Natural Deodorant That Works: What To Look For
If you’re considering a natural deodorant, you may have started to wonder about the potential harms associated with aluminum in antiperspirants. Or maybe you’re interested in trying more natural, gentler ingredients for your body and the planet. Either way, we’re glad you’re here!
Swapping out your chemical-filled deodorant for a clean, natural deo can benefit both your body and the world around you.
But, not all-natural deodorants are made the same — we know from experience. So what should you look for when switching to a natural deodorant stick, and how can you find a natural deo that really works for you? We’re to help you navigate the ever-expanding world of natural deodorants with confidence.
What Is Natural Deodorant?
Natural deodorant is simply a deodorant made from naturally derived ingredients, with no artificial fragrances and no additives that block the pores, such as aluminum.
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
If you're looking for an all-natural alternative to keep your underarms feeling and smelling fresh, it’s going to be a deodorant rather than an antiperspirant that you’re after.
What exactly is the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants? While both target underarm body odor, antiperspirants do so by clogging the pores and keeping bacteria-attracting sweat from exiting the body in the first place, while deodorants help neutralize the odor-causing bacteria without blocking sweat.
Why Go Aluminum-Free?
Aluminum is the main ingredient used in antiperspirants to block sweat glands and is actually necessary for a deodorant to be considered an antiperspirant, according to FDA categorization.
So, if your deodorant is aluminum-free, it won’t be labeled as an antiperspirant, even if other ingredients are helping to absorb moisture.
However, it’s important to note that not all aluminum-free deodorants are natural. Commercial deodorants may be labeled as aluminum-free but still use other artificial and potentially harmful additives, such as propylene glycol and phthalates, to block sweat and create their fragrances.
On the other hand, natural deodorants will use only plant-based and naturally-derived ingredients like tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or coconut oil to absorb wetness and neutralize odor molecules without clogging your pores.
Because sweating is an important biological function that helps regulate our temperature and flush out toxins, many of us feel more comfortable with an under-arm option that doesn’t mess with our body’s natural sweating and allows for good bacteria to thrive. Of course, we still want to feel comfortable and confident in our skin, which means finding a clean deodorant that works without aluminum or other harmful chemicals and irritants.
What Should I Look For in Natural Deodorants?
As you first switch to natural deodorants, it’s important to remember that all of our bodies are different, and what works for one person may not be the right choice for someone else. It will take your body a little time to adjust to the change, which we’ll cover more below. So even if it takes a little trial and error, don’t write off natural deodorant altogether just yet!
Here are some of the main factors to consider and look out for when choosing a natural deodorant that works to help make your transition to natural deodorant as smooth and sweat-free as possible.
Aluminum isn’t the only ingredient to avoid in your deodorant. Research reveals that many chemicals common in deodorants may disrupt hormone function if they enter the bloodstream or connect with the hormone receptors that exist in the underarm.
Triclosan, phthalates, and parabens are all common ingredients you may want to avoid.
And while baking soda and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are considered natural ingredients, they are also known skin irritants due to their high pH levels. Using deodorants with AHAs or baking soda can lead to irritation, especially for dry or sensitive skin.
At Bite, we only use high-quality, plant-derived, baking soda-free ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin, like tapioca starch, coconut oil, and shea butter.
Our tapioca starch steals the show with its armpit-safe sweat-absorbing properties. This clean ingredient will help keep you dry without completely blocking the natural sweating process or introducing any harmful chemicals into the body.
Choosing a deodorant with no harsh chemicals that instead uses plant-based ingredients to limit sweat means your underarms stay clean without the risk of skin irritation or endocrine system disruption.
The scent of your deodorant is important to consider, and the right option for you is largely dependent on your personal preferences.
Unscented deodorants can help you feel clean and natural by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria, while scented deodorants can further mask any odor and provide a pleasant fragrance that fits your taste.
Unfortunately, many fragrances in deodorants and other personal care products are made using harsh chemicals and artificial additives protected by trade laws. This means that when you see “fragrance” listed on the label, you don't know exactly what is going into them. Fragrances are often made with harmful phthalates, so you want to make sure any natural deodorant you use is labeled as “phthalate-free.”
At Bite, we value transparency as part of our Nothing to Hide Pledge.
All three of our scented deodorants and our unscented option contain clean ingredients free of phthalates, sulfates, and parabens to provide safe odor protection.
We rely on plant-based essential oils like eucalyptus, sandalwood, and tea tree oil as opposed to artificial fragrances. Our Neroli fragrance is 100% naturally derived, while our Rose Vert and Santal contain safe, cruelty-free synthetics. And our scent-free deodorant is ideal for anyone who prefers a completely fragrance-free deodorant.
Some natural deodorants may need to be reapplied more often than an antiperspirant, and some people may use deodorant more or less often — especially depending on the day. You’ll find us reapplying a few extra times on those Los Angeles summer days for sure!
With this in mind, you’ll want to look for a deodorant that ensures you’ll have everything you need for a breezy personal care routine.
Our deodorant comes with two deodorant refills and a refillable case with a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about spending money on a new case every time you run out–better for your wallet and for the planet.
We’ll also send out refills every four months with a subscription, so having the product you need to keep you smelling your best on even the stickiest of days will always be stress-free.
Consistency and Application Method
When it comes to natural deodorants, there is a wide range of application methods. You can find clean ingredients in sprays, powders, creams, roll-ons, and sticks.
While creams often come in plastic-free jars, they aren’t exactly a convenient or on-the-go friendly option, as you typically need to use your hand to rub the cream into your underarm.
Sprays, powders, sticks, and roll-ons are more familiar formats but often still rely on plastic packaging.
At Bite, we provide the best of both worlds with our plastic-free refillable case. Our deodorant easily glides along the skin directly from the case, taking out the mess factor of plastic-free packaging.
We believe that natural and sustainable go hand and hand. After all, what’s best for your body should also be what’s best for our environment.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Even natural deodorants containing only clean, plant-based ingredients are often encased in plastics that aren’t the friendliest to our bodies or to the planet.
When switching to Bite Natural Deodorant, you can feel good knowing that you are helping reduce the more than the 15 million pounds of deodorant packaging ending up in our landfills and oceans each year without sacrificing high-quality ingredients.
Our deodorants are also cruelty-free, palm-oil-free, and vegan, with no beeswax or animal byproducts.
Instead, we use a binding vegan mineral wax called ozokerite. All of our moisturizing ingredients, such as castor seed oil and shea butter, are plant-based, providing a gentle softness your skin will love.
Preparing for the Detox Period
Once you’ve swapped out an aluminum-based antiperspirant for a natural deodorant free of harsh chemicals and irritants and with a scent (or lack of scent!) that you love, your body is going to take some time to adjust to the switch.
This is known as the detox period. If you’ve been using antiperspirant for a while, your body is used to having its pores clogged, so when you first make the switch, your body may sweat more than you’re used to, and you may experience more odor than normal right at the start.
But don’t worry! Your body is just taking the time it needs to readjust, and typically these changes will start to subside within a week or two. Once your body is used to the natural sweating process again, the amount of sweating you experience will begin to decrease.
A Feel-Good Natural Deodorant for You and the Planet
Choosing an aluminum-free deodorant that uses clean ingredients can be a small but powerful way to benefit your own personal wellness routine and the world around you. Choosing a natural deodorant that is free of harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, easy to use without relying on plastics, and cruelty-free can help make your switch go even further.
While all the little changes matter, we also know that corporations are responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions. That's why we at Bite are committed to our zero-waste mission and sustainability practices. We want to make it easy for everyone to make decisions they can feel good about — inside and out.