More and more guys are relying on natural, organic, and aluminum-free deodorants to keep them dry and fresh. Traditional antiperspirants use aluminum to keep pits sweat-free since dissolved aluminum salts clog your pores to prevent sweat from escaping. While natural deodorants don’t block sweat, they rely on more wholesome, sensitive-skin-friendly ingredients like clay, arrowroot, tapioca starch, and baking soda to absorb sweat, plus organic botanicals, oils, and scents that have natural antimicrobial or scent-masking powers. In other words, the best natural deodorants for men keep the stank away without using an alphabet’s worth of chemicals to get the job done.
“Natural deodorants can be effective at masking odors temporarily. However they are not antiperspirants, so they will not prevent sweating under the arms. They will likely need to be applied more often than an aluminum-based antiperspirant,” says dermatologist Dr. Jason Miller of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New Jersey.
Though there’s still no reliable scientific evidence that those aluminum salts can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s or cancer, there are other good reasons to make the switch to natural, aluminum-free deodorant. Conventional antiperspirants often contain other questionable chemicals, including parabens and phthalates, and sweating is one way the body flushes out toxins, so impeding that process isn’t necessarily for the best. “Natural deodorants often use baking soda, witch hazel, or essential oils. None need to be avoided unless you are allergic or sensitive to the specific ingredient,” says Miller.
Natural and organic deodorants have come a long way from their humble patchouli-laced beginnings, but making the switch to natural and aluminum-free deodorants still involves some trial and error. These aluminum-free picks, plus a little patience and a sense of adventure, should help.
Made with organic coconut oil, Kopari has a lightly tropical and beachy scent that makes you nostalgic for the sweaty days of high summer even in the depths of winter. (Though you may need to reapply if you sweat a lot.) As the key ingredient, coconut gives this aluminum-free deodorant its prevailing scent but also leaves skin soft and your pits nice and fresh.
The smooth, gel-like texture of this deodorant makes it pleasant to apply — and it won't stain your shirts. Kaolin clay and baking soda absorb moisture, aloe vera cools the skin, and peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils give Ursa Major crisp, clean scent with long-lasting power that's also a crowd-pleaser.
From the skincare company co-founded by Kobe Bryant, this performance-driven-and-tested natural deodorant relies on matcha (yes, the same stuff you get at your local coffee shop) and arrowroot to keep you dry and fresh. The Art of Sports offers a handsome range of scents — this one smells like orange and eucalyptus — and all are made without parabens or aluminum.
This deodorant is made of coconut oil, aluminum-free baking soda, vitamin E, and lavender essential oils, plus candelilla wax to keep it stable and solid in high heat. You just take a pea-sized amount and spread it on your pits daily. There are over 100 applications worth in each jar.
Another industry leader in the deodorant space, Native makes products without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and talc, instead using tapioca starch and baking soda. Unlike some other natural deodorants, which can come on strong at first, this is a lightly scented formula that uses baking soda to remove odors and arrowroot powder to absorb wetness. Native prides itself on including only ingredients that you can pronounce, derived from natural sources you trust.
Schmidt's is an industry leader when it comes to natural deodorant. Their products neutralize odor, without using aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, or artificial fragrances. Like other natural deodorants, this Schmidt's goes on strong, but the smell soon mellows out and does a great job of covering up B.O. all day long. Schmidt's has a bunch of great scent profiles, including jasmine and black pepper, as well as different formulations, from magnesium to charcoal.
This all-natural deodorant is great for those with hypersensitive skin, as it uses calming licorice root instead of baking soda, which irritates some. Bamboo extract absorbs moisture while grapefruit and sage essential oils neutralize odor. The only potential downside is conventional deodorant users will wait 30 days before this aluminum-free variety reaches peak effectiveness since that's how long it takes for aluminum to exit the body.
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