THE BLOG
09/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

9 Green Deodorants That Actually Work

So you finally looked at the ingredient list on your deodorant and said something like: "Parabens? What's a paraben? Triclosan? What's that? Propylene gylcol? Huh?"

We recently asked our Ask an Organic Mom blogger Lexy Zissu (co-author of the The Complete Organic Pregnancy) to weigh in on how she chooses a natural deodorant (step one: If you can't pronounce the ingredient, don't buy it) and which natural deodorant brands actually work. Because after all, we're talking about deodorant here. If it doesn't keep the stink at bay, what's the point?

Cutting to the chase, here's her list of the 9 natural deodorant brands that really work:

  1. Dr. Hauschka ($23)

  2. Weleda ($15)

  3. Erbaviva ($18)

  4. Aubrey Organics ($8.25)

  5. Bubble & Bee ($8.95)

  6. Lafe's ($7.99)

  7. Miessence ($8.95)

  8. Burt's Bees ($8)

  9. Terressentials ($10)

More information about each of the 9 natural deodorants that really work

Not cheap, right? So now it's good to remember why you might choose the natural deodorant in the first place: "Conventional products tend to contain a whole host of best-to-avoid substances including hormone disrupters, petrochemicals, lung irritants, and other suspect ingredients," Zissu writes. "These are not only potentially harmful to the adults who use them, but also to teenagers who are still developing, babies in utero, breastfeeding babies (internally and externally -- they're often leaning skin-on-skin up near your armpits) and even to the waterways and aquatic life where traces of the conventional gunk winds up after we shower it off." If you search the Internet, you'll also find quite a bit of discussion about links between deodorant chemicals and both Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer; these links are unproven, but the specter of a problem is enough for some people to avoid conventional deodorants.

If those brands don't appeal to you, or don't work as well for you (every body's different), then consider these tips when shopping for a natural deodorant:

Chemicals and Claims to Avoid

  • Aluminum compounds
  • Aerosol products
  • Unregulated claims like "natural" (most claims aren't regulated)
  • Antibacterials like triclosan
  • Synthetic fragrance (which can contain hormone disruptors, usually on labels as "fragrance")
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals like propylene glycol (PEG)
  • Anything containing what The Green Guide refers to as the "Dirty Dozen" chemical cosmetic ingredients

What to Look For

  • Third-party certified organic or natural products from brands that are part of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  • Deodorants that come in recyclable packaging, or in packaging with post-consumer content
  • Leaping Bunny-certified products
  • Ingredient lists you can read and understand.

More details about how to choose a natural deodorant