12 Natural Deodorants That Don't Contain Aluminum

These deodorants actually work (and won't jeopardize your health)

In the past, I have preferred antiperspirants over deodorants because when I sweat I don't want the world to know, and it's been my experience in the past that one cannot always smell oneself, otherwise the stinky woman who sat next to me on the subway last week would have bathed before leaving her apartment.

But the problem with antiperspirants is that while they clog up your pores so the wetness doesn't eek out, the ingredient that clogs up the pores is aluminum chloride, which has been (controversially, I admit) linked to Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer. Neither of these claims has been scientifically proven, but there's enough concern about them that some respected doctors warn us to avoid using aluminum in our beauty products. Because I have relatives who died of these diseases, and I'm unsure if I'm genetically predisposed to them, I am not taking my chances by using antiperspirants. Instead, I have opted to use a deodorant that doesn't contain aluminum. I also choose to use ones that also contain no parabens because I don't want to put anything evil on my skin. How to tell if your deodorant or antiperspirants contain parabens? Look at the ingredient list for the following: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutyl paraben, butylparaben, and benzyl paraben.

I've done my research and have come up with a list of the most beloved natural deodorants on the market today. Keep in mind that not every product is going to work for every person. You need to find one that works well with your body's chemistry. But these get the highest ratings and therefore made my list. The added bonus? Because they don't contain aluminum, they won't stain your white shirts yellow.

More on organic products:

  •  11 Best Organic Products for Your Skin
  • The Best Organic Beauty Products, Period
  • Organic Beauty: 20 Things You Need to Know

"Lavanila the Healthy Deodorant" contains no aluminum or parabens and is one of the most beloved natural deodorants on the market today. It comes in several different fragrances, but I have only tried the lavender. I love the smell of lavender, but others do not. So pick the one you love most.

Pros: Reviewers who tried it and loved it make such claims as "it's the only deodorant to work on me," or "it doesn't need to be reapplied as often as other natural products," or "it doesn't go on sticky like other deodorants I tried."

Cons: I did find when trying it that it does need to be reapplied in the evening after a particularly hot day. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It comes in travel size for $8 so you can carry it with you in case you need to reapply.

Where do I start with this particular deodorant? I love the concept, the ingredients, the story behind the product, the creator of the product and the reviews (all 5 star) that I've read about it.

You can guarantee there isn't one questionable ingredient in this cream, which feels like frosting and is applied by scooping up a little with a finger -- a method some love, some loathe. It's made with vegetable powders and clay and the essential oils lavender, peppermint and tea tree, which inhibit bacteria while the clay and the powders absorb moisture.

Pros: People who buy this stuff become obsessed. Just read the testimonials found towards the bottom of this Soapwalla Webpage.

Cons: Not everyone likes a cream for a deodorant.

Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant is the top-rated, best-selling natural deodorant on Amazon. As the company states, "It's used by busy moms, marathon runners, professionals, celebrities, athletes, kids, and other health-conscious humans."

Well, $24 may be a lot to pay for a deodorant, but it may be worth it with this one. Dr. Hauschka's Fresh Deodorant gets rave reviews on all the major review sites and it tends to last more than 6 months, so in the end, you might consider the splurge worth it to end every day smelling fresh without having jeopardized your health.

Cons: It's expensive and there are other good natural deodorants that cost much less. Some reviewers claim the "Floral" scent works better than the "Fresh" scent, so keep that in mind when purchasing.

Pros: It doesn't burn when applied after shaving and the scent is a light rose, which you may not love, especially if you prefer your deodorant to be unscented. Most natural ones aren't, however, because they rely on essential oils to mask natural body odors.

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Recipe: Make Your Own Natural Deodorant

Close up of baking soda on a spoon
Aqua Mechanical / Flickr / (CC BY 2.0)

This may sound odd, but making your own natural deodorant may be your best bet of all these natural deodorants. I have read numerous blogs claiming that this basic recipe works better than any natural deodorant on the market today. This is a version that can be found all over the Web. It's not a big state secret or anything since it's made up of 4 basic ingredients: coconut oil, cornstarch (or arrowroot), baking soda and an essential oil or 2 or 3.

Pros: Reviewers swear it works better than anything you can buy.

Cons: You have to make it. And it can be messy.

Deodorant stones have been popular among the nature-loving set for years. The Thai Crystal Stone is perhaps the most popular deodorant stone today and is pretty cheap at under $5. The secret to using this one is to apply liberally to a large swath under the arm (not just where the hair grows). Reviewers note that you may need to wet the stone twice and leave the top off the cap so the stone can dry before you close it up.

Pros: It's cheap and effective.

Cons: It only contains Mineral Salt (Potassium Silicate), which doesn't always do the trick to keep people both dry and fresh smelling.

This is another pricey-but-beloved deodorant that doesn't have aluminum or parabens. It's from France, which people find humorous because women in France supposedly don't care about body odor (the stereotypes!) but I can vouch for the company itself, which makes my all-time favorite tinted sunscreen.

It comes in stick and roll-on form. Up to you on your preference.

Cons: The price. Plus, it can be hard to find in the US.

Pros: Despite the pretentious name ("physiological," which sounds rather pharmaceutical), reviewers say it really does last 24 hours.

This is the only spray to make my list of natural deodorants. It's made up of a lot of essential oils, which work by masking odors your body makes. But it doesn't contain the powders other deodorants have. Powders such as baking soda, arrowroot or cornstarch soak up wetness. This may be a great bet for anyone allergic to powders or who prefer a spray on formula.

Cons: Doesn't soak up wetness as well as others. It also doesn't rate very well on the EWG's Skin Deep database which claims lots of the natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions for some people.

Pros: Great for anyone with skin sensitivities to baking soda or who simply prefer the spray-on form.

Also comes in a 1 ounce travel spray.

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PitROK Push-Up Crystal Deodorant

PitROK Crystal Deodorant
PitROK Crystal Deodorant. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Like the Thai Crystal rock, the PitROK is a rock made up only of pure mineral salts. This means it has no essential oils or powders found in other natural products, but it also contains no parabens and aluminum. 

It's an import from the UK, where it's absolutely beloved. You have to either apply it to wet skin or wet the stone before applying.

Pros: Leaves no white marks on clothes and dries quickly. Fragrance-free, which is a big deal to anyone who doesn't want their deodorant clashing with their personal fragrance faves. Some users love using it on their feet. Yes, you read that correctly. It helps with people who's feet sweat and smell.

Cons: Some people don't love using rocks on their pits. Others find it takes the body a week or so to get used to this method. Also, it is made up of Ammonium Alum which is controversial. Some say it's a form of the bad aluminum chloride.  Not as bad, but not as good as avoiding it completely.

This is a basic natural deodorant. No bells and whistles. Reviewers like it for its price and for its basic effectiveness.

Pros: It gets a good rating from the Environmental Working Group's website. See the rating here.

Cons: One of the ingredients is Ammonium Alum which is controversial. Some say it's a form of the bad aluminum chloride. Not as bad, but not as good as avoiding it completely.

One application of this cream is supposed to keep you smelling fresh for days, even through showers. Odd, I know, but reviewers swear it works. You may have to give your body a week or so to get used to it, but if you follow the directions, you may have found your new all-natural miracle deodorant.

Pros: Lasts for days.

Cons: Some people balked when the company changed the formula a few years ago. Apparently, the previous product contained a petroleum that allowed it to work a few days longer. But that product has since been deemed unhealthy. The new product works, but not as well, reviewers claim.

Malin & Goetz's deodorant is another product that reviewers swear works much longer than other deodorants. In this case, the deodorant works for 24 hours.