The Good, the Bad and the Smelly: We Tested 9 All-Natural Deodorants and Here’s What We Thought

For those dabbling in the world of all-natural beauty, deodorant is often the first thing you swap. But finding one that *actually* works—well, let’s just say it’s a marathon, not a sprint. To help you along the way (and hopefully eliminate any embarrassing moments in-between), we tested nine top-rated non-toxic deodorants. Our editors each wore them during their daily commutes, workouts and weekends, and reported back with the facts. While it’s important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is different, here’s what they had to say.

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Primal Pit Paste ‘Jasmine’ Stick (10/10)

“I’ve already been a natural deodorant fan for about five years, but I'm not a huge fan of dipping my hands into the deodorant paste and rubbing it in myself. This handy stick solves that problem, and I liked its scent better than most of the natural deodorants I've tried. It kept me dry and smelling lovely all day, and I never had to do a second application, even after running or going to the gym. The baking soda formula might cause irritation for some people, but I found that moisturizing under my arms before applying did the trick.” — Lindsay Champion, food + wellness director

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Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (4/10)

“The texture of this guy was so lovely that I didn’t mind applying it with my fingers. It’s really smooth and creamy, and also has the benefit of smelling delicious (like a health foods store, in a good way). But while I wanted to love it, the deodorant left me with an angry alkaline burn from the baking soda. I later learned that I needed to moisturize my pits first, which I just couldn’t get behind. Also, it just didn’t hold up to New-York-in-summer levels of sweat. A for effort though.” — Katherine Gillen, editorial assistant

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Korres ‘Equisetum’ 24-Hour Deodorant (6/10)

“I liked it at first, but I noticed I smelled after a couple of days. It does glide on nicely with the roller ball and the little tube is pretty and easy to use. It smells clean and fresh and not overpowering at all—exactly how you’d want deodorant to smell. I think if I stuck it out and wore it for a long time to let my body adjust to the natural deodorant, I would’ve loved it.” — Roberta Fiorito, news editor

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Ursa Major ’Hoppin’ Fresh‘ Deodorant (9/10)

“First of all, this smells amazingly fresh—you can tell there’s real mint and eucalyptus in there. I’d compare the texture to that of a normal drugstore deodorant. It glides on easily and doesn’t leave any white residue which is a huge plus. It also feels incredibly cooling for the first 10-20 minutes after applied which I loved. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. It stayed put even during intense workout and didn’t cause any irritation or bumps like I’ve had in the past with natural deodorants.” — Brianna Lapolla, editor

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Fig + Yarrow Underarm Lotion (3/10)

“This cream-based deodorant comes out of little pump bottle (much like lotion) and you have to physically rub into your pits. The problem with this twofold. Number one: It smells like a head shop in New Paltz, so you’ve got that on your hands all day. Number two: You have to physically get your fingers all up in your armpits, which, if you’re me, is just a constant reminder of how frequently you should be shaving. The one thing I will say in this deodorant’s defense is that it does work. But is day-long dryness worth the price of feeling like you’re line for the Port-a-Potty at an Indigo Girls concert?” — Jillian Quint, VP of content

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Bunny Butt Apothecary ‘The Pits’ (8/10)

“I had already made the switch to natural deodorant about a year ago (and to be fair, I’m not the sweatiest person). But I hadn’t found anything that held up for a full day. I’d spotted this brand on a few natural-beauty roundups and immediately fell for the cute name, packaging and interesting scents. The twist-up deodorant itself is a clear solid (drier than a gel, maybe almost Chapstick-like in texture) that applied smoothly and left no visible residue on my skin. By the end of the day, I wouldn’t say I smelled like I’d just stepped out of the shower, but any odor seemed 90 percent neutralized and the remaining scent of the deodorant (I chose the spicy-earthy “Sucre Bleu”) effectively covered up the rest. And for the record, this has been corroborated by multiple friends. I can’t comment on how it holds up for those who sweat a ton, but if you’re a modest sweater like me I’d definitely give it a shot.” — Carolyn Stanley, senior editor

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LaVanilla ‘Vanilla Grapefruit’ Natural Deodorant (7/10)

“Although I’ve been hesitant to switch over to natural deodorant (I’m the apply-throughout-the-day kind of paranoid person), I love this brand’s perfume, so wanted to give it a chance. First off, it smells amazing. Very light and sweet. It glides on smooth and seems to keep smells at bay. But since it’s not an antiperspirant, my armpits were little damp by the middle of the day. I know that’s normal, but I felt grossed out by myself. I occasionally switch back to this when I’m feeling extra healthy, but I’m still not a true convert.” — Katie Maguire, commerce editor

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Meow Meow Tweet ‘Grapefruit’ Deodorant Stick (7/10)

“First impression: I loved the packaging and smell of this deodorant. It went on smooth and the fact that it dispenses like a Push Pop gave me a disproportionate amount of joy. That said, there was definitely a detox period where my body had to get used to natural deodorant and I did not smell particularly good turning that week and a half. It was also a challenge getting used to not having an anti-perspirant (TMI I am a sweaty person pretty much all the time no matter what). Overall, I really liked this deodorant and was surprised to learn that switching to all-natural wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be.” — Abby Hepworth, assistant editor

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Agent Nateur ‘Holi No 3’ Deodorant (9/10)

“My foray into the world of natural deodorant did not go off without a hitch. But after much trial and error, I was informed that sometimes you just can’t make the switch cold-turkey. You have to do a little detoxifying first. So, I started my test with Agent Nateur by using a bentonite clay mask on my armpits a few times a week to ensure that I was clearing things out for maximum effectiveness. Ever since, I’ve been loving it. The deodorant feels just like a regular tube, but smells even better (this one like eucalyptus, but they also have a rose-scented version). As you probably know, natural deodorant is not an antiperspirant, so I do bring in the reinforcements if I know that I might be in a particularly sweaty situation. And unfortunately, silk tops are kind of off-limits. But, hey, I’ll live.” — Angela Pares, lifestyle director

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