Natural Deodorant that really works!

Would you like to switch to a natural deodorant because it’s better for your health or the environment? Whatever the reason, more and more people are trying to make their bathroom and personal care routine more sustainable. Fortunately, a growing number of brands are offering sustainable personal care products. Switching to a natural deodorant was one of the first things I did when I switched to a zero-waste lifestyle. My interest in natural products grew and I started becoming more aware of the ingredients used in personal care products. To my surprise, we all put that on our bodies every day without thinking.

But why exactly is ‘regular’ deodorant so bad and what is the best alternative? Many regular deodorants contain unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients such as alcohol, perfume, sulphates and parabens. These substances keep you from sweating, which you would think is exactly what you want. In this article we explain why this is not desirable and how natural deodorants work to hopefully make your choice easier.

Aluminium in deodorant - preferably not!

One of the main ingredients in conventional deodorants is often aluminium, an antiperspirant that clogs your pores and therefore stops you from sweating. We come into contact with aluminium every day, as it’s also found in other cosmetics, packaging materials, cleaning products and in our tap water. It’s often claimed that aluminium and parabens in deodorant increases the risk of breast cancer, however, there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence for this yet. With normal use, a small amount of aluminium should not be a risk to our health.

The remaining uncertainties on the health risks of aluminium gives us reason enough to switch to an aluminium-free deodorant. Aluminium can also cause skin irritation and itchiness, and is mainly used to stop you from sweating, a natural mechanism to regulate our body temperature. Many people want to use Antitranspirants because they are under the impression that sweat makes you smell, but it’s the bacteria that break down sweat into acids that cause nasty odours.

Baking soda in deodorant - we're fans!


Natural deodorant manufacturers often choose to use baking soda instead of aluminium. Baking soda is a versatile mineral that’s used as a natural cleaning agent or kitchen product, but also works incredibly well in deodorant. What exactly are the benefits of baking soda?

Baking soda has an antibacterial effect and neutralises odours. What actually happens is that the baking soda makes the skin more acidic, which helps fight bacteria.

Itching or irritation

Have you switched to a natural deodorant and are you experiencing itchiness or irritation? Then this is probably due to the baking soda in the deodorant. Clean your armpits with apple cider vinegar (diluted with a little water) to calm the skin and (temporarily) choose a natural deodorant without baking soda that is suitable for sensitive skin.

But isn't baking soda the very ingredient that works so effectively against odours? That's right, but fortunately there are good alternatives such as diatomaceous earth (a natural ingredient derived from fossilised algae). Diatomaceous earth is more basic and closer to your body’s natural pH level than baking soda, meaning it won’t cause skin irritation.

Different types of natural deodorant

Nowadays, plenty of brands manufacture natural deodorant, but how do they work and which one is best for you? To get you started, we will compare the different types of deodorant in our range. I have personally tested them all.

For starters, all deodorants are:

  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • Palm oil free
  • Plastic-free
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Do not leave stains on your clothes

The Lekker Company

The Lekker Company's natural and vegan deodorant combats nasty odours, without clogging your pores. The Lekker Company only manufactures products with natural and organic ingredients, because they believe that your skin will not benefit from parabens, alcohol, perfume, aluminium and animal substances. They are transparent about all the ingredients they use and translate them into understandable terminology so you know exactly what goes on your skin.

Natuurlijke en Smeerbare Deodorant van The Lekker Company

The cream deodorant is packaged in a cardboard jar. You apply a small amount of deodorant to each armpit with your finger to smell great all day. Some people may feel uncomfortable touching their armpits, but they should be clean right before applying the deodorant and also, it's a good way to stay connected to your body.

For sensitive skin

The Lekker Company also has deodorant for people with sensitive skin. This deodorant is made with diatomaceous earth, instead of baking soda. This ingredient contains many minerals such as calcium and iron, which have a soothing effect on the skin. The combination of diatomaceous earth and zinc salt help neutralise odour and absorb moisture.

My experience with this deodorant

The Lekker Company deodorant is my personal favourite because, simply put, it works best for me. With this deodorant I don’t have to worry about smelling bad, even while exercising or on a hot summer day. I use the deodorant with baking soda and like to alternate between the different scents.


HelemaalShea's deodorant cubes do not contain baking soda and are, therefore, very suitable for people with sensitive skin. Just like the other natural deodorants, this deodorant does not prevent you from sweating, but attacks bad odours.

The natural deodorant cubes are made from organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, zinc oxide, absorbent bentonite clay and matcha green tea powder, which is full of antioxidants.

Natuurlijk Deodorant Blokje HelemaalShea

You use the deodorant by applying the cube under your armpit just like a regular deodorant stick. The deodorant is packaged in a cardboard box and does not have a case.

My experience with this deodorant

This deodorant is wonderfully soft on the skin. It spreads easily and does its job well. The reason I don't use it myself is because I prefer a deodorant with baking soda, but I definitely recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin!

Zero Waste Path

Zero Waste Path's creamy deodorant is made from vegan and natural ingredients. We totally agree with Zero Waste Path that you don't need to create waste or use antitranspirants to combat nasty odours. The antibacterial properties of this natural deodorant are just as effective.

Natuurlijke en Smeerbare Deodorant van Zero Waste Path

Zero Waste Path's deodorant contains baking soda, possibly making it less suitable for people with sensitive skin. Like The Lekker Company's deodorant, this is a cream deodorant that you apply to each armpit with your finger. The deodorant comes in a reusable and recyclable tin.

My experience with this deodorant

This deodorant is available in two scents, which both smell great. I find this cream deodorant effective and pleasant to use. Definitely worth a try!


Biork is a natural and plastic-free deodorant stick made from potassium alum, the most common form of alum. Potassium alum is a natural mineral salt that works effectively against unpleasant odours and is, therefore, very suitable as a deodorant. A big advantage is that, with average use, the Biork deodorant will last at least a year, if not longer.

A Biork stick basically works like a regular deodorant stick that you apply directly to each armpit. You just have to wet the top of the Biork stick beforehand. After application, the mineral salts dry quickly and form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria.

Natuurlijke Deodorant Crystal Aluin van Biork

Potassium alum also contains aluminium. Now you're probably thinking, didn’t you just say aluminium is bad for you? That's right, but Biork's alum stone contains a different type of aluminium, called potassium alum, a natural mineral salt too large to be absorbed by the skin. Antitranspirants use other forms of aluminium, like aluminium chloride or aluminium chlorohydrate, which stop the flow of sweat and can be absorbed into your body. If you still prefer deodorant that doesn't contain aluminium at all, you might want to choose another one!

This crystal stick has a protective cover made from cork, a no waste material obtained from the bark of cork oaks. Cork is a renewable resource and cork oaks store up to 30 percent more CO2 than other trees!

My experience with this deodorant

I prefer to use the Biork stick during the winter because, for me, it’s just a little less powerful than The Lekker Company’s deodorant. Although, it does seem to become more effective the longer I use it. The stick is also my travel companion, because for those who didn't know, alum also works well against itchy mosquito bites!

DIY deodorant

If you’re in a creative and adventurous mood you can also make your own deodorant. I haven’t made any myself yet, but there are lots of simple recipes online that you can try!

Choose a deodorant that actually works...

All this talk about deodorant is interesting and all, but what we really want is for our personal care products to work effectively! As an active person, I want to be able to rely on my deodorant. I definitely don't want to stink, and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Before I used natural deodorant, I was already very critical about which deodorant I wanted to use. In my opinion, many deodorants didn't work well, making it pretty difficult to put aside my trusted deodorant brand. But even I found a natural deodorant that works perfectly for me!

My advice is to try out different natural deodorants until you find one you're completely happy with. There are plenty of choices out there so make sure to experiment! Pay attention to the ingredients used, like whether or not it contains baking soda. Evaluate whether that’s something you like or not. Some deodorants contain more baking soda than others, so it can be effective for one deodorant and cause skin irritation for another. I hope this blog will make the switch a little easier for you! Smell ya later, or actually, maybe not ;).

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