I never used deodorant until becoming pregnant and breastfeeding. With these hormonal factors at play + chasing around two kids + schlepping around in the So Cal sun, it’s become a necessity. But trying to find a natural deo that doesn’t smell like a youth hostel, irritate my sensitive skin and actually works is enough to break a sweat!
I took the guesswork out of it for you by researching and personally testing natural deodorants and then narrowing them down to the below top contenders. They are all considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mamas, most contain at least some organic or wildcrafted ingredients, are not tested on animals and come in recyclable or reusable packaging.
Before we get started, it is important to understand the difference between deodorant and anti-perspirant. Deodorants tackle odor, while antiperspirants are meant to actually prevent sweat by physically blocking the sweat glands– usually with aluminum and a host of other toxins such as parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, Triclosan, synthetic “fragrances” which are often used to legally hide over 3,000 chemicals, among others. Sweat is not inherently stinky. In fact, it is nearly odorless until it combines with bacteria that is normally found on the skin. Personal care products should be as pure as the foods we nourish ourselves with, but that is usually not the case. We actually acquire more chemicals and toxins through skin absorption than through the foods that we eat.
If you are making the switch to natural deodorant, you may experience a “pit detox.” After discontinuing antiperspirant use, the body has a chance to release sweat and toxins through the pores which can be odorous. Give your underarms a week or two to detox and adjust before starting use. You can also “cleanse” your underarms by mixing equal parts Bentonite Clay and Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and dabbing it on with a cotton square. If you have sensitive skin, you may wish to consider skipping a deodorant that contains baking soda and/or wait a few hours after shaving before applying.
Without further ado, here’s how these natural deodorants stacked up (in alphabetical order):
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Baking Soda, Organic Sunflower Butter, Organic Avocado Butter, Castor Oil, Raw Honey, Lavender Essential Oil, Hydrogen Peroxide, Eucalyptus Oil, Love
Application: Stick. Glides on silky smooth with a slightly cooling sensation.
Scent: The combination of raw honey, lavender and eucalyptus is heavenly and not overpowering.
Performance: Kept me smelling pleasantly fresh and absorbed some moisture after an eventful day.
Price: $19 / 1.7 oz
Ingredients: Baking Soda, Organic Sunflower Oil, Mango Butter, Diatomaceous Earth, Bentonite, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Zinc Oxide, Organic Castor Oil, Candelilla Wax, Organic Coconut Oil
Application: Goes on clear, without residue.
Scent: Unscented stick. Available in Lavender, Juniper and Citrus sprays.
Performance: Consistently prevented stench and absorbed sweat. Contains less baking soda for increased effectiveness while reducing the chance of irritation.
Price: $15 / 2 oz.
Ingredients: (Sensitive formulation): Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Arrowroot Starch, Milk of Magnesia, Beeswax, Organic Basil Essential Oil, Organic Vetiver Essential Oil.
Application: Apply with finger tips. Creamy texture melts into the skin and is oh-so-soothing.
Scent: The combination of basil and vetiver is earthy and grounding.
Performance: Kept odor at bay for the majority of the day but needed reapplication.
Price: $12 / 2 oz.
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, Tapioca Starch, Organic Unrefined Fair Trade Shea Butter, Wildcrafted Pesticide-Free Candelilla Wax (Vegan alternative to beeswax), Magnesium Oil (and Lavender Essential Oil)
Application: Stick. Goes on smoothly. Shea Butter moisturizes the skin.
Scent: Unscented and Lavender which is calming.
Performance: Super effective at keeping stink at bay and absorbed a good amount of moisture, even after attending a very long birth (as a doula) which says a lot.
Price: $15 / 2.7 oz
Ingredients: Fractionated Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Arrowroot Powder, Brown Rice Flour, Betonite Clay, French Green Clay, Neem Seed Oil
Application: Stick. Glides on smoothly. A little goes a long way so use sparingly.
Scent: I reviewed the unscented formula. It is also available in Baby Powder, Floral Fields, Spicy Lemon and Herbaceous Woods.
Performance: It kept me stink-free and dry through multiple sweaty situations.
Price: $10 / 2.5 oz
Ingredients: Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Shea Butter, Magnesium Hydroxide, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Grapefruit, Bergamot Sweet Orange, Lemon Essential Oils
Application: Apply with fingertips. Creamy and nourishing, blends in well.
Scent: Grapefruit (without Baking Soda) and Lavender (with Baking Soda).
Performance: Grapefruit kept me fresh for most of the day but needed reapplication. Lavender was more effective at absorbing moisture.
Price: $14 / 2.4 oz
Ingredients: Tapioca Starch, Coconut Oil, Magnesium Hydroxide, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Rosewater, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, Baking Soda, Activated Charcoal, Proprietary Blend of 11 Essential Oils
Application: Apply with finger tips. Rubs in clear but is a bit clumpy.
Scent: I usually opt for unscented products but I especially liked this invigorating scent.
Performance: Kept me stink-free and fresh on several occasions.
Price: $12 / 2 oz.
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Essential Oils.
Application: Formulations are available in both stick and pots.
Scent: Unscented. Also available in other scents such as Lavender, Thyme & Lemongrass, Jacked Up Jasmine, Coconut Lime, Coriander Sage (Baking soda free),
Performance: Kept me fresh and dry on a hike with a toddler strapped to my back.
Price: $9 / 2 oz.
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder, Cocoa Seed Butter, Vitamin E, Hop Extract
Application: Finger tip (or use the tiny spatula comes with it). Takes a little bit of work to blend in. (Update: Now available in a stick)
Scent: Fragrance-Free. Also available in Lavender + Sage, Bergamot + Lime, Ylang-Ylang + Calendula, Cedarwood + Juniper.
Performance: Super effective. Kept odor at bay and absorbed wetness during an energetic dance party with the kids.
Price: $9 / 2 oz.
Products reviewed are in accordance with Natureal Mom’s disclosure policy.