In our previous post about underarm grooming, we focused on laser hair removal. If you missed the post, you can read it here. Laser hair removal gave me a newfound confidence to test the efficacy of natural deodorant. Natural deodorant doesn’t contain the chemical antiperspirant ingredients and fragrances normally found in “conventional” products.
MY ISSUES WITH “CONVENTIONAL” DEODORANTS?
Although studies about the health risks related to the use of conventional deodorants have not yet yielded definitive results, it makes sense to investigate alternatives that we know are safe. What concerns me most, is the potential negative effects of long-term exposure to ingredients such as aluminium. Aluminium is the active ingredient antiperspirants rely on to keep our underarms dry.
These metal-filled salts prevent us from sweating by causing the skin cells to swell and squeezing the ducts closed so sweat can’t get out. Unfortunately, aluminium is also a neurotoxin that has been linked to breast cancer and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Other ingredients, traditionally used in conventional deodorants, that could be harmful include:
Penetration enhancers such as propylene glycol and disodium EDTA that help carry active ingredients into our bodies. They may not be bad on their own, but they help harsh ingredients (like aluminium) absorb into our bodies faster.
Talcum powder absorbs moisture and helps cut down on friction. This makes it useful for keeping skin dry and preventing rashes but it’s also a suspected carcinogen. (Research is inconclusive but there is some suggestion of a possible link to ovarian cancer.)
Synthetic fragrance. The most ubiquitous ingredients in body-care products, synthetic fragrance is a blanket term for a blend of chemicals. Phthalates, are a huge class of chemicals used in plastics and regularly labeled “fragrance”. Disturbingly, they are everywhere, and a tidal wave of new research has documented their wide-ranging negative health impacts.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a preservative commonly used in cosmetics and alarmingly, even food. Studies have shown that BHT accumulates in the body, having a toxic impact on the lungs, liver and kidneys amongst other negative effects.
WHY GO NATURAL?
There are numerous reasons to go natural, the main being the fact that natural deodorants don’t contain all the harmful chemicals and ingredients that may impact your health and well-being.
Additionally, they allow your body to sweat naturally and I can’t help but feel that my pores are happier being unclogged and lymph nodes are thankful.
Rather than simply covering up smells, many natural deodorants include natural ingredients which prevents odor-causing bacteria from forming.
The absence of aluminium means no horrible yellow stains on your clothes and finally, of course, they’re cruelty free.
NATURAL DEODORANT SUGGESTIONS
As more questions are raised around the chemical ingredients included in our deodorants and antiperspirants, more companies are developing safer alternatives for us. Here are some of our suggestions:
Dischem Deodorant Crystal
I couldn’t find this product online so you’ll need to pop into your local Dischem if you want to try it.
This crystal deodorant stone product is what got me happily converted to natural deodorants and is what I am currently using.
Crystal deodorant stones contain a natural form of aluminium made up of molecules too large to be absorbed by the skin. They are effective at preventing bacteria from occuring when you sweat. Rather than artificially clogging pores, like antiperspirants do, they prevent odour.
I have read some comments about this type of product not being that effective so I must add an important note on how to use a crystal deodorant stone properly. You need to very lightly dampen the stick and then rub under arm for about 30 seconds until the product starts sticking to your skin (it should redden slightly from the friction).
Dr. Hauschka Rose Deodorant
R284 at Faithful To Nature. Also available at Wellness Warehouse. Click here to shop.
You will sweat when you get hot, but your sweat won’t smell bad. And there won’t be streaks on your clothes or that aluminium dankness that can stay even after washing. The rose fragrance is really soft and won’t interfere with your personal fragrance.
Schmidt’s Deodorant Sticks
R109 at Faithful To Nature. Click here to shop.
This highly rated deodorant, designed for sensitive skins, is really effective at neutralising underarm odour and absorbing wetness.
ROK Deodorant Crystal Mist
R129 for 240ml at Faithful To Nature. Click here to shop.
This deodorant is made up of mineral salts and purified water. That’s it. Yet, it appears to be effective in killing odour causing bacteria. It’s also unscented and doesn’t stain your clothes and it’s even popular with the dudes!
While we’re all quick to toss out the creams, moisturisers, lotions and makeup made with harsh ingredients, few of us are willing to compromise on body odour. Thanks to many manufacturers now embracing natural deodorants, this no longer needs to be the case. I have no doubt there’s a natural deodorant out there that will work just as well for you, especially if you have the benefit of hairless underarms thanks to laser hair removal!
Need a cruelty free, natural skincare range? Read our review on local product SKOON. here.