When I told a friend I was pulling together a round-up on the best aluminum-free deodorants in 2020, she said, “How can you write that? You don’t wear deodorant.”
And reader? She’s right.
At the risk of sharing too much, too soon, I must tell you that I haven’t worn deodorant in probably...five years? Maybe more? I basically No-Poo’d my armpits after getting freaked out by the chemicals I was letting my skin slurp up (I believe that’s the scientific term) day after day.
So okay, I’m not an expert. But! There’s been a ton of innovation in the underarm department since then. Long gone are the days of “natural” deodorants popping up in the personal care aisle that smelled good (though, honestly, not always) but didn’t work for shit. Now, product development has progressed to a place where an aluminum-free deodorant will actually keep your pits from smelling funky.
If you’re looking to go aluminum-free this year, I asked guys what they wear. Here’s what they had to say:
Sam, 40: I first got into Ursa Major when I picked up their face wipes, which are the best. The smell on this deodorant is really fresh, but not overpowering. So I can still wear cologne and not feel like the scents are competing.”
Aesop Déodorant, $35
Peter, 36: “Right now I use a combination of Sweat Block (a high strength antiperspirant pad that you apply once a week) to stop sweating, and Aesop’s aluminium-free deodorant spray for scent (as Sweat Block doesn’t cover body odor).
I’ve found it’s the best combo to prevent sweating and smells without staining your clothes.”
Eric, 35: “I switched [from regular deodorant] in 2017 when my wife and I started trying for a baby. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I went to a fertility doctor, and they said I was in great physical health, but asked what soaps and stuff was I using. I gave them a list and it was standard, run of the mill dude stuff. They told me those products contain chemicals that hinder androgen production which control testosterone levels, which then affect sperm count and quality (TMI maybe, but it’s important!).
From that point on I switched up to all-natural soaps, deodorant, etc and the numbers improved. This Baxter of California deo smells nice, and doesn’t have all that crap in it!”
Ryan, 37: “I don’t use deodorant. Never have, never will (ed. note: A man after my own heart! And pits!). But I’m a fan of Schmidt’s as a brand. It was started by a woman in Portland, Oregon, like, in her kitchen, and had a really small team for a long time before being acquired. I think that’s cool. Plus, their mission is all about sustainability and natural ingredients, which we need more of now.”
T.J., 29.: “I tried this when it first launched because Kobe Bryant was one of the founders. I hope it keeps going now that he’s gone. I like the smell of it, and it seems to work even on hot days and sweaty gym sessions. My girlfriend pointed out that there’s matcha in it, which is apparently very cool right now, so I guess that’s something?”
Aaron, 24: “I use mostly Grooming Lounge products since discovering their barbershop in Tyson’s Corner. This is one of those things that shouldn’t matter, but I like the packaging of their stuff, too. It’s all kind of basic, in a good way. Some men’s grooming stuff looks so over-the-top luxe now, and I don’t need that.”