While mainstream health sites like to suggest there is no link between deodorant use and cancer, it doesn’t take a scientist to understand toxins/chemicals applied to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream. How quickly? Many conscious-minded beauty bloggers suggest it’s just 26 seconds, but this can all depend on what it is you’re applying.
When it comes to our underarms, the skin is thinner than some other areas of the body, meaning likelihood of absorption is much higher. So, use of deodorants that contain the likes of aluminium, are, in my book, a huge no-no.
New research has shown clear links between aluminium and detrimental affects on the brain. Beyond aluminium, there are also other ingredients you want to avoid including parabens, steareths, triclosan, propylene glycol, TEA, DEA and artificial colours.
So what is a sweaty person to do? Choose natural, of course. But of the nature-derived underarm deodorisers out there, what ones actually work and have less likelihood of irritation? The latter can depend on your personal sensitivities, so trying a few is often par for the course.
I’m helping your cut through the deodorant confusion, putting forward some of my favourites that I can say without doubt have worked for me.
The Herb Farm Fresh Deodorant
There are some beautiful all-natural products formulated in New Zealand, and those from The Herb Farm are no exception. Founder, herbalist Lynn Kirkland, started the company in 1993 with the mission to give consumers—and her family—an option to choose wholly natural products, free of synthetics and undesirable chemicals. Fast forward to now and the company has a suite of completely natural products that crosses skincare, haircare, mum and baby, healing and therapeutic. I’ve used their deodorant many times, not only because I resonate deeply with the company philosophy, but because it actually works, controlling odour without clogging—thereby allowing the body to cool naturally. Himalayan crystal salt sole is formulated with echinacea and calendula tinctures for their antibacterial and soothing properties.
Living Libations Poetic Pits
This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about Poetic Pits range, but I had to add it to this week’s lineup, simply because it’s one of my favourites. I’ve personally used the Ginger Lily formulation, which boasts essential oils of vetiver, lavender, ginger lily, and sandalwood. However, there are other scents in the range such as Rose Glow, Vetiver and Classic. There are no fillers or preservatives here, folks. Just pure oils in a combination that will have you smelling like you’ve stepped out of a shower (all day long). Ethical natural and made with love.
Schmidt’s Geranium Flower Sensitive Formula
I remember when Schmidts Naturals first came onto the market—a waft of fresh air in the deodorant aisle, to be sure. As with many natural formulations, Schmidts original line included bicarbonate soda—an ingredient that doesn’t always agree with those who have sensitive skin. The brand’s solution was their sensitive line, including my favourite Geranium Flower, as well as natural minerals and scented only with essential oils. It’s an award-winning formula that is designed to neutralise odour and absorb wetness naturally.
Woohoo! All Natural Deodorant Paste
This is a great odour buster if you’ve got ultra-sensitive skin. Woohoo! All Natural Deodorant Paste in Mellow has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients such as magnesium hydroxide, activated charcoal and zinc oxide, which help to neutralise bacteria. There’s also olive leaf extract to boost antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant action, kaolin clay and tapioca to help absorb moisture, plus olive oil and shea butter to nourish and soothe.
Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda-Free Deodorant Cream
If you’re looking for an underarm deo that does without the bicarbonate soda (aka baking soda), then Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream is one to try. While it’s gentle, it still does a brilliant job of controlling odour, thanks to dietary magnesium and arrowroot powder, which help control odour and moisture. The formulation also includes nourishing plant oils and butters to soothe and condition, as well as essential oils to keep you smelling fresh as a grapefruit. Also available in lavender.
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
If you haven’t heard of Soapwalla, well, it’s about time. Don’t let the all-natural ingredients make you question its ability to kick odour to the curb. Formulated with super-fine vegetable powders and clays, along with pure lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils, this is a deodorant that absorbs moisture and stops bacteria in its tracks. Great for all skin types, Soapwalla Original Deodorant Cream is vegan and made with only organic and food-grade ingredients. Its scent is perfect for men and women.
Bumble & Bee Organic’s Almond Coconut Pit Putty Organic Deodorant Cream
Sweet almond is blended with toasted coconut and a hint of cinnamon in Bumble & Bee Organic’s Almond Coconut Pit Putty Organic Deodorant Cream. I can’t say it much better than the brand itself: “While the almond scent starts out strong but within a few minutes mellows and you can smell the coconut come through. It’s not a sunscreen-style coconut, but more of a toasted coconut aroma. The cinnamon is used in a minute amount for its natural anti-microbial properties.” Bumble & Bee uses a less than five percent concentration of baking soda. Why? Because this ingredient, while natural, can still cause irritation for people with sensitive skin. Using a smaller amount can be useful for those who do find they react to the ingredient. Worth noting: The cream will darken after about three months or so, but will still be usable and effective. However, as the colour will be darker it does have the potential to stain light clothing.