The First Step Towards Clean Beauty: How to Switch to Natural Deodorant (Plus 7 Picks to Try Now)
The clean beauty industry is making headway and has many folks questioning the products they use every day, but it can be pretty overwhelming to take a look at your bathroom vanity and think you may, at some point, want to change all your products for cleaner alternatives. Well, don’t—at least not at first.
Changing all of your products at once can be a stressful experience, but beyond that, it’s a very expensive endeavor. If you were to replace all of your products (from your haircare to your makeup and skincare), you’d be shelling out hundreds of dollars. Money aside, swapping all your products at once can make it confusing to figure out what new products are actually working for you.
Your First Clean Beauty Swap: Deodorant
There’s a better way to foray into clean beauty. I prefer a hybrid of the replenishment model—whenever you run out of a product, replace it with a clean version—and prioritizing products that are on your skin the longest, such as deodorant.
Deodorant is a fantastic place to start, and the clean beauty benefits are pretty straightforward. Most deodorants, like the ones you find at the grocery store, are going to be an antiperspirant, meaning they block your sweat ducts, preventing sweating entirely. The ingredient that prevents/blocks sweat is aluminum, and there have been studies linking aluminum deodorants to an increase of estrogen-mimicking hormonal shifts, which some scientists have hypothesized could also increase your breast cancer risk. I recommend doing your own thorough research and making a decision for yourself, but I’m also in camp of why risk it?
What Makes a Good Clean Deodorant?
Since clean deodorants are not antiperspirants, you will need to reset your expectations for what a deodorant’s purpose is, since this will be key to successfully evaluating whether or not the deodorant is “working.” Deodorants mitigate body odor rather than prevent sweating, so be prepared… you will sweat. As a result, when you try a clean beauty deodorant, you should evaluate whether or not your sweat is resulting in body odor. Obviously if the deodorant is working, you shouldn’t be able to smell anything. And, keep in mind that you may have to apply a clean deodorant more than once a day (like after a particularly sweaty yoga sesh or before you head into a big meeting).
Changing your deodorant can be stressful: You may find yourself doing the secret smell checks (a.k.a. fake coughing into your elbow to see if you can catch any signs of body odor), and you might also find that deodorant is probably one of the more difficult products to switch, since it’s the one product change that causes anxiety around body odor. With that being said, if you continue your clean beauty journey beyond deodorant, it’s all downhill from here.
7 Clean Deodorant Swaps to Try Today
Rest assured: There are a lot of fantastic clean beauty deodorant options that may leave your armpits happier than they’ve ever been before.
A sidenote: Just like with conventional deodorants, ingredients make a difference when it comes to clean versions. A common ingredient in clean deodorant is baking soda, which is great at helping to prevent body odor and absorb wetness. However, some folks have a sensitivity to it. If you find that after using a baking-soda-based deodorant your armpits are itchy or you develop redness or irritation, switch to a baking soda free option—and don’t get deterred! It’s all about finding what’s right for you.
Meow Meow Tweet offers a jar and a stick version of their baking soda-free deodorant, and the jar version is a favorite of mine. I’ve found I prefer it, since it enables me to have more control of where I’m putting my deodorant.
Follain’s Charcoal Deodorant uses charcoal to detoxify your armpits. This formula can also leave you feeling a bit drier, since cornstarch helps to absorb moisture. I favor this deodorant in the summer, because while it is not an antiperspirant, the cornstarch goes a long way to absorbing moisture during the warmer summer months.
If you don’t have a sensitivity to baking soda, I recommend trying The Visionary. The deodorant comes in three different scents, and if you find that you like more of a fragrance to your deodorant, this is a good pick since the scent stays post-application.
If you like charcoal-based deodorant to help with moisture absorption and don’t have a sensitivity to baking soda, this is a great pick. PiperWai’s deodorant uses both to ingredients to leave you feeling fresh—and they were offered a Shark Tank deal to prove it.
For folks who have no sensitivity to baking soda and may need an extra strength deodorant, Love Fresh’s Super Strength Deodorant could be the right match. This deodorant includes an extra dose of baking soda to combat odor and wetness, while shea butter moisturizes skin.
Lots of natural deos utilize beeswax in order to create a creamy formula, but this version from Routine is vegan, and friendly to those avoiding beeswax. Bonus: It smells like pineapple upside down cake.
Another pick for those with sensitive underarms, and designed for both men and women, is Agent Nateur’s baking-soda-free and vegan version of their cult success HOLI(STICK) deodorant. It’s got a woodsy floral scent and helps nourish underarms with candelilla.
Interested in swapping out your other products for cleaner versions? Here are our five super easy tips to get switching today.