Singapore is hot and humid all year round, and that only means one thing when it comes to personal hygiene: perspiration is unavoidably more pronounced – whether you like it or not. This is probably why many of us rely on deodorants to help keep us fresh and confident throughout the day.
But with countless deodorants out there on the market that range from dollar-store roll-ons and luxe sprays to aluminium-free choices and options that tout clean, all-natural ingredients, it can be tough to shop for a deodorant that works for you.
Daily Vanity is here to help – with our compilation of natural deodorants that work best in our humid weather. Before we go into that, let’s learn more about how sweat works and what’s the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants.
Why do we sweat?
In humans, sweating (also known as perspiration) is primarily a means of thermoregulation, which means it’s an essential bodily function that regulates body temperature.
To help our bodies cool down and prevent overheating, our sweat glands release salt-based fluid but in our high humidity where sweat doesn’t get wicked away as quickly, we end up with the unpleasant, sticky feeling on our skin – it’s the same reason why our scalp may become itchy and inflamed as well.
You might also be wondering about your body odour (B.O.) that becomes more noticeable when you perspire. Well, first you have to know that the human body is equipped with an average of three million sweat glands which is further divided into two types: eccrine and apocrine.
Eccrine sweat glands are located all over our bodies and let out lightweight, odourless sweat through ducts in our skin. The culprit behind our B.O. is apocrine sweat glands, which are concentrated in the hair follicles of the scalp, armpits, and groin.
When we perspire, apocrine sweat glands secret a heavier, fat-laden sweat that produces a distinct odour (sounds familiar now?) – this happens when apocrine sweat breaks down and mixes with the bacteria that live on our skin.
One of the most common problems for people living in Singapore (or Southeast Asia for that matter) is excessive sweating – or hyperhidrosis, which usually occurs in the underarm region as it contains more sweat glands.
But it’s not exactly a good thing either if you don’t sweat. Sweating lesser than usual – or hypohidrosis – can lead to parched skin, intolerance to heat, and difficulty in breathing on top of a general feeling of being unwell.
A more severe condition would be anhydrosis, which refers to an individual’s inability to sweat normally – this usually happens as a result of skin damage, diseases or illnesses such as diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome, and can result in dizziness, flushing, and even heat stroke.
Deodorants versus antiperspirants: What’s the difference?
Deodorants are designed to target the bacteria in your armpits to reduce B.O. and to do so, deodorants are formulated to lower our skin’s pH – this makes our skin more acidic and, consequently, more difficult for bacteria to thrive in.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, functions by temporarily blocking sweat ducts – typically with aluminium salts – to reduce sweating.
Is it true that deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer?
You might have heard this before as plenty of brands (and media) have alleged that breast cancer is one of the dangers caused by prolonged usage of deodorants and antiperspirants.
In reality, this is nothing more than speculation and many researchers who further studied the subject have found no link between breast cancer risk and the use of underarm perspiration products (or even underarm shaving for that matter).
But, we get it – you might want to play it extra safe. Lucky for you, there are a plethora of natural, aluminium-free deodorants on the market that you can consider.
You’ll also be happy to know that the current options are definitely a lot better than their predecessors from the ’50s, which means you don’t have to worry about any ugly yellow rings staining your white tee.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up 31 hardworking deodorants that can keep B.O. at bay – plus our top tips to help you shop for a suitable formula.
31 natural deodorants you can easily get in Singapore
Salt Of The Earth Travel Natural Deodorant Most Value For Money!
This hardworking deodorant is made of pure mineral salt and sits only on the surface of the skin to inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria so you never need to worry about your pores getting clogged up.
You might have seen the spray version before but trust us when we say that you’ll get more bang for your buck with this unscented crystal deodorant stick because it is equally as effective but lasts for months.
This retails for S$16.90. Check the link below for the latest promotions.
MotherDirt Probiotic Deodorant
One of the most interesting options we’ve come across so far, this deodorant not only absorbs sweat and neutralises odour but also works to ensure your skin microbiome stays balanced.
What’s more, it feeds good bacteria on your skin with yeast extract so that your microbiome thrives instead of wreaking havoc.
This retails for approx. S$21.19 (US$16). Check the link below for the latest promotions.
This vegan formula is not meant to stop you from sweating but it uses micro silver to supposedly prevent odour by neutralising bacteria without drying out your skin – and it stays effective even when you’re showering or actively sweating.
On top of that, it comes in a bio-plastic tube made from sugarcane and a biodegradable cardboard box. An odour control formula that keeps you smelling fresh but not at the expense of the environment – what’s not to love?
This retails for S$20.90. Click the links below for the latest promotions.
Coconut Matter Mood Deodorant
Featuring an uplifting blend of lemongrass, lime, and frankincense essential oils, this citrusy, vegan deodorant will leave you smelling like you’ve just spent the entire day at your favourite spa.
This retails for S$33. Click the link below for the latest price.
Kiehl's Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant
Said to be one of the bestselling products on the retail floor, the unscented antiperspirant-slash-deodorant cream works by reducing underarm sweat with its micro-sized aluminium salts that leave no unsightly residue.
What makes it super (no pun intended) is the addition of witch hazel in the formula, which lends its purifying and antioxidant properties to keep your pits dry and smelling fresh.
This retails for S$29. Click the link below for the latest price.
Agent Nateur Uni(sex) N°5 Deodorant
Without synthetic fragrances in the arsenal, natural deodorants usually get their scents from essential oils, and this unisex deodorant does just that.
It smells nothing like baby powder, but instead has a sexy, intoxicating blend of vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, and rose – real sophisticated stuff if you ask us. Prefer something lighter? There’s also a honey-lavender-eucalyptus combo available here for S$35.
This retails between S$30.20 and S$34. Click the links below to compare prices.
Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream
Part of Drunk Elephant’s highly anticipated body collection, this creamy, almond-smelling formula forgoes baking soda, aluminium, and essential oils and instead counts on mandelic acid and arrowroot to keep B.O. under control all day while moisturising the skin with a blend of plant oils.
This retails for S$23. Click the link below for the latest price.
Bodhi Bloom Vanilla and Lemon Pit Paste
This paste combines locally sourced natural ingredients with vitamin E and baking soda to keep you odour-free for up to 12 hours while discreetly exfoliating your underarms to lighten dark patches.
This retails for S$11. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant
This vegan, cruelty-free formula is enriched with odour-neutralising citronellyl and refreshing eucalyptus oil for all-day wear sans stickiness or unsightly white cast on the underarms.
This retails between S$35.52 and S$42. Click the links below to compare prices.
L'Occitane Citrus Verbena Stick Deodorant
This delicately refreshing formula has organic Corsican verbena extract and Sicilian lemon oil to neutralise potential body stink.
This retails for S$35. Click the link below for the latest price.
Kopari Coconut Oil Deodorant
This natural deodorant wicks away sweat and moisture with neither baking soda nor aluminium; instead, it uses coconut oil to provide odour protection while simultaneously warding off stink-causing bacteria.
Not only does it apply smoothly and dry clear, but it’s also gentle even for sensitive underarms and leaves you smelling like sweet coconut milk. However, do note that you might experience slight stickiness, irritation or body odour for the first one to two weeks when you start using it – that’s just your pits adjusting to clean deodorants.
This retails for S$25. Click the link below for the latest price.
Aesop Herbal Deodorant
Made with all genders in mind, this aromatic aluminium-free spray deodorant is formulated with zinc ricinoleate, sage leaf, and a blend of earthy essential oils to help reduce and mask underarm odour.
A roll-on version is also available here for S$45.
This retails for S$45. Click the link below for the latest price.
Noosa Basics Organic Deodorant Stick
100% organic, this boasts only five key ingredients, including Australian kaolin clay, baking soda, and organic coconut oil to kill bacteria and keep you dry.
This retails for S$26. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Mario Badescu Deodorant
Give your underarms the TLC they deserve with this skin-loving cocktail of sage, cucumber, and ginger root oils that’s infused with a conditioning botanical blend to help cancel out body stink while nourishing the skin.
This retails for S$23. Click the link below for the latest price.
Briogeo B. Well Tea Tree + Eucalyptus Clean Natural Deodorant
On top of keeping you smelling fresh with an odour-minimising blend of tea tree and eucalyptus, this plant-based deodorant also uses coconut water to soothe underarm sensitivity caused by frequent shaving.
This retails for S$25. Click the link below for the latest price.
PiperWai Scentless Natural Deodorant Stick
Designed specifically for sensitive skin, this unscented roll-on formula offers long-lasting odour control with activated charcoal that offsets odour and absorbs moisture effectively.
This retails for S$26.90. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Love Beauty and Planet Refreshing Deodorant
Infused with coconut water and mimosa flower, this odour-neutralising deodorant will only leave you smelling like you’ve been touched by the beautiful ocean breeze on a tropical island of paradise.
This retails for S$9.48. Click the link below for the latest price.
Jomingo Grapefruit Aluminium-free Natural Deodorant Stick Support local!
This deodorant uses plant-based ingredients along with gluten-free tapioca starch, baking soda, and vitamin E to neutralise odour while keeping armpits smooth and clothes stain-free.
Its tangy, refreshing grapefruit scent aside, how can you not love the gorgeous (and biodegradable!) packaging?
This retails for S$21. Click the link below for the latest price.
Ursa Major Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant
This easy-to-use stick is packed with sweat-absorbing ingredients – kaolin clay, baking soda, and odour-fighting enzymes – to get the job done without staining your armpits or clothing.
Plus, it’s got an earthy, pinewood scent that’ll surely make you want to smell yourself all day long.
This retails for approx. S$23.83 (US$18). Click the link below for the latest price.
Lush The Greeench Deodorant Powder
As the application requires you to sprinkle the product onto your palm and rub it in, this deodorant powder may take a while to get used to and is probably better kept for days when you don’t have to rush.
Lycopodium powder keeps moisture under control, while a blend of thyme, tea tree, and sage leaves you smelling minty fresh.
This retails for S$28. Click the link below for the latest price.
Earth Science Natural Deodorant
For something non-irritating to the skin, try this gentle yet effective formula that’s made with tea tree and lavender oils.
This retails for S$8.20. Click the link below for the latest price.
Meow Meow Tweet Unscented Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream
We’ll admit – the adorable name did catch our attention first but this artisanal deodorant cream also impresses with the effectiveness of its formula, which contains baking soda, arrowroot, and clay to keep you dry.
Both unscented and perfumed formulas (made with aromatic essential oils) available.
This retails for S$23.90. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Ultrella Natural Deodorant Unique packaging!
Some days, you only need to step out of the shower to feel like you’re due for another one right after. This zesty-smelling deodorant can help prevent that with an ingredient called IBR-Snowflake that’s been clinically proven to reduce perspiration by 36%.
It’s also made with prebiotics, magnesium, zinc, and a slew of botanicals to maintain healthy underarms while keeping you fresh, dry, and odour-free all day.
This retails for S$23. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Blissoma Scentless Stick Natural Deodorant
Made with plant-based stink-busting ingredients such as mango butter and natural oils as well as anti-irritant, sweat-absorbing powders to soften your pits, it’s no surprise this formula scores a five-star rating from reviewers.
This retails for approx. S$13.24 (US$10). Click the link below for the latest price.
Mukti Botanique Deodorant
With a fresh and herbaceous aroma, this features a combination of botanical ingredients and pure essential oils that works to eliminate stink-causing bacteria for guaranteed around-the-clock protection.
This retails for S$28. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Tom's of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant
Free from artificial colours, fragrances and preservatives, this extra-strength employs zinc salts and vegetable-derived propylene glycol to trap odour and keep body stink at bay.
This retails for S$9.58. Click the link below for the latest price.
Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste
This magic pot wicks away perspiration with organic shea butter, coconut oil, kaolin clay as well as feel-good essential oils like clove and camellia tea oil, so you know you’re only giving your underarms the best organic ingredients.
This retails for approx. S$18.97 (A$18.50).
Soul Good Project Himalayan Wilderness Natural Deodorant Support local!
This deodorant balm is formulated with coconut oil, magnesium as well as arrowroot powder to negate odour, fight fungi and germs, while soothing and moisturising irritated skin.
It comes with a citrus, woody scent made naturally with a blend of cedar, bergamot, sweet orange, and lemon essential oils.
This retails for S$26.90. Click the link below for the latest price.
Salt & Stone Natural Deodorant - Lavender & Sage
Instead of aluminium, alcohol, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, this vegan deodorant uses antibacterial and odour-neutralising jojoba oil to get the job done while hydrating and protecting your pits with shea butter, vitamin E, and sunflower seed oil.
You’ll also appreciate that it rolls on dry and leaves behind a calming scent of lavender and sage.
This retails for S$26. Click the link below for the latest price.
Schmidt's Ylang Ylang + Calendula Natural Deodorant Stick
This odour-neutralising formula pairs plant-based powders with essential oils to soak up moisture and mask the stank without any greasiness or stickiness.
This retails for S$19.90. Click the link below for the latest price.
The Organic Pharmacy Deodorant Spray
Free from aluminium and parabens, this formula is a unisex blend of sage, lemon, rosemary, bergamot, neroli, and lavender essential oils.
This retails for S$40. Click the link below for the latest promotions.
Top 7 tips to keep in mind when shopping for a deodorant – and using one
- A deodorant is not always an antiperspirant and vice versa, so make sure you keep a lookout for the proper term while shopping.
- If you intend to work up a sweat and perspire, there’s no need to reach for an antiperspirant. Just apply deodorant to keep B.O. to a minimum if you’re feeling courteous.
- “100% natural” deodorants usually refer to formulas that are free of aluminium – it’s the ingredient used in antiperspirants to physically stop you from sweating. As a substitute, natural deodorants may use clay or baking soda to absorb the moisture instead.
- Most fragrance brands make deodorants that complement their signature perfumes, which you can consider getting if you’re already using said fragrances.
- Whether you use deodorant or antiperspirant, wearing the right clothes to let your skin breathe can make a real difference when it comes to minimising sweat. Choose breezy, breathable, fabrics like cotton that can keep your skin cool and increase air flow to your underarms.
- Remember to dry your skin before you apply – deodorants are most effective on dry skin, so it’s best avoid applying immediately after you hop out of the shower.
- Do not continue using your deodorant if it’s making your skin uncomfortable. When this happens, opt for gentler options that may work better for your skin instead.