In the world of deodorant, “natural” is often code for “aluminum-free.” But we wanted more: a product that was also easy to apply and effective at stopping odors. Call us dreamers.
Sam’s Natural Deodorant checked every box on our list. The product is free of aluminum, free of common irritants, and its first two ingredients (coconut oil and baking soda) are verified odor-blockers. We found the circular stick easy to maneuver across our pits, and it left minimal goop on clothes and only a faint sheen on skin. The Cedar and Women’s scents that we tested both lasted through two hours of wear — without smelling overpowering — and if neither of these options appeals to you, Sam’s offers 13 more scents. Each stick is reasonably priced ($10 for 3 ounces) and an easy gateway for anyone interested in transitioning to a natural product.
We nearly missed Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant altogether since some of its other product lines, including its jar formulas and sensitive skin sticks, only feature one of our targeted ingredients. But Schmidt’s sticks for regular skin boast the same odor-busting coconut oil and baking soda as Sam’s, in a similarly flake- and residue-free formula. We tried four of its seven scents and liked the cool “freshly fallen rain” nose of the Charcoal+Magnesium formula — although if you like a pop of floral, its Rose+Vanilla certainly delivers. The price point is about the same as Sam’s: around $10 for 3 ounces.
For Pit’s Sake is an excellent runner-up. This product comes in a stick that leaves almost no residue, but we did have to use quite a bit of force to fully coat our pits, which some of our hairy-pitted testers weren’t too into. That said, it includes all threeof the odor-blocking ingredients we pinpointed in our research — coconut oil, baking soda, and zinc — at a comfortable $9.
If buying organic is your top priority, we’d suggest Green Tidings. Like Sam’s and Schmidt’s, this deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free, but its ingredients are also certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and it’s made in a solar-powered plant. The trade-off? It’s a little more expensive, at $8 for a 1-ounce tube. Green Tidings is aluminum-free and includes baking soda and (organic) coconut oil to fend off body odor. The subtle scent (courtesy of organic lavender essential oil) didn’t last as long as Sam’s, but after two hours, we didn’t notice any BO, either. Testers did find the product a bit gritty, but some of them liked this added assurance that they’d successfully coated their underarms.
We also unearthed a couple more intriguing options. Fatco Stank Stop Deodorant was the only other natural dedorant we tested that included all three of our wish-list odor-blockers. (It’s also Certified Paleo, and includes beef tallow as a moisturizer.) Fatco is a cream, which means you’ll need to dip your fingers into a (very small) jar to apply the product — a process our testers weren’t wild about. But the deodorant itself was very effective, with a pleasant smell and minimal residue.
Some of us also really loved Agent Nateur & Shiva Rose Holi (Rose) Deodorant, which seemed almost like a combination of deodorant and women’s perfume (although not everyone liked the rose and sandalwood scent). Holi Rose leaves very little residue, and while it was also the most expensive product that we tested ($25 for 1.7 ounces), it’s a good high-end option if you’re concerned about protecting delicate fabric.