Native Deodorant Review: Can "Natural" Deodorants Block Odor?

Native Deodorant Review: Can "Natural" Deodorants Block Odor?

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Native is one of the most popular online deodorant brands along with Lume and Dr. Squatch. The brand positions their products as natural, healthy alternatives to commercial deodorants, claiming to "care a lot about what ingredients are going on and in your body" and to have "nothing extra added."

But is Native Deodorant actually better for you than drugstore deodorants or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain research-backed odor-blocking ingredients? Does it contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? And how do real users describe and rate the effects and smell of Native Deodorant?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Native Deodorant based on clinical studies to give our take on whether it's actually healthier than regular deodorant and if it's likely to be effective for blocking odor. 

We'll first break down the ingredients in a popular deodorant to show why there are legitimate health concerns about commercial deodorant use. We'll document which retailer has the best price on Native Deodorant and share customer reviews of the product.

Is Regular Deodorant Unhealthy?

To explain why Native deodorant is a healthier option than most commercial deodorant, let's review the ingredients in a regular deodorant.

Old Spice is one of the most popular men’s deodorant brands, and the ingredients in their “Swagger Deodorant” are shown below:

Old Spice deodorant ingredients list

Blue 1 is an artificial dye which has been shown in medical research to cause hypersensitivity reactions.

Fragrance is a broad categorical term that fails to describe the specific chemical compounds used. As we documented in our review of Buff City Soap, there are documented toxicity concerns with fragranced consumer products and we recommend avoiding fragrance entirely in personal care products.

We're also unable to identify any ingredients in this formulation that are proven to block odor in clinical trials. It appears that it may be effective simply by masking odor with fragrance.

Is Native Deodorant Safer and More Effective?

Native Deodorant Unscented ingredients

The ingredients in the unscented version of Native Deodorant are shown above.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic that was shown in a medical study to significantly reduce odor when applied topically. The ingredient was tested on trial participants with bacterial vaginosis rather than underarm odor, but since both conditions are bacterial in nature this suggests this is an effective anti-odor ingredient.

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is another safe and non-toxic ingredient for natural odor control. It’s used in detergent for exactly this purpose, and has been shown in a 2015 clinical trial to reduce odor by up to 70%.

Shea butter is included as a skin moisturizer, and has proven benefits for that effect. The linked study found that a shea butter moisturizer was effective for patients with sensitive skin.

Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal effects when applied topically, as we documented in our how does anti dandruff shampoo work article.

Overall we consider this product likely to be effective for odor-blocking and the unscented version of Native deodorant is our top deodorant pick.

It's free of any unhealthy additive ingredients like aluminum, fragrance and phthalates and it contains several research-backed odor-blocking ingredients.

We Tried Native Deodorant

Native Deodorant UGC

As one of the authors of this article (Calloway), I wanted to try Native Deodorant myself to share my thoughts on its scent and the overall product experience.

I purchased the Aloe & Green Tea version from my local Target.

Even though this is a fragranced version, the scent was subtle and not overpowering which I liked. It had a "fresh" smell and did smell like a slightly sweeter version of green tea.

Unlike a brand like Dr. Squatch soap that provides a cut-out to smell the product before purchasing, this product was fully sealed so I couldn't test the scent before purchase, which is a slight negative, but standard for deodorants.

As far as odor protection, I was underwhelmed. This deodorant worked fine on regular days, but on days when I would exercise or be really active, it did not mask my body odor well enough.

For the price, I would expect a better-performing deodorant.

I like the product packaging a lot and that's a minor plus.

Overall, I would not recommend this deodorant to friends or family and would rate it 4/10.

Real People Try Native

A YouTube creator named "Avocado on Everything" published a YouTube review of Native deodorant that has over 30,000 views and includes an unboxing and a smell test after a full day of wear for three different scents.

She shares her thoughts about the purity of the ingredients, the application and whether or not she recommends the brand:

A YouTube creator named Rachel Schmidt shared her experience after using Native Deodorant for a full year:

Where to Get the Best Price

Native Deodorant is sold at a wide variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for the unscented version at the time of updating this article:

Brand website: $13 (link)

Target: $12.99 (link)

Walmart: $12.97 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $12.97 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Native Deodorant is currently around 20% cheaper on Amazon than on the brand's website and other retailers when factoring in shipping fees.

Real Native Deodorant Customer Reviews

Native is sold on Amazon, which is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Their deodorant has been reviewed an incredible 75,000 times, with an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "LTDAN" who claims the product reduced odor and didn't cause irritation:

"No more sensitive skin redness or itching. No more odor after only 8 hours. The scent is also second to none. This is the best deodorant I have ever used. It literally lasts for 48 hours (I had to see for myself, so in the name of science, I didn’t shower for 48 hours). I highly recommend this natural deodorant especially if you have sensitive skin, allergic reactions, etc."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Danna LaCaze" who claims the product stains clothing and doesn't have the right consistency:

"It felt 'wet' for hours, like it never dried on my skin. I bought the coconut scent, and it didn’t smell horrible, but definitely not good. Went for a run and returned home smelling like sweat and old coconut. Stained my white undershirt. Returned immediately. Would not recommend. IMO, lume works better, but it also isn’t perfect."

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Native Deodorant unscented version is the only deodorant we currently recommend on Illuminate Health. It contains research-backed ingredients for odor blocking, is free of unhealthy additives, and appears to be a more effective antiperspirant than a leading commercial deodorant based on a YouTuber's review.

We consider Native to be a significantly healthier and more environmentally-friendly option than commercial deodorant, and the brand has very favorable reviews online from real users. 

We do not recommend any scented versions of Native deodorant, because there are legitimate health concerns regarding fragrance.