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The 11 Best Natural Deodorants Without Baking Soda For Sensitive Skin

Alexandra Engler
Author:
Updated on July 20, 2022
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
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.
Last updated on July 20, 2022
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Ah, natural deodorant: a category that comes with mixed feelings. But once you find the one? It's like you've found The One. Not only is natural deodorant a hard category to start with, but for those with sensitive armpit skin, there's another layer of frustration: You need to find one that works for you smell-wise and one that doesn't have any potentially irritating ingredients. 

One of the most common solutions is to look for baking soda free deodorants, which we’ve gathered here. 

Why might you avoid baking soda? 

A strange thing about the armpits is that it’s actually one of the most sensitive areas on the body. The biggest culprit is baking soda. It actually has to do with pH: Baking soda has a basic pH; your armpits have an acidic. Combining the two causes irritation, as your acid mantle is a vital part of the skin barrier. Your skin typically hovers around a pH of 5, and when you introduce topicals that sway that too much in either direction, your barrier will be compromised as a result. The most obvious sign of a disrupted barrier? Irritation. 

But that's not the only thing that's potentially irritating. Some people are sensitive to fragrance (natural or otherwise) and essential oils. Also: You can have sensitivities to any number of ingredients—aloe, clay, coconut oil—even if they're not common concerns for most. 

So ultimately, it might take some guess-and-test to find one that's right for you. (And as always, spot-test first. It's a good rule of thumb for anyone but vital for those with sensitive skin.) Not only that but it may also take time. Switching to natural deodorant takes an adjustment period about two weeks to two months, in which your body is getting used to perspiration again. Allow your product the time to adequately test its performance before giving up. 

How we picked

Aluminum & baking soda free

Our broadest filter was avoiding these two ingredients.

Fragrance profiles

We looked for options that were fragrance free, made with natural extracts, essential oils, or safe synthetic ingredients. 

Textures

We know that people like a wide variety of of textures, so we included several options to try.

Efficacy

These formulas have been put to the test by mbg staffers, experts, and users.

The best baking soda free deodorant

Most effective: Hume Supernatural Deodorant

Hume Supernatural Deodorant
VIEW ON Amazon | $16.99

Pros

  • Highly effective
  • mbg staffer-approved

Cons

  • Some say the scent is too strong
Considerations: Fragrance free, Clean fragrance, Stick

This natural option contains biome-friendly probiotics to help balance the delicate skin microbiome in the armpits. The base is with hydrating coconut, as well as algae which contains minerals to help soothe and strengthen the skin. It comes in 5 scent profiles that range from woodsy to airy—as well as fragrance free. 

Best drugstore: Dove 0% Aluminum Sensitive Skin Deodorant

Dove 0% Aluminum Sensitive Skin Deodorant
VIEW ON Target | $7

Pros

  • Affordable and effective

Cons

  • Reports of oily texture
Considerations: Fragrance free, Stick

Dove has built a loyal following for their deodorants. And for those looking to try aluminum and baking soda free options, but aren’t looking to stray too far from what you know, this option is a winner. A quarter of the formula is hydrating ingredients, so it goes on soft, and then it lasts all day..

Best hydrating: Kopari Coconut Deodorant

Kopari Coconut Deodorant
VIEW ON Kopari | $14VIEW ON Sephora | $14VIEW ON Amazon | $14

Pros

  • Clear application
  • 100% natural ingredients

Cons

  • Thicker formula for those who like powder or serum-like sticks
Considerations: Fragrance free, Natural or essential oil-based fragrance, Stick, Organic ingredients

You may be thinking, Uh don’t I want to keep my pits dry and odor free? And yes, that’s the plan, but that doesn’t mean the skin barrier itself needs to be parched of hydration in the process. This blends together hydrating botanicals (like their organic coconut oil) with moisture wicking ingredients and odor-absorbing actives, like sage. 

Best fragrance free: Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant For Sensitive Skin

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant For Sensitive Skin
VIEW ON Amazon | $14

Pros

  • Feels like a traditional deodorant
  • No irritating ingredients

Cons

  • Uses standard plastic tube
Considerations: Fragrance free, Stick

A great drugstore option, Schmidt's is the classic natural deodorant choice.This blend utilizes natural magnesium to neutralize odor.  It's also perfect for people who enjoy a more standard-feeling deodorant stick: It feels just like a traditional option, just easier on the skin.

Best smelling: Corpus Naturals Deodorant

Corpus Naturals Deodorant
VIEW ON Credo | $24VIEW ON Blue Mercury | $24

Pros

  • Fragrance worthy of a perfume bottle

Cons

  • Pricey
Considerations: Natural or essential oil-based fragrance, Stick, Organic ingredients

This avoids all the regular nasties (aluminum, parabens, talc, and so on), but what makes it work for sensitive skin is that it is also baking-soda-free. It contains a decent amount of fragrance, so this option works for people who have sensitivities to baking soda but are fine on the all-natural fragrance front. On the topic of fragrance: their seven scent profiles are complex, elevated, and long-lasting, making the brand a beauty editor favorite.

Best texture: Ursa Major Base Layer Deodorant

Ursa Major Base Layer Deodorant
VIEW ON Ursa Major | $18VIEW ON Credo | $18

Pros

  • Biome-friendly ingredients

Cons

  • Some complain of a longer adjustment period
Considerations: Fragrance free, Stick, Organic ingredients

This baking-soda-free version of their bestseller comes loaded with all the super-active ingredients in the original, just better for people with easily irritated skin. Kaolin clay is a super-gentle clay that helps absorb moisture. Aloe soothes and hydrates. Saccharomyces ferment is a probiotic enzyme that helps eliminate odors. 

Best for daily wear: Native Sensitive Deodorant

Native Sensitive Deodorant
VIEW ON Amazon | $13VIEW ON Native | $13

Pros

  • Often has special edition scents

Cons

  • May leave residue on dark clothing
Considerations: Fragrance free, Stick

This brand is known for their quality, yet accessible, body care products. And they are perhaps most famous for their deodorants. The brand’s regular line is incredibly popular, and their sensitive collection is baking-soda-free. The sensitive skin formula comes in many of the classic scents that consumers love from the brand (Coconut & Vanilla and Cotton & Lily being the most popular). But if you're really sensitive, you might consider the fragrance-free option here.  



Best reusable packaging: Bite Deodorant

Bite Deodorant
VIEW ON Credo | $38

Pros

  • Reusable packaging that comes with 2 sticks

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Some find the dispenser clunky
Considerations: Fragrance free, Natural or essential oil-based fragrance, Clean fragrance, Stick, Eco-friendly packaging

This brand is pushing to revolutionize packaging for several personal care categories – including this deodorant. The blend uses a pretty standard base of butters and oils, then folds in zinc, starches, and minerals to help fight odor and absorb moisture. It comes in fragrance free and three other scents with a blend of natural extracts and safe synthetics.

Best long-lasting : Mutha Deodorant

Mutha Deodorant
VIEW ON Mutha | $28

Pros

  • 96% natural ingredients

Cons

  • Only one fragrance, and no fragrance free
Considerations: Natural or essential oil-based fragrance, Stick

This uses clarifying sage oil, bacteria balancing prebiotic noni fruit, hydrating shea butter, moisture absorbing arrowroot powder, and soothing niacinamide, among other ingredients, for a powerful blend that comes recommended by influencers. Not to mention the sleek metallic tube looks great in a gym bag.

Best crystal: Public Goods Crystal Spray Deodorant

Public Goods Crystal Spray Deodorant
VIEW ON Public Goods | $4.95

Pros

  • Very affordable

Cons

  • For those used to a stick sprays are hard to get used to
Considerations: Fragrance free, Spray

Crystal deodorants are a hidden gem of natural deodorant. Crystal deodorants are made from a natural mineral salt called potassium alum, which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, and work by preventing bacteria on the body from breaking down sweat (the cause of odor). This option is made with potassium alum and purified water — that’s it. 

Best eco-friendly: Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick
VIEW ON The Detox Market | $14

Pros

  • Compostable packaging
  • Fair-trade ingredients

Cons

  • A more simple formula that may not provide as strong of performance
Considerations: Natural or essential oil-based fragrance, Stick, Eco-friendly packaging, Organic ingredients

This planet-friendly formula and packaging uses arrowroot powder to absorb odor and moisture. It also contains plant-based hydrators to support the skin. It comes in 5 fragrance varieties, but if you like bright citrus scents grapefruit will be ideal for your needs. 

mbg’s 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 hand. We endorse products we've tried and loved. 

Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here

The takeaway

More and more people are making the switch to natural deodorants — and there are many things to consider when going aluminum free. One thing you may consider is whether or not you want to try an option with baking soda. The ingredient has deodorizing properties, but many find it irritating since it disrupts the skin barrier. Don’t worry, there are many baking-soda free sticks to pick from. Want more information on switching to naturals? Read about armpit masks, and if you should really be using one. 

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

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. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.