Aside from sunscreen, deodorant is by far the most important step in my beauty routine. I've worn antiperspirant deodorants practically every day since I was 12 years old. For me, wearing it is like brushing my teeth: I apply it without even thinking about it.
After sampling five deodorants that either irritated my armpits or couldn't stand up to my sweat, I finally discovered Kopari, an aluminum and baking soda-free deodorant stick that works with my body's natural functions to aid in odor reduction. It's formulated with plant-based actives like coconut and sage oil that fight against the bacteria that causes a smell. It also has more than 5,000 positive reviews on the website, including 4.5 out of 5 stars.
After two weeks of consistent usage, I finally had pits that weren't sticky and smelly. Still not convinced, I brought it with me to Sesame Place (which by the way if you haven't taken your little one, you must) and after running around all day with my toddler, I still didn't smell sweaty. I was slowly becoming a natural deo believer.
To get a better idea of what was really going on, I asked a dermatologist to weigh in. "While antiperspirants work to fight smell by clogging your pores, natural deodorants are non-toxic and allow the good bacteria in your skin to reduce the odor naturally. Bottom line is, natural deodorants are far better for your skin and overall health," says Dr. Sheel Desai Solomon Board Certified Raleigh Durham North Carolina Dermatologist. "Instead of aluminum, all-natural deodorants rely on plant-based powders and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to help absorb wetness without any of the controversial chemicals."
To really give it a final test, I decided to apply it on the hottest day of the summer. I live in New Jersey and last week the heat index peaked at 118 degrees. The heat was unbearable. In fact, health officials urged residents to wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Should they have included antiperspirants, too?
On test day I applied the deo in the morning before going to the playground and running errands all afternoon. By 6 pm my armpits still smelled like coconuts and I was completely dry. Apparently, coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, so it hydrates while wicking away the smelly bacteria. This deodorant gets a lot right and I was officially sold.
I found a winner.
Here's what I love about Kopari Coconut Deodorant:
- It feels wet, almost like a gel. It also glides on super smooth and is very refreshing on hot summer days.
- It contains activated charcoal that acts as a magnet to draw out toxins from my pores.
- It's clear, which is great when wearing dark-colored clothing. No white marks!
- It has a faint smell of coconut which instantly transports me to the islands.
- It doesn't promise all-day protection, so you'll need to reapply, which is fine considering it's basically like reapplying your favorite perfume.
Kopari Coconut Deodorant, $14.00
The bottom line: Now more than ever, people are switching to nontoxic living and using all-natural products. Among those, deodorant is one of the hardest ones to let go of. But if you find a natural one that doesn't cause skin irritation and infection, it can be a game-changer, especially if your pores are prone to clogging.
If you're looking for a variety, a strong runner up is Nala Care, a Canadian deodorant brand that's quickly growing a loyal fan based due to its ability to perform as well as conventional formulas, but without phthalates, carcinogens, aluminum. It's sandalwood and bergamot blend is *so* good. Try it, you'll love it, too.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.