Ok, I’m about to overshare for a minute.
I’m a heavy sweater. Like, really. I have been for years and I suffered from bad B.O. throughout most of my adolescence.
I tried pretty much everything the drugstore had to offer — the so-called “clinical-strength” deodorants did absolutely nothing for me.
Then I read an article about natural deodorant and how it helped a fellow smelly, sweaty girl. I decided to give it a chance and I’ve never looked back.
Not only has using natural deodorant significantly reduced my body odor, but I swear it’s also reduced my sweating too.
Natural Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
So, what’s the major difference between natural deodorants and antiperspirants (like Dove and Secret), anyways?
Antiperspirants work by actively trying to prevent sweating. They often contain aluminum, which is used to plug up your sweat pores in your armpits.
Natural deodorants, on the other hand, don’t try to reduce your sweating and don’t clog up your pores. Rather, they simply try to neutralize the odor.
There are many theories about how the aluminum in antiperspirant is bad for you — some even claim it causes cancer. There is absolutely no valid research to back up any of these claims, however.
I chose to switch to natural deodorant purely because of what it could do for my B.O. But I also like the idea that there’s nothing clogging up my pores. Sweat serves an important evolutionary purpose and I don’t want to get in the way of that.
Before You Make the Switch
If you’re thinking about making the switch to natural deodorant, you should know one thing first: many people go through an adjustment period in which they are very smelly. This didn’t happen to me (probably because I was already smelly!) but it does to others so be prepared to go through a stinky period for a bit.
But once you make the switch, it is SO worth it. Take it from a formerly very sweaty, smelly babe.
There are plenty of options out there on the market, both from big brands and from small businesses. But don’t get it twisted — not all natural deodorants are made equal. Some are amazing and some of them, well, stink.
But don’t despair! Luckily, you can benefit from my years of trial and error. I’ve tried a ton of brands over the years, but only a few make it into my inner circle.
Check out the ones that I’ve deemed the “holy grail” of natural deodorants below.
The following contains affiliate links.
Then one day, Amazon accidentally sent me the Citrus & Herbal Musk version and I was officially hooked. I couldn’t believe how light the scent was and how well the deodorant worked. It kept me sweat-free for hours — which is a pretty big deal considering I have a history of sweating at the drop of a hat, even if I’m just sitting at my desk
They have so many amazing scents that I’m tempted to try another one next time! Target has a great variety if you’re trying to avoid the big bad behemoth that is Amazon. And if you’re looking to reduce your waste, the brand also offers options in plastic-free cardboard packing.
Crystal deodorant was the first natural deodorant I ever tried and it was a total game-changer. I couldn’t believe how well this simple rock worked to stop my B.O.
The deodorant looks like a total nothing. The packaging is ugly as hell. But it doesn’t matter because the product inside is pure magic.
I personally like the OG unscented version but they’ve now come out with scented options and ones with rollerballs that may be more your speed.
One thing to be warned about — the packaging is this cheap plastic and at one point, you will inevitably drop it and the crystal will shatter into a million pieces. I recommend you take it out of the container right away to avoid that mess.
3. Meow Meow Tweet
Last on the list is Meow Meow Tweet, an adorable, independent brand that’s all about sustainability.
Their products tend to be a little more expensive so I used to only buy their deodorant as a special treat for myself. My favorite was the grapefruit deodorant cream that came in the glass jar. There was something so oddly luxuriously about rubbing a yummy-smelly cream all over my armpits.
If that doesn’t appeal to you the way it does me, they also make deodorant sticks that come in compostable cardboard containers.
Have a favorite natural deodorant that we didn’t list here? Tweet us @femestella and let us know!
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.