Browsing through all of the non-toxic deodorants and/or zero waste deodorants on the market can be overwhelming, but Madeleine of The Wise Consumer has done the hard work for us testing 9 different non-toxic and/or zero waste deodorant brands and giving us honest reviews on each of them. Let’s dive in!
Have you ever switched to a new “natural”, non-toxic deodorant, zero waste deodorant, or aluminum-free deodorant brand only to be disappointed!?
Disappointed because you read great reviews online but when you tried it, you worried you may not be able to leave your house without fear of offending someone’s olfactory senses.
Trust me. I’ve been there. I wish I could say every non-toxic deodorant brand I’ve ever tried effectively kept unwanted body odor at bay. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Over the years, I’ve tested various all-natural, zero waste, and non-toxic deodorant brands, and while some worked great, others just didn’t.
Fact or fiction: Is aluminum harmful to your health?
Whether you decide to go the aluminum-free deodorant route or not, is a personal decision.
Below is some research in regards to this issue so that you can make the decision for yourself.
Aluminum is put into deodorant because it helps to block the sweat ducts without penetrating into the skin. This is what makes it an effective antiperspirant.
According to Penn Medicine, unless you have severe kidney issues, aluminum isn’t something you have to worry about.
“For a compound to cause cancer, a mechanism would likely be related to absorption into the bloodstream at a concentration high enough to cause toxicity, and that is not likely with a topical compound applied only to the [armpit],” shares Dr. Susan Massick, a dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
It has been found that women who use antiperspirants often have higher levels of aluminum in their breast tissue, though many experts don’t believe this is cause for concern.
“At this point,” states the American Cancer Society, “no clear link has been made between antiperspirants containing aluminum and breast cancer.”
Personally, I prefer avoiding aluminum. So, rather than using antiperspirant, I use deodorant.
With this choice, of course, comes the challenge of finding a deodorant that actually helps keep things fresh in the armpit department, which isn’t always easy.
Luckily for you, I’ve tested a few different non-toxic deodorant brands over the years and here’s what I found.
Non-Toxic Deodorant Reviews Ranked from Best to Worst
Everyone’s body responds differently to ingredients and products. So, while certain brands didn’t work for me, that’s not to say they won’t work for you.
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One of the best non-toxic and zero-waste deodorants I’ve used over the years is Coconut Matter. There are a few things that set this zero waste deodorant brand apart from other non-toxic deodorant brands I’ve tested. First, it’s never failed me in the BO department — even during my hot summer trail runs! Second, I can’t say enough good things about this deodorant’s texture. This plastic-free deodorant, not only smells amazing but it applies so gently to my underarm skin, leaving it feeling moisturized and smooth. And, it’s handmade using sustainable and natural ingredients.
Pros: Plastic-Free Compostable Packaging. Uses organic fair-trade ethically sourced virgin coconut oil.
Cons: Unless you live in Hong Kong, this brand is only available online.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Native is one of the more popular non-toxic deodorant brands. And for good reason too. Made in the U.S., Native uses only safe and effective ingredients and works great. Plus, Native recently launched a plastic-free deodorant option that is equally easy to apply, smells great, and is just as effective as their original deodorant. If you’re just making the switch to non-toxic and zero waste deodorant, you may want to start with this brand.
Pros: Works great. Just launched a 100% plastic-free deodorant option. Multiple unique scents to choose from. Available in many large North American commercial chains, including Target.
Cons: Not the smoothest textured deodorant. I wish it were a tad less grainy.
Overall rating: 9.5/10
I was hesitant to test Humble deodorant at first. Usually when brands list “made with 4 simple ingredients,” I end up leaving a trail of BO behind me. But, I was pleasantly surprised — Humble’s deodorant actually worked! I tested the Lavender & Holy Basil scent and really liked it. It applies smoothly, doesn’t need to be reapplied throughout the day, and leaves your skin feeling moisturized and fresh. Humble’s deodorants are made using simple and clean ingredients that, from my experience, are not irritating! They’re also currently working on creating a plastic-free packaging option.
Pros: Works great. Smells great. Smooth application. Simple and clean ingredients.
Cons: Packaging isn’t plastic-free (yet).
Overall rating: 9.5/10
Check Out Humble
This was the first zero waste beauty brand I tested at the beginning of my plastic-free living journey and I still love and use it! This plastic-free deodorant is made with organic, wild-crafted, and, whenever possible, fair-trade ingredients. I listed this brand fourth only because I personally found that their grapefruit-scented baking soda-free deodorant didn’t work for me at all and the texture of the deodorant is a bit rough. The lavender bergamot deodorant stick, on the other hand, keeps my pits smelling fresh all day.
Pros: The packaging is compostable and/or recyclable.
Cons: The baking-soda free option didn’t work for me. I don’t love the grainy texture.
Overall rating: 9/10
This deodorant is one of my favorite deodorants to apply. Sounds weird but this non-toxic deodorant is so smooth and moisturizing. Actually, it wasn’t until I used this brand that I realized how grainy some of the other non-toxic brands were. I tested their fragrance-free option, which works really well although on hot summer days, I did need to reapply). I may try their fragranced option because I have a feeling it might keep me smelling fresh longer than their unscented option.
Pros: Non-toxic and unique plant-based ingredients.
Cons: I’ve needed to reapply the fragrance-free option. Don’t have a plastic-free option.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
6. Earth Mama
Earth Mama’s deodorant is formulated specifically for individuals with sensitive skin, who are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Although I am not pregnant or breastfeeding I thought it might be nice to try out a brand for all my mamas out there! So, I tested the Bright Citrus scent and ladies, I am proud to report this deodorant did its job. This non-toxic deodorant kept me smelling fresh all day long. My only complaint about this deodorant is that the texture is pretty rough, grainy, and leaves a weird residue (small chunks) behind.
Pros: Great for breastfeeding or pregnant women. Works great. Smells great. Uses organic ingredients.
Cons: Grainy, leaves residue behind.
Overall rating: 8/10
Check out Earth Mama
I wish I could say I loved this brand but Schmidt’s deodorant just didn’t work for me. Yes, the products smelled great, effectively kept unwanted BO at bay, but the rashes it caused?! Yikes, I’ve never experienced irritation like this in my armpit before. I even tried a few different scents to see if maybe the rash was being caused by a specific ingredient in the scented product I was using but unfortunately, I experienced a rash with every one of their deodorants.
Pros: Natural ingredients. works well. Has some really fun and unique scents.
Cons: Caused extreme rashes for me. Grainy texture.
Overall rating: 6/10
8. Pretty Frank
(formerly Primal Paste)
This was the first non-toxic deodorant brand I ever tested — I remember being so excited to try it out. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed. This brand did absolutely nothing for me. Not only did it not keep me smelling fresh but the texture was super grainy and rough against my skin. Note: I tested this brand a few years ago when it was still known as Primal Paste. I haven’t tested their products since the rebrand so not sure if they’re still using the same formula. But, to be honest, I don’t feel like spending my money to test it again.
Pros: Handcrafted in Texas, this brand has a great overall conscious mission. And, although their deodorant is packaged in plastic, it is recyclable.
Cons: My brother asked me if I was wearing deodorant while I was using this brand (embarrassing!). And it hurt my skin to apply.
Overall rating: 4/10
Fair-trade, certified ethical manufacturing practices, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified, clean ingredients, handcrafted — Alaffia has basically everything I value in a brand. Unfortunately, this fair trade and non-toxic deodorant just didn’t work for me. I even tested it for a few weeks to see if maybe my body just needed to get “used” to it. Alas, nothing worked. I won’t be using this deodorant again. The good news is this brand offers a variety of other products so you can support their work in other ways.
Pros: Everything you’d want in an ethical and conscious brand.
Cons: Deodorant did not work for me at all.
Overall rating: 4/10
So there you have it, my personal review of non-toxic deodorant brands. Do you have a favorite brand we should test and add to our list?
About the Author
Follow Madeleine and the Wise Consumer:
Madeleine is a Franco-American podcaster and blogger on a mission to inspire and empower women to live healthier, more eco-friendly, and conscious lifestyles. On her blog/podcast, The Wise Consumer, she covers topics ranging from nutrition and recipes to ethical fashion and eco living tips. When not working Madeleine is either spending time with family, developing new recipes, or running trails.
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