All-Natural Odor Absorbers

Some things you want organic—vegetables, meat—some things you just want to work, like deodorant. But after enough readers, friends, and colleagues asked, we set out to discover if there was in fact a formula that was both all-natural and long-lasting. If we were lucky, we’d find one strong enough to stand up to a workout, too.

We tasked four people with trying ten different formulas, including sprays, roll-ons, traditional sticks, and even pots of cream requiring manual application. In the end, three stood out for their odor-fighting abilities. Though none claim to be antiperspirants, the three best options also significantly reduced wetness over the course of a day. So which ones won?

Aubrey's E Plus High C Roll-On Deodorant ($8)—the most utilitarian of the bunch—was effective on three out of the four testers. This particular formula includes Vitamin E, aloe, and witch hazel extract to soothe your skin. “I don’t love the herbal scent,” says one subject. “It’s just not very feminine, but it does wear off and I didn’t smell at the end of the day—so it’s a winner.”

Weleda’s Wild Rose Deodorant ($16) is a spray, which makes for the least comfortable application. “You have to wait for it to dry before putting on clothes,” one subject says. “But it was best at controlling odor, which is obviously the most important thing.” Like the name suggests, Weleda’s formula uses wild rose extract as an astringent to neutralise body odor—a plus if you already favour rose-scented products.

The real winner was Dr. Hauschka Skin Care's Roll-On Deodorant ($23). Zinc ricinoleate, the active ingredient, reduces odor, while sage and hazel extracts also absorb odor without clogging your pores. “The medicinal smell dies down within a few hours,” says one tester. “I’m dry and odor-free throughout the day,” adds another. Of course, the effectiveness of these products depends on your body’s own chemistry and your particular needs. But if you are going to start experimenting with natural deodorants (something we’d suggest doing pre-summer), we’d recommend one of the above.