You might have noticed a lot of talk in the health & beauty industry about natural deodorants. More and more brands are coming out with their offerings, presenting these products as better alternatives to traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. The key selling point of natural deodorants is that they only contain natural ingredients, cutting out any chemicals or potentially harmful substances.
Hold on a second, are you saying there are dangerous things in regular deodorants? Well, the main concern is aluminium, which is a metal that is found in a lot of deodorant products. More accurately, it is found in antiperspirant deodorants, as it’s the main ingredient to help prevent people from sweating. So, natural deodorants get rid of this, seemingly making them a better alternative for your overall wellbeing.
This is how natural deodorants are marketed but are they actually better for you?
Fewer Chemicals On Your Skin
Look at the list of ingredients on the back of your deodorant right now. It’s something you’re probably not done before, so you’ll be surprised at how many things go into this small product. Not only that, but you’ll also be surprised at how many chemicals are present. Most ingredient lists are impossible to read as all the names are long chemicals!
By comparison, natural deodorants contain fewer chemicals and fewer ingredients. In fact, you can even find things like manuka oil to use as a DIY natural deodorant. There are plenty of manuka oil benefits for your skin, one of which is that it has antibacterial properties, meaning it can fight off the bacteria that causes body odour. As such, you can literally dab some of this under your arms and use it as deodorant, meaning no chemicals touch your skin at all.
The benefit of this is that chemicals can cause irritation. Even if the deodorant isn’t an antiperspirant, it can still lead to itchy underarms, bumps on the skin, and so on. By using a natural alternative, you can at least give your skin a kinder treatment.
As mentioned earlier, aluminium is the big elephant in the room here. It’s an active ingredient in antiperspirants, meaning it isn’t present in all deodorants. The reason it exists is that it inhibits the sweat glands under your arms. This means that it stops you from sweating as much as you normally would. As a result, these types of deodorants are extremely popular as people look for ways to combat daily sweating.
You see, a deodorant without an ingredient like aluminium will not be able to prevent sweat. It can mask the smell of body odour, but that’s all it does. Unfortunately, there have been links between aluminium and an increased chance of developing breast cancer or Alzheimer’s. However, when you take a deeper look into these ideas, it’s not as simple as it seems. Most studies into both areas report there is no conclusive evidence to support either statement. Science suggests that using aluminium deodorants can lead to an increase in aluminium salts within your body. However, there is no clear and obvious evidence to suggest that this will cause major health problems.
It leaves you in a very tricky situation. There’s no evidence right now, but who knows if someone will make a discovery and find a link in the future? Should you carry on using your old antiperspirant or switch to one without aluminium? For now, we can say there’s no concrete evidence that using aluminium deodorants will lead to breast cancer or other harmful health conditions.
Potentially Less Effective
One possible downside of natural deodorants is that they can’t be as effective as traditional ones. Yes, they can do an excellent job of covering up odours and making you smell nice. However, depending on the brand you use, the effects don’t always last for that long.
Additionally, see the previous point on antiperspirants and aluminium. Natural deodorants will struggle to provide an antiperspirant effect because they don’t include aluminium. So, if you’re someone who sweats a lot, this might not be the right option for you.
Better For The Environment
While this has nothing to do with your health, it’s still something to take into consideration. Natural deodorants tend to be a lot better for the environment. This is down to two main reasons, the first of which is that natural deodorants use better ingredients. They’re also easier to make, so the impact from a manufacturing perspective is lessened.
Furthermore, most natural deodorant brands are eco-friendly. They’re offered as a solution to the problem of traditional deodorants. Using roll-on deodorants or sprays is bad for the environment as they’re impossible to recycle and can directly contribute to pollution. With natural alternatives, you usually have recyclable or reusable packaging. So, if you’re talking about which is better from an eco-friendly perspective, natural deodorants win.
Should You Switch To A Natural Deodorant?
In conclusion, are natural deodorants better for you, and should you switch to one? The answer is that they technically aren’t that much better for you. Well, they can be kinder on your skin, and many people with sensitive skin issues will be better off choosing a natural option – even if it is literally just oil of some kind. But, in terms of your overall health and wellbeing, there’s no evidence to suggest that traditional deodorants are actually bad for you. Yes, they contain more chemicals, but this doesn’t mean you have to stop using them.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. Perhaps you could try a natural deodorant and see how your body reacts to it. If you smell fine and have no issues sweating, it makes sense to go natural just to put fewer chemicals on your skin and to choose a more environmentally friendly option. Likewise, if you need to use aluminium antiperspirants because you sweat a lot, you can do so with the knowledge that you aren’t damaging your health and wellbeing.
Of course, you can always choose to wear no deodorant whatsoever. If you manage this without smelling, then you’re the envy of everyone.