July 01, 2021
While we’ve been switching out our face creams and serums for a more natural take, many have shied away from making the switch to natural deodorant. Will it be effective? Can it last a heavy gym session? How does it even work? There are so many fears around their efficacy, that people tend to stick to mainstream brands that sell the “24-hour protection” dream. But just how many chemicals does it take to make something last 24 hours? And knowing that 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, there's a good reason to be questioning what’s in our deodorant. If you’ve ever considered making the switch to natural deodorant, here’s what you need to know.
Deodorant vs antiperspirant
Although we tend to group them together in the same category, deodorant and antiperspirant are two different things. And, if you think about the actual words, it’s not hard to make the distinction. Deodorants are in fact made to repel or disguise odour and antiperspirant to inhibit sweating. When it comes to natural products, we’re only talking about deodorant that won’t claim to stop you sweating but will instead contain antibacterial ingredients to help with potential smell.
Aluminium and deodorant
The way most mass market antiperspirants work is by essentially “plugging” the sweat-producing pores with aluminium salts to reduce the amount you sweat. There was a lot of fear-mongering a while back about the links between aluminium and breast cancer and even Alzheimer’s, but there is no strong scientific research to back up these claims. That said, it’s worth also remembering that sweating is a natural bodily function with a purpose of temperature control. There is also the argument that sweating releases toxins from the skin, another reason to let your body do its thing. Remember also that sweat itself doesn’t stink, it’s the bacteria that lives on the sweat that gives off the pong.
Why choose natural deodorant
So, with big health risks taken out of the equation, why should we choose a natural deodorant? Well aluminium is not the only potential ingredient red flag. There are a lot of chemicals in mainstream deodorants that will be on the ‘no’ list for those trying to live a low-tox life. One in particular is a group of chemicals called 5 phthalates which is used in fragrances (and remembering that most deodorants are fragranced) which some studies have shown may mimic hormones or be potential hormone disruptors. The most widely used of these is diethylphthalate or DEP. Natural deodorants replace these with essential oils and other natural scents, so again, if you’re looking to lower the chemicals in your beauty/ health routine, this is an excellent option for you.
What else you need to know about switching to natural deodorant
Just a tip to help you on your way.
There is a transition period: A lot of people give up on natural deo because they claim it doesn’t work after a few days, but this is not enough time. If you are currently using an antiperspirant with aluminium your pits will essentially go through a detox on the road to natural. That’s because the aluminium is no longer plugging your pores, and as a result your body goes a little crazy releasing all that pent up sweat / waste. If you’re concerned look for ingredients like clay or charcoal which will help detoxify faster. But remember, it won’t stop you sweating - it will just help with odour. For a fresh, unisex smell that’s not overwhelming try Salt and Stone’s Lavender and Sage Natural Deodarant, $25.95 which we think is one of the best natural deodorant’s around.