The Best Pregnancy Deodorant Of 2020

Did you break out in a cold sweat when you realized that, as soon as you conceived, even picking a deodorant became complicated? I know I had so many questions at first. Can you use antiperspirants while you’re pregnant? Are certain deodorant ingredients, like aluminum, potentially harmful when applied to your skin? Is all-natural deodorant really safe for a pregnant woman? The list went on and on and my head was spinning.

To save you that stress, I’m here to answer these questions and more, as well as to tell you about some products that have allowed me to hug my loved ones without first giving my pits a smell test. So let’s walk this learning journey together. Don’t worry; if you work up a sweat on the way, by the time we’re done, you’ll be ready to choose the best pregnancy deodorant to get those underarms feeling dry and smelling great.

Pregnancy Deodorant: All You Need to Know

From the best ingredients to the perfect application mode, there are plenty of factors to consider before picking your favorite pregnancy deodorant.

The Origin of Body Odor

Fun fact: your sweat is not the actual cause of that unpleasant smell coming from your armpits. The moisture secreted from your sweat pores contains high levels of protein and fat, both of which attract bacteria. As these bacteria break down those yummy sweat particles, they emit a rather pungent odor that we’d all prefer to mask. 

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 end goal, they deal with odor in very different ways.

Deodorant 

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

Antiperspirant 

  • Usually contains aluminum. 
  • Prevents odor by plugging sweat ducts so bacteria have 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 strongly prefer one over the other. 

Is It Safe to Use Deodorant or Antiperspirant While Pregnant?

I would be happy to give you a short answer to this question…if there was one. While doctors generally agree that deodorant will not harm a pregnancy, doctors advise women to look carefully at the ingredients list of their favorite pit-stick.  

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 (1). However, studies have not 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 her pregnancy.

In addition to pregnancy complication concerns, women are often nervous about using an aluminum-containing antiperspirant due to the perception that it increases the risk of breast cancer. However, the link between antiperspirant products and breast cancer remains unfounded. Of the research, Dr. Heather McArthur of Cedars-Sinai says, “That data has not been very consistent or compelling and what I struggle with is, if that were true, then we should see a higher rate of bilateral breast cancer- or breast cancer affecting both breasts- because the deodorant or antiperspirant is being applied to both sides, and we have not seen an increase in the incidents of bilateral breast cancer” (2).

Regardless, plenty of women prefer to err on the side of caution and opt for aluminum-free deodorants.

Ingredients to Avoid When Choosing a Pregnancy Deodorant 

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Propylene glycol
  • Talc
  • PEG 20
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Triclosan
  • Artificial fragrances and dyes
  • Aluminum chloride

Can I Use Perscription/Clinical Strength Antiperspirants During My Pregnancy?

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

Prescription and clinical strength antiperspirants may contain higher levels of aluminum chloride. Additionally, their formulas often include aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a stronger version of the aluminum chloride found in regular-strength antiperspirants (3). If you want to opt-out of using products containing aluminum, you’ll want to ditch your prescribed antiperspirant for the duration of your pregnancy. 

Are Spray Deodorants Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

It is best to stick to the stick when it comes to picking a pregnancy-safe deodorant. Applying a spray deodorant or antiperspirant sends lots of phthalate-containing particles into the air, which you can then inhale (4). Since phthalates are notoriously unhealthy, you certainly don’t want to be breathing them into your lungs.

Is Natural Deodorant a Safe Alternative For During Pregnancy?

Like traditional deodorants, natural deodorant products aim to keep you dry and smelling fresh. They often use essential oils for their fragrance source and baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) to absorb wetness. These products are often free of aluminum, propylene glycol, and other common ingredients that pregnant women may shy away from.

However, just because something comes with an ‘all-natural’ label doesn’t mean it is safe for everyone, especially if you have allergies. Because baking soda can dry out skin, natural deodorants often contain moisturizing ingredients, such as coconut oil or beeswax, so be sure to read a product’s label to avoid any allergic reactions and to make sure it’s free from harmful additives.

The Winners

The Best Deodorants For Pregnant Women to Buy in 2020

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With so many deodorants on the market, it can be hard to tell which ones will actually keep you feeling fresh. To help you narrow your search, I present to you five deodorants that will have you throwing your arms in the air with confidence.

#1 Native Deodorant

Best Natural

Native Deodorant

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 pregnancy-safe deodorant free of aluminum, talc, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. Instead, Native Deodorant’s (check price on Amazon) natural approach to odor control involves neutralizing bacteria with baking soda, tapioca starch, and arrowroot powder.

If you are making the switch to a natural deodorant, you will 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 soon return to more mainstream deodorants.

What We Love

  • Several fragrances are available, including coconut vanilla and lavender rose.
  • Unlike some natural deodorants, this product will keep you dry.
  • It provides sweat-protection even during workouts.

Watch Out For:

  • You need to apply it daily for 14 days to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Check Price on Amazon

#2 Beauty by Earth Deodorant

Best Organic

Beauty by Earth

If you prefer to keep your sweat under control naturally AND organically, this is the product for you. This aluminum-free deodorant contains no harsh additives or preservatives. Its ingredients are all organically sourced, so you will 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 a bit pricey, Beauty by Earth (check price on Amazon) offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and maintains a no-questions-asked refund policy.

What We Love

  • It’s a great organic alternative for moms with sensitive skin.
  • Beauty by Earth does not test on animals.
  • Will keep you protected even in extremely hot weather.

Watch Out For:

  • The application can be clumpy if you don’t allow the product to slightly warm by holding it against your skin.

Check Price on Amazon

#3 Almay Clear Gel

Best for Sensitive Skin

Almay Clear Gel

For those with especially sensitive skin, Almay  has created a great product from more standard ingredients. The Almay Clear Gel (check price on Amazon)contains no gluten, coconut, or soy, and is fragrance-free. Unlike many of its natural deodorant counterparts, it does not use baking soda or corn starch, making it less likely to dry out the skin and cause irritation.

Its hypoallergenic formula utilizes aluminum as its active ingredient, blocking sweat entirely. Whether you’re in the office or at the gym, you won’t have to worry about those pits staining your clothes. Personally, I’ve even survived parent-teacher conferences without breaking a sweat!

What We Love

  • Stops sweat from forming.
  • Its price is low enough to fit into any budget.
  • Cruelty-free.

Watch Out For:

  • Takes about a minute for the gel to ‘set’ on your skin.

Check Price on Amazon

#4 Secret Clinical Strength

Best Long Lasting

Secret Clinical Strength

For those with especially sensitive skin, Almay  has created a great product from more standard ingredients. The Almay Clear Gel (check price on Amazon) contains no gluten, coconut, or soy, and is fragrance-free. Unlike many of its natural deodorant counterparts, it does not use baking soda or corn starch, making it less likely to dry out the skin and cause irritation.

Plenty of women swear by this antiperspirant and use it throughout their pregnancy with no ill effect. If natural deodorants haven’t quite kept you fresh throughout the day and you’re not looking specifically for aluminium free deodorants, you really won’t find a longer-lasting product. You’ll never feel like you have to duck into a bathroom to reapply this long-lasting pit stick. Since it blocks sweat from escaping your body, those pesky bacteria have nothing to snack on, and you’ll smell fresh for days.

The Secret Clinical Strength (check price on Amazon) deodorant is best applied right before bed, which can take some getting used to, but it doesn’t feel heavy and has a light lavender scent.

What We Love

  • Up to 48 hours of protection.
  • Contains skin-soothing ingredients.
  • Glides on smooth and doesn’t leave a ‘filmy’ sensation.

Watch Out For:

  • A bit pricier than other deodorants.

Check Price on Amazon

#5 Pacifica Beauty

Best Deodorant Wipes

Pacifica Beauty

If you’re not a fan of the traditional deodorant stick application method that most brands offer, but still want something that smells nice and keeps you feeling fresh, the Pacifica Beauty (check price on Amazon) vegan wipes might be just the thing your underarms ordered. Many pregnant women swear by these deodorant wipes, and they’ve garnered hundreds of rave reviews throughout the years.

This natural deodorant uses coconut milk and essential oils to control that pesky underarm stink and contains no parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, or other harsh additives.

What We Love

  • Great for freshening yourself up if you don’t have time to jump in the shower.
  • Doesn’t leave any residue on clothing.
  • Won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Watch Out For:

  • The package takes up more space in a counter or on a shelf than traditional deodorants.

Check Price on Amazon

#6 Crystal Deodorant

Best for Budget

Crystal Deodorant

If your skin, and pregnancy nose, is sensitive to perfumes and chemicals, this environmentally-mindful Crystal Deodorant (check price on Amazon) can be a life-saver. The deodorant uses only hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free mineral salt to stop odors without causing skin irritation and pregnancy-induced nausea from strong scents.

To apply, dampen the crystal with water and rub over the skin. The resulting clear, clean antimicrobial barrier prevents smelly bacteria from ruining your day and your clothing.

What We Love

  • Free of paraben, aluminum chlorohydrate, and perfume
  • Leaves no white or sticky residue
  • Effective odor protection
  • Affordable and long-lasting

Watch Out For:

  • Underarm moisture – this product is a deodorant only
  • Contains natural alum

Check Price on Amazon

#7 Purelygreat Deodorizer

Best Cream Deodorant

There is enough to worry about with a new baby on the way. Worrying about the potential chemicals in deodorant and stains on clothes should not be among them. This Purelygreat Cream Deodorant (check price on Amazon) is a stand out product made with three ingredients and scented with essential oils.

Best for natural living women who want to make their own deodorant, but just do not have the time or the essential oil starter pack all their friends are selling.

What We Love

  • Only has to be applied once
  • Will not stain your clothes
  • One jar can last up to three months

Watch Out For:

  • Takes two hands to untwist and put on, which can be a struggle if you are holding a baby postpartum
  • Best used after bathing, which does not always happen regularly with kids

Check Price on Amazon

Our top pick is…

Whether you prefer your deodorant natural or find that clinical strength is a must to maintain your best, fresh self, you don’t have to be a slave to your sweat just because you’re pregnant. I’ve had great success with several brands on this list, but my favorite pregnancy deodorant is the Native Deodorant’s (check price on Amazon). Designed to keep up with my busy day, the natural ingredients consistently leave me high and dry, which, when it comes to deodorant, is definitely a good thing!

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