My Native Deodorant Review
Is their Coconut & Vanilla bar the best natural deodorant?
- Reliable odor protection
- Subtle, unisex scent
- Working out? Hot day? Be ready to reapply.
- Not an antiperspirant. (Most natural deodorants aren't.)
If you're new to natural deodorants and aren't sure where to start, I think Native's smooth texture and probiotic-supported body odor protection make it a great pick for first-timers.
I've been seeing Native natural deodorant pop up in subscription boxes and ads so much lately that I wanted to find out more. I did some research and found that cleaner alternatives to commercial deodorants are on the rise, including brands that boast eco-friendly ingredients, natural fragrances from essential oils, and even sustainable approaches to their packaging.
But what really matters is whether the deodorant works! Investing in a natural deodorant brand that doesn't do its job just plain stinks. (Literally.)
One of the most popular brands I came across (both online and at my local Target) is Native's deodorant. Native makes a coconut-oil-based and aluminum-free deodorant stick that uses the science of probiotics to gently curb odor. (They also have formulas specifically for sensitive skin.) You can try Native as a one-time purchase ($12), or subscribe to receive a new bar every 1-4 months ($10.00 per shipment).
Read on to see what I thought and decide if Native deodorant is right for you. Don't forget to check out our list of personal care subscriptions recommended by our readers!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this product. (Check out the review process post to learn more.)
Native Deodorant Quick Facts
- $12 for a single bar
- $10 when you sign up for a subscription
- Ships to US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and the UK
- Free shipping on individual and subscription orders
- 2.65 oz solid bar in a plastic twist-up container
- Probiotic formula
- Baking-soda-free options with other natural ingredients are available for sensitive skin
- Not sure which smell is right for you? Get started with a sample pack or get a scent customized just for you!
- Coconut & Vanilla
- Lavender & Rose
- Cucumber & Mint
- Custom scents
- Sensitive skin? Browse Native's Sensitive Collection.
Native also offers rotating seasonal scents, such as Aloe & Eucalyptus, Yuzu & Orange Blossom, and Rosé, as well as a Custom option—answer a few questions about your personality and Native will formulate a fragrance just for you! They also offer sample packs featuring trial sizes of different scents.
Note: I tested Native's original Coconut & Vanilla deodorant, which contains baking soda (an ingredient that can cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin). If you have sensitive skin, you can find the baking-soda-free version (and other sensitive skin scents) in their Sensitive Collection.
Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Tapioca Starch, Ozokerite (Earth Wax), Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Magnesium Hydroxide, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut Oil), Cyclodextrin, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter), Dextrose, Lactobacillus Acidophilus (Probiotics)
(Native's scented deodorants include a proprietary blend of oils. Due to FDA recommendations, they use the term "fragrance" to refer to these oils.)
My Native Deodorant Review
The Promise: Solid formula that goes on easy and doesn't stain clothes.
The Reality: Comfortable and smooth, if just slightly sticky.
Native deodorant reminds me of the gel solids I've tried from commercial brands. The stick deodorant did glide relatively easily onto my skin, though it worked best when the bar (or my skin) was slightly warmer (for instance, if I applied my Native deodorant after taking a warm shower). Once, I left the window open in my bathroom overnight with my Native deodorant sitting on the counter, and in the morning, I found that the cool air had made the bar a little stiffer than usual—it tended to tug at my skin on the first pass or two. I'm guessing that's an effect of the coconut oil in the formula hardening or softening in response to warmer or cooler temperatures. But even if it is a bit sticky at first, my body heat tends to soften the deodorant as I apply it. Also, I didn't notice much residue on my clothes after a day of wearing Native—always a plus.
The Promise: A tropical blend of vanilla and coconut.
The Reality: A mild, vanilla-based fragrance with good staying power.
Coconut & Vanilla is the most popular scent from Native, and I can understand why. The fragrance is understated and unassuming—it has a casual personality that feels comfortable on its own and doesn't interfere with any perfume I might want to wear on top of it. Since Native describes this scent as "tropical," I'd expected a little more of a piña-colada sweetness, but the fragrance reads more nutty to me. Native only offers the Coconut & Vanilla fragrance in their women's deodorant line, but I found it to be pleasantly unisex.
You can see all of the scents Native offers here. Did you know you can have Native create a custom fragrance just for you? Just take their quiz to get started. I think that is such a cool service!
The Odor Protection
The Promise: Long-lasting odor protection from a probiotic-based formula.
The Reality: Reliable protection for low-key days. Getting active? Be ready to reapply.
Native lasted me all day at my (64-68 degree) office and even into the evenings. I tend to sweat a lot, but Native effectively masked any odor for a good eight hours or more. It was only when I started to push the limits—sweating it out at the gym or going for a long walk on a warm, humid day—that I sensed a familiar funk coming through. A few more swipes of Native, and I was good to go again. Native is the first natural deodorant I've tried that incorporates probiotics in its formula—it reintroduces good, odor-eliminating bacteria that can get washed away in the shower. It's such a cool idea, and based on my experience, the probiotic recipe really does work!
Good to Know
Natural Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
Antiperspirants help stop your body from sweating by blocking pores with aluminum salts. Deodorant, by contrast, focuses on curbing odor (much of which is caused by bacteria, rather than sweat itself). As Teen Vogue explains, there isn't compelling scientific evidence against antiperspirants, but consumers are becoming more cognizant of what goes into the body products they're using. (Some consumers are also concerned about antiperspirants impeding the "detoxifying" process of sweating, but Teen Vogue clarifies that sweating is really only responsible for a "negligible" amount of detoxification.)
As the formula is aluminum-free, Native deodorant is not going to stop you from sweating. If you're ingredient-conscious (and odor-conscious), it's a great choice. But if you're concerned about wetness, Native may not be the right product for you.
"Armpit Detox"? Transitioning to Natural Deodorant
There can be a bit of a transition period when switching from a conventional antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. Some sources refer to this period as an "armpit detox," which sounds more intense that I found it to be. Essentially, in the absence of an antiperspirant, your armpits are getting used to sweating again, and in doing so, they may get a little extra stinky.
A few tips based on my experience:
- Do your research before picking a natural deodorant. Personally, I think Native's gentle, hypoallergenic formula makes it a great pick for natural deodorant newbies, as there's less risk of it irritating your skin.
- Tote a bar of your new deodorant with you in a purse, pocket, or even the glove box of your car (so long as it's not too hot), so you can always reapply in a pinch.
- Give your armpits some extra TLC in the bath or shower to clear out pesky odor causing bacteria.
- Don't lose hope! I promise, the funky period does come to an end.
- If you're still having a rough time after a few weeks and especially if you're experiencing stinging, redness, or rash, rethink the deodorant you're trying (or better yet, check in with a dermatologist). Just because ingredients are natural doesn't mean they get along with everyone's skin. There may be a better match out there for your needs.
Shipping, Returns, & More
Placing Your Order
For the purposes of this review, I opted for a one-time purchase of Native's Coconut & Vanilla deodorant stick via the Native website. (Know that I've also spotted this brand at Target, if you prefer doing your shopping IRL!) I love that Native gives online customers free shipping regardless of whether you subscribe to recurring shipments or not.
If you want to shave a little off of the price, consider signing up for Native's Subscribe & Save program. This program signs you up to receive automatic orders of your favorite products on a recurring basis (either monthly, bimonthly, every three months, or once per quarter). Think of it as a trip to the store you don't have to make. Subscribers also save on the cost of Native products (which include natural body wash, soap, and toothpaste in addition to deodorant) and get free shipping. And once you're part of the program, you can add to or remove products from your replenishment plan and even skip deliveries as needed.
Shipping & Tracking
I placed my Native order on a Monday and chose their free standard shipping option. (They also offer expedited shipping for $10.00.) I received an order confirmation immediately and a shipping confirmation email (with tracking information) the next day. My order arrived safe and sound via USPS the following Monday.
Tips & Tricks
Native includes a booklet to help new users navigate the transition to natural deodorant. Sometimes it can take the body a week or so to adjust out of an antiperspirant-driven routine, and I found it helpful to have Native's tips (and encouragement) through the process.
If you aren't totally happy with your online order, you can reach out to Native customer service to arrange a refund or an exchange within 30 days of getting your order. Note that this option is not available for international orders or Native's mini deodorant bars.
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