Don’t Sweat It: Understanding Natural Deodorant
Want to feel good about the personal care products you use from head to toe? Raise your hand — higher. Oops! Did you forget about your armpits? If you’re like most people, you’re wearing antiperspirant right now, and chances are, it’s because you don’t want sweaty underarms. But closing up your sweat glands with aluminum salts (the main ingredient in antiperspirant) every day means you’re blocking off a natural bodily function. Furthermore, aluminum stains clothes. How many white shirts have you ruined with pit stains? You can blame your antiperspirant for that one. Antiperspirants can also have a whole host of other questionable ingredients, like formaldehyde, propylene glycol, benzyl salicylate, geraniol, linalool, and carboxaldehyde. All of these chemicals are being absorbed by your skin — let that sink in for a minute.
Sweating is good for you. It releases built-up toxins and waste. But at the same time, you don’t want to smell funky. This is where natural deodorants come to the rescue. If you’re wondering how natural deodorants work to fight armpit odor without artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals, the answer is in the ingredients.
Naturally derived fragrances, like essential oils, are gentler on sensitive skin than synthetic fragrances, but they smell just as good — or better! Acure Deodorant (Cedarwood & Mint), for example, allows underarm skin to breathe — and smell great — with an exclusive woodsy blend of forest-sourced botanicals, like cypress, cedarwood and fir needle oils. You can breathe easy that it’s also aluminum free, paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, petrolatum free, formaldehyde free, propylene glycol free, and cruelty free.
Odor-causing bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment. Many natural deodorants use dealkalizing ingredients, like baking soda, to neutralize the pH of skin so this bacteria can’t grow in the first place. Consonant Dealkalizing Deodorant is a fragrance-free natural deodorant (yes, that’s a thing) that inhibits body odor for 24 hours. It also nourishes your skin with a luscious blend of silk amino acids and cocoa butter.
If you want some scent but have extra sensitive skin, Earth Mama Bright Citrus Deodorant has you (and your armpits) covered with an ultra-gentle blend of baking soda, magnesium, and dreamy tangerine-y fragrance. (New mamas take note: this deodorant is formulated for use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.)
Not only does clay absorb excess odor-causing sweat, but it’s gentler on your skin than baking soda.Ursa Major Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant, for example, uses kaolin clay to soak up surplus underarm moisture naturally. It also has natural, skin-cooling ingredients, like peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary oils to keep you feeling fresh — and refreshed — all day long. You might want to break this one out on a hot day, during hot yoga, or on a hot date.
Not only does activated charcoal neutralize odor and absorb moisture, it binds to toxins and extracts them from your body. This makes charcoal deodorant the perfect choice if you’re just starting out your antiperspirant detox! Ditch the stick altogether with a jar of PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant. Unlike the smudgy stuff you remember from art class, this 100% natural formula melts invisibly into your underarm skin with a velvet-soft finish.