Sage is the deodorant ingredient that doesn’t just cover sweat, it squelches it altogether

January 14, 2020 at 06:00PM by CWC


When you want rid your life of something negative, reaching for sage is practically wellness 101 (just ask my roommate how many crappy ex-boyfriends I’ve smudged away in the last year). But while we know the herb is great for zapping bad energy, there’s one other bad thing in life it’s great for banishing, too: body odor.

Scan the deodorant aisles, and you’ll notice that sage has taken up residence on a lot of labels of late. Sweat, itself, is actually odorless, but when it comes into contact with the bacteria under your arms, it starts to smell. Research has found that sage can effectively help diminish that bacteria, stopping you from stinking, which means that instead of just masking B.O., it’s actually helping to stop the smell altogether.

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According to pros, this makes it a powerhouse pick for anyone looking to make the switch from an antiperspirant (that actually stops you from sweating) to a deodorant (though, I’ll remind you that there’s no clear proven link that aluminum is bad for you). “Sage addresses the cause of the bad smell and may prevent it before it even appears,” says Gretchen Frieling, MD, a Boston board-certified dermatopathologist. “Other standard deodorants mask the smell, yet fail to deal with the cause of the odor and could also clog pores and dehydrate the skin.” Sage is also rich in calcium and vitamin A, she adds, and it works as an antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-fungal remedy. TLDR: The ingredient is a solid way to stop yourself from stinking if you want to ditch aluminum.

While waving a smudge stick under your arms is certainly one (… not at all tested or proven) way to get your sage fix, shop the below sage deodorant options for some far more effective ways to banish B.O.

Schmidt’s Naturals Sage + Vetiver, $8

Sage is a go-to ingredient in Schmidt’s deodorants, which happen to be among the best-sellers in the aluminum-free market. “We use sage essential oil as part of the fragrance to impart pleasing, Earthy, and herbaceous notes that complement the other notes in the blend,” says Gabriella Metraux, PhD, head of product development at Schmidt’s Naturals. If Vetiver isn’t your thing, you can also find the sage in the Lavender + Sage ($8) stick.

Photo: Schmidt’s

Ursa Major Sublime Spray Deodorant, $18

Not into the same-old-same deodorant stick? Spray on your sage with this underarm spritz. It’s made with a powerful blend of herbs and enzymes, but manages to be ultra-light so that it won’t clog your pores while preventing odors.

Photo: Ursa Major

Native Tea Tree and Sage Deodorant, $12

If you’re looking to make a deodorant purchase that feels more like a luxury than a necessity, reach for this stick. Combining sage with tea tree oil, it packs a one-two punch of antibacterial properties that will leave armpits smelling so fresh, so clean.


Photo: Native

Megababe Rosy Pits, $14

This is one of those products that it seems like everyone on my Instagram feed is head-over-heels in love with—and for good reason. It’s got sage and tea tree oil, plus green tea, coconut, and vitamin E to give you nice-smelling pits that are soothed from good-for-skin ingredients.

Photo: Megababe

Bliss Lemon and Sage Deodorizing Body Wipes, $8

Sage yourself all over with these deodorizing wipes, which you can use to refresh all of your icky-smelling bits (… you know the ones I’m talking about), no rinse required. They neutralize and remove whatever odors you’ve already got going on, plus help prevent any new nastiness from taking hold.

Photo: Bliss

Not all body odor is created equally—here’s what yours could be trying to tell you. Plus, everything a professional armpit sniffer wants you to know about deodorant

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Author Zoe Weiner | Well and Good
Selected by CWC