Editorial note: “4 Natural Deodorants for Busy Black Girls” was originally published on September 20, 2017.
Natural deodorants are all the rage these days. And for damn good reason. Many traditional deodorants are antiperspirants that contain aluminum compounds and parabens (preservatives) to block your pores; Ingredients used to keep you from sweating and to keep you feeling fresh all day long.
The problem is that we were born to sweat to release daily toxins ingested through foods and the environment out from our bodies through our pores. And by preventing our bodies from naturally releasing these toxins, we can cause them to experience a hormonal imbalance. Using aluminum deodorants has also been suspected to cause breast cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
So how can a sista still stay fresh?
Seeking out aluminum-free deodorants is a great place to start in your personal natural deo journey. Keep in mind that underarm sweat within itself does NOT cause underarm odor or funk — bacteria does. And as you transition out of using antiperspirants (especially for many years), it might take a few days to weeks to get back to your natural hormonal balance (naturally causing a less poignant underarm odor). It’s a great idea during this short time to be mindful about washing more with soap and water in those areas until you reach this odor balance. Other great components to seek out in a natural deodorant are no paragons, gluten, phthalates, or artificial fragrance (if you want to go all the way natural).
The good news is there has been no better time to go natural in this nuanced area of your life. There are SO many great natural deodorizers on the market that WILL keep you feeling fresh all day long, and you can be confident that you are bringing no harm to your body in the process. I recommend starting with the one you can easily get your hands on in a local grocery store as you experiment to find the one that works best for you. Alternatively, there are also many great online brands that offer subscription services so you won’t miss a beat when you run out.
Find a natural deodorant that works for you
So let’s get to this list. These natural deodorants are all aluminum-free and have been tested during busy work days, workouts, and in very humid conditions.
Schmidt’s is an essential-oil lover’s dream. It’s artificial-fragrance-free but contains the soothing and tranquil ingredients of lavender essential oil and shea butter. It helps neutralize odor, absorbs wetness, and is sulfate, phthalate, formaldehyde, and paraben-free.
Lush Cosmetics is changing the game with its bar-style natural deodorants. The T’eo bar is a deodorant with sweat-absorbing powders (such as baking soda) and odor-neutralizing essential oils: Juniper berry, tea tree, and lemongrass. It has a very pleasant citrus aroma and can be easily applied by rubbing the white side on your dry underarms.
The Aromaco Bar is also a winner from Lush. If you’re used to a roll-on deodorant, this one might be more up your alley. It contains witch hazel (to help eliminate microbes and odor-causing bacteria) and a little patchouli oil, giving it a subtle rustic smell.
Last but certainly not least, consider Arm & Hammer Essentials Deodorant (Available Unscented or Scented). This little gem contains tried and true ingredients: Arm & Hammer baking soda and natural plant extract to absorb and fight odor all day long. It also contains no parabens, colorants, or animal-derived ingredients.