Nasty chemicals in your deodorants? They’re the pits. We pick the best natural ones that pass our sniff test.
We speak from experience: It isn’t the easiest task to switch from an average deodorant to an all-natural, organic one. Throw Singapore’s sweaty weather into the mix and you’ve got yourself a real conundrum. But after all that hard work, surreptitious sniffing and many, many half-empty bottles of deo, we’ve finally found our true underarm armours. Behold, our fave natural deodorants that actually work – even in Singapore. And if you’re new to natural deodorants, here’s everything you need to know…
The difference between deodorant and antiperspirant
Deodorants target the bacteria in your armpit area to neutralise any potential stank. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, block sweat by closing off your pores, using powerful astringents like aluminium and zirconium, as well as parabens. Does that trigger your alarm bells? If yes, keep reading…
Here’s why you should be wary of those ingredients: A large majority of breast cancers originate at the top of the breast and near the armpit. Over the years, some researchers have speculated that blocking sweat from the body could lead to a buildup of toxins in the lymph node area. Others are now saying that aluminium and zinc may penetrate cells, damaging DNA that could lead to cancerous growth.
However, the link between antiperspirants and illness still remains theoretical. According to cancer awareness organisations including the American Cancer Society and the National Institute of Cancer in America, there’s very little scientific evidence to back the correlation. But, as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And going all-natural on your armpits is a good place to start.
Best natural deodorants in Singapore
Kopari Coconut Oil Deodorant
This aluminium- and baking soda-free deodorant does wonders to sensitive pits. Not only does it apply smoothly and dry clear (sans any stickiness), it’s totally gentle with a sweet scent of coconut. Ultimate tropical vibes, we tell ya! Our only gripe is that it finishes pretty quickly so you’ll have to stock up. Other variations include the beach, charcoal and gardenia deodorants.
Kopari Coconut Oil Deodorant, $25, available at Sephora.
Soul Good Project Himalayan Wilderness Deodorant Balm
We’ll be honest with you. Though we did not have luck with the sprays, the deodorant balms from homebred beauty label Soul Good Project stand out. Formulated with coconut oil, magnesium and arrowroot powder, as well as cedarwood and bergamot essential oils, this balm neutralises odour, fights fungi and germs, and moisturises and soothes irritated skin. Let’s not forget about the woody and citrusy notes from cedar, bergamot, sweet orange and lemon. You can also try mandarin spring – it smells really good too! Now, if only it came with a spatula or in a better applicator…
Soul Good Project Himalayan Wilderness Deodorant Balm, $26.90, available online.
Jomingo Grapefruit Aluminium-free Natural Deodorant Stick
First things first. How can you not fall in love with that gorgeous packaging? The natural deodorants from SG-based Jomingo are made from plant-based ingredients like cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, ethically-sourced cocoa butter, non-GMO plus gluten-free tapioca starch and baking soda, with essential oils and vitamin E. This bang-on formula keeps ‘em pits smooth, neutralises odour, leaves your clothes stain-free and is versatile for all skin types. Hell, they’ve even gone out on a limb to say it works great for teens – and that speaks volumes if you know what we mean. Also good to know that it’s made with biodegradable packaging. Double yes!
Grapefruit Aluminium-free Natural Deodorant Stick, $21, available online.
The Sustainability Project Natural Deodorant
If you’re all about that sustainable, guilt-free life, these babies are right up your alley. No-frills, no aesthetically-pleasing packaging – just deodorant that does the job. Made with baking soda, cassava starch, coconut oil, shea butter and lavender essential oil, it absorbs perspiration, combats odour and is free of parabens and chemicals.
The Sustainability Project Natural Deodorant, $8 for 25g, available online.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream
We’ve heard of deodorant balms, sprays and powder but cream? Not so much. So when Drunk Elephant launched its baking soda-, aluminium- and essential oil-free Sweet Pitti deodorant cream, we were intrigued. Made with plant oils such as marula, baobab and mongongo seed, and marula and shea butter to moisturise, plus mandelic acid and arrowroot to keep odour at bay, it’s known to stay on all day.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream, $23, available at Sephora.
Salt & Stone Natural Deodorant – Lavender & Sage
This vegan deodorant is totally free of aluminium, alcohol, parabens and synthetic fragrances. And we’re loving it. It rolls on dry and has a calming scent of lavender and sage. The formula consists of common ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E, plus sunflower seed oil to hydrate and protect your pits.
Salt & Stone Natural Deodorant – Lavender & Sage, available at DeckOut, Tangs and The Panic Room.
Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Ylang Ylang + Calendula
It may look unusual but it does a mighty job of neutralising odours – yup, even in sweaty Singapore. Plant-based powders soak up moisture, while essential oils work overtime to mask the stank. Non-greasy and non-sticky, it’s free of aluminium, propylene glycol, parabens and phthalates. It comes in stick form or in a pot – reviews suggest the pot version is more effective (and yes, you’ll have to apply with a little spatula, but it works!).
Schmidt’s Ylang Ylang + Calendula, $12.95, available at iHerb, Shopee and Lazada.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant
Tom’s of Maine has scored fans world over for its natural products – they’re free of artificial colours, flavours, fragrances, preservatives and do not involve animal testing. The extra-strength natural long-lasting deodorant keeps the odour at bay, thanks to odour-trapping zinc salts. While controversy did once arise about its use of propylene glycol (a common ingredient used in the creation of industrial and commercial products), the brand has now switched to a version that’s 100% vegetable derived.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant, $9.90, available at iHerb, Lazada and Shopee.
Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste
Pamper your pits with the best blend of organic ingredients, including organic shea butter, coconut oil, kaolin clay and feel-good essential oils like clove and camellia tea oil. If your skin is on the sensitive side, the Barrier Booster version is bicarb-free. Instead, it features borage seed oil and magnesium hydroxide to calm inflammations. This one definitely works. We’ve tested it in hot, humid Vietnam too, and the small pot size makes it great for travel.
Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste, $30, available at Shopee.
Lush The Greeench Deodorant Powder
Its powder formula may take a while to get used to, but we promise it’s worth the struggle. Lycopodium powder keeps moisture under control, while thyme, tea tree and sage leave you smelling and feeling minty fresh. We love this when we’re not in a rush! Just sprinkle some onto your palm and rub it in.
Lush The Greeench Deodorant Powder, from $28, available at Lush.
Primal Pit Paste
Say no to nasties with Primal Pit Paste’s natural deodorant jars. Three levels are available to cater to different needs, with ascending amounts of baking soda in the formulas for maximum stink stoppage. There’s also a sensitive line that offers baking soda-free sprays for those with sensitive skin.
Primal Pit Paste, from $21, available at Shopee and Lazada.
Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream
We can’t decide what we love more: Its adorable name or the effectiveness of its products. Made in small batches, the deodorant cream contains baking soda, arrowroot and clay to keep you dry, while aromatic essential oils let you stay beautifully scented.
Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream, $23.90, available at Living Naturally Co. and Amazon Singapore.
Blissoma Scent-less Stick Deodorant
This one’s hard to beat. It’s made with plant-based odour-busting ingredients like mango butter and natural oils, as well as anti-irritant, sweat absorbing and stink-busting powders to soften your pits. Oh, and the deodorant also comes in a travel-friendly unbreakable bottle!
Blissoma Scent-less Stick Deodorant, $23, available at Charis Naturals.