Shopping·6 min read

This Natural Deodorant Keeps B.O. at Bay All Day Long

Three sticks of PiperWai unscented deodorant next to one another
Design: theSkimm | Photo: PiperWai
May 4, 2023

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Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give them a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)

The assignment...

To see if PiperWai’s unscented natural deodorant ($12.75+ or $28.99/2 pack), made with activated charcoal, works well to keep body odor and sweat in check.

Straight A's in...

  • Effectiveness. This deodorant exceeds in fulfilling its primary purpose: to successfully combat odor without the use of aluminum. Even after intense workouts (including a two-hour hike in 85-degree weather), our editors had no noticeable body odor sneak through. And in our experience, just a few swipes were enough to get the job done.

  • A gentle formula. When applying the deodorant, we never noticed any irritation or burning sensation on our skin, even immediately after shaving our underarms. The product is formulated with moisturizing coconut oil as well as shea butter, known to be an anti-inflammatory ingredient.

  • Scent availability. For the purposes of this review, our editors tested the fragrance-free version, which we appreciated; it’s sometimes difficult for those who prefer their deodorant to be unscented to find an effective product. PiperWai natural deodorant is also available, however, in an essential oils–scented option. We found the scented option to smell refreshing and not overbearing, with a natural and neutral fragrance we think is quite crowd-pleasing.

  • Retractable design. We thought the retractable stick was convenient to use, and it always worked smoothly in both directions.

PiperWai deodorant being held by a person on the left; cap of PiperWai deodorant twisted off atop stick on right
Design: theSkimm | Photo: PiperWai

Room for growth...

  • Combatting sweat. Because this product is a deodorant and not an antiperspirant, we didn’t find it as effective against sweat as it was against odor. But reapplying when our underarms felt a little wet did the trick.

  • Residue. As with many charcoal-based natural deodorants, two of our editors noticed that this one tends to leave a bit of a gray cast on clothing. So if you’re wearing something white or light-colored, this is something to be aware of if you want to prevent any staining near the underarms or when removing and putting on clothing.

  • Smoothness of application. While we wouldn’t necessarily categorize the application of PiperWai deodorant as “rough,” it isn’t super-smooth either. We found we had to pat our underarms a bit after applying to smooth out any tiny clumps.

Plays well with...

  • Anyone looking for an aluminum-free alternative to traditional deodorant.

  • Those who don’t sweat a ton.

  • People who prefer a fragrance-free natural deodorant.

  • Those with sensitive skin.

Gets extra credit for...

PiperWai deodorants tick place on a wooden coaster on left; refillable har of PiperWai deodorant being held by a person on right
Design: theSkimm | Photo: PiperWai

How we did our homework…

  • Three Skimm HQ’rs used the unscented deodorant for several weeks, wearing it for everyday errands, at the office, during high-intensity workouts, and on long walks on warm days. We took note of how well the product worked in terms of staving off odors and sweat, how it felt when we applied it, and if we thought reapplication later in the day was necessary. We also kept an eye out for any residue it left behind on clothing. 


  • $12.75+ at PiperWai or $28.95/2 pack at Amazon 

  • Available in an unscented option and essential oils scent

  • Vegan and cruelty-free

  • 1.7-ounce stick

  • Can subscribe and save for 15% off

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