Bop or Flop: Natural Deodorants?

Ahh… “natural deodorants.” I don’t know if it’s just me but the first feeling that comes to mind even typing those two words together during the peak of summer is: 

I’ve always wanted to make the switch to fab natural deodorants. Something about using something only a select number of people can fully commit to seems so elite, and maybe that’s just my ego peeking through. 

Antiperspirants vs. Natural Deodorants

Natural deodorants, unlike the Cucumber Melon antiperspirant in your bathroom, essentially allow your armpits to fully breathe – aka release all of those wonderful toxins your body naturally builds up, through your pores.

On the contrary, antiperspirants use aluminum as their main ingredient to clog the pores in your armpit, controlling the flow of your victory juice (aka sweat). 

natural deodorant test lineup megababe native lemon juice tea tree oil beautycounter

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Is Natural Deodorant Worth the Hype?

If you’re like me and ready to take the leap to swapping your antiperspirant for a more natural option, I tested out 5 different natural deodorants so you don’t have to (don’t thank me all at once). 

A little background info: I live in Hawai’i and work out 6-7x a week, weightlifting. So, it’s safe to say that I’m constantly sweating but honestly… I’m pretty surprised with the way this little test turned out. 

Oh! Before I forget (literally the most important detail): switching to natural deodorants is a process. Realistically, about 2 weeks to actually see (aka smell) a natural deodorant work.

I mean think about it – some say your armpits literally have to do an entire detoxing process to rid your armpits of years and years and yeaaaaars of aluminum build-up and toxins you’ve been holding on to. If nothing else, it simply takes time for your body to adjust to new ingredients.

Luckily, you do have some options, such as special detoxing soaps and underarm masks to help you during your detoxing period. My go-to way is good ol’ tea tree oil, which is what I used during my detoxing period. 

Now onto my natural deodorant journey. 

Natural Deo #1: Beautycounter

Beautycounter natural deodorant website screenshot

Did the price make your jaw drop too? I’ll speak your mind for you, don’t worry: “$31 for some deodorant?!” 

Pros –

1. Sustainable. The cute pink container you see is actually a refillable case! Really digging that this deodorant is sold with the intent of replenishing the pit essential with refillables. 

beautycounter natural deodorant in box

2. Light scent. If you’re not a huge fan of super frangranted deodorants, this might be a good option for you.

3. A little goes a long way. It’s not a deodorant that you need to pack on. 1-2 swipes and you’re good to go. 

4. Keeps you dry. I didn’t experience any major sweat drippage. Even after working out, I still felt like my pits were dry. 

Cons –

1. Contains baking soda. Now… baking soda isn’t for everyone and that’s definitely one thing you learn when making the switch to natural deodorants. Baking soda actually helps to absorb your pit wetness and neutralize odor. For someone like me, baking soda is super super irritating. While this deodorant had 5 stars out of 2,655 reviews, I actually had to stop using this deodorant because I started to get a rash. 

A look into my personal diary…

Last night before bed, I wiped the excess antiperspirant deodorant off and wiped my armpits down with tea tree oil before applying the Beautycounter deodorant. I kid you not, I laid in bed, eyes wide open, scratching my armpit. What a way to end the night. I really want to know who did this little survey. “100% said The Clean Deo is non-irritating” am I… more sensitive than everyone? Beautycounter. Babe. I just wanna chat.


Lexi, why are you even putting this product in the review lineup??” 

So glad you asked. During the final days of this experiment, I decided to take the risk of trying this deodorant out again and to my surprise… no irritation. 

2. The price. I could not imagine spending $31 on deodorant while the price of gas on the island is $5+ a gallon BUT, the refills actually sell for a cheaper price ($11 difference).  If you have the means in your budget for this deodorant, go for it but I literally just… can’t. Okay moving on.

3. Visible sweat. Okay bouncing off my no. 4 pro, while this deodorant keeps you dry, I did get a super faint yellow residue on my shirt. Not the biggest turn off but, would I use this product while breaking the labor day golden rule? Debatable. 

natural deodorant test beautycounter visible sweat on white tshirt

Next Up: Lemon Juice

And not just any lemon juice. I’m talking about freshly squeezed lemon juice. This option actually surprised me the most. I actually felt the most ‘clean’ after using the juice and maybe it is because it’s just so natural. You know the phrase ‘less is more’? Just keeping it to the basics with no ingredients you can’t pronounce may just be why lemon juice was more effective for me in the gym.

It was odd that I didn’t have any horrific smell, but I learned this is because the citric acid in lemon kills the bacteria that makes you stink. 

natural deodorant test lemons in bowl

Pros –

1. Cost efficient. Lemons are super inexpensive, especially as a deodorant choice. For this method, I took a cotton ball and dabbed it on the lemon to get the juice, applied it to my pits and I was set. Since they’re so juicy, it took me a couple of days to just get through 1 lemon. 

2. As natural as it gets. If you’re looking for a super super ‘clean,’ natural alternative, this is your 1-ingredient-only friendly option. 

Cons –

1. Visible sweat. Now look, I’m all for sweating in the gym (literally why I go). If visible pit stains are something you try to stay away from, this would not be the best method. Since it’s only 1 ingredient, there is nothing natural that the lemon produces to stop you from sweating (remember how I said the Beautycounter deo had baking soda in it and why that’s important? Yea, lemon = nothing)

2. The waiting game post-shaving. Miss Lemon doesn’t play. Unless you want to shed literally tears, do NOT (I cannot stress this enough), apply the lemon after shaving. My morning routine starts at 3:30am and I just don’t have the time to wait to apply it after shaving. 

3. Not on-the-go friendly. Imagine you need to reapply your deo throughout the day. Do you put the juice in the jar? Pack a lemon in your duffle? Also, again.. let me emphasize that I wake up at 3:30am. Do I stumble into the kitchen and chop a lemon? Or wait, do I meal prep it?

Megababe (the true winner in my eyes)

megababe natural deodorant website screenshot

Megababe wasn’t originally on my radar buuuut, when BeautyCounter failed, I needed a quick, in-store easy-to-grab option. Behold *que the angels singing* Megababe. I can’t lie, I do have a few downfalls for the deo but, the pros def outweigh the cons for me with this one. 

Pros –

1. The smell. I went with the Fruit Enzyme scent with Bilberry Lemon & Orange. Delicious. I’ve also tried ‘Rosy Pits.’ The Megababe site saysrosy scent will have you sniffing your pits all day long!’ which is 100% true. 

2. Baking soda free. My pits are rejoicing. 

3. Available locally. This deo is available at your local Target, and while I heavily enjoy any reason to go to Targét, it’s always nice to be able to pick something up as needed vs. waiting for it to be delivered. You can also grab it at Ulta as well! 

4. Price. Compared to most natural deodorants on the market, this is actually one that’s on the more affordable side. 

Cons –

1. Visible sweat. Interesting fact: this deo contains Arrowroot which is listed as a key ingredient to absorb wetness. Arrowroot and cornstarch are actually two alternatives to baking soda that some natural deos can contain (all three are options to replace aluminum aka the queen of antiperspirant). 

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? 👀

natural deodorant test megababe visible sweat on white tshirt

I didn’t have the best of luck with sweat absorption with this deodorant, and not just in the gym. My pits will literally drip throughout the day even in a tank top. 

Another Fave: Tea Tree Oil

Small and mighty. Pits aside, tea tree oil can be an essential in your self-care line-up. You can literally use it anywhere. Your hair, your skin, pits *wink*, your yoga mat just be sure to dilute it. Again. Small and mighty.

tea tree oil desert essence bottle

The amazing thing about tea tree oil is that it’s an antiseptic so it can kill certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Again, I used tea tree oil when going through my aluminum detox period. 

Pros – 

1. Super versatile. You can literally use tea tree oil anywhere. I personally use it on a daily basis whether I’m using it on my pits post-shave or, in my skincare routine. 

2. As natural as it gets. Another option for a ‘clean’, single-ingredient lover. 

3. High in natural astringents. It’s actually known as a remedy for excessive sweating. I mean look at the proof. 

natural deodorant test tea tree oil visible sweat on tshirt

Cons –

1. Needs to be diluted. It’s not the end of the world but, it can be difficult to quickly re-apply while on-the-go because, this isn’t a swipe-and-go option. Ideally, you need to dilute this before use on a cotton ball with water because tea tree oil is super potent. Did I say small and mighty? 

Native Redeems Itself

Native was actually the first natural deodorant brand I ever used when I tried to hop on the bandwagon back in 2017. At the time, the bandwagon just couldn’t be my choice of transportation, clearly. The baking soda version of the deo broke my armpits out so bad, I couldn’t even put my armpits down. It was BAD. 

native deodorant website

Now that it’s one of the most popular natural deodorant brands out there, I’m happy I can join the crowd, using their ✨Sensitive✨ version.

Pros –

1. Options. Love to see it. Regular, Plastic free, and Sensitive options (aka baking soda free) plus, their scent line-up is great! 

Like they literally just released a Pumpkin Spice Latte which is available for deodorant and body wash… I don’t know how I feel about it, I need to head to Target to go smell it… but I’m kind of excited. 

Total disclaimer: their Regular deodorants have a bigger scent line-up compared to the Sensitive options. 

2. Price. Like Megababe, it’s a great price point for the natural deodorant market. As you can see, you also have the option to subscribe and save or bundle up and save. #budgeting. 

3. Available locally. Native is available at CVS, Target, and Walmart so you can always pick it up for easy access. 

Cons –

1. Visible sweat. You know the drill at this point. This is just simply a major downfall of baking soda free options. 

native natural deodorant test visible sweat tshirt

Considering Making the Switch?

I’m 100% rooting for you! Try it out! It’s always a journey getting to know your body and making the switch to natural deodorant is definitely a journey. It takes a lot of trial and error finding something that truly works for you (especially if you’re a sweater like me). Don’t get discouraged – I promise the hunt for the perfect natural deodorant gets better. 

If you decide to switch it up, leave a comment below and let me know which brand you grabbed! 


23 thoughts on “Bop or Flop: Natural Deodorants?”

There are 23 comments posted by our users.

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  1. JS says:

    Definitely will be making the switch after this! SO INSIGHTFUL THANK YOU!!!

  2. Cindy says:

    I’ve been using Routine deodorant for years, great fragrances along with baking soda free options.

  3. Scorebar says:

    Thanks for these reviews.
    My all-natural deo picks are in no particular order:
    Salt & Stone – my fave. Uses crystal salt.
    Kynk – uses arrowroot
    Each & Every – creamy moisturizing
    My own recipe of coconut oil, baking soda, charcoal, tea tree oil, and fave essential oil for super heavy sweat days.

    I’m 37 and went anti-perspirant free back in my early 20’s. The detox is important when switching.

  4. Bee says:

    Wild Deoderant, though I think you can only get that in the UK. Reusable holder in a variety of prints and colours (Inc. Limited editions) good range of smells, and sensitive options, as well as minis for in your purse, they’re changing the scnets all the time but have a basic set that is there all the time, means if you like a scent you have to stock up but whatever replaces it is always amazing as well. Haven’t been able to use whilst in Aus as the weather melts the deoderant, will try no pong and go back to Wild when back home.

  5. Ilyssa says:

    I love Primal Life Organics deodorant. It lasts all day (2 days if I don’t shower) and there’s no smell at all. It just has to be applied immediately after showering.

  6. Karyn says:

    My journey with Native was a lot like yours. My pits were not happy after a couple of days. I didn’t get a rash but they definitely were sore! I was stoked to see they had a sensitive option. I was hesitant trying it again but I’m happy I did and won’t be going back to Dove!

  7. Renee says:

    I for years had used just corn starch. Which also takes two weeks to adjust. And have to apply several times in beginning. Is a little messy but works. Now for last year I have been using Native. I do like but still have to use the corn starch. Since I don’t like sweating

  8. Air says:

    What do you and any other people reading this think of Lume? I’ve been using it for s few months now and love it!

    1. Lexi King says:

      I’ve actually never tried Lume but, I love that they have cream deodorants! which do you prefer: cream or, solid? i need to add to my list of deodorants to try!!

      1. May says:

        Not the OP but I’ve tried the solid and the the cream and while the solid smells better, the cream leaves no residue whatsoever. The solid leaves an oily residue on my clothes.
        Also, it prevents ingrown hairs (all formulas) because it contains mandelic acid (or something similar). You can use it anywhere on your body which is amazing. The down side for me is that there is an odd smell to the product but once you apply it it goes away. It doesn’t prevent sweating either. It’s not perfect but it’s way better than anything else I’ve tried, and it definitely beats having blocked sweat glands.

  9. Shirley says:

    I was just wondering if a natural deodorant would work for me. I been using Dove and have tried other deodorants. Seems like every one l try doesn’t work for my problem. When l go to shower at night the old deodorant is so hard to get off of my armpits. It’s literally like trying to get super glue off. I have to scrub with my nails and soap. Never had this problem years ago until l got older. I’m now 70 years old. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You….

    1. Lexi King says:

      hi Shirley! since your body is forever changing, you may need to go through that detox period a bit longer. i 100% understand the frustration of trying to make the switch but your old deodorant just won’t go away. you may need to use something like tea tree oil or an actual detoxing product to help remove the old product. don’t give up, stay consistent!

  10. Shar says:

    I have had much success with both Little Seed Farm and NoPong deodorants. But I will take note of all these suggestions in the article and comments in case as Valerie said one or both of them stop making me happy and stink free

    1. Lexi King says:

      I’m loving these recommendations, Shar! (currently hovering over “add to cart” for Little Seed Farm 👀)

  11. Valerie says:

    I’ve tried multiple natural deodorants Tom’s, Native, and Lume. Lume worked the longest and then after the 3rd year it stopped working. The natural deodorants are great, but unfortunately they don’t last long work me.

  12. Sam Boulter says:

    I switched to a natural deodorant about five years ago so more power to you! I use Lone Deodorant in Mint scent and I have never needed to try another DO! It’s also made from coconut oil and there is no baking soda so please give it a try!!

    1. Lexi King says:

      WOW definitely adding that one to my list. thanks for the rec!! 💗

  13. Jenna says:

    Oh my gosh, thank you for doing this post! I just spent three days smelling awful at work due to an experiment with a natural deodorant haha

    1. Lexi King says:

      haha you’re so welcome. which one(s) did you try!?

  14. Isis says:

    I make my own deodorant since some years. I mix coconut oil, baking soda and tea tree oil together. tea tree against bacteria and for the scent, baking soda for not dripping in sweat and coconut oil to form a smooth paste that kann be easily applied.
    Most of the time my body is ok with the baking soda, sometimes I get a rash, I don’t know why this happens just from time to time. Maybe it’s depending on what thime of my circle I am and other circumstances. I never tried to track it. You can surely switch the baking soda with some other alternative. After I read this articel I will try cornstarch sometime.
    I love making my own deodorant in a small char from time to time. I can customize the scent like I want, somtimes I use lavender.

    1. Lexi King says:

      that’s interesting that sometimes you’ll get a rash with the baking soda and other times you don’t! the body is so mysterious. but, i love that you go the route of making your own – that’s an awesome idea.

  15. Ian Miller says:

    Really interesting article. Because of eczema and agitation from any perfumed product prevented me in my 20’s wearing any underarm product. Since then and maybe because I am very active and consume water, I generally never have a BO issue. However that might just be my genetics?
    Interestingly though, I now work with a company that manufactures a small patch that sticks on clothes and neutralises all odours for more than 6 hours. Developed for the stoma and incontinence market they are branding for the commercial market for all sorts of uses.
    Kind regards

  16. Angel says:

    SMELLMENOT. d ot com is HANDS DOWN the BEST NATURAL DEODORANT on the market or your Money back!! No baking soda NO preservatives NO parabens NO poisions. In fact its the ONLY EDIBLE natural deodorant that out performs even DDEGREE. NO reapplying , works all day, ABSOLUTELY KILLS DA FUNK & You will love all the other products. This A MUST TRY! SMELLMENOT do t Co m.