Natural deodorants are the subject of much debate. For one, we don’t trust most store-bought deodorant ingredients. On the other hand, we don’t always believe that natural deodorants can get us through our longest, sweatiest days.
What if you could have the best of both worlds?
We think of a natural deodorant that allows us to sweat, but that does not allow us to feel annoying odors. The key is to find a set of deodorant ingredients that work best for you and your body chemistry!
What’s wrong with antiperspirants?
Antiperspirants are personal care products that temporarily block perspiration pores in your armpit area. Although they don’t stop all sweat from passing through, they do reduce it considerably. They can contain fragrance for fragrance or avoid fragrance altogether. Deodorants differ because they are only designed to get rid of underarm odor and not to lock in sweat for a period of time.
At first glance, antiperspirants sound good. But unless you suffer from excessive sweating (known as hyperhidrosis), you probably don’t need an antiperspirant. Sweat is also produced in order to cool the body after overheating, intense workouts or high temperatures.
Over the years, there’s also been concern about the ingredient used to clog your armpit pores: aluminum. Some research linked aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. While the research isn’t conclusive, we shouldn’t be too quick to judge these ingredients as safe either.
If you’re worried about the complexity of chemical-laden deodorants, a simplified list of deodorant ingredients might be a better option. A natural deodorant will allow you to sweat, while getting rid of body odor. They can do this by helping reduce odor-causing bacteria on your armpits with natural ingredients – so which ones should you be looking for?
Deodorant Ingredients to Look For
Look for clean deodorant ingredients that harm your body odor, but not your health. The following ingredients may support a healthy microbiome in your armpit area, while fighting unpleasant odors.
Zinc oxide is the main active ingredient in most mineral sunscreens and also has odor fighting abilities. You might be surprised to find that zinc oxide is microbial, which means it can kill bacteria. The main types of bacteria responsible for body odor are Corynebacterium spp. and Staphylococcus spp. Zinc oxide is effective against both!
Another mineral sunscreen ingredient and similar to its counterpart, titanium dioxide has antibacterial properties. Ultimately, this helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria. One caveat is to ensure that the particles are not nanometer in size – breathing in these nanoparticles could lead to lung inflammation. However, you are more at risk of inhaling these particles with powder or spray deodorants.
If you find that conventional deodorants make you blush and itch, fear no more. Clay can be a soothing ingredient for fragile armpits. In addition, its most well-known quality is absorption, whether it is oil, dirt or moisture. This is what makes it one of the best deodorant ingredients for hot summer activities!
Charcoal works the same way as clay. Its main benefit is to absorb sweat and dirt from the skin. Worried about underarm stains? The good news is that many charcoal deodorants actually dry out, so you don’t have to worry about your favorite summer dress fading. Try it Natural deodorant cream from PiperWai – it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and designed to blend easily into skin with a clear finish.
Also known as baking soda, baking soda is a food-grade ingredient that helps kill odor-causing bacteria. It can also help absorb moisture and moisture, to keep armpits dry and cool. It is a key ingredient in Native Deodoranta collection made with vegan ingredients – they even offer a plastic free deodorant line!
apple cider vinegar
Like most natural deodorant ingredients, apple cider vinegar is well known for its antibacterial properties. Not to mention that its acidic pH facilitates the growth of good bacteria and makes it more difficult for bad bacteria to proliferate. It also leaves our skin barrier intact, making it easier for our skin to fight infections.
Instead of perfumes or artificial scents, essential oils can help mask body odor while providing some skin benefits. Lavender, Peppermint, and Tea Tree have great benefits for odor control and antibacterial power. Every Carefree Deodorant offers a full line of clean deodorant scents, ranging from simple fragrance-free, sweet rose and vanilla, or fresh juniper and mint.
Deodorant ingredients to avoid
Some of the most common antiperspirant and deodorant ingredients are the ones we need to research further. But with the rise of natural deodorants, it has become easier than ever to avoid these ingredients.
As mentioned, high levels of aluminum have been linked to chronic diseases. Although research on Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer remains inconclusive at best, there may still be some risk for those who shave their armpits.
Shaving before applying an aluminum-based antiperspirant has been suggested to increase the risk of infection. Nicks and abrasions in the skin can allow chemicals and aluminum to seep into lymph nodes and potentially breast tissue, causing sparks conversation that aluminum-based deodorant ingredients can cause breast cancer. Although the link may be circumstantial, many continue to reject aluminum in deodorants for erring on the side of caution.
Triclosan is a deodorant ingredient that has been banned from antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. In 2016, the FDA decided to ban this ingredient from consumer products and healthcare facilities, citing that it was neither safe nor effective.
The FDA classifies triclosan as a pesticide. A group of 200 scientists also signed a statement, calling triclosan an endocrine disruptor. Not only is this ingredient toxic to our health, it is toxic to our environment as it bioaccumulates and threatens ocean life.
Perfume can fall under the name of “perfume”. As a deodorant ingredient, perfume is one of the most common irritants, especially for sensitive skin. Even if you’re not initially allergic to the fragrance, you may eventually develop a reaction over time. This can lead to redness, inflammation and sensitized skin.
Parabens are a class of preservatives that help inhibit the growth of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses). Although preservatives are necessary to avoid contaminated products, parabens can pose serious health risks. They can mimic estrogen in the body and potentially increase the risk of developing breast cancer. In 99% of breast cancer tissue samples, parabens were present.
Propylene glycol gives deodorant sticks their shape and feel. The problem is that it is also a potential irritant, which can lead to contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions. According Health line, contact dermatitis is “a condition that makes the skin red or inflamed after contact with an allergen or irritant”. Propylene glycol is also made from petroleum, which makes it less environmentally friendly.
Detoxification of conventional deodorants
The only downside to a natural deodorant is the process of transitioning from conventional deodorant ingredients to natural ingredients. Full disclosure: You may have to go through a period of excessive sweating and body odor before your armpits adjust.
One way to make this transition easier is to use an armpit detox recipe. This recipe also helps remove any leftover residue from antiperspirants or deodorants – residue that can linger for weeks after using a product. Check the DIY details below!
You will need:
1. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
2. Apply generously to armpits; using a face mask brush makes it easy!
3. Wait 5-20 minutes.
4. Rinse thoroughly.
5. Follow with a body moisturizer to keep your skin barrier happy and healthy.
DIY deodorant recipe
The best way to know if a product is safe for you is to prepare it at home – you know exactly what is in it and how it is prepared. If you’re scouring the web for an effective recipe, you’ve come to the right place.
You will need:
½ cup rosehip seed oil
½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
½ cup activated charcoal
20-30 drops of favorite essential oil
PRO TIP: Tea tree oil is another powerful scent that masks odors if you prefer a lighter scent than peppermint.
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add rosehip seed oil and vitamin E oil to your dry mix; stir until smooth.
3. Add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil.
4. Mix and pour the mixture into your container. Wait for your deodorant to set and solidify completely.
5. Use as needed!
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