Health & Wellness

The Hidden Risks of Toxic Deodorants + 4 Natural Deodorants that Actually Work

January 18, 2018

Whether you’ve just dabbled, or you’re head over heels into green beauty, you have likely heard about the  aluminum (amongst other harmful ingredients) lurking in your conventional deodorant stick. This is one of the worst culprits for health decay when it comes to hygiene for many reasons. My intention is never to use ‘scare tactics’ to promote natural living.. so while the information I provide on the effects of using conventional deodorant may be ‘off-putting’, I do think it is important to address the facts and the potential risks of using them. I am glad someone taught me this years ago, so I wanted to share with you some of the reasons I have strayed away from conventional brands of deodorant:

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1. Daily/Consistent Use: Its a product used daily (sometimes more than once a day when you think about re-application or after you’ve gone to the gym and re-showered).


2. Location of Application: It is used in a delicate area that can deeply affect important organs and areas of the body such as (but not limited to):

(a) The armpit is in the direct vicinity to lymph nodes which can be deeply affected by toxic ingredients. This could contribute to an array of different health concerns, cancer being at the top for potential health risks associated with this area.

(b) For women, application of deodorants containing aluminum has lead to breast cancer thanks to the volume of aluminum near the breasts.

(c) High levels of Aluminum have the potential to affect our brain have also been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.


3. Blocking of Natural Bodily Functions: Most conventional deodorants are also anti-perspirants, which means they block your ability to sweat. When you block sweat glands, you are creating havoc in your body, not to mention you are locking harmful ingredients beneath the surface of your skin. This is exactly why many people experience a “detox” period when switching to natural deodorants. The detox period is a length of time where you may find that odour and perspiration increase due to your body eliminating build up (sweat, particles and toxic load from previous conventional deodorant brands) from beneath the skin, as well as learning how to balance its sweat gland production. True, this period is not at all pleasant.. but the results to follow are completely worth it. After using natural deodorant for years now I have noticed a reduction of natural odour AND perspiration overall. My sweat glands have balanced out and I have successfully rid my underarms of any nasty build up hiding there. Totally gross, I know.. but imagine that if you don’t take proper care of your underarms allowing them to work as intended, that ‘build up’ will stay put.. which I find much more unpleasant to think about. Ignorance is NOT bliss in this case.


4. Animal Testing: I dont think its fair to leave this out for a few reasons. First off, conventional brands use animal testing due to the fact that the harmful synthetic ingredients they use to make a cheaper product (thus increasing their profits) are not safe. They are using animals to determine whether or not the ingredients used will cause immediate and noticeable side effects (conventional brands can still pass their products onto shelves knowing full well that over time the ingredients used can lead to illness and disease. The laws “protecting” our health actually only benefit the companies making the products as they are limited and contain major loopholes). Secondly, the welfare of animals and our earth is greatly impacted by the human derived “solution” to use animal testing. I don’t think you need to be a vegan to understand the impacts of this unfortunate practice in our world.


So.. Now that you have the facts. It would be unfair to leave you in the dark without a solution. I have spent YEARS testing natural deodorant after natural deodorant and I’ve narrowed down my top 4 choices for you today. These brands are all independently owned (ie. not secretly owned by major corporations), are cruelty free, and use only natural ingredients in their formulas. I am also going to address which of these is my absolute favourite (because while I love every one of these brands.. one stands out completely for me). That being said, everyones skin and hygiene needs are different so I will add mini reviews of pros and cons to each to help you choose a product that works for you.


Organic Tampons

Sample – $0.00
from: Kali LLC.


4 Natural Deodorant Options that WORK


# 1 Agent Nateur

Starting with my #1 choice for natural deodorants (and this choice seems to be mutual amongst all green beauty bloggers) is Agent Nateur. By far the best formula I have used yet.. it has never let me down. Not only does it work 100% of the time for me (yes, even when I am working out and at the end of a full day of wear) but I am smitten with the Shiva Rose scented option of Deodorant named Holi(Rose) No. 4. If you love products that smell soft and feminine like me then I would suggest getting this scent.

Agent Nateur has a few options for scent, including an option that would work best for men (though I know some women prefer this scent as well) called Holi(man) No. 5. There is a second Unisex option, the original formula called Holi(stick) No. 3 which is a blend of honey, lavender and eucalyptus scents.


Lastly, a new formula has recently been launched and set to start shipping out at the end of January for Sensitive Skin types called Vegan Sensitive Holi(stick). This basically means anyone who reacts to baking soda in natural deodorants. It is also vegan as the original formulas use beeswax. I have yet to use this formula so I can’t comment on its effectiveness but if its anything like the rest of Agent Nature’s line, it is probably perfection.

I am actually someone who develops rashes when using deodorants that contain baking soda, but have not had this issue with Agent Nateur. I believe that this may be due to superior sourcing of ingredients (i.e. After following the owner of Agent Nateur, Jena, on social media I have come to learn that she is very well versed in natural research. The ingredients she has sourced for her products are likely of high purity and quality). It also may be due to the amount of baking soda used in the formula.. Less is more in some instances.

Agent Nateur’s deodorant sticks range in price from $21-$26 (depending on scent/formula) and a full size product is 1.7 oz.

Overall, if I has to choose just one deodorant to suggest to others Agent Nateur would be my go to. That does not mean that the next two products aren’t just as good in their own right.. but this is my personal favourite. I also highly recommend following Agent Nateur on Instagram as the owner, Jena, shares some of the best information and articles swirling around in the green living world.


#2 Meow Meow Tweet

This would have to be my second choice for natural deodorants that work well. Meow Meow Tweet came to me in a discovery box last year and I was impressed with how well it worked. I would say that the formula was able to last anywhere from 7-10 hours depending on level of activity. I would just reapply if needed and that solved any breakthrough odour.

Meow Meow Tweet has two options: a deodorant cream formula which comes in a bottle and must be applied by hand, as well as a paper tube formula that glides on itself. They also have a baking soda free stick formula and baking soda free cream formula developed for those with sensitivities. The baking soda free cream formula is what I use due to my skin type and it works great. I found that I had a slight (very slight) reaction to the baking soda formula. The slight irritation didn’t last long and didn’t seem to return but if you are hyper sensitive to baking soda I would suggest taking advantage of their mini size to test the formula on your own skin or opting for the sensitive option.

There are a few options for scent from Meow Meow Tweet. I personally have only tried the lavender scent in the cream deodorant and found it to be nice and light. I typically stay away from lavender scents but this was not overbearing at all and was a nice fresh option.

Meow Meow Tweet is a cruelty free brand and they are also 100% vegan. Their deodorants range in price from $14-$20 at full size of 2.4 oz. (cream in jar) and 3.0 oz. (paper tube). Mini sizes are available for trial as well as travel.


#3 Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox



This is a unique product that I trailed last year and wrote a full blog review detailing how armpit detoxing works. Kaia naturals has developed a bamboo + activated charcoal stick deodorant that helps speed along the detox period while you wear. Yes, you got that right.. this is a deodorant and detox all in one. It’s a pretty neat concept! It comes in three scents but I LOVED the cold pressed rose formula myself.

Armpit detox is especially important if you’re first switching to natural deodorants so you can pull any toxic build up from beneath the skin. However, it works great for anyone who has already been using natural deodorant as a 1-2 time a year detox between your regular deodorant (This is how I use it). While you may not have build up from aluminum deodorants, our armpits help us sweat out toxins from our diet and environment so helping it along will always benefit your routine. I wrote an entire blog on how to detox your underarms HERE where I share a DIY recipe as well as a full review on Kaia’s deodorant detox stick. I did find this stick to be more convenient than the DIY paste as its less messy and multipurpose.

Kaia naturals has also just released their 30 Day Detox Starter Kit which I think is the perfect option for anyone who wants to detox their underarms but stay as comfortable as possible (ahem, in terms of excess odour) while its working its magic. Perfect for someone who is just starting out OR for anyone who has been using natural deodorants for some time and just wants a little detox between using your regular choice of deodorant.



This product is 99% natural, vegan, and cruelty free. Their detox sticks cost $21.00 for a full size at 2.29 oz. They also provide the option of a travel size for $9.50. My suggestion is if you’re using this for the detox, you’re going to need the full size.


#4 PurelyGreat


Last up, this was one of the first natural deodorants to work for me. I found it while attending a green living conference years ago and used it for years. This Canadian based brand created a cream deodorant formula that works well and smells so nice. I have since switched to Agent Nateur as my primary deodorant of choice but still have to give mention to this brand that opened the door to the possibility that natural deodorant does work for me. I will also mention that this is the formula my Mother has used for years and she has not switched due to the fact that it works well for her. The reason I personally switched was the baking soda content was slightly too high for my sensitive skin and I did find that this formula caused some slight rashing under my arms.

PurelyGreat is a cream deodorant that comes with a stir stick inside the jar as the formula separates over time and must be mixed back in (this is totally normal and actually speaks to the fact that natural ingredients were used, nothing to be afraid of). It comes in a range of scents, my personal favourite being the lavender blend (I know, after I just said that I tend to stay away from lavender.. but this scent is so delicate and beautiful). It also comes in other scents that are unisex and would appeal to men.


PurelyGreat is both cruelty free and vegan friendly. Their Deodorants cost $12.99 for a full size at 1.76 oz. making it the most cost effective. You can also purchase family packs of 4 full sized jars for $45.95 for some savings. They also offer a single trial sample/tester and you just have to pay the shipping cost.


Choosing the right deodorant for you

Ultimately, its important to make informed choices coupled with personal preference to find the BEST choice for you when it comes to any product. These have been my tested and true choices for natural deodorants and I hope these mini reviews have helped you get closer to finding your perfect fit. I am happy to answer any questions in the comments section below!


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  • Reply Marysa January 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Natural deodorants have come a long way in the past couple years. For many years I struggled with finding a good natural deodorant, and it was awful because sometimes I would leave work at the end of the day smelling terrible! My favorites right now are Lavilin, Schmidts, Purely Great, and Primal Pit Paste. I would like to try the ones you listed as well!

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      You’re absolutely right! Brands are doing a great job finding formulas that work amazing! One thing to watch out for, Schmidts has sold to Unilever last month 🙁 Generally, that means additions of cheaper ingredients and they now don’t support “cruelty free” in my opinion.

  • Reply Kenadee January 22, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Wow! I had no idea about a lot of this stuff. It’s super interesting. Thanks for posting it! I’m sure tons of others will find this useful also.

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you Kenadee! Means a lot 🙂 Thanks for stopping by <3

  • Reply Belle January 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    These safer alternatives sound amazing! I must check these out!

    Belle |

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Belle! if you have any questions just let me know <3

  • Reply Marya January 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I totally agree with natural deodorants and they work for me even in Florida summer!

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Yes! They actually work BETTER for me than conventional once I got over the detox phase.. I love them!

  • Reply Heather January 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    This was a really interesting read. I had never considered that using deodorant had hidden health risks.

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Knowledge is power 🙂 I hope it helped! If you ever have any questions feel free to ask! Thanks for reading

  • Reply Laura January 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

    What an interesting set of products. I need to do some reading on this. I do try to avoid toxic products but clearly there are some we don’t even realise are bad.

    • Reply Bloom & Clementine February 1, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Yes! You’re so right.. There is a LOT of green washing happening out there and brands trying to create the facade that they are using pure ingredients! Thanks for reading 🙂

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