The Best Deodorants for Pregnancy: All-day Freshness

Stay fresh and dry, but skip dangerous chemicals

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RN
Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RNWritten by Kumar Grant Updated on September 7th, 2021

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Our top picks

Best natural: Native Deodorant

"Baking soda based traditional stick deodorant with a nice scent range"

Super strength: Secret Aluminium Free Antiperspirant

"48-hour effectiveness at a great price from a trusted brand"

Best all-natural deodorant spray: Thai Crystal Mist

"Naturally antimicrobial odor-stopping mist that's easy to apply"

Best deodorant wipes: Pacifica Beauty Deodorant Wipes

"Convenient single-use deodorant wipes for at home or on-the-go"

Best organic: Beauty by Earth Deodorant

"Organic odor protection with moisturizing coconut oil and shea butter"

Best cream deodorant: Purelygreat Deodorizer

"Stain-free, cruelty-free, and aluminum-free cream formula scented with essential oils"

Best for budget: Crystal Deodorant

"Budget friendly, super-simple salt deodorant that can last a year plus"

Swapping our chemical-laden cosmetic products for natural alternatives during pregnancy is recommended. Deodorant, one of the most common daily-use products, is also a top offender in terms of potentially problematic chemicals for women, both during and after pregnancy.

Replacing traditional deodorants that contain dangerous aluminum chloride, parabens, and phthalates with natural, aluminum free deodorant is best. but, as moms who’ve tried to make the switch before can attest, not every natural deodorant can actually keep you smelling fresh and feeling dry all day.

We’ve reviewed the best deodorants for pregnancy, prioritizing both natural ingredients and actual effectiveness equally — you might never go back to that old deodorant stick.

Ready to make the switch?

Our picks of the best deodorant for pregnancy

Best natural

Our opinion

Mamas everywhere have stood by this product’s effectiveness for years and consider it one of the best natural deodorants on the market. It’s an excellent option for those looking for a safe deodorant during pregnancy that skips aluminum, talc, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.

Instead, Native Natural Deodorant (check price on Amazon) tackles odor control by neutralizing bacteria with baking soda, tapioca starch, and arrowroot powder.

If making the switch to a natural deodorant, you’ll likely experience a “detox” period, so Native advises you to give this product two weeks to reach its full effectiveness. Fans of this brand are adamant that, once your body adjusts to its new routine, you won’t return to mainstream deodorants.

What we love
  • Several fragrances are available, including coconut vanilla and lavender rose
  • Uses natural baking soda, arrowroot powder, and tapioca starch to keep you dry
  • It provides sweat-protection even during workouts
  • Best natural deodorant for pregnancy
Watch for
  • You need to apply it daily for 14 days to achieve maximum effectiveness

Super strength

Our opinion

Odor protection and freshness from a brand you can trust in a pregnancy safe formula are offered by Secret Aluminum Free Antiperspirant (check on Amazon), which promises to fight odor for up to 48 hours without containing aluminum, dye, parabens, talc, or other harmful additives.

Dermatologist tested, its gentle formula is designed to prevent irritation to sensitive skin while offering serious shielding against unpleasant odors.

The long-lasting formula, available in natural lavender, cotton, and coconut scents, goes on dry and wears clean, releasing over time in response to your sweat and body heat. It’s also reasonably priced, so stocking up won’t cut into your baby budget.

What we love
  • It's made by a trusted brand, and the price is right
  • May offer up to 48 hours of freshness
  • Good for sensitive skin
Watch for
  • The scent of the deodorant is not long lasting

Best all-natural deodorant spray

Our opinion

Salt-based deodorants that create a thin layer of minerals on the skin to prevent odor are a unique natural option that some moms swear by. Thai Crystal Mist (check price on Amazon) makes applying the formula even easier by offering it in a spray-on bottle.

The crystallized natural mineral salts within the spray-on solution kill the bacteria that cause odors without using any ingredients other than just salt and water, which form an inhospitable environment for pesky scents.

There’s no fragrance to trigger your morning sickness or residue left behind on clothing, and your pores won’t become irritated or clogged. In fact, this formula won’t absorb into your bloodstream at all as it uses large, non-metallic alum molecules.

 

What we love
  • Easy to apply
  • No synthetic fragrances, won't clog skin or irritate pores
  • All-natural, single ingredient formula perfect for those with very sensitive skin
Watch for
  • Some find the sensation of moisture after application unpleasant

Best deodorant wipes

Our opinion

If you’re not a fan of traditional deodorants, yet still want something that smells nice and keeps you feeling fresh, Pacifica Beauty Underarm Deodorant Wipes (check price on Amazon) are an ideal solution. Many pregnant women swear by these wipes, and they’ve garnered hundreds of rave reviews over the years.

This natural deodorant uses coconut milk and essential oils to control that pesky underarm odor and contains no parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, or other harsh additives. It’s easy to throw a pack of these into your purse to freshen up on an especially hot day, or into the gym bag to refresh after a workout and shower — the subtle coconut scent is like a mini tropical getaway.

The only downside: A pack of 30 wipes will typically last a month for the same price as a natural deodorant stick, which will probably last longer.

What we love
  • Great for freshening up when you don’t have time to jump in the shower
  • Doesn’t leave residue on clothing
  • Uses gentle coconut milk, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin and has a pleasant natural scent
Watch for
  • The price-to-use ratio is not great compared to typical deodorant

Best organic

Our opinion

Prioritizing organic labels in your search for quality pregnancy skincare?  Beauty by Earth (check price on Amazon) is an aluminum-free deodorant that contains no harsh additives or preservatives.

The moisturizing stick deodorant uses organic ingredients, so you’ll be treating your skin to exceptionally high-quality coconut oil and shea butter while enjoying a light scent derived from essential oils.

Like many natural deodorants, corn starch and baking soda are used to keep sweat under control, so you’ll feel fresh and dry throughout the day. While pricey, the formula offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and maintains a no-questions-asked refund policy.

What we love
  • One of the best pregnancy safe deodorants for moms seeking cruelty-free organic ingredients
  • Uses natural coconut oil and shea butter to keep skin moisturized
  • Will keep you protected even in extremely hot weather
Watch for
  • The application can be clumpy if you don’t allow the product to warm slightly by holding it against your skin

Best cream deodorant

Our opinion

A frequent problem with stick deodorants, both aluminum-based and natural, is their tendency to leave telltale white underarm stains — not such a big deal in a t-shirt, but in that sleeveless LBD?!  

Purelygreat Deodorant Cream (check price on Amazonavoids this annoying issue with a stain-free, silky smooth cream formula containing no aluminum, harmful chemicals, or unnatural fragrance.

The cruelty-free, vegan product line is instead scented with naturally-derived essential oils and, if you’d prefer, a fragrance-free formula is also available. This may be the way to go if you have sensitive skin, as some users have experienced discomfort after prolonged use of products in this line containing citrus oils.

Only one daily application is needed to keep smelling great, while each jar contains about three months’ worth of deodorant, so it’s not a huge price increase over “regular” deodorant.

What we love
  • Only uses natural fragrances
  • Won't stain your clothes
  • One jar can last up to three months
Watch for
  • Packaging and application are less convenient than sticks, wipes, or sprays.
  • Some users have experienced discomfort or rash from Purelygreat products containing citrus oil (if you have sensitive skin, stick with unscented).

Best for budget

Our opinion

If your sensitive skin and newly-heightened ability to smell have made perfumes and harsh chemicals a no-go, this environmentally mindful Crystal Deodorant (check price on Walmart) can be a lifesaver.

This deodorant uses only hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free mineral salt to remove odors, without causing skin irritation or pregnancy-induced nausea from strong scents.

To apply, dampen the solid deodorant crystal with water and rub it over the skin. The resulting clear, clean antimicrobial barrier creates an environment where scent-causing bacteria cannot thrive, thus preventing odor throughout the day.

All-natural and nonstaining, this is a great option for moms who’d like to keep products as simple as possible. Just one warning: it’s not as good at controlling dampness from sweat as baking soda-based natural deodorants.

What we love
  • Free of paraben, aluminum, and perfume
  • Leaves no white or sticky residue
  • Safe natural deodorant that offers lasting odor protection
  • Best deodorant for pregnant women bothered by strong scents
Watch for
  • It doesn't control underarm moisture

Final verdict

If you’re already on the natural deodorant bandwagon, you might not need to switch products at all. However, if you’re making the swap to a pregnancy safe deodorant, knowing you’re scoring an effective product on the first try is always a win.

We’ve found that the best pregnancy deodorant is Native Deodorant (check price on Amazon), which is aluminum free, paraben free, and uses natural ingredients including baking soda to stop body odor and wetness.

Designed to keep pace with your busy day, the natural ingredients consistently deliver, even on relentless summer days and during your prenatal cardio routine.

Also, if you’re already a stick deodorant user, choosing Native Deodorant means virtually no change to your routine — not to mention the lovely range of naturally sourced scents that are far more pleasant than implacable artificial fragrance options such as “ocean breeze” and “tropical sunset” (what do they smell like?!)

Honorable mentions go out to Thai Crystal Mist (check price on Amazon), which can be spritzed on in a flash, and the Pacifica Beauty Underarm Deodorant Wipes (check price on Amazon), which are perfect for post-gym reapplications and freshening up during travel.

How we chose these pregnancy safe deodorants

We did a deep dive into the science of what is exactly safe (or not) when applied topically to the skin of pregnant women. After spending more than 12 hours examining the science and official public health information, we’re able to stand confidently behind our top picks.

Then, in case we’d missed anything, we reached out to pregnant women and new mothers in various forums to ask their opinions.

Finally, our expert reviewer, Caitlin Goodwin, is a certified nurse-midwife with years of experience working with pregnant women. She was able to bring her expertise to bear on this guide and our choice of products.

FAQs

Is antiperspirant safe during pregnancy?

Though doctors typically agree that the use of deodorant for pregnant women isn’t likely to impact a pregnancy, there’s still reason to believe that harmful ingredients used in typical deodorants are not ideal for use during pregnancy and should be avoided. Chief among these is aluminum chloride, which we’ll cover later.

Can I use prescription or clinical strength antiperspirant or deodorant during pregnancy?

As with any prescribed medication, you should check with your doctor if you’re trying to conceive or are already pregnant. 

Prescription and clinical strength antiperspirants may contain higher levels of aluminum chloride, which is used to treat excessive sweating. Additionally, their formulas often include aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a stronger version of the aluminum chloride found in regular-strength antiperspirants.1Levine, N. Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center: Your Skin and Stretch Marks. WebMD.[Online] February 28, 2008.
webmd.com

If you want to opt out of using products containing aluminum, natural products that use baking soda are a better idea than clinical strength deodorant for pregnant women.

Is it safe to use spray deodorant during pregnancy?

It’s sometimes best to stick to the stick when it comes to picking a natural deodorant. Applying a spray deodorant or antiperspirant sends lots of phthalate-containing particles into the air, which you can then inhale.2Delmaar, C., Bokkers, B., Ter Burg, W., & Schuur, G. (2015). Validation of an aggregate exposure model for substances in consumer products: a case study of diethyl phthalate in personal care products. Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology, 25(3), 317-323.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Since phthalates are notoriously toxic ingredients, most spray-ons wouldn’t be considered pregnancy safe deodorant.

However, not every spray deodorant uses phthalates. For example, the Thai Crystal Mist on our list is a spray-on derived only from natural mineral salt and water, making it a safe deodorant during pregnancy if you’d prefer to use a spray.

Related: The Best Stretch Mark Creams

Is it safer to use natural deodorant during pregnancy?

Like traditional deodorants, natural deodorant products aim to keep you dry and smelling fresh. They often use essential oils as their fragrance source and baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) to absorb wetness — for example, the Native Deodorant on our list combines baking soda with tapioca starch and arrowroot powder to keep you dry.

These products are often aluminum free, paraben free, and eschew other common ingredients that pregnant women should avoid.

However, just because something says “natural ingredients” on the label doesn’t mean it is a safe deodorant for everyone, especially those with allergies. While products labeled as oranic are protected, natural products do not have those same requirements.3How is use of the USDA Organic seal protected?
ams.usda.gov

Because baking soda can dry out skin, natural deodorants often contain moisturizing ingredients, such as organic coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or beeswax, so be sure to read a product’s label to avoid allergic reactions and to make sure it’s free from harmful additives.

What to look for in a safe deodorant for pregnancy

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant 

To avoid walking around in a cloud of bacterial fragrance, most people use one of these two products. While deodorants and antiperspirants are both designed to achieve the same goal, they deal with body odor in very different ways.

Deodorant 

  • Alcohol-based. 
  • Prevents foul odor from forming by creating an acidic or salty surface that’s unappealing to odor-causing bacteria. 
  • Classed as a cosmetic by the FDA. 

Antiperspirant 

  • Usually contains aluminum. 
  • Prevents foul odor and excess sweat by plugging sweat ducts, giving bacteria nothing to break down. 
  • Classed as a drug by the FDA. 

Many brands release products that are a combination of deodorant and antiperspirant, so always be sure to read labels carefully if you prefer one over the other. 

Ingredients to avoid when choosing a pregnancy deodorant

  • Parabens (look for “paraben free” labeling)
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol
  • Talc
  • PEG 20
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Triclosan
  • Artificial fragrances and dyes
  • Aluminum chloride (look for “aluminum free” labeling)

And especially bypass aluminum chloride…

Often serving as the active ingredient in antiperspirants, aluminum can be detrimental to a pregnancy. It can breach the barrier of the placenta and harm a fetus even in low-level exposures.4Röllin, H. B., Nogueira, C., Olutola, B., Channa, K., & Odland, J. Ø. (2018). Prenatal exposure to aluminum and status of selected essential trace elements in rural South African women at delivery. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(7), 1494.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

However, studies have not yet proven that antiperspirants can cause a harmful amount of aluminum to be absorbed through the skin. Many doctors feel that women can safely use an antiperspirant during pregnancy.

In addition to the concern of pregnancy complications, women are often nervous about using an aluminum-containing antiperspirant due to the perception that it increases the risk of cancerous growths in breast tissue.

However, this purported link remains unfounded.

Of the research, Dr. Heather McArthur of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says, “That data has not been very consistent or compelling, and what I struggle with is, if it were true, then we should see a higher rate of bilateral breast cancer … because the deodorant or antiperspirant is being applied to both sides, and we have simply not seen an increase in incidents of bilateral breast cancer”.

However, many women prefer to err on the side of caution and opt for aluminum free, pregnancy safe deodorant.

Related: The Best Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen in 2021

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Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RN
Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, CNM, RNWritten by Kumar Grant Updated on September 7th, 2021

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