent of the deodorant is light and fresh and leaves the skin smelling clean. It has a creamy texture that melts onto the skin making it easy to manoeuvre under the arms. The packaging is completely recyclable thanks to being cardboard but make sure it doesn’t get too wet as it may get a little bit soggy.
4. The best natural deodorant for travel: Sans London Starter Kit, £30 (refills are £15 for two)
Consisting of an aluminium outer (that comes in three different colours) and a solid deodorant (that comes in three different unisex scents), Sans has created a natural deodorant with zero plastic involved. The product itself is very chic and slick to look at and the aluminium case makes it a sturdy option to keep in your gym bag or for travelling. As you would expect it doesn't contain any aluminium so instead it uses diatomaceous earth, the fossilised remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. We can't say this is the most effective deodorant we've tried but if you're naturally not a very sweaty person or you just want to keep something in your gym bag for a touch-up, it will more than do the job.
Luxe-looking and very effective, this is the natural deodorant that doesn't scream about being natural. One of the key differences with this one is that it contains niacinamide, an ingredient you would normally expect to find in your serum. Here it not only neutralises sweat but minimises any bumps you may have under the arms from shaving or skin rubbing leaving your skin looking healthier, The niacinamide also helps prevent staining on clothes. There are two options to choose from; unscented or this eucalyptus-scented version which is our favourite purely as it does offer some scent barrier if odour is something you're worried about.
6. The best balm natural deodorant: Akt Deodorant Balm, £19
In trendy, gender-neutral minimalist 'toothpaste tube' packaging, Akt was created and put through rigorous testing by two (sweaty) West End stage actors and is a favourite of one of our teen testers, and her 50-something mothers. It comes in three scents Orange Grove (citrus), After Thunder (cedar and eucalyptus) and The Onsen, which has notes of vetiver root, lavender and patchouli. It's a cream that is applied with the fingers and feels like dabbing on a fine fragrance than a deodorant. It was also tested on theatre dancers (no animal testing) for its functionality and if it can withstand hours of exertion. The packaging is plastic-free, stored in aluminium tubes, which are infinitely recyclable.
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From the makers of the cult Brazilian Bum Bum Cream comes this aluminium-free stick deo with the most amazing scent.; a mix of dark plum and sultry vanilla . It manages to be oudy and a little bit sweet all rolled into one. This is how you want your pits to smell when you're dancing all night at the Copa Cobana with your arms in the air. Tapioca starch is the hero sweat absorber here. For happy vibes and dry armpits that smell good enough to eat all day, dive in.
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Fearne Cotton sang the praises of this deodorant on her Instagram Stories, saying “I love this stuff” and we agree as its one of our faves too. The 100 per cent natural formula is vegan and is in zero-waste packaging. Palm oil, mineral oils and artificial fragrances are banished too; instead it’s made with antibacterial magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, white clay, shea butter and coconut oil to keep odour at bay. You apply this with your fingertips, which might not be for everyone, and it dried instantly - perfect for when you’re in a rush.
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Our sibling teen testers have been duelling over this deodorant and say categorically that this the ‘only one that works’. They have tried many over the years – but none had met with such rapturous praise as this one by US coconut-oil skincare brand Kopari. It’s a clear gel with odour-absorbing charcoal (it’s baking soda-free, which can irritate some people and leave white flakes) and is very mildly scented with natural fragrances and sage. There’s a Beach scented version , £13 that we also like and Performance Plus version , £15.
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10. The best budget natural deodorant: Mitchum Natural Power, £4.50
Mitchum is a deodorant name we know we can trust - and the fact that all three versions of their natural deodorant sold out in launch Boots is testament to how good this is (back in stock now, luckily). It promises to neutralise odour with botanical extracts and absorb wetness with bamboo powder and we were impressed from our first try and it even passed the smelly teen test. It's invisible, doesn't leave marks on your clothes and comes in coconut, cedarwood and eucalyptus scents, all without aluminium and glides under our armpits with no trouble at all. It's easy to find in Supermarkets too.
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11. The best looking natural deodorant: Wild Natural Deodorant, £25 for one case and three refills
If you're looking for plastic-free beauty Wild needs to be on your radar. They sell chic aluminium cases for your deodorant (aqua, coral or silver) and you choose the fragrance of natural deodorant to go inside. They're packaged in paper so there's no plastic at any stage of this product and the refill itself will fully compost within six months and biodegrade within 12. Our editorial director Victoria likes the Orange Zest scent but other options include Mint Fresh, Rose Blush, Bergamot Rituals and Coconut Dreams. Sodium bicarbonate controls odour and citric acid helps stop the growth of odour causing bacteria while tapioca starch absorbs moisture to keep armpits dry. There's also a plethora of moisturising ingredients in the mix to keep armpits soft such as sunflower seed wax and shea butter.
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12. The best natural deodorant spray: Aesop Deodorant, £23
Aesop’s fine, quick-drying natural deodorant spray will appeal to spritzing fans, with its fresh, zesty and subtly herby scent. This alcohol and essential oil-based formula kept us smelling sophisticated during day-to-day wear. But at the gym, clearly the toughest test for any deodorant, it didn’t take the edge off extreme spinning sweats. For the daily use, it is a luxe and safe alternative to conventional deodorants with a luxe price tag to match; £23 for deodorant is seriously steep for a basic personal care item, but then again there's might be something to be said for having a special date-night deo that smells as sophisticated as Aesop's fine fragrances. Pits, you've pulled!
This is a high-functioning bacteria blitzing natural deodorant that combines coconut oil to neutralise smell-causing bacteria, antibacterial tea tree and charcoal to remove pore-clogging bugs. We applied a pea-sized amount on our underarms and it worked like a charm. No embarrassing moments, no sweat marks, no sticky feeling when you get off the tube, in fact, the only thing we did notice was how un-intrusive it was, which quite frankly is exactly what you want from a deodorant. If you want your actual perfume to do the talking this is the perfect deo that won't steal its thunder.
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We really put this salt spray through its paces, wearing it in personal training sessions, in a double back-to-back run/HIIT session, on a 90m minute bike ride and to some very hardcore spin sessions and you know what? Absolutely no smelly armpits. Amazing! How it works we're not quite sure (it's a concoction of natural ingredients including natural mineral salts, organic aloe vera and baking soda) but it is fragrance-free, it doesn't leave marks on your tops, is suitable for vegans and has won many awards. You can even spray it on your feet as it feels like you are just spraying on water. The only 'pitfall' (pardon the pun) is that we got through whole thing in a month because you need quite a few spritzes to cover your whole armpit.
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This unisex gel stick formula by this sensitive skin-friendly brand is a classic, and up there among the best. It has a subtle, fresh smell from eucalyptus extract – known for its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities and odour-neutralizing citronellyl. We also loved the newer Bergamot Deodorant version, £19
It feels smooth, moisturizing and not at all sticky to apply. We trialled it over several hours on a crowded tube commute and a school run under an armpit-hugging T-shirt. We perspired a bit, but there was no eau-de-bacteria, just a pleasant and barely-detectable piney smell. It says not to use on broken skin, but we used it an hour or so after shaving without a sting. The brands advises: ‘If transitioning from a pore-clogging antiperspirant, please allow two weeks as your body adjusts.' They say tou can actually expect to sweat a bit more until your body gets used ot it, but that's not something we experineced. Pricey yes, but you won't be diappointed.
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If you like a strongly scented deodorant for extra reassurance, the botanical scent of this roll-on will be right up your street. It's formulated with natural liquorice root extract, known for its soothing, antimicrobial properties, and natural astringent witch hazel distillate, which helps to calm the skin/ If you're not a citrus fan, there's a pomegranate fragrance and a sea buckthorn scent too.
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A natural deodorant for men but with a big unisex following, this refreshing and chic-looking number is scented with rosemary, eucalyptus and sage, neutralising bacteria (and thus odours) with diatomaceous earth (a sedimentary rock often used in beauty products). Tea tree essential oils reduce odours with clary sage controls sebum levels and eucalyptus sanitises the skin. All the odour neutralising powers make this a great choice for the gym, but if you do choose to wear it under your best clothes rest assured that the gel formula doesn't come off onto your clothes and keeps yellow marks at bay. Swipe four times (more than you would a conventional deo) under each pit.
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Created using superfine, powdered botanicals such as arrowroot and pure kaolin, this cream deodorant that you rub on like a face cream works by sitting invisibly on the skin, ready to absorb your natural perspiration throughout the day. Not only does it keep your armpits dry, but tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint also inhibit bacteria. Along with other natural fragrances such as lavender and bergamot, it promises to keep you super fresh and limit unwanted stinkiness. We tested it on plenty of sweaty workouts and were still odour free at the end of the day - a pot lasts about six months.
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