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All you need to know about clean natural deodorants

Image: Courtesy of Free Stocks/Unsplash.

By Hoiisa’s editor

If you’re planning to make the switch to a natural deodorant here are a few things to bear in mind…

Before you switch from your conventional antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, the first important point worth remembering is that natural deodorants will not stop you from sweating! Yes, you’ve heard us right. Natural deodorant will only help control body odour – not eliminate sweat. This is because natural deodorants don’t use aluminium salts, and these salts are what stop sweat occurring. They can, however, add an appealing natural fragrance on skin to mask body odours and neutralise the odour-causing bacteria which lies on the surface of the skin. Conventional antiperspirants, on the other hand, work by blocking sweat glands, with the help of aluminium salts. That means you won’t sweat –and this is the main distinction between natural deodorants and antiperspirants.

Although not sweating can sound agreeable to most, there are a few reasons why people choose natural deodorants over conventional antiperspirants. The most obvious one is that it’s healthier for you. Despite the rumours that aluminium may be linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, there’s little scientific evidence to support this claim. Other common questionable ingredients found in antiperspirants include parabens, triclosan, phthalates and propylene glycol. All of which could cause health hazards over time, with frequent use. Conventional antiperspirants also use fragrances that may contribute to allergies and skin irritations. Whilst natural deodorants use essential oils, like notes of vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood and rose, for instance, and these rich aromas help minimise odour. But when you find a good natural deodorant that works for you, be sure to read all the ingredients so it’s clear that they use 100 per cent pure essential oils.

Natural deodorants can be considered healthier for the body because they allow some perspiration, which enables the body to flush out toxins. Unlike traditional antiperspirants that can clog pores and lead to mild skin irritations and sensitivity. Another important reason that may encourage you to switch to a natural deodorant is that they’re typically not tested on animals – and that’s definitely a huge plus! Although, to be completely sure, just double-check each product before purchasing it to be certain they’re committed to a cruelty-free production.

Finding the best natural deodorant is a very personal process and it can take a fair bit of trial and error. Everyone’s body chemistry varies and that means we all require different formulations to give us exactly what we need. You may find a deodorant that works well for you, but it may not for someone else. Don’t be totally surprised if your friends or family highly rate a product and once you try it doesn’t quite do the same job. It simply means you need to find the best formulation that works for your particular skin bacteria. Also, consider that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”; one person’s favourite deodorant might not work for someone with sensitive skin, or someone who sweats excessively. So, proceed with caution when you’re on the lookout.

“Everyone’s body chemistry varies and that means we all require different formulations to give us exactly what we need.”

When it comes to trial and error, always consider the ingredients when you experiment. Many natural deodorants rely on baking soda, arrowroot powder, diatomaceous earth, magnesium, tapioca starch and charcoal to absorb moisture and keep you dry. Charcoal will draw out toxins from your pores which makes it a great detoxifier. Activated charcoal is also a strong stink-blocker and anything blended with invigorating essential oils gives a pleasant scent. Depending on what you go for, bear in mind important factors like baking soda may keep wetness and moisture at bay, but it can also be very irritating on skin because it’s highly alkaline, which can cause dermatitis in armpits. If you’re someone that experiences this, opt for one that is baking soda-free like a magnesium alternative, which is known to be great because it’s gentle as well as effective for banishing odour-causing bacteria.

The most important thing to remember is there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to deodorant. Depending on various body chemistries and preferences, different deodorants use varying compounds that help neutralise odours and stop you from smelling. Also, if a product isn’t working for you right away there’s no need to worry because it may just need a few weeks to fully function at its optimal level. But if after a few weeks it’s still leaving you foul-smelling, it’s probably not the right formulation for your skin chemistry and that’s the time to move onto the next. It can take up to 30 days for your body to regulate itself, so be patient. Natural deodorant allows “good” bacteria to flourish so eventually you will become less rancid than before. Also, don’t just rely on a natural deodorant to banish odour; other external factors like diet and the environment should also be considered to have a big impact. Eating foods that are high in sulphur compounds, such as meat or asparagus, could contribute to an unpleasant odour. Living in an environment with high humidity can also cause you to produce excessive sweat. When the sweat interacts with the bacteria on your skin this could worsen the scent of body odour.

Image: Courtesy of Christopher Campbell/Unsplash.

When you eventually find the best one for you, take note of these top tips before applying natural deodorant for maximum results: Make sure armpits are fresh and clean, but be mindful if you’ve just shaved. Wait a few minutes before applying deodorant because fresh hair removal and any small cuts could cause some irritation. After a shower or bath, don’t forget to dry off armpits thoroughly. It’s important to make sure skin is free of excess moisture because if the skin’s surface is wet it’s less likely to absorb the product well. Not to mention, some ingredients used in deodorants may react poorly to the water left on your skin, causing unwanted irritation. Finally, please don’t forget, less is more! Natural deodorant is potent due to plant- and mineral-based ingredients that contribute to a pleasing scent that lasts all day long. If you find one that works well, all you need to do is apply a few swipes under the arms and don’t overdo it.

Hoiisa recommends 3 of the best sustainable and natural deodorants:

Salt & Stone Natural Deodorant, Vetiver & Sandalwood

The vegan and organic deodorant is formulated for all skin types, this clear formula glides on completely residue free, leaving no stains. Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, shea butter, and jojoba oil conditions and moisturises the skin, while probiotics help neutralise odour. It’s made without aluminium, alcohol, baking soda, parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes. Sage essential oil packs an aromatic punch.

Salt & Stone Natural Deodorant, Eucalyptus & Bergamot

Cruelty-free and suitable for skin types, the clear formula glides on with ease. It’s residue free – leaving no stains. Hyaluronic acid conditions and nourishes the skin while probiotics help neutralise odour. Formulated without aluminium, alcohol, baking soda, parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, tantalising notes of eucalyptus, pink grapefruit and bergamot make it so desirable to use time and time again.

Shirley Conlon Organics Deodorant Cream

A natural, vegan deodorant cream with organic coconut oil, shea butter and arrowroot powder that delivers effective, long-lasting freshness to delicate underarms. Sage essential oil offers anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. It’s also fragrance-free. Massage a small amount using your fingers onto clean and dry underarms. This natural product may liquify in hot temperatures so make sure to place it in the fridge overnight.

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