Deodorant: Cream vs. Stick


Alright natural beautyphiles, do you use a deodorant stick or cream?

If you have already gone down the difficult (and potentially stinky) road of switching out your aluminum-laden, toxic antiperspirant for a natural deodorant, than you may have already found a variety that you like. But if you are just contemplating or beginning out on this (often frightening) journey of ditching antiperspirant — the one thing you believe retains friendships and keeps you employed — than listen up.

There are many factors dictating a successful antiperspirant detox (which I will get to in future posts) but first let’s talk about products. Most often than not the natural deodorant we readily find is in stick form. Naturally then, those wishing to switch think that this is the only option. Also, more often then not, they or (someone they know) has tried using a natural stick and has given up after one try because it just plain ol’ failed the test of time. In my humble opinion, this is because deodorant creams are SUPERIOR to deodorant sticks. No offense to the sticks out there, they can serve a purpose as well! In fact they can be essential as an emergency measure to throw in your desk drawer or bag because if deo-creams have any down side, it’s that you need to apply it with your fingers (not the easiest thing to do when trying to be discreet).

Let’s start from the top. What is a deodorant cream? Often they are comprised of any number of the following ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, clay, corn starch, and essential oils. They are in fact very similar to a moisturizer except with the addition of odour eating ingredients like baking soda, and antiseptic ingredients like coconut oil, neem oil, and essential oils (tea tree is a common one).

Why are they superior to sticks? I think it mostly comes down to (A) ingredients and (B) the amount of product that can be applied to the skin at one time. The composition of a stick is often made up of an emulsion of water and odour-fighting oils (viscous ingredients) that are melded together with a binding agent. When applied to the underarm it often goes on in a very thin layer that does not remain on the skin for very long. There is far more flexibility to what ingredients can be added to a cream since it does not need to retain a shape. In addition, far more product makes contact with the skin (and stays there!) as it gets  absorbed and creates an emollient layer (think about a body butter vs. a gel).

Deodorant Cream vs. Stick

Deodorant cream on left side, stick applied to right side (almost invisible). Note: the cream can be blended in better, this picture is just to show consistency.

Saying all of this, I realize that there are some sticks that are creamier and are effective for some, but in general, when I recommend natural deodorants to newbies (ie. former antiperspirant wearers) I say go straight for the cream.  There are a few brands that I have tested and find better than others. Soapwalla is probably the number one brand that made deodorant creams popular again (fun fact: deodorant creams were used as one of the first odour- eating remedies beginning in the late 1800’s). I personally have had great success with creams from Crawford Street, Leaves of Trees, and Joyous Health.

Ultimately, some experimenting will be necessary to figure out which one works best for you. Just know this: for everyone that I have coached, I have had very few (if any) failures, especially using my “patented” deodorant detox method. . . coming to you soon!!

Questions about what natural products are best for you? Or how to come clean with your personal care products? Email me about booking a green beauty coaching consult for a personalized beauty plan and one on one support.


  1. Milena says

    Seanna! I cannot even TELL you the struggles I have had in finding a natural deodorant that actually works! Apparently it has inspired me to comment on this post! haha Can’t wait for the patented method!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *