10 Natural Deodorants To Add To Your Bathroom Cabinet
If you're thinking of switching to a natural deodorant, this is what you need to know
A couple of weeks back some photogenic Aucklanders ended up in the social pages for attending a launch party. So far, so Sunday newspaper, but more unusually that event was for a deodorant.
Make what jokes you like about any excuse for a party — and it helped that the host was affable former Black Caps cricketer-turned-skincare-company founder Dion Nash — but the main beauty takeaway is that deodorants really do have pulling power too these days.
Interest in natural ones has been skyrocketing, as the clean beauty trend embeds, even in our armpits. Customers are increasingly looking to avoid artificial fragrances and the likes of parabens in their body-care products. This is one reason natural deodorants are migrating from the back shelves of health stores into boutiques and spas.
Another is long-circulating internet messages connecting aluminium in anti-perspirants with breast cancer. (The NZ Breast Cancer Foundation says: “There is no evidence to suggest that any type of deodorant or antiperspirant can cause breast cancer.”)
In any case, among the wellness conscious set, anti-perspirants (which typically contain aluminium chloride and block sweat glands to inhibit moisture release) are being ditched in favour of clean deodorants (which use natural fragrances and anti-bacterial agents ranging from baking soda, powders and clays to coconut oil to disguise odours and impair their formation).
As Dion from Triumph & Disaster puts it: “We don’t stop sweat, our ethos is to work with the body’s natural flow to limit excess moisture and control the aromas created through the excretion.”
Following nature’s way isn’t always a straight path. That is because for those who have long used anti-perspirants to suppress sweat, there can be a noticeable initial change in the armpit environment — it’s microbiome to use the “in” expression — when bacteria counts fluctuate.
Some say this is “detoxing” chemical build-up, but it’s simply an adjustment phase. During this transition time some people find they get a bit whiffy. Persevere until your pits settle down or experiment with different products to find what suits you best. They vary greatly in effectiveness and type.
Although some people are happy to stick their fingers into jars to apply creams and pastes, others find this messy. Crystal stones and sticks which may require wetting are another choice, but can drag on skin. Roll-on or mist-on products are popular due to their familiarity.
1. Little Mango Natural Deodorant in Geranium $18
One of the most popular pastes, this creamy New Zealand-made vegan mix is non-gritty and uses botanical butters, coconut oil and baking soda, with tapioca to soak up wetness. The trick is to rub it in well and choose the right scent from five for your taste. Littlemango.co.nz
2. The Herb Farm Fresh Natural Deodorant $14
This roll-on contains mineral-rich Himalayan salts to fight odours and antibacterial echinacea and calendula plant extracts. The aroma is from orange, ylang ylang and lime essential oils, with an Active choice, being more woody. Herbfarm.co.nz
3. Triumph & Disaster Spice Deodorant $30
With a pleasing bespoke fragrance of frankincense, bay leaf and clove, this good new unisex local choice uses calming botanicals and baking soda to ease perspiration and neutralise odour. Triumphanddisaster.com
4. Aesop Herbal Spray-on Deodorant $40
The key active ingredient is a zinc salt used to inhibit bacteria proliferation without blocking sweat glands like aluminium does. Rosemary, sage and appropriate for an Australian product, eucalyptus, make up the fresh fragrance. There’s a roll on version too. Aesop.com/nz
5. Kaia Naturals Deodorant in Rose $39
Newly arrived from Canada, this well-regarded brand uses activated charcoal, rather than baking soda, to help suck-up sweat. There’s woody, citrus and floral fragrance choices. Kaia also makes an Underarm Bar to ease transitioning to natural deodorants. For stockists, ph 0800 223288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Freedom Lavender Citrus Deodorant $29
Food-grade (but not vegan) ingredients in this stick deodorant with kaolin clay, tapioca starch, baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. A little goes a long way. There’s also an unscented version for those with sensitive skins. Biddyandmay.co.nz
7. Black Chicken Axilla $24
This vegan paste is a top seller for the Oh Natural website and is listed with others of this type, including Skin Juice and Soapwalla. The site also has an informative blog from its founder. Apply a pea-sized amount and rub in. A sensitive version contains less baking soda, because this ingredient can irritate some skins. Ohnatural.co.nz
8. True Organic Of Sweden Undercover Agent Deodorant $27
Made from a solid moulded lump of crystallised alum (a mineral salt), this vegan roll-on comes in a glass bottle and is lightly scented with Cypress and Ho leaf oils. From Biddyandmay.co.nz
9. Hunter Lab Natural Deodorant $45
Joboja oils and shea butter form a protective layer and help absorb sweat and neutralise odour. The first smell that hits you is the American men’s brand’s signature scent of rum-essence and citrus essential oils, with hints of vanilla. For stockists, ph 0800 223288 or email@example.com
10. Weleda Pomegranate Deodorant $15.90
This Natrue certified European brand promises round-the-clock effect from its roll-on with a lush and fruity fragrances. Weleda also makes a citrus roll-on and one for men with a woody herbal aroma, plus a rose scented spray. From health stores and selected pharmacies or see Weleda.co.nz
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