I've Tried a Bunch of Natural Deodorants — These Ones Actually Work

best natural deodorant
Courtesy Wellow

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 antiperspirants 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.

The Best Natural Deodorants

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.

1. Native


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Native Deodorant is currently one of my favorite brands and I’m totally obsessed! I have an overly sensitive nose so I started out with a more neutral scent like the Charcoal version, which I liked a lot.

Then one day, they 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! And if you’re looking to reduce your waste, the brand also offers options in plastic-free cardboard packing.

2. Crystal

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 always keep a stick around because I know I can count on it when all else fails.

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. Wellow


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Wellow Deodorant is my newest find and I would definitely recommend the Activated Charcoal version! It’s unscented, keeps the stink away all day, and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. It’s also very reasonably priced compared to some of its counterparts, which I personally greatly appreciate (being sustainable on a budget isn’t always easy!). I usually have to reapply in the afternoon, but I’m a particularly sweaty human so as long as you’re not running laps, you should be fine.

The brand also has a full line of products including shampoo bars, conditioner bars, and body wash bars if you’re looking to round out your collection.

4. SmartyPits


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SmartyPits is one of my more recent discoveries and I’m totally digging their sensitive skin formulas. My current favorite is their cherry blossom scent (a limited edition version sadly) which is delicate on my eczema-prone armpits. As I’ve mentioned, I’m usually quite sensitive to smells but the cherry blossom is just subtle enough to work.

The SmartyPits products are a lot waxier than the other brands I’ve tried. This is not a bad thing by any means, it just requires a little extra wash time in the shower. Overall, it’s definitely one of my new favorite deodorants and has been added to the rotation.

5. Meow Meow Tweet


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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 to me, they also make deodorant sticks that come in compostable cardboard containers.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.