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The 12 Best Aluminum-Free Deodorants That Keep You Fresh 

Last updated on July 15, 2022
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So, here's the deal: Aluminum-free deodorant is sort of an oxymoron. Every deodorant is aluminum-free, as deodorants are not the same as antiperspirants.If you know this already, feel free to scroll down to our selects, but if you need a little beauty tune-up about the products that go on your underarms, here's a little debrief for you.

Aluminum-free vs. deodorant.

Sweat causes body odor thanks to the specific types of bacteria that live under your arms.See, we all have skin microbiomes (or the collection of microorganisms that live on our skin), and the armpits have a very specific micro-niche.The bacteria present here feed on sweat and then release an odor that we identify as B.O. 

One way some people stop this process is through antiperspirants: An antiperspirant is a product that limits sweating and, therefore, the smell that comes with it. This happens through the use of aluminum, which plugs your sweat gland for about 12 to 24 hours before they naturally come out of your pores and the product needs to be reapplied. 

The other way people deal with B.O. is through deodorants, which by definition are aluminum-free (hence the oxymoron intro).Deodorants use other measures to decrease or mask the odor but don't stop perspiration.

These products come in many variations and means of operation: Some use new, high-tech actives to limit odor—some rely on classic ingredients, like baking soda, to help. And you may not know what's going to work for you until you try. But to get you off to a head start, here are some of our favorites.

How we picked:

Clean ingredients

We prioritize clean ingredients at mbg. When a product we select contains ingredients that may not suit sensitive skin, we'll be sure to call it out.

Variety

We selected a variety of products. Some products contain natural fragrance while others don't. This way, everyone can find something that suits their preferences.

Efficacy

Especially when it comes to natural deodorants, efficacy is a top priority. We chose formulas that work. We focused on research-backed ingredients that combat body odor when applied and over time.

Price range

We selected clean and natural deodorants that fit a wide variety of budgets. Some options are more expensive than others, but none of the items on this list compromise quality or ingredient integrity.

Best natural deodorants

Best bright scent: Each & Every Natural Deodorant in Lemon & Lavender

Pro:

  • Bright scent

Con:

  • Contains essential oils (for those who are sensitive)
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeNo transferSafe for sensitive skin

This plant-based version uses a combination of starch and sea salts to do its work (no baking soda here, in the event you are sensitive to it). Then it helps mask any odor with a rustic yet bright scent of lavender and lemon (it does use essential oils, if you are sensitive to those.) Bonus: The packaging is plant-based, too. 

Best refillable: Humankind Deodorant

Pro:

  • Sustainable option

Con:

  • Limited scents
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeSafe for sensitive skin

This deodorant is ideal for anyone looking to keep it eco-friendly. The refillable container looks chic on your counter, yet keeps plastic waste to a minimum. At $12 per refill, this is an affordable pick, too. If you're not sure which scent you like, order the variety pack to test them out.

Best budget: Type A Aluminum Free Deodorant

Pro:

  • Affordable

Con:

  • Longer dry time
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeSafe for sensitive skin

This cream option is powered by charcoal and spirulina to limit odor. But unlike most cream options, you don't have to dig it out of a jar to apply—the cool packaging dispenses the product hands- and mess-free.

Best scent range: Corpus Natural Deodorant

Pro:

  • Wide scent range

Con:

  • Not the best for sweating
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeGel finish

A favorite deodorant among beauty editors and mbg staffers alike, Corpus marries the world of high-end fragrance and deodorant quite effectively. The scents are rich and complex, like this woodsy number, while also being incredibly effective. The ingredients, too, are clean and often sourced from organic materials.

Best for lightening: Necesaire The Deodorant

Pro:

  • Helps lighten underarm discoloration

Con:

  • Not the best for eczema-prone skin
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeNo transfer

A relatively new trend in the world of deodorants, this contains very gentle alpha-hydroxy acids (like lactic and mandelic) to soothe and limit odor. It does so by slightly adjusting the pH of the skin, so the B.O.-causing bacteria aren't as abundant. 

Best powder: Taos Aer Next Level Deodorant

Pro:

  • Easy application

Con:

  • Contains baking soda, for those trying to avoid it
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freePowder finishNo transfer


This delightful gel-to-powder texture is a breeze to apply and won't transfer. It goes on smoothly but then dries down almost instantly, so you're not stuck waiting to toss on a T-shirt. It also helps absorb excess moisture with its blend of organic tapioca, non-GMO cornstarch, and natural baking soda.

Best unscented: Tom's Long Lasting Natural Deodorant Stick in Unscented

Pro:

  • Fragrance-free (for those who are sensitive)

Con:

  • Doesn't mask BO
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freePowder finish

For those sensitive to fragrance and smell, look no further than this classic. (Why mess with success?) The primary active here is botanical hops, which helps eliminate the troublesome bacteria in the area—then it hydrates the delicate skin with aloe and sunflower seed oil.  

Best for athletes: thinksport Currant & Grapefruit Deodorant

Pro:

  • lasts all day

Con:

  • Not vegan
Lifestyle considerations: Cruelty-freeSafe for sensitive skin

A brand made famous for creating high-performance, natural sunscreen for those active-inclined, it has since moved on to deodorant. And it delivers. This durable option holds up for all the athletes out there looking to make the switch.

Best for sweat: Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream

Pro:

  • Helps absorb sweat

Con:

  • Not the best for sensitive skin
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freePowder finish

With the help of mandelic acid, this is formulated to a pH of 4.0, much more acidic than your skin's natural pH of about 5. This creates an environment in which the bacteria don't want to live, thereby keeping you smell-free. It also combines arrowroot powder to absorb wetness. 

Best for toxins: Kaia Naturals Charcoal Deodorant

Pro:

  • Charcoal helps draw out toxins

Con:

  • Won't help combat sweat
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freePowder finishNo transferSafe for sensitive skin

The activated charcoal is the star ingredient here, which helps eliminate odor and can even help pull out gunk in your pores. And don't worry: Even if the stick is black, it won't stain or dirty lighter clothing.

Best spray: Ursa Major Sublime Sage Spray Deodorant

Pro:

  • Easy application

Con:

  • May sweat off easily
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeNo transferSafe for sensitive skin

While sticks tend to be the option du jour, sprays are another wonderful application method for natural deodorants. The formula uses botanical extracts, minerals, and enzymes to keep you fresh all day—plus the delightful sage scent feels earthy yet sophisticated. 

Best hydrating: Biossance Squalene+Bamboo Deodorant

Pro:

  • Hydrating formula

Con:

  • May transfer
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeSafe for sensitive skin

Of course an option from this brand would have squalane, their signature addition. Here, it helps keep the sensitive skin hydrated—so you're less likely to experience irritation. (Perfect for sensitive types!)

Best budget: hume supernatural Deodorant in Desert Bloom

Pro:

  • Wide scent variety

Con:

  • Plastic packaging
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeNo transferSafe for sensitive skin

This all-natural option scores an A+ on scent variety. There are a plethora of natural options and, for those who prefer it, an unscented version as well. The review section is packed to the brim with phrases like "It actually works," and "Even my husband likes it." Safe to say, this one is a crowd pleaser with a budget-friendly price tag.

Best exfoliating: Saltair Skincare Deodorant in Santal Bloom

Pro:

  • Helps smooth underarms

Con:

  • Not the best for sensitive skin
Lifestyle considerations: VeganCruelty-freeNo transfer

This one is like skin care for your underarms. Salicylic acid works to gently exfoliate the area which leads to a better shave next time around. There are a few different scent options, all with discounted refillable pods. This will save you a few bucks and eliminate some unnecessary waste—A+ for sustainability.

mbg review process

At mbg, high standards are earned—and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It's a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it's important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).

Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don't simply rave about products we've slathered on the back of our hands. We endorse products we've tried and loved. 

Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here.

The takeaway.

While the term "aluminum-free deodorant," may be buzzy in the beauty space, it's actually misleading. Deodorant is, by nature, aluminum-free, whereas antiperspirant is not. If you want to learn more about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant, check out this breakdown. And if you're in the market for the best natural deodorants, you know where to look.

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Meet The Experts

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.