11 deodorant alternatives

11 All Natural Deodorant Alternatives (and How They Stack Up)

The temperature’s rising and honestly, it’s getting a little stinky in here. Obviously, you can just as easily sort that out by slathering on one of the best natural deodorants, but why on earth would we make life easy for ourselves?

Especially when there are so many DIY deodorant alternatives to explore. Of course, there are like 22039 natural deodorant recipes floating about online and we already know you know how to use Google so we’re not going to contribute yet another one.

Instead, we’re going to go over a huge list of all natural deodorant alternatives – many of which are combined into the most popular natural deodorant recipes – and the pros and cons of each one. So if you’re looking to smear some common household ingredients on your underarms and looking for your best bet(s), you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve got a whopping eleven different natural alternatives to deodorant laid out for you right here. The less sweaty, smelly green beauties might even be able to use one of the below to replace deodorant altogether while the more sweaty, smelly green beauties will want to combine a few of the ingredients below for a natural deodorant recipe that works. Happy experimenting!

Probiotic for Your Pits

natural-deodorant-alternatives-probiotics

You might remember probiotics from natural treats like kefir that are used to improve digestion. Basically, your gut is home to tons of little bacteria called micro-flora. The balance of micro-flora in your gut is a tenuous thing; eat too much of the wrong stuff or not enough of the right stuff and your gut can be flooded with harmful, ‘bad’ bacteria.

Probiotics are on the other side; they’re fighting for you. Getting enough probiotics into your system means that your gut will have more of the good bacteria. Then they presumably have a battle to the death with the bad bacteria, with tiny lances and swords and stuff. But anyways, what does that have to do with your skin?

Well, skin has the exact same balance of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ bacteria; basically everywhere in your body does. In fact, it’s that infamous ‘bad’ bacteria that deodorants seek to chase out of town. They’re the ones that make your sweat smell. The problem here is that most commercial deodorants are bloodthirsty little things; they just kill whoever they can find, regardless of what side they’re on. So the good bacteria can sometimes get wiped out along with the bad.

That’s where probiotic deodorants come in. Tiny swords at the ready, they jump in there with all of their bacterial goodness and help to stop those bad bacteria from growing- getting rid of the smell from the roots up. It won’t keep you dry, but it will definitely stop you smelling.

Check out probiotic deodorants here!

Crystal Stone Deodorant

natural deodorant alternatives

Crystal stone deodorant is made with natural mineral extracted from the ground – mainly potassium alum. Essentially, it gets into your skin and switches up the pH to create an inhospitable environment for smell-causing bacteria. You’ll still sweat freely, but as much as we hate it, sweating is actually an essential process for us to be able to get the bad, toxic stuff out of our bodies. Using crystal stone deodorants just means that you won’t smell.

There’s a few different brands selling crystal stone deos right now and it’s become quite a flourishing market in the last few decades. You can expect at least twelve odor-free hours without having to re-apply, but we should put out a word of warning for this one. Mining for minerals is expensive, and a lot of companies don’t feel like it’s worth it just for selling deodorant. You can make potassium alum in a lab, but the chemical consistency is a little different and it’s not as safe as the natural stuff. Make sure you check the color first before you buy; real potassium alum will be essentially transparent.

Check out crystal stone deodorants here!

Baking soda

natural deodorant alternatives

Baking soda works mainly by absorbing moisture as well as bad smells, leaving your pits smelling fresh and a little dryer than normal. It doesn’t block sweat glands, so it won’t stop you from sweating completely (which is a good thing, remember?). It’s got a ridiculously long lasting power and if you use it regularly, you might start to forget that sweat actually smells.

But if you know anything about natural deodorants or baking soda, you’ve probably heard tons of people complain that baking soda caused a rash or a chemical burn. That’s because baking soda is fairly alkaline and doesn’t really sit right with our body’s natural pH. Your skin senses it as an intruder and goes on high alert. If you know that your skin is a little trigger happy, then it will hate baking soda. Bear in mind that there are a lot of people who don’t experience trouble with baking soda; it’s just really not recommended for sensitive skin.

Vinegar

9 ways to use apple cider vinegar for skin

Vinegar is fantastic as a low-cost alternative to deodorant because of just how accessible it is. Most people like vinegar, so most people have it in their house. You’re probably one of them. But despite being easy and cheap to get, how does it work as a deodorant?

Vinegar works a little bit like crystal stones by getting rid of some of the bad bacteria which produce smells, but the big difference here is that vinegar doesn’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria. It’s mainly acidic and contains acetic acid which is absolutely great at killing things. This means that it will definitely get rid of the smell, but it might also take out some of the beneficial bacteria in the process.

Another big difference to note is that vinegar actually evaporates after a while, so it doesn’t keep odors back for long. If you do want to give it a try, though, make sure you dilute it to minimize damage to your poor micro-flora.

Lemon juice

natural deodorant alternatives

Lemons have fantastic anti-bacterial properties, so it’s no wonder that they’d be effective in clearing up that stink. Using lemon juice on your skin is yet another great way to get rid of the bacteria that tend to cause your sweat to smell. Lemon juice is also acidic, though not quite as bad as vinegar.

Make sure to take care whenever you’re applying lemon juice to your face- for whatever purpose- and dilute if you have sensitive skin. Most people don’t have much trouble with this, but theoretically it could cause a rash or chemical burn if you use it undiluted. It goes without saying that if you use it either after shaving or over a cut, it’ll sting like hell. Otherwise, it’s an awesome little remedy for dousing bad smells without blocking your sweat glands.

Hops

natural deodorant alternatives

Hops is a kind of herb used to stop beer from spoiling by fighting off harmful bacteria. As it turns out, it does the exact same thing for your pits. Now, technically it doesn’t so much kill harmful bacteria as much as it breaks them, but that’s still enough to stop odors from spreading.

It has a good track record with good bacteria since it has to co-exist with the yeast that makes the fermentation process happen in beer. So essentially, it works by fatally injuring bad bacteria which cause smells whilst still keeping beneficial bacteria in check. All of this adds up to an odor-free day without any residue or white marks to speak of. Overall a pretty good natural alternative to deodorant.

Check out hops deodorants here!

Milk Of Magnesia

natural deodorant alternatives

Milk of magnesia, or magnesium hydroxide if you want to get all fancy, is probably more known as being a laxative. But, by some weird twist of fate, it’s also quite popular as a natural deodorant alternative. First of all, magnesium is a must-have mineral and contains a ton of different beneficial nutrients that you definitely want the pores of your skin eating up. Its ability to soak up bad smells is unquestionable, however what is a little iffy is how it does it.

Magnesium hydroxide itself isn’t particularly offensive to bad bacteria, so what some sleazy brands have started doing is throwing bleach into the mix as an ‘inactive ingredient’. That’s sure to kill the bacteria – and literally everything else on your skin. So if you do want to give this one a whirl, check the ingredients list three times over to make sure you’re not putting anything dangerous on your skin- thereby negating the whole point of using natural deodorants. Apply with your fingers and make sure to let it dry first – especially so you don’t walk around all day with white flakes raining off your pit.

Note: MoM keeps your pits quite dry, which is lovely and rare (antiperspirant alternatives are hard to find!) as well as what also makes it so effective as a natural eyelid primer (it zaps oil, fast). That being said, we don’t recommend you use MoM regularly as a deodorant for the same reason we don’t recommend it as a daily eye primer – as effective as it is, over time, MoM can change the pH of your skin. So use sparingly and only in a pinch!

Essential Oils

natural deodorant alternatives

We do love our essential oils here, and you’ll be delighted to know that you can actually use them as a deodorant if you so desire. Oils like tea tree and rosemary are naturally anti-bacterial, so they can easily dispel those pesky, smelly bacteria. Not to mention that essential oils are called ‘essential’ for a reason; most of them contain enough minerals, nutrients and anti-oxidants to fill a small swimming pool (perhaps not an exact measurement- point is, they have lots).

So other than being fantastic alternatives to deodorant, they’re practically tiny skin benefit factories. They can help to moisturise and protect, and they’re super gentle so they can be applied to sensitive skin or freshly shaved skin. So you’re not just getting a deodorant from these little gems- you’re getting a truckload of extra benefits, some of which could help contribute to fighting those negative bacteria by instinct.

Witch Hazel

natural deodorant alternatives

Whenever I hear the words ‘witch hazel’, I always think I’m about to get all spooky and do some black magic or something. And whilst I think we’d all love to cast a spell on our bodies to stop it from smelling, the reality is a little bit duller (but still really cool!). Witch hazel is actually a shrub found in both Asia and America, and although it’s mostly used for decoration it’s taken the natural health and beauty world by storm as of late.

It works by changing up the pH of your skin so that bacteria can’t grow on it. It’s also effective as an absorbent since it can mop up moisture and oil from the skin- that includes your sweat. So not only does witch hazel get rid of the smell, it can also leave you relatively dry as well (yay for natural antiperspirant alternatives!)


Applying deodorants topically to your skin isn’t the only way you can get rid of bad smells. There’s actually a few things you can eat and drink to help your body dispel odors from the inside out.

Liquid Chlorophyll

chlorophyll benefits for skin

As you might have learned in that high school biology class you took in high school where not enough stuff exploded, chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color. It’s also what helps them photosynthesis. Now, we’re not quite suggesting you go so natural that you start converting the energy of the sun into food, but if it’s good enough for plants to survive on, we might as well give it a shot.

Chlorophyll comes in liquid form, so it can easily be ingested as a drink. It owes its odor-stomping powers to its ability to detoxify. By flushing out all of the bad bacteria inside your body before it has a chance to seep through your pores, it nips bad odors in the bud right from the roots.

FYI: This is a natural deodorant alternative that helps not only your pits, but your overall body odor – feet, sweat, etc. It also comes with health benefits rather than side effects. Also safe enough to use on pets (’cause as cute as your dog, his breath can use a little help).

Probiotics

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Oh, look, it’s those damn probiotics again. They might be great as an external deodorant, but they’re also damn good for you when you take ’em internally. They detoxify your body in the same way as liquid chlorophyll does with a specific focus on your liver and intestines.

As mentioned before, they help to manage the micro-flora in your gut, acting as backup for the good bacteria and flushing out the bad ones. That bad bacteria is the same stuff that gives your sweat an odor, so it’s better to get them out right from the source.

Also keep in mind that around 7% of people who complain of chronic body odor have enzyme deficiencies or digestive problems that prevent them from completely digesting certain foods – if you belong to this group, probiotics will go a long way in providing regular support to boost your intestinal flora quality. Result? Improved digestion and less body odor.

Not to mention, taking probiotics is also helpful for skin conditions like acne and candida (you’re only as healthy as your gut, remember?) so if you have any digestive issues – this is one little pill you definitely want to pop.

Don’t want to experiment with your pits? Check out the best, tried and tested natural deodorants for toxin-free pits. But if you’re up for it – totally feel free to experiment and let us know if you come up with a new wacky/genius natural way to get rid of body odors!

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