For over a year now I’ve only used aluminum-free deodorants. I’d love to say that the reason for the switch was strictly because of my health, but actually the last straw was that the aluminum in my Secret deodorant was continuing to stain my clothes and leave a yellow mark. As I started to buy more quality clothes, I wanted them to last years – having yellow stains was not an option.
I had tried natural deodorants off-and-on before sticking to my guns, and quite frankly had not had an easy time of it. While I’m still not 100% satisfied in a workout-level sweat sesh, I have found some really great options that work for different uses.
To start, let’s go over some of my favorites:
Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant
For daily wear, I have turned to the Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant, which is also organic and vegan. While this is one of the most expensive of the bunch at $13.99 per bottle, I have had the most success with this brand. The rollerballs are great for giving an even application without going overboard. I’m able to get a little over a month and a half with generous daily use. The key ingredient in this formula is mineral salt (potassium alum – a form of aluminum that has larger molecules that won’t absorb into the skin the way that aluminum chlorohydrate does in traditional anti-perspirants), which helps to keep you dry and avoid building up the bacteria that gives off a smell. Unlike a lot of other brands, I’m able to wear this deodorant for 8-10 hours before I feel like I need to reapply. I’ve tried all of the scents, and I think that the aloe is the freshest scent, while the Original Essence is the longest-lasting formula.
Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant in Fresh
My second favorite pick comes from Arm & Hammer, which actually surprised me. The Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant in Fresh is the best smelling option I’ve tried. It does have a manly cologne-like scent which is pretty strong, but works to mask any of that 10+ hour odor. The formula is aluminum- and paraben-free, but does include triclosan which is one of those iffy chemicals that some would try to avoid. It acts as a anti-bacterial agent which helps to keep you from smelling. I keep this one strictly for use during a workout. It keeps me smelling fresh as the name would suggest, and is washed away after my session.
Honest Deodorant in Vetiver
Like the Arm & Hammer deodorant, the Honest Deodorant in Vetiver has a strong scent that will overpower any smell. I think the formula is good and it’s actually the first natural deodorant I tried. I’d like to try another scent, as Vetiver is a little bit more…. crunchy… BUT will really do the job. I would need to give this brand more research before giving a final answer, but it doesn’t last throughout my work day without a second application. The spray applies very wet (obviously) and takes a bit to dry down. Without the smooth salt finish that the Bali Secrets formula provides, the finish is a bit sticky and irritates my skin if I’m wearing a sleeveless top. I’ve heard better reviews from others who have tried the lavender scent, so I’d like to give that a try before saying no to this formula.
The Healthy Deodorant by Lavanila
Another pricey deodorant at $14, I wanted to try the popular LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut. For the amount of product that you get, the price is justified – this honking deodorant is going to last you at least a couple months or more. Plus, you can buy this from Sephora, so that’s like free points right? (says the shopaholic). However, the vanilla coconut scent is extremely subtle, so while this formula is great for a shorter day I don’t feel like it lasts through a long work day or a gym session. The texture is very stiff, but comfortable once applied. If you’re one of those people who don’t tend to sweat a lot or have a strong bacterial odor, this would be a great option for you. I won’t be repurchasing this brand, but will definitely use up the rest of the product. Just meh.
Crystal Essence Deodorant in Lavender and White Tea
I don’t have quite as much experience with the Crystal Essence Deodorant, but so far so good. Again, this is a brand that uses potassium alum which is a variation of aluminum, so I’ll let you be the judge. Potassium alum has larger molecules which do not absorb into the skin or block your pores as traditional aluminum chlorohydrate does. With that being said, it’s a great ingredient for antibacterial qualities which is why this deodorant works for me. I find that it’s very similar to Bali Secrets, but isn’t quite as user-friendly. The ball on the bottle is quite small so it’s not as quick to apply, and while it’s a little bit cheaper there is a lot less product. The scent on this formula is very faint, so I tend to enjoy Bali Secrets a bit more. This formula lasts 8-10 hours and doesn’t feel sticky throughout the day. After about a minute it dries matte, which feels nice on sensitive skin.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant in Wild Lavender
I had such high hopes for the Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant, and was really happy with the price. I’m a fan of lavender scents and when first applied this deodorant smells so pretty. However, after about 2 hours it wears off completely and leaves me smelling not so fresh. Again, if you’re the type who doesn’t sweat much this will be a great affordable option. I love the ingredients used in Tom’s products and would love for this to have worked, but for me it was a no go.
Primal Pit Paste in Orange Creamsicle
This is definitely a hit or miss deodorant, and sadly for me it was a miss. The formula of the Primal Pit Paste Natural Deodorant includes baking soda, which was a god-send for keeping me dry and odor-free, but irritated the crap out of my skin. Like you’ll see in the reviews, there are a select group of people who develop a rash when using this deodorant. The friction caused from the gritty paste was just too much on my skin. However, this gave the longest lasting results with 10-15 hour wear, so I was dissapointed that I couldn’t use it any longer. I did actually use up the entire jar, as I was unsure during the hotter summer months whether the irritation was caused by the product or the fact that I was wearing it with sleeveless tops. After trying it out with sleeved tops, I did decide that it was the product. While I didn’t have a great reaction to it, I would recommend giving this brand a shot. The scent was one of my favorites and the wear time and effectiveness is truly the best I’ve tried.
Schmidt’s Lavender + Sage Deodorant
Against better judgement, after using up the Primal Pit Paste I decided to buy a pot of Schmidt’s Deodorant to see if a lower level of baking soda would do the trick. It didn’t, I still developed a rash. I didn’t get more than a few days of use out of this one, but like Primal Pit Paste it had long-lasting results that I’d love to replicate in a different formula. This one’s a bit more stiff and is a little bit more challenging to apply with your hands, but does offer a very wide range of scents that look so good.