Making our beauty routines “cleaner” has become a real priority in recent years. Whether that’s avoiding certain toxic ingredients or focusing on plastic-free packaging, many of us have made a commitment to going natural. This may include opting for a natural deodorant, of which there are now many that truly do work. As a self-proclaimed sweaty girl, I put the best natural deodorants to the test to discover which are worth their weight in gold.
Before we get into which formulas to opt for, let’s cover what natural deodorants actually are. Put simply, traditional deodorants are antiperspirants, which contain aluminium. They usually work by using this aluminium to stop your body from producing sweat, targeting the source of any bad smells directly. On the other hand, natural formulas are aluminium-free, and work instead by neutralising the smell of sweat. In short, you still sweat, but it won’t (or shouldn’t, anyway) smell bad.
“From a functional point of view, a natural deodorant lets your body do its natural thing (that is sweat), whilst neutralising any odour casting bacteria,” confirms Matt Kennedy, Co-Founder of new natural deodorant brand Fussy. “Sweat is a perfectly natural thing and important for your body to function as it was designed,” he continues, before adding: “The problem historically has been that natural deodorants don’t stop the smell. Fortunately things have moved on.”
As well as boasting cleaner, more natural ingredients lists, these aluminium-free offerings often tend to come in more eco-friendly packaging, too. Brands such as Fussy and Wild sell their deodorants in starter packs, which come with a keep-forever case, and refill packs which drastically reduce the amount of plastic and waste you produce.
And if you’re wondering how much of a difference going plastic-free with your deo can really make, Kennedy has some sobering facts for you: “When you consider we we throw away over 3.2 billion deodorants ever year, that’s whole lot of single-use plastic.”
“Almost every deodorant you’ve ever used is still in existence,” he explains. “Even if you think you are recycling the deodorant you throw away, often they can’t be recycled and many end up in landfill or even worse, the ocean.”
However, one of the main reasons many of us are hesitant to go natural with our deos is the fear that they won’t actually work and we will noticeably smell. Usually however, it just takes a short period of adjustment, and you’ll then likely never look back. “If you are switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, you are in effect reopening those sweat ducts that you’ve been blocking, so you might find yourself sweating more than usual or even smelling different,” Kennedy begins. “But this is a perfectly natural process, and it usually takes 3-4 weeks to settle down. So stick with it!”
Wondering which natural deos actually work? I did the ground work and here are my results.