Natural deodorants are free of chemicals - but do they actually work? We test out 5

8th Jul 18 | Beauty

Would you swap your deodorant for a natural one?


Natural beauty products have become a hot topic recently, as many of us are increasingly thinking about what we’re actually putting on our bodies.

One thing that most of us use every day is deodorant – particularly at this time of year when the mercury rises and your commute is sweatier than normal. Traditionally, natural deodorants have a bit of a dodgy reputation, however it all seems to be changing.

John Cusack Deodorant GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

A lot of savvy brands have stepped in to fill a gap in the market for deodorants that don’t contain chemicals, parabens or aluminium, so we decided to try them for a week to see how they measure up to what we’re used to.

1. Sanex Zero% Invisible deodorant

Sanex deodorant

What they say:

“Containing natural mineral alum to protect you against body odour and natural minerals that act as an anti-wetness agent, this deodorant gives you 48 hour protection. The gentle ingredients help take care of your skin, whilst also letting it breathe and won’t leave any white marks on your summer frocks.”

What we say…

“In terms of convenience, there are definite benefits to using an aerosol antiperspirant – they tend to dry far more quickly than roll-ons – the trouble is, I usually find they just don’t work as well for sweaty types like me. As I have slightly sensitive reaction-prone skin, this is a brand I trust, so I had high hopes. First impressions were good: minimal pesky white residue as promised, and pleasantly fresh smelling.

“Unfortunately, it couldn’t quite withstand my 8-mile cycle commute, and I arrived at work with full-on sweat patches. During the day, it performed considerably better, but my armpits didn’t feel as dry and odour-free as my usual hardy roll-on. I suspect it’s a trade-off – this one is probably kinder to my skin and is fine for relaxed days – but if you’re pretty active and sweat-prone, it doesn’t quite deliver on the 48-hour protection it promises.”

Available from…

Available from a range of retailers including Waitrose for £3.20.

2. Malin + Goetz eucalyptus deodorant

Malin + Goetz
(Malin + Goetz/PA)

What they say…

“A deodorant with cult status – it’s both alcohol and aluminium-free and formulated with eucalyptus and citronellyl to help keep odour at bay. The unique combination of ingredients leaves no residue or stains so you feel (and your clothes look) fresh all day.”

What we say…

“There’s no two ways about it – this is one sexy deodorant (if antiperspirants can indeed be sexy). The packaging is slick and it smells of eucalyptus in a soothing but not overpowering way. Unfortunately, cool design does not a successful deodorant make.

“It’s worth mentioning the brand advises allowing two weeks for your body to adjust from traditional antiperspirants, but unfortunately I tried this deodorant in the middle of a heatwave – I had to switch back after a week. Even though I’m all about that organic and chemical-free life, I’m really not about smelling whiffy. I’m not a particularly sweaty person at all, so can imagine that a lot of people would really struggle with this deodorant. If only I was just a bit more patient…”

Available from…

Malin and Goetz for £12.

3. Ben & Anna natural soda deodorant

What they say…

“The Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorants contain a unique blend of ingredients to keep you dry and smelling fresh. Bicarbonate soda is known for its anti-bacterial properties and works to keep you whiff-free, whilst arrowroot narrows the pores and keeps the skin dry.”

What we say…

“This product is unlike any other on the list – it’s a little bit more like a hard deodorant, and is has completely biodegradable packaging. At first I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how the tough bicarbonate roll-on would fare with my super sensitive skin, but I had absolutely no problems with it. Not only that, but it has proved to be just as good protection as the roll-on I normally use.

“Even though it’s fantastic that the company uses all recyclable paper packaging, after about two days at the bottom of my gym bag it was in pretty bad nick. Not only this, but you end up rubbing your underarms with paper – it’s not hugely user-friendly. However, these are small issues considering it gives good protection, and is overwhelmingly good for the environment.”

Available from…

All Natural Me for £9.95.

4. Awake Organics

What they say…

“Aura Clean Deodorant provides all-day odour protection. Invigorating, food grade lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and peppermint combine in this natural odour-killing formula. Stay fresh with our clever blend of organic botanicals, powerful essential oils, British kaolin and arrowroot powder.”

What we say…

“First off, this spreadable deodorant isn’t an antiperspirant, so don’t expect to wear it and not sweat. Instead, it’s designed to mask the unpleasant odour that your sweat produces without sealing off your sweat glands. I was initially put off by the idea of applying a paste to my armpits, but it comes in a glass twist-off pot with a wooden spatula which makes it really easy to use. The texture is lovely and smooth, with a slight graininess to it that dries on application and keeps everything feeling cool and dry.

“It also has a really fresh lemony scent that I find so much nicer than a lot of the artificial flowery scents in traditional aerosol deodorants. During the day I did sweat (as expected) but I noticed that this did a really good job of hiding any telltale body odour, so I didn’t feel self-conscious throughout the day. I’d definitely feel confident enough to wear this again – especially knowing that all of the ingredients are safe and natural.”

Available from…

Awake Organics for £14.99.

5. Sukin natural deodorant

Sukin deodorant

What they say…

“Sukin’s Natural Deodorant is aluminium and paraben free, and eliminates the bacteria that causes odour without using harsh ingredients. A refreshing and delicate blend of tangerine, mandarin and lavender oils are combined with vanilla extract to leave you smelling and feeling fresh and clean.”

What we say…

“The first thing I noticed about this natural deodorant was the smell – it has a really pleasant lavender fragrance that’s so much nicer than any so-called ‘normal’ antiperspirant you can buy. To use it, you pump the spray, but beware – don’t press it too many times. Because it’s not an aerosol, the deodorant is delivered as a wet spray. And although you might feel like you want to spray it a few times for extra protection, it will end up just running down your sides. Three small pumps is the absolute most you should spray at any one time.

“It doesn’t dry stickily as long as you don’t use too much, and it seemed to offer a similar amount of sweat protection as my usual spray deodorant. My big tip is not to go anywhere near it after shaving your underarm hair – it stings so much, you need to wash it straight off!”

Available from…

Holland & Barrett, Feel Unique, Planet Organic and independent retailers nationwide for £7.95.

© Press Association 2018