Choosing a natural deodorant can be really confusing. What is natural? Was all that Impulse Liberte I sprayed literally in my face for the full six years of high school basically cancer in a can? Why do I even care about this? Am I a hippie now?
Calm your sweet farm petal, I’m here to help. I’m what I like to call an inbetweenie. I try really (really) hard to make conscious choices most of the time but I don’t freak out if I have to use some dank public toilet handsoap that’s full of fragrances. I also really like frozen lasagna and I’m partial to a little MSG from time to time. Usually in the form of bright orange corn chips. Seriously the brighter the better. I want my gums to bleed.
If this sounds like you, come along with me my friend. This doesn’t have to be scary or weird. I’ll guide you.
Why are you choosing a natural deodorant?
There are quite a few rumours that antiperspirants cause cancer but the National Institute of Cancer says there’s not strong enough scientific evidence to support that. There are also some claims that antiperspirants cause hormone imbalances from ingredients like parabens. Lots of antiperspirants contain formaldehyde which is carcinogenic. So even though there’s no big affirmative study that antiperspirant deodorant will kill you, there’s enough nasty stuff in there that if you want to try to avoid, it’s certainly not going to hurt you. That’s why I ended up switching a few years ago. Inconclusive studies aside I just got a bit weird about blocking my own sweat glands on a daily basis. I didn’t even really clock that’s what antiperspirants did and once I wrapped my head around that it seemed like a poor choice moving forward. But that’s just my journey. Choose your own antiperspirant freak out path. There are many to choose from.
I like to reduce my exposure to toxins, additives and fragrances as much as possible but I’m not super weird about it. It’s just something I do if it’s available.
Choosing a natural deodorant isn’t exactly straight forward and it might take a few goes to get it right and find the one that works for you.
How to go about choosing a natural deodorant
- Go with one that’s 100% derived from natural ingredients
You don’t HAVE to go 100% natural but if you’re going down this path, start there.
2. Go aluminium free
Most of the research around antiperspirants is largely inconclusive but aluminium physically blocks sweat glands and I’m not sure I care what the research says, that doesn’t sound good to me. So start with this as a good baseline for choosing your first natural deodorant.
3. Go baking soda free if you have sensitive skin
When started with No Pong,I found their original formula too strong and ended up with scabby, weepy underarms. Cute. I then tried their bi-carb free and didn’t find it as effective. Their vegan blend has a hint of bi-carb and it’s absolutely perfect for me. It’s all about finding the best compromise and what works for you.
Here are few natural deodorants to try. These are all from Biome or Nourished Life and both of those stores are Australian just FYI.
Crystal deodorants are very person-specific. My partner loves them and they’re very effective for him, they don’t work as much on me. I love crystal deodorants for how long they last. They’re not kidding when they say lasts a year. I do recommend you give crystal a go, if you can make it work, it’s one of the best options. You do have to wet it to use it though so I found it a bit annoying for top-ups on the go.
I love this one because it comes in biodegradable packaging. I buy plastic-free whenever I can. This is a solid choice to start with and ticks all the boxes. I can totally get behind minty underarms.
3. Biork Plastic Free Crystal Stick
I haven’t seen this one before because I’m pretty happy with No Pong but I’d totally get this if I was still searching because look at that cork packaging!!! I’m a sucker for a gimmick and this one got me hard. You should click through and read the description – this is probably the smuggest natural deodorant you could buy. I also like to imagine a chicken saying the brand name. Tee hee!
I was gifted an all-natural deodorant mist and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my favourite. It was just very wet under my arms and I found it quite upsetting. You might totally froth over a mist deodorant though, so follow your own journey soldier! This one looks decent.
I tried Black Chicken years ago and didn’t love it but I think that was because I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the natural deodorant journey. Like you’re going to sweat and smell a bit different. So just remember that when you try any natural deodorant for the first time. I’m very happy with No Pong now but Black Chicken is really similar so if you’re keen to try them, this trial pack looks ace. I bloody love companies that do this. I love to try before I buy.
6. Earth Purities Natural Deodorant Paste
I said before, I love me a gimmick and holy moly check out this one! It comes with a little tiny spatula! Sign me up. Although this does look like it won’t travel well and I can guarantee you will lose the spatula or stop using it immediately. However, I imagine I’d feel very old-timey and wholesome using this.
7. Ethique Solid Deodorant Bar
I love Ethique and everything they stand for. Someone buy this and tell me how awesome it is and how much I’m missing by sticking to my No Pong.
8. Ethique Solid Deodorant Stick
Jesus christ it comes in a stick too. What fresh pit heaven is this???
I included this as a joke because it’s an actual product. Is this the bottled water of 2021?
10. Viva La Body
This one has good reviews and pretty packaging. What more do you want from me?
11. Noosa Basics
One thing I will say is that you should probably avoid plastic packaging. There’s not really much point in choosing a natural deodorant in plastic packaging because you can get almost identical products in tin or cardboard. So do that yeah? I’ve never tried Noosa Basics but I see their stuff everywhere and people seem to like them. How’s that for a recommendation?
12. No Pong
No Pong is my favourite, it’s affordable, not super fancy and you can subscribe to it. I settled on the fragrance-free as it has a hint of bi-carb and that’s perfect for me. Reach out to the team though they’re so ace and will talk you through anything you need.
These are just a few I picked out that look cool but if you want to buy safe, all-natural deodorant in Australia, these two shops are the places to go.
So there you have it! Here are a few more things to consider.
- You will sweat and that might be weird if you haven’t done that in a while
- You will smell different – not gross, and not BO-y but you will smell like a human who has skin and goes places
- If you choose a deodorant in a tin, you will end up with a lot of tins – I’ve been meaning to make candles with mine but I haven’t so I just have a lot of tins
- You might have to plan ahead because not a lot of supermarkets carry natural deodorants and once you go natural you’ll want to stick to it because you kind of have to wean your pits off the hard stuff
And that’s it! Hope this helped.
Let me know if you think I missed any.
Also if you buy something from any of these links I may earn an affiliate commission. It won’t cost you a cent but it means I get about 5 cents per sale and this post took me at least 45 minutes to write and if that’s not a fantastic dollar per hour rate I don’t know what is.
We are onto no pong spicy chai and I’m really happy with it. I like your sassy tone in parts of this post Carly (genuinely) ?
It’s taken me years to find a natural deodorant that works for me. I finally landed on Megababe and it’s a holy grail for me. Has never failed me.
I decided to switch to natural deodorants because my pits had this horrible stale deodorant smell that wouldn’t go away. (I was using *clinical strength*). I started using Native (USA owned), had a terrible reaction to the bicarb version (constant chemical burns) and switched to the sensitive one. Loved it. A tiny bit stanky at the end of the day, but like you said, I smelt like a person with skin who goes places.
I decided to try Aussie brands. I don’t hate the NoPong but it doesn’t feel as effective. I’ve just started on the sample from Black Chicken and kinda love it!! I also want to give the Lanvin 7 day deods a try!
I was recommended Nuud, it’s spendy and comes in a small tube but you only use a pea size amount for each armpit and you can go at least a couple of days without smelling at all, total game changer.
Yes I’m a total Nuud concert! I only use it every few days and love the results.
Voting for Woohoo’s Tuxedo (love cedarwood).
Has anyone found one that doesn’t leave white residue on your clothing? I’m using NoPong, love it, but would happily switch to a “cleaner” product