How Does Natural Deodorant Work

How Exactly Does Natural Deodorant Work?

Plenty of folks are making the switch to natural deodorant, and for good reason. With typically plant-based ingredients, natural deodorant offers the same level of odor protection as traditional deodorants.

And the active ingredients involved tend to be gentler both on your armpits as well as the planet. But for those who think natural deodorant seems too good to be true, allow us to show you exactly how natural deodorants work.

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Quick facts & key takeaways

In a nutshell (or, in our case, a zero-waste biodegradable tube), natural deodorants typically include:

  • Baking soda or arrowroot powder to absorb wetness
  • Coconut oil or shea butter to soothe irritation and aid application
  • Essential oils with antimicrobial benefits to kill odor-causing bacteria and offer a pleasant scent

Natural deodorant will not:

  • Contain aluminum or other chemicals like traditional antiperspirants
  • Clog your sweat glands with aluminum and other chemicals
  • Stop you from sweating

There's a lot more that goes into differentiating natural deodorant from traditional deodorant. So if you're thinking of making the switch, consider reading the following points below.

How natural deodorant combats body odor

Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants will often contain aluminum to minimize sweating, thus mitigating embarrassing body odor. But natural deodorant tackles body odor from a different angle.

Sensitive skin deodorant users by weary of scents on skin


In the case of natural deodorant, aromatherapy does much more than offer you a pleasant scent. Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and tea tree contain antimicrobial benefits.

So rather than stopping you from sweating altogether, these essential oils kill odor-causing bacteria, allowing your underarms to sweat freely. Many confuse sweat with a bad thing.

But sweat is a completely normal and important function for your body to go through!

In fact, making the switch to natural deodorant does more to eliminate bacteria than traditional deodorants do. Because these natural ingredients are tackling bacteria head-on, not sidestepping it to focus on perspiration.


Some products will contain probiotics in their natural deodorant formula. Yes, active probiotics - like the kind you find in yogurt and buttermilk.

But these probiotics meet the bacteria that reside in your underarms to combat body odour. Sweat doesn't actually smell on its own.

In fact, that stinky smell only occurs once the sweat leaves your pores and meets the bacteria in your underarms. So when you introduce a probiotic natural deodorant, you're providing your skin with healthy bacteria to decrease levels of bad bacteria. Kind of cool if you think about it!

Common natural ingredients

When switching to natural deodorant, you'll notice common ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, and more across the board. There's a reason for that.

As essential oils or probiotics combat body odour, coconut oil and shea butter naturally moisturize your underarm area. Together, these natural ingredients help to keep your pores open, absorb moisture, and eliminate body odor all in one.

Expect a few days of stink on skin when switching skin to natural deodorant

Bonus: How To Make A Compost Pile

The difference between natural deodorant and antiperspirants

If you're not quite ready to ditch your aluminum-based deodorant for an aluminum-free option, consider the points below. They're the leading reasons why people are making the switch to natural deodorant.

Natural deodorants don't stop you from sweating

As we've gone over, sweat is absolutely normal. In fact, your body needs to sweat in order to get rid of toxins and regulate your body temperature.

You may like the glide of that gel-like substance that oozes out from your antiperspirants. But what's really going on in that deodorant tube anyway?

But natural deodorants also don't contain harmful ingredients

Antiperspirants typically contain aluminum and other chemicals that actively blog the pores in your underarm area. This may be beneficial for those who don't like to sweat in the first place.

But these harmful ingredients can also lead to irritation as well as some potential health concerns. Research is still ongoing, but one study explores aluminum as a metal capable of interfering with the function of estrogen receptors in human breast cancer cells.

Skin around underarm is sensitive treat skin to best skin ingredients

In other words, long-term antiperspirant use may potentially be linked to the development of breast cancer cells though no legitimate findings have been published as of yet.

Still, the risk remains prevalent, causing antiperspirant users to ditch their antiperspirant for a more natural product.

What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

So, what exactly can you expect when making the switch to natural deodorant? Read below to find out. (Spoiler alert: there will be days you have to power through.)

Your sweat glands will start to unclog

If you've been using aluminum-based deodorants for a while, your body will have to go through a rebalancing process. During your first week without an antiperspirant, your sweat glands will start to unclog, causing you to sweat more than you would while using an antiperspirant.

Skin under arms is important skin to treat well and with good ingredients

That sweat will rid of toxins and other built-up bacteria

In addition to sweat, your body may also secrete any other built-up bacteria and toxins. This will also depend on how long you used antiperspirant and what kinds of effects it left on your body.

You will definitely start to smell

This is where most people give up. As their body and underarm skin start to rebalance their systems, body odor is a given.

And for some, the smell is just too much. But if you stick it out, you could reap the benefits of natural deodorant, positively affecting your health.

Then your sweating habits will return to normal

After your body's final purge, the skin under your arms will finally return to its regular state. As in, you won't be producing buckets of moisture or having to endure bacteria-induced smell.

At this stage, you can rest up and know that your health is better off with a natural deodorant than an antiperspirant.

Wrapping up

Whether you've been looking to make the switch or you've just gotten tired of your old deodorant, we're here to help you out. Our plastic-free deodorants come in a variety of scents.

So you can treat your skin with a natural deodorant that will tackle bacteria. But with none of the potential risks associated with your traditional deodorant. 

Keep Reading: 13 Tips On How To Live A More Sustainable Life


PAPR Cosmetics is on a mission to create conscious beauty products with as little impact on the planet as possible. Our products are fully recyclable, vegan, and cruelty-free. When we take down one tree, we plant a new one. For more information and sustainability tips, follow us on InstagramFacebookPinterestLinkedInTikTokYouTube, and Tumblr.