If you’re switching over to a natural deodorant, you’re likely doing it for the sake of your health, so it’s important to keep in mind that not all natural deodorants are created equally. I spent many years (and lots of money) trying to find a natural deodorant that worked, without much success. So, I decided to make my own!
After lots of research and many tries, we got it right and Apothekari’s Natural Deodorants were born. Ingredients really matter, affecting both the safety and effectiveness of a formulation. I’ve done the investigating so that you don’t have to. Here are 9 ingredients – both good and bad – to help you decide whether a deodorant is worth considering or whether you should give it a miss. Ready? Let’s go!
First, Look for Naturally Safe & Effective Ingredients
Deodorants work differently compared to anti-perspirants. Anti-perspirations contain aluminum and are designed to block sweat glands, which stop perspiration, and the resulting body odor. There’s been some controversy over the use of aluminum (more on that below) so people are making the switch over to a deodorant. Deodorants, like Apothekari Natural Deodorants are aluminum-free and made with ingredients that help to neutralize odor, keep skin pH at a level that minimizes irritation or the development of odor causing bacteria and, mask odor. Here are the most effective ones to consider:
- Saccharomyces Ferment. This enzyme rich solution helps to neutralize the smell of malodourous substances (like body odor)
- Lactic Acid (and other mild acids). Helps to condition skin and maintain a skin friendly pH
- Skin Soothing Ingredients. Ingredients like allantoin, aloe and shea butter help to nourish, soothe and heal your skin.
- Essential Oils. Essential oils may help to prevent bacterial growth that leads to odor, neutralize body odor, or keep you smelling fresh.
Skip the Unhealthy Ingredients
As important as seeking out ingredients that work, there are some that you should pass on. Some may help to control odor, but they can also irritate or damage skin. Avoid these wherever possible:
- Kaolin Clay. You’ll find kaolin clay in many deodorants to help absorb moisture. Sounds great in principle, but not as safe as you may think. Kaolin clay’s chemical formula is Al2Si2O5(OH)4 , containing a rather significant amount of Aluminum (!) - just the ingredient you’re trying to avoid by making the switch to a deodorant.
- Baking Soda. Baking soda is an effective odor neutralizer. But, we’d limit its use to fridges. Baking soda’s high pH (between 8 and 9) is very skin unfriendly. Our skin is slightly acidic and happiest around a pH of about 5. Push the pH higher for prolonged periods and the result is red, dry, irritated and very angry skin.
- If you’re avoiding aluminum due to health concerns or a sensitivity, you’re not alone. As discussed above, skip the kaolin clay if you’re concerned about safety. Although aluminum has been linked with Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer, the data shows that there is no significant risk. Is aluminum completely safe, then? Not at all! Aluminum comes with other side effects including staining your clothes yellow plus causing itchiness and skin sensitivity.
- Regulatory bodies like the FDA and Health Canada, consider the use of these preservatives to be both safe and effective in food and skincare products. However, some studies have shown that they mimic the hormone estrogen, which has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems. Many scientists conclude that this risk is so small that it’s not of concern, but there is some research that suggests we need to study them more carefully. Until we know for certain, all Apothekari products, including our natural deodorant, are paraben-free, relying the use on alternative preservative systems to keep your skincare products safe.
pH Matters. It Really Does
pH. pH isn’t an ingredient, I know, but it’s worth a discussion when it comes to deodorant ingredients.
Getting a bit science-y here, but pH stands for ‘potential to free hydrogen ions’. The most important thing to take away is that pH measures how acidic or alkaline a solution is on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral; above 7 is high (alkaline) and below 7 is low (acidic). Your skin’s surface is covered by a thin, protective layer called the acid mantle, which helps to keep harmful ingredients out and beneficial ingredients (moisture, enzymes, fatty acids, etc.) in. It likes to sit at a pH of 4.5-5.5.
When you disrupt the acid mantle, it leaves your skin open to injury. That’s why it’s so important to avoid harsh, irritating ingredients like baking soda and strong soaps. Both are highly alkaline and disrupt your skin’s pH, putting it at for risk infection and irritation. Apothekari’s Natural Deodorants are formulated to at a skin friendly pH, helping to keep you smelling fresh and clean, without risking your health.
Start 2021 on the right foot by choosing a TRULY safe, effective & healthy natural deodorant. Natural deodorants work differently for different body chemistries, so you may need to try a few before you find one that’s right for you. I hope that this information helps!
Sharmani Pillay is a pharmacist and the founder of Apothekari Skincare. She brings a passion for wellness and more than 30 years of pharmacy experience (with 15 in the skincare industry), to creating high-performance skincare products that are made with time-tested and proven ingredients, combined with the best technology. Her wish is to supercharge your skin’s health, making it look and feel better, without any overwhelm. In addition to geeking out on everything related to health, Sharmani loves hot yoga, travel and cooking, and is always on the lookout for a splendid sunset.
About Apothekari Skincare
Based in Vancouver, BC, Apothekari Skincare makes naturally safe and active skincare products for beautiful & healthy skin. Apothekari’s skin friendly formulations contain high concentrations of ingredients that are designed to deliver results, while avoiding those that are known to be problematic. The line is free from parabens, formaldehyde, aluminum, synthetic colorants & fragrances, phthalates, baking soda, sodium lauryl sulfate & sodium laureth sulfate, and free from animal testing.