This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
Body odour is an issue of the past with all the anti-perspirants, wicking fabrics, fabric refreshers, easy-wash clothing and quick showers. However, as this summer heatwave has proven we all still need a little more help with the underarm area as going ‘au naturel’ is simply not an option. With all the studies showing anti-perspirants with aluminium are not good for you I now look at the natural deodorants on offer.
As with so many other modern conveniences that were invented post war we are now finding they are either not so healthy for us, or for the environment. This is the case with anti-perspirants.
First off it is important to know the difference between a deodorant and an anti-perspirant as they are two different things.
The former uses aluminium salts to plug pores and stop sweating, while the latter simply disperses or covers up body odour. For that reason, many aluminium-free deodorants don’t help with sweating, but they do help stop bacteria from breaking down sweat and releasing body odour.
We must all have read that the anti-perspirants containing aluminium plug the sweat ducts. Also the aluminium can easily be absorbed into the skin. There have also been medical studies showing that whilst these anti-perspirants reduce sweating, they can be potentially dangerous. We need to sweat to rid our body of toxins and to regulate our body temperature.
Switching to an all-natural deodorant without the aluminium-based compound and just the pleasant scent of deodorant sounds appealing – but can they actually work?
It turns out there’s a lot of calculation behind creating an aluminium-free deodorant that’ll stop odour rather than simply mask it. “A number of different ingredients can help reduce sweating without stopping it completely,” explains Dr Simon Jackson, founder of botanical brand Modern Botany and creator of the first natural antiperspirant.
“Antibacterial essential oils like eucalyptus and lemon tea tree ward off bacteria, therefore eliminating odour. Astringents like witch hazel and tannins dry out the underarms and reduce pore size. Aluminium definitely isn’t necessary.”
So I asked some of my friends who are using natural deodrants which ones work for them and below are the results.
Pure eucalyptus is renowned for its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, making it the perfect ingredient for use in a deodorant. The fragrance is not too strong and it really does work. There is a small size that can be slipped into your handbag if you need a further application during the day. This was one of the most favoured natural deodorants.
AURELIA BOTANICAL CREAM DEODORANT:
This is a cream so you apply it with your fingers which a lot of people are not so keen on. The fragrance of eucalyptus is mild and very pleasant. It works well keeping body odour at bay
This alcohol-free formula uses zinc, wasabi and sage leaf to combat bacteria with an earthy scent. Aesop’s classic brown glass protects the product inside from UV rays, lessening their use of preservatives. This was the one that my husband also started to use as the spray is a light mist and it is very refreshing.
URBAN OUTFITTERS OHII PURE STICK DEODORANT
If you are trying to get your teenagers to use a natural deodorant then this one from Urban Outfitters will appeal. Not only does the pale mint packaging evoke seriously calm, cool and clean vibes – the formula does, too. The charcoal base absorbs moisture and wards off bacteria, while the citrus and tea scent keeps everything fresh and fragrant. Oh, and it’s vegan too.
MEOW MEOW DEODORANT GRAPEFRUIT:
This deodorant is completely different. First of all it is baking soda free – this gentle formula foregoes the common ingredient and uses arrow root powder to absorb sweat and coconut oil to keep pits smooth. Secondly the packaging is completely bio-degradable so zero waste. It is currently out of stock however that is due to demand and I am assured that it will be back in stock very soon.
WELEDA CITRUS DEODORANT:
Unlike other natural deodorants, this one comes in a spray and uses pure essential oils to mask odours. It’s free from synthetic preservatives and fragrances, colourants, and raw materials derived from mineral oils. I personally loved this one as the fragrance appealed to me and yet it was not overpowering. I don’t like it when my deodorant smell interferes with the perfume that I wear. It is also available in a roll-on.
MODERN BOTANY DEODORANT:
This is the deodorant from Dr Simon Jackson, founder of botanical brand Modern Botany and creator of the first natural antiperspirant. It is a multi-fuctional natural deodorant, body mist and scent. It’s anti-microbial, astringent and deodorising actives naturally counteract underarm bacteria, whilst neutralising underarm odour. The formula combines powerful key ingredients that form a synergy to deliver reduced perspiration and a fresh gender neutral scent.
Another one that my other half was happy to use. He said it was the one that worked the best for him as there was no stain on his clothes and it kept him odour free all day even during the heatwave. It might be the most expensive but it seemed to last the longest and the glass bottle meant one can see when it needs replacing.
NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES LAVENDER & ALOE VERA DEODORANT:
This natural deodorant uses extract of alpine moss to fight the bacteria that cause odor. Cleansing organic Essential Oils of Lavender, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang are teamed with aloe vera, which is renowned for its cooling and soothing properties.