What to Look For
Deodorant manufacturers often use aluminum because it blocks the pores that produce sweat. If you have sensitive skin or are easily irritated by chemicals, you might experience problems with this type of deodorant. Aluminum-free deodorants are sometimes referred to as organic deodorants or natural deodorants. Products labeled as natural or organic should contain only natural materials. Crystal Deodorant, an alternative to aluminum-based deodorants, uses alum. Alum works the same way as aluminum but won't irritate the skin. You may prefer using a product with mineral salts or minerals. Stone deodorants use all-natural ingredients that block the pores and keep the body from sweating.
Avoid deodorants that lack aluminum but use zinc instead. Zinc can create the same type of skin irritation as aluminum. If you’re prone to skin breakouts, you should also avoid products that contain artificial fragrances and colors. National Geographic's Green Guide website states that some deodorants also use diethanolamine or formaldehyde, both of which may bother your skin. The Green Guide also warns against using deodorant on inflamed skin or broken skin. Keep in mind that even all-natural or organic deodorants include ingredients that can harm you when absorbed into your bloodstream. Also, follow the directions on the deodorant. Crystal stone deodorants, for example, require that you wet the stone before applying it as a deodorant.
Where to Buy
Some deodorants, including the Dr. Hauschka and Weleda brands, are available only online or through high-end retailers. Burt’s Bees and Arm & Hammer both make natural, aluminum-free deodorants that are sold in grocery stores, discount stores, drugstores and pharmacies. Some products are also available from beauty supply stores. If you decide to shop online, look for stores that offer free or discount shipping.
While some aluminum-free deodorants cost up to $30, others are available for $5 or less. The Weleda and Dr. Hauschka products are at the higher end of the spectrum, retailing for around $25 as of 2010. Crystal Stone deodorants are a mid-priced option, retailing for around $10 to $15. The company behind the Crystal Stone deodorant also makes a smaller and cheaper travel size, so you can test the product before committing to one of the larger sizes.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.