This article was published in partnership with Blu Atlas.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being picky about the ingredients or substances you’re willing to put in your body.
Aluminum is renowned for its ability to soak up sweat- and odor-causing bacteria, which is why so many mainstream deodorants include it in one form or another. However, aluminum has also been linked to a variety of ailments. While the scientific community is far from forming a consensus on the safety (or lack thereof) of aluminum-based deodorants, we recognize that many consumers prefer to err on the side of caution.
The question becomes: Which aluminum-free products can protect you from unwanted odor and sweat? Luckily, we’ve done the research for you. So sit back, relax and carefully review our list of the 18 best aluminum-free deodorants for men this year.
Buying an all-natural aluminum-free deodorant? Here’s what you need to know.
Not all of the deodorants on our list of the 18 best aluminum-free deodorants would qualify as natural deodorants. That’s because not every deodorant that excludes aluminum is necessarily 100% natural. Nevertheless, many of our picks do go the natural route, and there are some things about natural deodorants you may want to know – especially if you’re a first-time user.
We should warn you that your body might need some time to adapt to a natural deodorant. If you notice a little bit of body odor and more sweat in the first week or two of wearing your new all-natural product, don’t fret. It’s a perfectly normal part of the adjustment process.
You see, most deodorants are filled with chemicals. When we take away these substances, our bodies might experience a “cleansing period.” For our armpits, that might mean excess sweat and odor. But trust us, just stick with it. It might take time for your body to get used to the new conditions.
Sweating is natural and is, of course, a sign of a well-functioning body. Sweat by itself does not smell. It only smells when bad bacteria attach themselves to it. Once your body has flushed away the chemicals it has grown accustomed to, it will begin soaking up the antioxidants and nutrients of your new natural deodorant. At this point, your sweat levels will fall and your body odor will gradually abate.
If you’re in absolute need of neutralizing your body odor during the adjustment phase, we recommend applying a baking soda paste to your armpits. Wet your fingers, take a dime-sized amount of baking soda for each armpit, and rub gently onto the armpit area in slow, circular motions. Take care not to apply too much baking soda directly to your skin, as doing so can risk burning it and creating lesions.
Non-aluminum antiperspirants: They do exist!
While antiperspirants are generally thought of as aluminum-based products, there are natural products that can have antiperspirant effects. So, if you’re searching for a deodorant that will help absorb excess moisture and oils from your armpits, look for products with the following ingredients.
Volcanic Ash (Bentonite)
Volcanic ash, or bentonite, excels at absorbing excess moisture. It’s also a great detoxifying agent, so it will take care of odor-causing bacteria. Oh, and it’s surprisingly gentle, so if you have sensitive skin you don’t need to worry about irritation. This potent sweat-stopper is featured in the formula of our top-ranked aluminum-free deodorant: Blu Atlas.
Kaolin clay is similar to bentonite, though some people don’t think it’s quite as strong. Without wading into that debate, what we do know is that kaolin clay is great at absorbing skin toxins and moisture. You’ll find kaolin clay in the Horace natural deodorant we describe in our guide.
Arrowroot powder is jam-packed with vitamins, zinc and other nutrients. Not only will it be a welcome aid for your skin cells, but it will also soak up moisture under your arms. It’s also true that soothed skin absorbs more moisture than irritated skin, so the vitamins in arrowroot powder will also help with that process. The Jack Henry and Art of Sport deodorants, listed above, both feature arrowroot powder in their gentle formulas.
Cornstarch has long been recognized for its highly absorbing properties. Though this ingredient is more old-school than some of the ones listed above, don’t discount our ancestors’ remedies. Lumin’s natural deodorant features cornstarch as its primary ingredient for soaking up excess moisture.
The More the Merrier
Some of the products on our list of the best aluminum-free deodorants use these ingredients in combination. Truth be told, none of these ingredients alone are as powerful at stopping sweat as aluminum. However, we can safely say that they are ultimately better for you and the environment than the metal-based formulas. Pick up one of the ranked deodorants on this list, and your body will thank you for it!
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