Do unscented natural deodorants work?

Earlier this week we had a customer ask us the question whether our unscented natural deodorants actually work. They sure do! We're assuming that others have the same question, so we thought we'd explain a little about how and why they work and give you our favourites.

Firstly, while many natural deodorants contain essentials oils in their formula, the oils are never the primary ingredient in reducing body odour. You can easily and effectively stop body odour naturally without having to make your body smell like something else in the process. For anyone who knows me, I'm not a fan of strong scents, whether they're natural or not. I do find the Erica Brooke Him & Her deodorant paste to be subtle enough for me to wear, but I have spent a fair amount of time wearing the Erica Brooke Unscented deodorant paste too, so I am well positioned to tell you how they compare.

One thing I will point out before we start is the definition of unscented - it means the product has no added essential oils for fragrance. An unscented product will ALWAYS smell like its raw ingredients. If you have an ultra-sensitive nose, please read through the ingredients. The Fresca Unscented deodorant does have a slightly stronger aroma than the rest of the unscented products. We've had one person that didn't like it. I wear it every week in rotation with the Erica Brooke paste and I tolerate it well with my 'canary down a mineshaft' nose.

What are the main two ingredients that stop the smell?

The majority of the natural deodorants on the market will have one of these two ingredients in it. The main purpose of these ingredients is to stop bacteria growth. It is bacteria growth in old sweat that smells.


Deodorant pastes are a very popular way of stopping body odour. It is predominantly the bi-carb soda that stops the odour. While completely natural, it can be a skin irritant for some, so we sell small sample pots of the the two bestsellers from Erica Brooke (the Neroli & Vanilla plus the Him & Her Double Strength with extra bi-carb). They are usually combined with shea butter, coconut oil and arrowroot plus a handful of other ingredients depending on the company formulating. The Erica Brooke and the two unscented products from Schmidt's pictured above all use bi-carb as their core ingredient. There are other varieties in both brands that have essential oils added, and yes, they do perform just a little better, simply because as your day goes on, there's still a lingering fragrance to help give you a boost. Unless it's 40 degrees and you're sweating like a pig, you won't notice the difference between an unscented and a fragranced deodorant's performance until later on in the day. Most days, you won't notice a difference at all.

Potassium Alum

The Crystal Rock stick is literally a stick of Potassium Alum (natural mineral salts) and that's it. You buy one and it lasts for about 12 months, making it the most economical natural deodorant on the market by a long shot. We get great reviews on these, but for a handful of people, they don't provide enough protection. We always tell customers that finding the natural deodorant that works best for you can be some trial and error, so don't give up on your first go, and allow your body a couple of weeks to adjust to not having that antiperspirant protection it was used to before if you're new to the natural deodorant market. But doesn't this contain aluminium? Doesn't this make it unsafe? People who like to use fear to sell natural products and don't do their research properly will tell you they're unsafe. They're wrong. The crystals in potassium alum are much larger in size than those of the typical aluminium deodorants with small aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium particles. These are designed to clog your skin and stop you from sweating. The potassium alum deodorants do NOT stop you from sweating, but this simple chemical compound is an antibacterial agent, and it's the bacteria under your armpits that smells. Stop the bacteria, stop the smell. It's that simple. If you have a topical allergic reaction to aluminium, then you should avoid these, but there is no need for alarm about it absorbing through your armpits and being unsafe.

Shop our range

You will find these natural deodorants and a handful of others in our store. Use the BUY NOW button below to read hundreds of reviews across the whole deodorant range to find out which natural deodorant might be right for you.


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