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The 18 Best Deodorants Without Aluminum and Parabens

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Reviewed by Dr. Diana Rangaves, PharmD

Maybe you’ve been concerned by the recently debunked health scare regarding aluminum-containing deodorants, or maybe it was one of the many other chemicals found in most antiperspirants that have you considering swapping out your regular deodorant for one that’s a little more body-friendly. Whatever the cause, we’ve covered you with our list of 18 best deodorants formulated without aluminum, parabens, BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), or other dubious chemicals.

Before you dive in, it might be useful to know a little bit about what aluminum is even doing in your deodorant, and how removing it changes the entire method in which deodorants keep you smelling fresh. Don’t worry; we’re not going full science lesson on you. This will just be a quick need-to-know.

Aluminum, or more exactly, aluminum zirconium, is an ingredient in antiperspirants. Your regular kitchen foil isn’t going to help with your BO, but aluminum zirconium blocks your sweat glands, so you don’t sweat. No sweat, no odor.

There are no safe alternatives to aluminum zirconium, so any aluminum-free deodorant isn’t going to stop you from sweating. Aluminum-free deodorants act in two different ways. Firstly, there’s usually something to soak up a little bit of sweat, just to keep you feeling fresher for a bit longer. Secondly, your sweat only stinks after it’s been chewed up and spat out by bacteria. If you can eliminate the odor-causing bacteria, your sweat doesn’t smell.

As for parabens? There’s no good reason for them to be in your deodorant. There are plenty of other safe alternatives, many of which you’ll see in our following list of the 18 best deodorants without aluminum or parabens.

The Best Deodorants (Free of Aluminum and Parabens)

1. Blu Atlas Coconut Apricot Deodorant

Our absolute number one aluminum and paraben-free deodorant has to be Blu Atlas’ Coconut Apricot Deodorant. Although a fresh addition to the deodorant market, Blu Atlas is rapidly becoming widely recognized for its premium ingredients and commitment to keeping its products free from preservatives, phthalates, and parabens. In addition to this, their body care line is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, a must-have in today’s products.

Their coconut and apricot deodorant smells absolutely amazing, but it doesn’t just cover up body odor. Instead, this deodorant prevents body odor from occurring through a natural mixture of bamboo extract, bentonite clay, arrowroot powder, and cornstarch. Bamboo extract is a gentle antimicrobial agent that prevents odor-producing bacteria growth. Without bacteria to break down your sweat, very little body odor is produced at all.

Any remaining hint of body odor will be well covered by the delicious scent of coconut and apricot, which is both refreshing in the morning and comfortable at night. Blu Atlas has also just released a fragrance-free version that works just as well, so we can confirm they’re not just covering up body odor.

It’s no surprise to see a fragrance-free option, as Blu Atlas has always ensured that its products are made of 99% natural ingredients, sourced from plants, fruits, and minerals. They also include soothing ingredients such as horsetail extract and aloe vera to help keep your skin calm on those annoyingly muggy days.

2. Aēsop Déodorant

This spray-on deodorant relies on a mixture of essential oils to inhibit the growth of odor-producing bacteria. Witch hazel, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus extracts create an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

In addition to the antimicrobial oils already mentioned, Aēsop Déodorant is also scented with vetiver, cedar, coriander, and thyme. This results in an amazing unisex woody-spicy scent, which we just can’t get enough of. Although this enchanting scent makes this deodorant worthy of second place all by itself, this isn’t just a perfume.

The addition of zinc ricinoleate allows this deodorant to soak up an astonishing amount of natural body odor while glycerin conditions the skin and absorbs moisture. This combination of bacteria-decreasing, moisture-absorbing, and odor-masking is the essence of most successful deodorants. Although the ingredients change between brands, you’ll see the same basic formula repeated in all of the products on this list.

Although Aēsop Déodorant is also available in roll-on form, spray deodorants give better coverage. Natural deodorants are much more effective when applied in a slightly larger area than your armpit, instead of the targeted nature of aluminum-based deodorants.

3. Schmidt’s Bergamot & Lime Natural Deodorant 

If you already use a natural deodorant, odds are you’ve heard of Schmidt’s. This is one of the most popular natural deodorant brands out there, and for a good reason. Schmidt’s natural deodorants are effective, easy to use, affordable, and available in a range of scents.

Schmidt’s keeps body odor under control with the addition of magnesium hydroxide, which lowers the acidity of your skin. Lower acidity makes your skin an inhospitable place to be for odor-producing bacteria, but not other, healthy bacteria that are naturally found on your skin. Over time this wipes out the odor-causing bacteria and leaves only the healthy, odor-free kind behind.

Many natural deodorants will either raise or lower the acidity of your skin in order to prevent the growth of bacteria, as most people’s skin is quite happy with a range of acidities. However, some people may find that acid-decreasing deodorants, such as those containing baking soda or magnesium hydroxide, can be irritating to the skin. Magnesium hydroxide is much gentler than baking soda, but if you find this deodorant gives you a rash, your next choice should be an acid-increasing deodorant.

In addition to the microbial-management side of things, the addition of moisture-absorbing arrowroot powder helps keep your skin dry, while a pleasant citrus scent provides a fresh, invigorating scent first thing in the morning. However, if you don’t find citrus scents enjoyable, there’s also an astounding range of other scented (and unscented) products. We also enjoy the floral lavender and sage and the warmth of fresh fir and spice.

Schmidt’s deodorants are also heavy on moisturizing compounds such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Whether or not you shave your armpits, having softer skin and hair helps prevent chafing and itching and increases the strength of your natural skin barrier.

 

4. Kosas Kosasport Chemistry Fragrance-Free Deodorant

Kosasport is an acid-increasing deodorant. Acid-increasing deodorants are often much better tolerated by the skin than baking soda or magnesium hydroxide deodorants, and some people find them more effective for controlling body odor. Depending on your local microbiome, you might benefit more from an acid-increasing or acid-decreasing deodorant.

This deodorant finds itself near the top of the list due to the beneficial effects it has on the skin. Not only does it contain no aluminum or parabens, but it’s also baking soda-free and fragrance-free, which makes it much less likely to upset delicate skin. The addition of aloe vera and jojoba oil helps keep your skin soft and moisturized, while alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) prevents a buildup of dead skin cells.

AHA is often found in facial creams due to its ability to soften skin and prevent acne, as well as evening out blemishes and discoloration. Although most of us aren’t worried about blemishes in our armpits, AHA still helps keep your skin soft and cleansed. Softer skin is less likely to chafe, and less dead skin allows sweat to evaporate faster.

While this deodorant can be used on shaven and unshaven armpits, we find it’s a little more effective if you shave your armpits first. Those with underarm hair often benefit more from deodorants with coconut oil or shea butter, which also soften your armpit hair. But when it comes to looking after your skin, Kosa Sport is the way to go.

 

5. Native Eucalyptus and Mint Deodorant

This one really wakes you up in the morning! As well as being an extremely effective natural deodorant, the eucalyptus and mint scent leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated. The addition of cyclodextrin (derived from sugar) slows down the release of scent, so Native keeps you smelling fresher for longer than others.

Native contains both baking soda and magnesium hydroxide, making it one of the most potent deodorants on this list. The downside is that it can be a little irritating to sensitive skin, so you may want to try a gentler option if you’ve had issues with other natural deodorants in the past.

Another thing that increases the potency of Native Deodorant is the presence of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacteria often found in yogurt. As well as being good for your gut, Lactobacillus will grow on your skin. This is actually a good thing, as this bacteria doesn’t make you sick or cause any odor and fights off other bacteria that may try to make a home where they’re not wanted.

Lastly, Native deodorant includes tapioca starch to absorb some moisture and coconut oil, shea butter, and capric triglycerides (from coconut oil) to soften and condition your hair and skin. If your skin isn’t bothered by baking soda, this is one of the most effective deodorants on the market.

 

6. Sol de Janeiro Rio Deo Aluminum-Free Deodorant

This baking soda-free deodorant conditions your skin and leaves it smelling absolutely delicious. Rio Deo is scented with the brand’s Cherirosa fragrance, which is a delightful mixture of salted caramel and pistachio. Although primarily marketed towards women, there’s no reason men shouldn’t smell delicious as well, so we consider this as a unisex deodorant.

Rio Deo is great for those who have dry or easily irritated skin. The mixture is high in moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil, capric triglycerides, castor oil, mango seed butter, and sunflower seed oil. These provide a moisturizing and water-repelling barrier on the skin which keeps hydration in your skin without allowing it to become waterlogged.

Rio Deo also contains magnesium hydroxide to reduce the acid levels of your skin, and papaya extract, an exfoliant with antibacterial properties. The amazing smell of this deodorant comes from a variety of natural plant extracts, including those from citrus, sugar maple, and coumarin (from tonka beans). Coumarin can be toxic in high quantities, so don’t try to eat the deodorant stick, no matter how good it smells.

7. Corpus N°Green Natural Deodorant

Corpus (meaning body) is another company that treats deodorant as an opportunity to perfume your body. Although many of their scents are amazing, we’re a fan of N°Green, a citrus-spice combination that smells great on everyone. Their scents are all-natural and free from parabens, phthalates, aluminum, and baking soda.

This gentle deodorant contains diatomaceous earth to keep you feeling dry, as well as propylene glycol, which can absorb an amazing amount of moisture. Corpus Natural Deodorant doesn’t do much to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, so it’s not suited for those making the initial switch from antiperspirant. However, once your microbiome has adjusted, N°Green keeps you feeling and smelling fresh all day.

Other noteworthy scents in the range include the warm woody incense of Santalum and the sweet floral-citrus perfume of Third Rose.

 

8. Each & Every Lavender and Lemon

This simple, all-natural deodorant has become incredibly popular due to its simple but effective ingredients, an ethical business model, and absolute transparency when it comes to where its ingredients come from and what they do.

Each & Every Lavender and Lemon is another acid-lowering deodorant, containing magnesium hydroxide. Tapioca starch helps absorb excess moisture, while caprylic triglycerides keep the skin soft. We’re particularly fond of the lavender and lemon scent due to the antibacterial nature of lavender oil, which helps keep you fresh for longer. The cardamom and ginger scent is also particularly good at controlling odor-causing bacteria.

This stick deodorant is carefully formulated for those with sensitive skin and contains no baking soda or alcohol. They’re also very clear about what ingredients are used to scent their products, instead of grouping everything under “parfum.” This allows those with particular sensitivities to avoid known triggers.

 

9. Dr. Squatch Alpine Sage Deodorant

This highly effective, moisturizing, and masculine deodorant would rank a little higher on the list if it wasn’t for the fact that it poses a high risk of staining your clothing. You have to be sure that this deodorant is absolutely dry before getting dressed (or only wear black shirts) due to the presence of both charcoal and a number of moisturizing oils.

Dr. Squatch’s aluminum-free deodorants are great for those with armpit hair, as the smooth mixture softens underarm hair to reduce chafing and forms a protective waterproof layer over your skin to prevent itching caused by damp skin.

The usual combination of magnesium hydroxide and arrowroot powder is augmented by charcoal powder, which helps absorb odors. We’re not sure if the charcoal powder is more effective due to its ability to absorb BO, or the fact it holds on to the piney-fresh odor of the deodorant, but the Alpine Sage scent is definitely the way to go.

 

10. Nécessaire The Deodorant Gel

The deodorant gel is a roll-on deodorant containing AHAs to increase skin acidity. The Deodorant Gel’s antimicrobial effects are bolstered by the addition of witch hazel and chamomile, which also act as anti-inflammatories.

AHAs serve the simple purpose of increasing the amount of acid on the surface of the skin, but they also help reduce irritation, dissolve dead skin cells, and even out pigmentation. Vitamins B3 and B5 also reduce inflammation and help your skin maintain a healthy, strong barrier.

Although AHAs are often used to combat irritation, they should never be used on freshly shaved skin. The exfoliating effect they have on dead skin can cause serious stinging and irritation when applied to the tiny micro-cuts shaving can cause. This seriously limits the usefulness of this otherwise excellent deodorant, as you should always apply deodorant straight after washing, which is when most people shave.

 

11. Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream

Sweet Pitti adheres to the tried and true combo of adjusting the acid level of the skin, absorbing excess moisture, and moisturizing the skin with a combination of skin-friendly oils. This is another deodorant that is best for those who have already adjusted to using aluminum-free deodorants, as overall, this formula is very gentle.

Although arrowroot powder helps keep the skin dry, and mandelic acid (an AHA) raises the acidity of the skin, the real benefit to Sweet Pitti is the smoothness it gives your skin and underarm hair. A combination of caprylic triglycerides, shea butter, marula oil, baobab seed oil, and mongongo oil provide a mixture rich in a wide range of fatty acids, which all provide moisture to your skin.

The jury is out on how this deodorant smells. Some claim it has a pleasant, slightly sweet smell, while others can’t detect any odor at all. Either way, it certainly doesn’t smell bad, and nobody is disputing the ability of this deodorant to soften your skin.

 

12. Jack Black Pit Ctrl Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Pit Ctrl does require application more than once a day, due to the fact it’s water soluble and can be rinsed off onto your clothing when you sweat. However, when properly applied, Pit Ctrl is very effective at controlling body odor. This is a fairly strong deodorant containing baking soda and saccharomyces filtrate, a yeast extract that contains enzymes capable of breaking up bad-smelling odors.

The use of enzymes to destroy bad odor after it’s produced isn’t often seen, as most people prefer to prevent the growth of bacteria that create the body odor in the first place. However, natural deodorant doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes no matter which deodorant you use, you still can’t get completely odor free. That’s where Jack Black’s Pit Ctrl is useful. Even if you can’t get rid of the odor-causing bacteria, Pit Ctrl will still keep you smelling fresh.

 

13. Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant

Megababe’s Rosy Pits first hit the charts a few years ago, but even though the fuss surrounding it has died down, it’s still one of the best natural deodorants on the market. The high concentration of saccharomyces and radish root enzymes make this a great choice for those just starting out using natural deodorants, as they remove body odor as soon as it appears.

Rosy Pits, as the name suggests, is predominantly rose-scented. There’s also a hint of green tea and sage to stop things from becoming too sweet, but overall it’s definitely a more traditionally feminine scent. The ingredients also include willow bark extract, a natural source of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is often used to control acne and dandruff due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities.

Although this deodorant smells sweet, it doesn’t do much to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. If it’s your first time using natural deodorant in a while, it’s best to use this deodorant in combination with one containing lactobacillus, so healthy bacteria can take over while you remain smelling fresh. Once you’ve transitioned to natural deodorant, you’ll find this is great for keeping you sweet-smelling all day.

 

14. Meow Meow Tweet Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream

If you’ve never used a deodorant cream before, it can be a bit of an adjustment. However, it’s just as easy to apply as a moisturizer, and it’s one of the more effective methods of applying deodorant. Massaging the cream into your skin ensures it’s properly absorbed and makes full contact with your skin, where it can do what it needs to do.

Deodorant creams can also be a little more gentle during application and work just as well with shaved and unshaved armpits. Like most cream deodorants, Meow Meow Tweet Tweet’s cream deodorant is designed to be gentle on sensitive skin. It contains a high proportion of nourishing oils, including coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter.

Bacteria are kept at bay with magnesium hydroxide and citrus essential oils, which also have the advantage of leaving you smelling fresh and clean. If you’ve been unlucky with citrus scents before, don’t worry. These are the real deal and won’t leave you smelling like kitchen cleaner.

 

15. Agent Nateur Holi(stick) Sensitive Deodorant

The effectiveness of this deodorant does make up for the horrible pun in the name, we promise. Holi(stick) deodorant is one of the gentlest deodorants on this list, with no baking soda and only a low concentration of magnesium hydroxide. While this makes it much gentler on your skin, it also usually reduces the effectiveness of the deodorant.

However, Agent Nateur has included Leucojum aestivum bulb extract, one of the few natural compounds that can reduce sweating. It’s not nearly as effective as aluminum-containing antiperspirants, but when combined with zinc ricinoleate and arrowroot powder, it significantly increases the time it takes before you need to reapply deodorant. Nourishing oils and butters round out the mixture to keep your skin smooth and healthy.

 

16. Salt & Stone Bergamot and Hinoki Natural Deodorant

Although this isn’t the strongest or longest-lasting deodorant on the list, it’s certainly one of the best at reducing irritation and helping eczema and acne heal. It won’t treat any issues directly, but a combination of hyaluronic acid, tocopherol, and probiotics work to recolonize your skin with healthy bacteria and speed up wound healing.

If you have issues with eczema, the combination of moisturizing oils, tocopherol, hyaluronic acid, and spirulina can work wonders to help reduce dry and scaly skin. However, Salt & Stone has chosen to include “parfum,” so if you have a known sensitivity to fragrance, make sure to do a spot check first.

 

17. Lume Acidified Deodorant Wipes

If you’re finding that your day-to-day deodorant just isn’t quite keeping up by the end of the day, Lume’s Acidified Deodorant Wipes are perfect for a midday freshen. While these deodorant wipes can be used on their own, we find they work best in combination with an acidifying deodorant, using the wipes only as required.

Lumes wipe contain saccharomyces extract to break down odorous compounds, while lactobacillus provides a healthy bacterial touch-up. Mandelic acid (an AHA) and capryl glucoside help keep skin soft, while aloe vera and witch hazel soothe away any irritation. Our only complaint is that although these wipes are made of cotton, they don’t claim to be compostable or flushable. While they’re an effective method of odor control, it’s best to limit the use of single-use hygiene products where possible.

 

18. Dove 0% Aluminum Cucumber and Green Tea Roll-on Deodorant

Dove produces one of the most popular deodorants on the market thanks to the simple, effective, and budget-friendly nature of their deodorant. Using Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant is exactly the same as applying your standard antiperspirant, so it’s great for those who don’t want too much change to their routine.

This might not be one of the fanciest, best-scented, or strongest deodorants on the market, but it’s a great all-rounder. Although it’s not particularly trendy, Dove 0% Aluminum gets the job done, which at the end of the day, is really what you need.

Glycerin absorbs some moisture and keeps your skin hydrated, while sunflower oil adds a protective layer. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, helps prevent inflammation and chafing, while also providing a necessary nutrient to your skin cells. A few preservatives and surfactants (not all of which are natural) help the deodorant sink into your skin, preventing it from being rubbed off onto your clothing.

One thing to be aware of is although the roll-on form of Dove 0% Aluminum is free of potentially harmful chemicals, their 0% aluminum sticks contain BHT. BHT has recently been labeled an endocrine disruptor that can affect male fertility and is a possible cause of organ damage when overused. Although the FDA currently classifies BHT as safe, we recommend staying clear of Dove 0% Aluminum stick deodorants if you’re concerned about potentially toxic chemicals in your skincare routine.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does natural deodorant make me smell?

Making the change from antiperspirants to natural deodorants takes a few weeks. The process isn’t instantaneous because you need to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria from your skin and replace them with healthy, scent-free bacteria. It takes time to adjust your microbiome, and while in that transition period, you might not smell as fresh as you’d like.

To speed up the transition time, try using natural deodorants containing probiotics, as these provide a new source of healthy bacteria for your skin. You also might benefit from the occasional use of deodorant wipes throughout the day.

Does natural deodorant stain clothes?

Yes, some natural deodorants can stain your clothes. Those containing oils such as coconut oil and shea butter can cause stains if you apply too much or don’t allow them to sink into your skin before getting dressed. Activated charcoal can also leave dark smudges on your clothing, but these will wash off. Most natural deodorants won’t stain your clothes as long as you take the time to let the deodorant dry.

How do natural deodorants work for me?

Natural deodorant should always be applied to freshly washed skin and allowed to dry. If you use a cream deodorant, make sure to massage the cream into your skin properly. Using a roll-on deodorant can occasionally leave a thicker streak of deodorant, which takes longer to dry. Avoid these by rubbing your elbows against your sides a few times after applying deodorant.

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