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A Guide to ...
Published: June 8, 2024

A Guide to Natural Deodorants

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If you notice a stink after a workout, stressful presentation, or just when you wake up in the morning, you’re not alone. It’s really common to have body odor, especially when there’s a trigger like stress or sweat that makes it worse. But many of us wonder – should we be buying deodorant in the store? Are certain types of natural deodorants better or more effective? Are there natural deoderant alternatives we should be using? 

Let's break it down by discussing regular deodorant first: 

Are Regular Deodorant Brands Harmful? 

While there is a lot of popular speculation that some chemicals in deodorant may attribute to illnesses such as breast cancer, this has actually been shown to be just a rumor – there isn't nearly enough scientific evidence to back this claim up. However, that doesn't mean that regular deodorant is particularly good for you, either. 
In general, some deodorant brands do contain chemicals like aluminum, which can be harmful. As Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, Founder of and bestelling author of Eat Dirt, says: “You want to avoid any deodorants with toxins such as aluminum, p-dichlorobenzene, and/or phthalates. I can’t recommend any certain brands as I make my own natural paste, finding it to be the most effective and affordable. I also rest assured knowing that there are no hidden ingredients and my skin is being protected from toxins”. 

Regarding other chemicals, Dr. Axe gives us this important information: “Regarding p-dichlorobenzene, it’s a carcinogen found in mothballs and deodorant blocks. It is linked to liver and nerve damage,” says Axe. And, “phthalates are chemical compounds that are often added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity.” Phthalates are common in many cosmetic and food products – and they’re prevalent in the environment.

So, which are the best ones to use? For some, natural deodorant brands can be hard to come by, or a little out of budget. But if we want to avoid the toxins in regular deodorant and find natural deodorant alternatives, what do we do? 

Follow in Dr. Axe's lead and make our own affordable, toxin-free deodorant!

How to Make your Own Natural Deodorant Alternatives

Dr. Axe has a specific recipe that we've provided below. Follow the guide to a T and you'll have your own cheap, effective deodorant in no time. 

DIY Deodorant

Total Time: 5 minutes (Yield: 30–90 applications)


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 40–60 drops essential oil of your choice (scent recommendations for females: sage, lemon, and lavender oil; for males: cypress, rosemary, and bergamot oil)
  • Empty deodorant containers

1. Put coconut oil in bowl. Mix in baking soda, then add essential oils. Mix well.
2. Store in a deodorant container or glass jar. Keep in a cool place (coconut oil will melt).
3. To apply, dab with fingers and rub or roll onto underarms. Wait a couple of minutes before contact with fabric.
4. For best results, use twice daily.

As another natural deodorant alternative, you can try this Homemade Probiotic Deodorant Recipe.

Coconut oil will moisten skin and boost hydration, so it’s a great base. And the essential oils are beneficial for health and skin and can easily prevent body odor.

“Essential oils are good for deodorant because they stop part of the process that causes body odor, known as bromhidrosis. When bacteria on the skin starts to break down the proteins found in your sweat, an unpleasant odor occurs,” he says.

You’ll also want to hit all the spots with these oils. “It’s most common in the groin, armpits, and around the nipples, because the apocrine glands in those areas release very high-protein sweat. Antibacterial essential oils such as lemongrass and tea tree oil can help to destroy the bacteria on the skin in these areas, preventing those bacteria from breaking down the sweat proteins and, in turn, helping decrease or eliminate body odor,” he explains.

Branded All-Natural Deodorants

If you don’t want to make your own but still want a natural option, here are a few recommended natural deodorant brands!

“Natural deodorants contain ingredients such as clays, minerals, essential oils and arrowroot powder, and sodium bicarbonate; which are all ingredients that are easily accessible in a local health food store. This is an additional benefit because the consumer knows exactly what is in their deodorant,” says CEO and founder of Bubbly Moon Naturals,  Marshalla Ramos-Inde. Her sea clay and shea butter deodorant is beneficial over store-bought brands because it contains ingredients that are made to be gentle for sensitive skin.

Another one? “Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant accomplishes a strong deodorant effect without the use of harmful aluminum or chlorohydrate. Thanks to natural powerful ingredients like seaweed extract, essential oils, aloe vera, and natural mineral salt, this deodorant gets the job done in a vegan, gluten-free package – far safer than you'd get from the big-name deodorant purveyors,” says Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics.

“Schmidt’s Deodorant is another option. It disregards aluminum and other harmful ingredients, but utilizes botanical powders in order to provide a powerful deodorant experience. Schmidt’s also utilizes natural ingredients to achieve a wide range of natural scents – this is highly preferred by individuals who prefer a natural scent to an artificial one,” Backe says. 

Read the labels on these natural brands or whip up your own deodorant at home – it’ll be safe, effective, and a lot cheaper, too.


What are your favorite deodorant brands or homemade recipes? Share them with us below!


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