The 11 Best Natural Deodorants Without Baking Soda For Sensitive Skin
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.
A quick look at the best baking soda-free deodorants
A quick look at the best baking soda-free deodorants
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 irritation culprits 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. This irritation can cause a slew of side effects like redness, itching, and hyperpigmentation.
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
Our broadest filter was avoiding these two ingredients.
We looked for options that were fragrance free, made with natural extracts, essential oils, or safe synthetic ingredients.
We know that people like a wide variety of of textures, so we included several options to try.
These formulas have been put to the test by mbg staffers, experts, and users.
The best baking soda-free deodorants
Best hydrating: Kopari Coconut Deodorant
- Clear application
- 100% natural ingredients
- Thicker formula for those who like powder or serum-like sticks
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 smelling: Corpus Naturals Deodorant
- Fragrance worthy of a perfume bottle
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.
Most effective: Hume Supernatural Deodorant
- Highly effective
- mbg staffer-approved
- Some say the scent is too strong
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
- Affordable and effective
- Reports of oily texture
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 fragrance free: Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant For Sensitive Skin
- Feels like a traditional deodorant
- No irritating ingredients
- Uses standard plastic tube
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 texture: Ursa Major Base Layer Deodorant
- Biome-friendly ingredients
- Some complain of a longer adjustment period
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
- Often has special edition scents
- May leave residue on dark clothing
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
- Reusable packaging that comes with 2 sticks
- Some find the dispenser clunky
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
- 96% natural ingredients
- Only one fragrance, and no fragrance free
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
- Very affordable
- For those used to a stick sprays are hard to get used to
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
- Compostable packaging
- Fair-trade ingredients
- A more simple formula that may not provide as strong of performance
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.
RELATED: The Best Essential Oils For Deodorant + An All-Natural Recipe
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.
RELATED: Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant: Benefits, Risks & How To Choose