Deodorants are part of pretty much everyone’s daily routine, but a lot of us are reaching for the antiperspirant without fully knowing what is inside the packaging!
Firstly, did you know that antiperspirants and deodorants are two different things?
The former usually uses aluminium salts to plug pores and stop sweating, while the latter simply disperses or covers up body odour. For that reason, many aluminium-free deodorants do not help with sweating, but they do help stop bacteria from breaking down sweat and releasing body odour. It makes sense that traditional deodorants are some of the most toxin-packed products available, given that these products are formulated specifically to clog your skin follicles so that you are unable to sweat.
In many traditional deodorants, heavy metals such as aluminium are the primary ingredient used to physically stop you from sweating. Other less desirable ingredients found in most chemical-based deodorants include parabens, and triclosan, which is a pesticide!
WHY MAKE THE SWITCH?
There are so many reasons why switching to a natural deodorant is beneficial to you. We have listed a few below:
1.) Natural deodorant may not be at the top of your list when getting started on your eco-journey, but it should be. If you are making changes to live a more environmentally friendly life, there are some compromises you simply will not want to make. One of those is personal hygiene. We get it: nobody wants to smell of BO, and it can be easy to assume that you must stick to wasteful and harmful deodorant products from well-known beauty brands. Don’t sweat it: natural deodorants can serve as an alternative that can give you confidence and keep your body fresh and odour-free!
2.) Saying no to aluminium – Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of switching to a natural deodorant is that you do not have to worry about aluminium on your body. Recent studies have shown that aluminium found in antiperspirants can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life by up to 60%. Scientists have also linked aluminium based antiperspirants to cancer, which is pretty worrying. Also, if you shave regularly under your arms, you could possibly be increasing the risk of absorption of these dangerous aluminium salts through small nicks and abrasions from shaving. Many have rubbished these studies and research is ongoing, but why take the risk? If you want to protect your body against the potentially harmful side effects of aluminium, switching to a natural deodorant makes that possible.
3.) You could sweat less – Some of the conventional deodorants can clog your pores and cause you to sweat more, rather than prevent you from sweating as they are supposed to. Depending on your skin type, you may find that some high-street deodorants and antiperspirants have the opposite effect and even cause you discomfort when wearing them. Switching to a natural deodorant will help you sweat less and make your skin smooth and soft, rather than dry and irritated.
4.) You can live cruelty-free – Most natural deodorants are formulated without synthetic chemicals; they are not tested on animals and are therefore cruelty-free. Cosmetics companies have come a long way in recent years, and many have promised to ban or phase out animal testing, but you would be surprised at how many still use animals when creating products or changing formulas. Of course, we always recommend double-checking with the company you’re buying from to ensure they’re cruelty-free, but the chances are that if you’re buying from a brand producing natural deodorants, it’s going to be part of their policy.
5.) You can forget about yellow stains – There is nothing more frustrating than getting ready for a night out, only to stain your dress or shirt with a yellow or white mark. That is because of the aluminium in the ingredients, which can turn your fabric yellow after extended use. When you switch to a natural deodorant, you will not have to worry about those stains.
6.) Your natural deodorant can help save the planet – Perhaps most obviously, deodorant cans are non-recyclable, with both tin-based and plastic-based packaging causing pollution in our environment when they are sent to landfill. Look out for the natural deodorants which come completely plastic free, meaning nothing will be left behind to pollute our environment once you are done with it. TIME TO ADJUST It is worth noting that once you have decided to make the change it can take some adjusting to initially. This is because unlike traditional antiperspirants, natural deodorants do not stop you from sweating and you may have forgotten what it feels like to have wet armpits from time to time. This is such an important and natural elimination system of the body that it is not something we should try to avoid, but what we do want to avoid is the BO that often accompanies the sweatiness.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you’ve been using traditional antiperspirants for years, you may need to give your body a few weeks to adjust to using natural deodorant as those sweat glands may work overtime for a week or two!
TOP 5 TRIED AND TESTED
Natural deodorants have a reputation for being weaker and unable to keep sweat at bay, but after using these tried-and-tested environmentally friendly favourites I can confirm they can work just as well as their aluminium counterparts. As is the case with any health and beauty product, there is no right or wrong answer here.
Here is the lowdown on the brands I tried and tested:
TROPIC SKINCARE – FEEL FRESH DEODORANT
This product contains naturally derived, safe aluminium salts known as aluminium chlorohydrate. They believe it is the most effective ingredient to prevent sweat getting to the skin’s surface, keeping you cool and dry. Results: I found this deodorant quite runny when first applied. I had to wait quite a while until it was dry to put tops on, otherwise I found it marked the clothes. Saying that it was easy to apply and protected me throughout the day. It smells fresh and the scent makes it suitable to be worn by both men and women. It has good eco packaging. I would also recommend this as a good deodorant for preteens/teens.
AURELIA SKINCARE – CITRUS BOTANICAL CREAM DEODORANT
The Citrus Botanical Cream Deodorant is a natural, aluminium free, uniquely powerful natural deodorant that really works. The cream-to-powder consistency allows for simple fingertip application. Results: I absolutely loved this one! It comes in two fragrances, both of which are good. It is so easy to use and very moisturising. The rich cream comes in a pot and you scoop up a small amount with your finger that you then apply under the armpits. It has a powder-like finish once you have applied it. Great packaging which is recyclable (as in a glass pot). It is slightly pricier, but it will last you ages and gives you that sense of luxury.
ARBONNE – SHEA BUTTER DEODORANT
Stay feeling fresh with paraben, aluminium, and talc free formula, made with sustainably sourced shea butter and soothing aloe. Results: A good overall deodorant. It comes as a solid stick making it easy to apply under your arms. There is a subtle fragrance to it which is suitable for men and women – the packaging also caters for this. It will last you a long time and again, I would recommend this one for not only adults BUT preteens/teens as well.
THE BODY SHOP – ALOE CARING ROLL ON DEODORANT
This aloe vera deodorant claims to soothe and freshens your very delicate, super sensitive underarms. Results: I found this incredibly easy to apply as a roller. Overall, I would say it is good product, easy to use, and a great price point. This could be used unisex – well it is in our family!
THE BODY SHOP – WHITE MUSK SPORT DEODORANT
This quick-drying deodorant has a zesty, citrus scent with a hint of warmth, leaving you feeling fresh. Results: This one I found is great for the kids, especially those starting puberty / early teens. It has more masculine packaging. The roller makes it easy to apply and the fragrance is subtle. It is ideal for a sport bag as nice and small.
I would recommend that you try a few products and brands to see what works best for you – Let us know your favourite!