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Natural Deodorant Scorecard

All natural deodorants are not created equal
All natural deodorants are not created equal
Image: federico stevanin /

Here is the down-low on natural deodorants, some may not work as well as the regular brands (in terms of keeping you dry and smelling nice) but those deemed "all-natural" are without the harmful chemicals that are known to cause disease and hormonal imbalances.

The problem is that finding the right one for you might cost you...its trial and error.

Deodorants that are said to be "pure" don't contain parabens, PEGs, synthetic ingredients including hormone-disrupting fragrance and antibacterials, petrochemicals, or aluminum compounds.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)- a non-profit group that uses the power of public information to protect public health – runs the Skin Deep Database which is a free way to find out how safe your personal care products are and how they rate.

“Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know. It shames and shakes up polluters and their lobbyists. It rattles politicians and shapes policy. It persuades bureaucracies to rethink science and strengthen regulation. It provides practical information you can use to protect your family and community.” -EWG

Many men and women say that their experience with natural deodorants is a “work-in-progress.”

Below is a highlight of some of the most popular brands and their hazard rating:

Tom's of Maine -The first ingredient is PROPLYENE GLYCOL. Concerns include: allergies/immunotoxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), enhanced skin absorption. On the EWG’s skin deep database this product has a low hazard rating of 2 out of 10 – making it a healthy choice.

Jason – scores of 2 out of 10 on the low hazard rating which is very good. One ingredient that didn’t score as well in the deodorant is TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E) –concerns include: allergies/immunotoxicity and contamination concerns.

Burt's Bees Herbal Deodorant Spray -  mixes sage, lemon, and lavender to "minimize and neutralize odor while still allowing your body to sweat - a natural toxin-eliminating process."
This one scored a 1 out of 10 – making it a very low hazard.  But its first ingredient is of some concern: SD ALCOHOL 40 – derived from yellow corn. Concerns include: cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), additive exposure sources, and enhanced skin absorption.

Crystal – this deodorant is made from Purified Water (Aqua), Natural Mineral Salts, Potassium and Alum Cellulose. It scored a 0 hazard rating and is one of the most popular natural deodorants. One reviewer said:

“This product changed my life. No more underarm stains. Evidently all my life it has been the antiperspirants that I have used that left yellow stains under my arms. Also, no embarrassing nervous perspiration odor. Antiperspirants seem to exacerbate body odor AND leave yellow underarm stains.”

Lafe’s – scored a 3 out of 10 hazard rating. The EWG says the ingredients in this product are linked to allergies/immunotoxicity. Other concerns for ingredients used in this product include: neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), and occupational hazards

Aubrey Organics E-Plus High C roll-on – scored 2 out of 10 on the hazard rating. But one of its ingredients, ethanol – natural grain alcohol - is linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), enhanced skin absorption and occupational hazards.

Dr. Hauschka
– this one isn’t rated by the EWG but it is as pure as it can get. This formula combines witch hazel and sage extracts to absorb odor without clogging pores and Martha Stewart swears by it.


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