Let’s start with a bit of neutral news that is bad in the context of natural deodorant recommendations: Everyone’s microbiome is unique, and as such, they all respond differently to things like — yes — natural deodorant. We’re sorry. We know that’s a sort of a down note on which to begin an ostensibly authoritative recommendation of natural deodorants. But in the course of our deodorant testing, we found that the consensus wasn’t as strong for these as it was for, say, kitchen sponges. With that being said, we think that EO Organic Deodorant Spray is the best low-price choice for the largest number of sweaty people.
This spray consists of organic alcohol (sugar cane ethanol, to be precise), purified water, and an essential oil blend that varies depending on the scent. That’s it! And while alcohol — which kills stank-causing germs — can be an irritant for sensitive skin, our designated sensitive-skin tester (whose pits balked at baking soda) found EO to be pleasantly gentle. It comes in four scents: lavender, citrus, vetiver, and tea tree. The smells are subtle, and more like a nice cologne than a traditional deodorant or antiperspirant (though when it came to vetiver, our testers were divided: Some loved it, and some found it too medicinal).
“Yes, okay,” we hear you asking, “but does it work?” And the answer is yes! For the most part, it works! Of course, no natural deodorant is going to prevent you from sweating. Aluminum, the thing we’re trying to avoid, is what stops you from sweating. But this stuff does a decent job of stopping you from stinking. For everyday use, our testers found this spray to be effective at neutralizing/masking odor (in other words: EO beat B.O.). Our tests did not include exercise (because quite honestly, if you don’t stink at the gym, you’re doing it wrong), but they did include humidity, subway trains, and a few self-proclaimed sweat monsters. By the end of the day, each of our testers found that, while they might not have been comfortable inviting people to sniff their pits, they were, at the very least, not the designated smelly kid.
In terms of application, EO’s application is easy and mess-free. Unlike some of the deodorants we tried, which required the user to dip their fingers in a paste and smear said paste under their arms, you can simply spray this stuff on in a few refreshing bursts. And for those times when you need to re-up during the day, it also comes in easily packable towelettes (one note about the spray bottle: It’s 4 ounces, so not TSA-approved for carry-ons). It’s clear, quick-drying, non-sticky, and non-greasy, so your clothes will be totally safe (for which our shirts are all eternally grateful).
Bottom line: If you want a natural deodorant in the same price bracket as most non-natural varieties, EO is your best bet.