Should You Switch to All-Natural Deodorant? Plus, Our Top 6 Picks

BY Leigh Maneri · October 16, 2017

woman stretching arms

It’s not exactly a secret that antiperspirant deodorant could have a negative impact on your health. For decades, both whistle-blowing media and medical professionals have made claims that the chemical and preservative compounds within are less than ideal when constantly absorbed through the skin. So, where do these claims stem from, and should you switch to all-natural deodorant to avoid potential threats?

Making the Case for All-Natural Deodorant

1. Natural deodorant is made without aluminum (an ingredient that may be linked to some major health problems).

The ingredient taking the brunt of the heat for antiperspirants is, of course, aluminum. When applied to the pores under the arm, this metal clogs sweat ducts creating a dermal barrier disruption and, thus, minimizing perspiration.

Regardless of chemical composition, some have denounced this antiperspirant process altogether, claiming that bodily excretion is integral to our health and obstructing it could be hazardous. In fact, there is concern that these excretions, aluminum and all, if left in the body, can alter nearby breast tissue and could play a role in developing breast cancer, especially in young women.

Additionally, since 1985, a case has been made for aluminum’s role in the development of Alzheimer’s. One recent study analyzed aluminum levels of brain tissue in donors diagnosed with familial Alzheimer’s disease. Forty percent were considered “pathologically concerning.”

2. Natural alternatives are free from parabens—another controversial ingredient.

Parabens are chemicals that act as preservatives and can be found in the majority of the cosmetics and hair care products lining the shelves of your local pharmacy. These chemicals, especially methylparaben, have been found in breast cancer tissues, eliciting concern among some medical professionals that parabens increase one’s risk of breast cancer.

3. All-natural deodorant might not only be less harmful, but actually good for your skin as well.

Depending on the exact ingredients of the all-natural deodorant of your choice, there are bound to be additional benefits that go above and beyond your average antiperspirant. Many include soothing essential oils and plants; in an area that is typically shaved, these components play a key role in preventing ingrown hairs and keeping the skin soft and healthy.

Antioxidants and vitamins can also be found in most all-natural deodorants. Ingredients like honey, beeswax, avocado oil and coconut oil, to name a few, all bring along added perks. These include hydrating, moisturizing, healing and soothing properties. 

The Verdict (Plus, Our Top Picks for All-Natural Deodorant)

While the National Cancer Institute is resolute in their commitment to more conclusive evidence before denouncing antiperspirants, many consumers either aren’t willing to take the risk or simply prefer the benefits they see from using natural products. Lucky for them, there are more choices than ever. Here are our top picks.

1. LAVANILA - The Healthy Deodorant

“I find that I smell better in general using this product than I did even when I used to wear an antiperspirant,” said one user of this all-natural deodorant. Coming from one of the top natural skin care brands, The Healthy Deodorant includes essential oils, antioxidants and aloe vera, pampering the underarm’s sensitive skin alongside fresh, sultry aromas of Madagascar vanilla, sandalwood and pink grapefruit.

2. Captain Blankenship - Lime & Vetiver Cream Deodorant

Captain Blankenship has achieved a unique formula, now coveted by consumers. Baking soda acts as an odor neutralizer, organic arrowroot powder wicks moisture and organic hops extract fends off bacteria while essential oils supply a delicate citrus scent. On top of ideal ingredients, this deodorant is applied like a cream, offering a surprisingly gratifying application process with assurance of full coverage.

3. OLIVINA MEN - Aluminum-Free Deodorant

This men’s deodorant, built upon a base of fragrant essential oils, boasts an intoxicating masculine scent and an effective deodorizing formula. Organic elderberry plays its role in moisturizing the skin while organic juniper berry keeps underarms dry.

4. Dr. Hauschka - Rose Deodorant

Offered by a brand dedicated to holistic health, this Rose Deodorant uses gentle essential oils of jasmine and rose to create a dreamy aroma while Jojoba oil nourishes the skin. One user described exuberantly, “I have researched and purchased many brands in the past, but I must say that Dr. H’s is the best for me.”

5. Ursa Major - Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant

Ursa Major Founders Oliver Sweatman and Emily Doyle found their calling while searching for all-natural products—and coming up short, so you can bet on their commitment to all-natural ingredients. Designed to absorb excess moisture, keep the underarm area healthy and give off a refreshing scent, Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant is comprised of Kaolin clay, eucalyptus, aloe and hops. “It not only smells delicious, but you feel fresh and dry all day,” says one user of this deodorizing gem. “It also reduced all underarm stains on my clothes.”

6. AGENT NATEUR - Holi(Stick) No 3

This all- natural deodorant stick packs a powerful mix in an easy applicator. Ingredients include naturally occurring and vitamin-rich moisturizers like coconut oil, beeswax, avocado butter and raw honey, while baking soda absorbs excess moisture and odor. Lavender and eucalyptus oil lend a fresh aroma for all-day confidence.

Leigh Maneri

Leigh Maneri is a marketing strategist who lives at the beach but lives for the mountains. Embracing the motto "always go," she is completely at home in a tent with her scrappy brown terrier mix. Leigh seeks natural pr... Read More >

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