9 Best Natural Deodorants That Actually Keep You Stink Free

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9 Best Natural Deodorants That Actually Keep You Stink Free
Infographic – herbs-info.com Photo sources – see foot of article

Deodorants are alcohol-based consumer products classified by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration as cosmetics. They were invented to prevent sweat and protect against bad odors. The antiperspirant property of numerous deodorants relies on aluminum compounds that act as active ingredients.

Many people have been critical of the use of these compounds in deodorants, claiming that they could cause health issues that affect the liver, kidneys, and the brain.

A further group of “problem compounds” which may be contained in deodorants are parabens – which according to a study reported in the Journal of Applied Technology were found present in samples of breast tissue taken from women who underwent mastectomies. [1]

Here are our pick of natural deodorant ingredients that keep your pits fresh and prevent body odor without those toxic compounds and their potential health risks:

1. Baking Soda

Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this widely available substance has strong antibacterial and antifungal activities which may protect the body from infections and body odor. A study published in the journal Mycopathologia confirmed the antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against most common agents of cutaneous fungal infection. [2]

2. Coconut Oil

This very popular plant-based oil is another potential ingredient for making a natural deodorant. A study reported in the Journal of Medical Food proposed the role of coconut oil in the treatment of candidiasis, a fungal infection. [3]

3. Beeswax

This substance, which forms the structure of a honeycomb, was found by several studies to be effective against various bacteria and fungi – including the bacterium Salmonella enterica and the fungus Candida albicans. When combined with other natural products such as olive oil, beeswax may also be used as a topical application against skin diseases such as dermatitis, as reported in Complementary Therapies in Medicine. [4]

4. Organic Sugar

Organic sugar is often used as an ingredient to enrich natural deodorants that prevent perspiration. Sugar has long been used for food preserves to prevent bacterial growth. The osmotic effect provided by sugar is the main mechanism behind its antibacterial action. [5]

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil contains phenolic compounds that present antimicrobial activity. Hydroxytyrosol, a major component of olive oil, has antifungal activity, based on the findings of a study published in Current Drug Targets. [6]

6. Licorice

Licorice is a widely known herbal medicine that has traditionally been used for skin eruptions including eczema, dermatitis, and cysts. Extracts from this herb were posited by a study as a contributor to the development of deodorant agents. [7]

7. Sage

Sage has noted antibacterial qualities. In 2013, the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences published a study that affirmed the effectiveness of a stick deodorant containing sage extract in fighting bacteria responsible for axillary odor. [8]

8. Hops

A study first reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology revealed that hops extract has good in vitro antibacterial properties. Odor reduction was also confirmed when the extract was combined with zinc ricinoleate, which is a zinc salt of a major fatty acid found in castor oil. [9]

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is a good deodorant which kills the bacteria that create body odor. The deodorant effect of the naturally fermented product is linked to its antimicrobial mechanism. ACV has found further application in natural home disinfectants. [10]

Further Reading:

How to Make Your Own Natural Deodorants Without Toxic Chemical Ingredients

How To Make An All-Natural Lavender and Rose Deodorant


[1] Philip W. Harvey and David J. Everett. January 8, 2004. Significance of the detection of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast tumours. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.957/abstract

[2] Letscher-Bru V et al. February 2013. Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991095

[3] Ogbolu DO et al. June 2007. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080

[4] Al-Waili NS. December 2003. Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15022655

[5] American Chemistry Society. Sugar in Food Preserving. https://www.acsedu.co.uk/Info/Alternative-Living/Self-Sufficiency/Sugar-in-Food-Preserving.aspx

[6] Zoric N et al. August 2013. Hydroxytyrosol expresses antifungal activity in vitro. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23721186

[7] Hara T et al. November 12, 2014. Suppression of Microbial Metabolic Pathways Inhibits the Generation of the Human Body Odor Component Diacetyl by Staphylococcus spp. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111833

[8] Shahtalebi MA et al. October 2013. Deodorant effects of a sage extract stick: Antibacterial activity and sensory evaluation of axillary deodorancy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897065/

[9] Dumas ER et al. September 2009. Deodorant effects of a supercritical hops extract: antibacterial activity against Corynebacterium xerosis and Staphylococcus epidermidis and efficacy testing of a hops/zinc ricinoleate stick in humans through the sensory evaluation of axillary deodorancy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19735518

[10] Rutala WA et al. January 2000. Antimicrobial activity of home disinfectants and natural products against potential human pathogens. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10656352

Infographic photo sources:


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