Natural Vs. Regular Deodorant: The Debate is On!

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A woman with her arm up, fanning her armpit

For the love of fresh armpits!

You might have noticed that the beauty industry is undergoing a resurgence to remove toxins and to introduce natural and sustainable ingredients into our favorite products. One of the most notable products getting a makeover: deodorant!

It’s not the sexiest of skincare products, but it’s certainly a necessity (or at least some of us think so)! With the help of our valuable Hip2Save readers, we’ve updated our favorites based on feedback. Read on to find out which ones we’ve tried and loved!

Natural Deodorant Pros & Cons

Schmidt's rose + vanilla deodorant

Natural deodorants and antiperspirants are growing in popularity because of their impressively clean ingredients. You’ll likely never see parabens or aluminum listed on the label, but with that comes a few stinky side effects and it’s up to you whether or not the benefits are worth it!

Pros of natural deodorant:

  • They don’t clog pores, which allows your body to detoxify, releasing bacteria and chemicals like BPA through sweating. This will also help decrease your body’s internal temperature so you’re not as hot!
  • Some have additional skin benefits, like formulas with witch hazel or essential oils that soothe the skin and improve razor burn.
  • It’s a greener product, with eco-friendly packaging and biodegradable materials used on numerous brands.
  • You can make your own and even customize the scent with essential oils. Head over to Pinterest for some DIY natural deodorant inspiration.
  • The ingredients are honest, with no parabens, sulfates, or harmful chemicals.
  • They’re moisturizing, with plant-based ingredients to keep your skin hydrated.
  • They might reduce the risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s since they’re free of aluminum, but this has yet to be proven with concrete evidence.

native deodorant

Cons of natural deodorant:

  • They don’t control sweating like standard deodorants do since the ingredients don’t block pores.
  • They may not have the same powerful odor-stopping strength as standard formulations.
  • Natural formulas can cause an oily build-up on the pits of t-shirts and blouses.
  • It can take some time for your body to adjust to the natural ingredients and release the buildup from standard deodorant.
  • They can be more expensive since the ingredients are more costly to source.
  • Natural deodorants can be messy because of their eco-friendly packaging and plant-based ingredients.

A woman holding deodorant in a bathroom

Top-Rated Natural Deodorants

With so many natural deodorants on the market, we’ve narrowed down our list to a few highly-rated brands as well as our team and Hip2Save reader favorites.

A hand placing deodorant in a purse

Lume Natural Deodorant

“I recently switched to Lume and have been impressed. I used it during a week-long trip to New York and stayed dry and clean-smelling the whole day!”

Thai Crystal Deodorant

“I use Thai Crystal and have had absolutely no issues with it! All the other natural ones I’ve tried either make me break out or don’t hold up to a hot day or workout.” – Kristi

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

“Schmidt’s Natural Rose + Vanilla deodorant is my favorite, as I became allergic to regular deodorants two years ago. I’ve also made my own before and it works, but the ingredients have to be super fresh for it to be effective.” – Amber

Native Deodorant

“When it comes to natural deodorant, I feel like I’ve tried them all, but I’m currently using Native deodorant. It does an okay job. It only helps with scent and doesn’t stop sweating.” – Chelsey

Megababe Daily Deodorant

“Mega Babe deodorant has been my go-to recently since I have tried endless options and none seem to do the trick.  My skin is super sensitive so the fact that Mega Babe is toxic-free is a win in my books. Living in Texas it is hot and I need something I can wear and not have to worry about re-applying over and over. So far so good!” – Ashley

Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant

“I use Arm & Hammer Essentials deodorant and it smells amazing, but I’m not gonna lie, it doesn’t do a whole lot for sweating so I usually end up applying it 3 times per day. I like using natural and plant-based products and regular deodorant causes an allergic skin reaction for me, unfortunately.

I also love that this Arm & Hammer deodorant is one of the cheapest natural options around. I get it for less than $2! 😱” – Taylor (me)

Little Seed Farm Deodorant Cream

“I tried a few different natural deodorants before I found one that works for me. I use a deodorant cream from Little Seed Farm and love it! It works just as well for odor as the Secret that I used to use.”

Standard Deodorant Pros & Cons

dove advanced care deodorant

These are the formulas that you probably grew up knowing and using, and even with the surge of natural skincare, these classic deodorants don’t seem to be fleeting from shelves.

Pros of standard deodorant:

  • Antiperspirants can block unwanted sweating to prevent underarm wetness through clothing.
  • They typically do a better job at blocking odor even during the sweatiest of workouts.
  • They’re widely available on store shelves making them easier to come by.
  • They tend to be less expensive compared to natural deodorants.
  • More household brands are testing zero-aluminum versions of their odor-fighting products.

Secret clinical deodorant on shelf

Cons of standard deodorant:

  • Antiperspirants that block the skin’s pores can cause irritation such as bumpy underarms.
  • They can actually make perspiration worse due to bacteria buildup from blockage.
  • Aluminum is suggested to be the cause of fabric yellowing in the underarm area.
  • Some of the chemicals can cause allergic reactions such as propylene glycol and parabens.

Top-Rated Deodorants & Antiperspirants

secret outlast deodorant stick

You’ve probably seen these standard deodorants at your local drugstore, Target, and Walmart as they are highly-rated and more effective than many other brands.

package of dove clinical protection deodorant

Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant 

“Naturals have never really worked for me. I have used Dove Clinical for years, and I have enough stockpile to safely assume it will be my deodorant for probably the next five years.” – Stacy

“I know I should care more about the aluminum, but I just can’t deal with sweating or the odor. I use Dove or Secret clinical strength – those are the only two that have worked for me.” – Jessica

Secret Outlast Invisible Solid Antiperspirant

“I am going to be the total oddball here, BUT I am NOT a fan of natural deodorant. It has never worked for me in terms of odor protection or as an antiperspirant, so I have always been an avid user of Secret and Dove deodorants.” – Bryn

Degree Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant

“Secret clinical is a must for me. Being pregnant, I sweat even more so I put Secret Clinical on in the morning, and then spray Degree Clinical at night and it helps.” -Alana

Dove Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant Deodorant

“I made the switch once to natural, and it totally messed up the underarms of my t-shirts and just didn’t do the job for me. I know it’s not the best option when considering the ingredients compared to natural, but I just went back to the Dove Dry Spray, and I’ve been sticking with it!” – Emily

Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant & Deodorant

“I was all for Schmidt’s natural deodorant when I lived in a cool climate. When I moved to a humid and hot climate, I realized I stink a lot more and the natural wasn’t cutting it. I tried a bunch of high-end brands, but they weren’t helpful. Plus, I think due to menopause and hot flashes I needed to find something powerful. I started using Secret Clinical and it works great!!!! No stink, no sweat!!” -Jennifer

“I can’t live my best life without Secret Clinical. I’m sure it’s full of toxins, but I don’t smell like a zoo animal in the Arizona 120º heat 🤣 I wish I used natural, though!” – Lina

Old Spice Invisible Solid Antiperspirant

“I use Old Spice because I firmly believe that any lady deodorant doesn’t work!”

The results from our mini Hip2Save team poll:

7 for Natural Deodorant, 8 for Standard Deodorant!

A pretty close poll! Our team has some mixed feedback on their favorite deodorants, and it seems like finding an effective natural deodorant is hit and miss for a lot of people, while standard deodorants have much more powerful sweat-fighting properties. As with most products, the results may vary, as all of our bodies are different.

The real takeaway here? To each their own!

Give those pits a detox with our DIY underarm mask!

Join The Discussion

Comments 71

  1. jesilaine91

    Thanks for this post! I recently did a huge overhaul of all my beauty products and switched to a natural deodorant. I absolutely love by Humankind’s deodorant and the eco friendly packaging as you can buy refillable deodorant pods so it reduces waste and the scents are lovely 😀

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome! How cool! Thanks for sharing your favorite with us!

  2. Becky

    Native unscented is my go to..been using it for 3 yrs and i love it.. now that my pores aren’t clogged i don’t sweat or smell. With store bought i was applying several times a day and would still sweat and smell.. it did take several months to adjust but i will never go back to store bought

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks for letting us know what has been working well for you, Becky!

    • kayti

      Same! Absouletly no sweat or smell, even after 24 hours! I’ve found Native to be the absolute best and I don’t break out with it. Had to switch on vacation to regular deodorant and had to apply it multiple times throughout the day

      • Natalie

        Same! No sweating, no smell. I even still smell coconut vanilla when I’m working out the next morning! Native has been the only natural DO that didn’t make me smell like BO after a few hours.

  3. Carla

    I’ve tried several natural deodorants and found that many of them don’t work for me. I finally bit the bullet and tried Native. It’s one of the priciest at almost $12 per deodorant stick, but it works! I put it on in the morning and in the evening I can still smell it on me.

    My husband is a big fan of Seventh Generation. It’s his favorite brand. He puts it on and works 10 hours per day and claims that it works for him all day! I’m not saying that Native or Seventh Generation is the best for everyone, but they work for my family.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh awesome! Thanks for taking a moment to comment, Carla! Good to know the brands you and your husband have liked most!

  4. Allison

    I made the switch to Native a few years ago, and have had no issues (other than the mentioned build-up which is easily remedied). When I recently discovered that my 8yo needed deodorant, there was no hesitation to start him on a natural deodorant as well. My husband was against switching when I did a few years back, but he was suddenly for the change when we put my son on it, so now we’re all using natural 🙂

    • Hunterwoody

      How do you prevent the buildup from Native? My clothes have oil stains.

      • Allison

        The buildup I tend to get is on my pits. It’s like that skin gets a brownish film over it. I usually do one of two things: (1) I do a pit detox paste with ACV and Indian mud clay; H2S has done a post about this! Or, (2), I use a regular body sugar or salt scrub to really scrub my pits to get them clean.

      • MH

        I have this issue too. I loved Native, but went back to using anti perspirant after ruining many shirts.

      • kayti

        I cut back to two swipes to fully cover the area. I also let it dry a few minutes before I out a shirt on. Haven’t noticed any staining.

      • beth-3

        Often a good dish soap, will take out the oil stains. It might take a few rounds of scrubbing. It’s best to let air dry & then scrub again if it doesn’t come all the way out.

  5. Casey

    I use Humble, it has only four ingredients plus essential oil. There is even an unscented version. They also offer free shipping.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! I haven’t tried that one! Thanks for sharing, Casey!

  6. Michelle K.

    My favorite natural deodorant is by just.ingredients by Karalynn Call. You can find her account on Instagram. The natural deodorant glides on my skin. You can use it right after you shave your armpits. It never irritates my skin.

  7. Mel

    I haven’t tried any natural deodorant, but have tried Secret & Suave’s Aluminum Free deodorants. For Secret, I found it works better after I’ve taken a shower at night. When I’d put it on in the morning (even after showering), I felt like I was sweating bullets! I’d just feel uncomfortable the rest of the day. Suave Alum Free worked much better! I also have Dove, but I am trying to get through the Secret first!

  8. KK

    Rayn deodorant is definitely the best all natural I have come across!

  9. Francis

    I started using Lume about a year ago and it works wonders for odor but if you live in a very hot summertime climate (like I do) it doesn’t do anything to keep you dry. If I am outside for any length of time I get huge sweat rings which is not attractive but there is no odor, and right now with social distancing there is no one around to notice those sweat rings so not a problem!

    • Sarah

      Wow I wish Lume worked for me! I used a little over 3/4 of a stick of Lume and when I was nearing the end I noticed my right armpit started to smell bad, like onion bad. I used more Lume, didn’t help at all. I stopped using Lume the smell freakin stayed, in one armpit!!! Even makes my shirt pits smell. I had never even had a smell issue before. It has been a year now and I can’t find a deodorant that will work on it lol. Idk if Lume clogged my pores or what but it’s pretty irritating. Lume just told me to use more and spread it wider when I emailed the company to ask, no thanks! I don’t need 2 onion pits 😳Gross yet real life 🤦‍♀️

      • beth-3

        You could try a pit detox-just google for recipes with items you have on hand.

  10. mimi123

    I use baking soda and powder it on my armpits right after shower. And no matter how much I sweat it doesn’t smell at all!

    • Brigitte

      I love this- do you mix it half and half? Do you do it right out of the shower or after you’re dry?

  11. mlj211

    It can take a bit of time for you body to detox and adjust to natural deodorants. I switched years ago and I remember having sweating issues for a good year. But I only use Toms of Maine and now most days I don’t even need deodorant. So stay strong to committing to take chemicals out of your lives/ bodies!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks SO much for sharing your experience. I agree. It did seem to take a few months to adjust once I switched to a natural deodorant.

  12. Jill

    If you need an antiperspirant that really works – try Certain Dri. Is this full of chemicals and could potentially cause cancer? You bet!!
    But it is the only thing that has worked for me and when you are up in front of a bunch of people teaching, nobody wants sweaty arm pits!

  13. Lauren

    Arm & Hammer fan here 👋

  14. Amy

    Used Arm and Hammer for years but after a baby, things changed 🙁 My daughter and I are in the middle of trying Lume and are not impressed… and we’re totally bummed by it! Your post came at just the right time. On to the next on the list. Has anyone heard of problems purchasing Native on Amazon? I noticed a few reviews where people were concerned that the product wasn’t authentic. Should I be purchasing through Target?

    • faithanne

      If you purchase native straight from their website there is often a coupon code to use ☺️

  15. Sue

    I don’t wear deodorant. I hardly ever sweat/smell.

  16. KCha

    I use Native sensitive. Every few months they have good promo codes. The one I wait for is 20% off. I grab a 3 pack with subscribe and save ($10 each), plus the 20%. So basically buy 2, get 1 free. It’s super easy to cancel a subscription and Native has excellent customer service.

    • bizzymama

      😊saw your post right after I posted. 👍🏻

      • KCha

        Great minds!

  17. bizzymama

    Switched to Native a few years ago and although the deodorant is expensive, I search for discounts of 20% for their site and if you bundle 3 deodorants- you can save$! Plus get free shipping. One deodorant lasts over 2 months with morning application every day:) I’ve also recently tried the fresh lemon Lavanila deodorant and I’m becoming a fan. It smells lovely and it goes on very smooth.

    • L

      I use Lavanila too! I love the eucalyptus scent!

  18. Zara

    NATIVE is one of the WORST natural deodorants I tried! So far Schmidt’s works for me and doesn’t ruin my clothes.

  19. Laura

    Natural all the way! I switched When I got pregnancy isthmus y son because I didn’t want to put anything unhealthy on my body. It took a bit for my body to completely detox but it was so worth it! I swear by the Arm & Hammer one. Yes, I have to reapply sometimes, but that beats all the toxins and aluminums not going in my body. 🙌🏼

    • Laura

      *pregnant with my son 😂 typed too fast!

  20. Caitlin

    I have used many different brands of “natural” deodorants and they do nothing for my sweating in warmer months. They’re fine in fall/winter, but I even live in Colorado and need something with a bit more of a kick in the spring and summer.

  21. Katie

    I have tried many natural deodorants. Yes, I sometimes still sweat, sometimes still have odor, sometimes have to reapply during the day. But it is important to me to minimize the chemicals I am putting on my body so I deal with it as best I can. I have found I need to avoid any with baking soda as it irritates my skin. I am currently using Kopari and it glides on super smooth and has a very light coconut smell.

  22. Gisette

    I like Secret, been wearing for as long as I can remember.

  23. Deanna

    What do you do when your deodorant just stops working for you? It seems like a deodorant works for like 2 or 3 days then stops working. I switch to another and same thing. Do i need to detox my pits?

    • lydia999

      I’d detox and then start off with a more natural deodorant. Good luck!

      • Deanna


      • Deanna


    • PNW

      I had a similar problem but instead of 2 or 3 days I would be able to use the whole stick then start a new bottle of the same kind I was using. But before even 1/2 of the stick was used it would stop working. I would have to use a different brand. I had to cycle thru three or four brands. A brand that had stop working would work again after several months. I finally figured out that my armpits have to be completely dry and then deodorant works fine. I now used plain unscented Secret with no problem at all.

  24. manna

    I am a heavy sweater and have tried a couple different natural deodorants and none of them have worked for me 😞

    • PNW

      That is the problem with natural deodorants they do not stop the sweating.

  25. Cat

    My issue after trying Native is the white gunk build up in the armpit crevices. Every time I wore Native, I would be so embarrassed to lift my arms when wearing sleeveless shirts especially at the gym because all you could see was the white crust from the deodorant. So, I had to switch back to traditional deodorant. Anyone try a natural deodorant that doesn’t have the white build-up?

    • Natalie

      I love Lume. It goes on like a lotion and soaks in to your skin. You have to wash your clothes with Persil or Nature’s remedy (enzyme soap) before you start using it. A lot of times the stink is in your clothes. I didn’t believe it until I wore a clean shirt that hadn’t been washed with persil. I smelled pit stank within 15 minutes.

  26. Jessica

    The people who say they don’t wear deodorant and don’t stink should get a second and third opinion. Be courteous to people around you.

  27. mayd2bz

    Secret Ultimate Strength works best for me. I’m in my premenopause period. My biggest culprit is underboobs sweat. Even after taking shower, I sweat like crazy. I just apply it every night bedtime when my body temperature drops, which is the best way to do it. And I can do my daily activities without looking so miserable.

  28. Holly McCormick

    Plastic packaging should be a con imo.

  29. Sylwia

    I’ve used crystal deodorant stone for years and years now. Crystal deodorant is a type of alternative deodorant made of natural mineral salt called potassium alum which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Potassium alum has been used as a deodorant in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. It doesn’t keep you dry but works for smell like a charm. Also, it’s cheap and lasts FOREVER… before I dropped it, my first once lasted several years, the one I have now is going on year five.

  30. TO

    omg… all of y’all successfully using these are lucky. I’ve tried 3 different ones and I get MASSIVE rashes in my pits… which is sooooo not fun!!! I waited about 6 months between each attempt and different type… same painful reaction.

    • BJ

      If the ones you tried had baking soda, you probably have a sensitivity to it. The little seed one mentioned in the article doesn’t have baking soda.

  31. nikki

    I am on 8 weeks maternity leave and decided to try the natural route since I’m pretty much home due to a c-section and covid. I have always sweat a lot and stank a lot and living near coastal SC doesn’t help. Really the only deodorants that work are the strongest out there, and I still sweat and stink at times. Nonetheless, I am still trying it. And so far, I’m not happy. I have a musky vitamin smell and sweat a ton. I’m going to stick with it until I go back to work, but I know I won’t be able to work around people without using conventional deodorant.

  32. Jane

    100% natural … baking soda with organic coconut 🥥 oil the best, 👍

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I have liked that too, Jane! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Annie

    I want to love natural deodorant but it seems like every brand I’ve tried I’m allergic to. At first I thought I was just allergic to aluminum which is when I began the switch to natural, but brands like Dove/Native/Arm & Hammer/Ivory/etc. have left me with a terrible rash. Anyone else have this dilemma? What works for your sensitive skin?

    • Jessie

      I’ve had trouble with a lot of brands and finally found that almay sensitive unscented doesn’t cause me to break out.

    • BJ

      I’m sensitive to the baking soda in many natural deodorants. Poofy Organics sensitive deodorant, little seeds farm (mentioned in article) and pit liquor all have no baking soda.

  34. Roxanne Dugger-Martinez

    I have been using deodorant instead of antiperspirant for a few years now and have noticed I sweat a lot less than I used to. I have a hard time with the all natural ones because most scents make me break out. I like the Lume unscented and the arm and hammer essentials (my 10 year old daughter uses it as well). I have been using the Dove aluminum free coconut and jasmine to try a more common brand. It has a lot of ingredients the natural ones don’t but it seems to work and doesn’t make me break out. I bought an Ivory gentle deodorant hint of aloe to try when my Dove is gone. I switched because my underarms were getting so gunked up and I had a friend die from breast cancer and I read about possibly links to aluminum so that kind of scared me into it. I’m loving the switch and will never go back to antiperspirant.

  35. Britt

    I love your review. I used to use Secret for years and years. It was the only deodorant that would stop my sweating and occasional body odor. A few months ago, I purchased a natural (all ingredients are listed on the back and it is a handful of natural ingredients) deodorant made at our local lavender farm. It smells heavenly. I continue not to sweat or smell. It is very important to consider using natural products that are good for your body. Shopping local and at small businesses are also a great way to support your community.

  36. Kitty

    I like the Dr Teal lavender natural deodorant. At first it wasnt totally effective so had to do every other day with conventional but now works fine and smells really good!

  37. Kara

    I recently tried to go natural and I absolutely love Lume, for both underarms and in the lady region. However at this point in my life, it’s hard to justify cost. I tried Native and it made me break out and itch, and at the end of the day I smelled sooooo bad. For my husband, regular deodorants make him smell, and Native has worked extremely well for him. I went back to regular deodorant for now. I just feel like I have to constantly switch brands because my body becomes immune after using one brand.

  38. nikki

    I use lemon juice concentrate from the store and spray it from a bottle! Works wonders!! Rarely have to use anything else and I am such a sweater! Never thought lemon juice would work in a million years. Definitely use a spray deodorant though at night after shaving.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      What a great tip to share! That’s awesome. Maybe it will help someone else – thanks for sharing!

  39. Jane

    I have been using natural deodorants for a few years now, with mixed results. I just started LUSH’s Greeench deodorant powder. []. So far it has been wonderful. It’s something you have to put on with your hands, but it smells great and I have had no issues.

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