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Does natural deodorant actually work? What are its active ingredients? And how do you make the switch? Find the answers to all your natural deodorant questions with this handy guide.
Finding a natural deodorant that works for your body can be a long and winding journey. And it’s a journey that all too often ends with a bathroom cabinet full of barely-used deodorants that irritated your skin, or just plain didn’t work.
In a sea of options, and an even bigger sea of information, finding the best natural deodorant for your body can feel impossible. That’s why we’re answering some of the world’s most common questions about natural deodorants.
Read on for a handy little guide on going natural, and finding your forever deo.
Yes, quality natural deodorants really do work. In their earliest days, natural deodorants focused on masking odour. But modern natural deodorants are specially formulated to effectively combat the bacteria that cause underarm odour. And that means they work just as well as – if not better than – synthetic products on the market.
When people first switch to natural deodorant, they’re often amazed by how well they work.
But don’t take our word for it...
“This is the BEST natural deodorant EVER!! I have even converted my son and husband - who both thought it couldn't be possible for natural ingredients to work so well! I tell everyone I know about your awesome products - keep it up, I will be a customer for life.”
Julie, Everkind Customer
No, natural deodorants don’t stop sweating. They work with your body, not against it. Some ingredients – like tapioca starch, bamboo powder, and activated charcoal – will absorb sweat, but natural ingredients won’t block your pores or inhibit your sweat glands.
A quality natural deodorant’s purpose is to effectively control the underarm bacteria, and neutralise the odour.
Just about every human sweats, but about 3% of the world's population is affected by hyperhidrosis. That means they sweat 4-5 times as much as the average person – often soaking through clothes, or leaving the hands dripping.
If you experience heavy sweating, then the clothing you choose can make a big difference. Merino is a fantastic fibre for sweating. It can absorb 30% of its weight in sweat, and wick sweat away. These clever cotton underwear tees are great, too. They come with discreet sweat pads, which create a barrier between sweat and your outer layer.
There’s a wide range of natural deodorants out there, made from an even wider range of ingredients. The most common active ingredients you’ll find are sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), magnesium hydroxide, activated charcoal, and essential oils.
Sodium bicarbonate is the gold standard for effectively controlling body odour, which makes it the active ingredient of choice for many deodorants. Sodium bicarbonate is a naturally occurring salt. At Everkind we use the naturally occurring salt, but it can also be made in a lab.
Sodium Bicarbonate creates super effective odour control by moving the underarm environment to alkaline, which stops the growth of odour-causing bacteria.
Some underarms can experience skin sensitivity to sodium bicarbonate. For these underarms, magnesium hydroxide is a great option. Like sodium bicarbonate, it also works by moving the pH of your underarm environment. It makes the underarm area alkaline so bacteria fail to thrive, and the odour is neutralised.
Magnesium hydroxide is a mineral, but can also be made by adding seawater to limestone to form magnesium oxide; then mixing the oxide with water to form magnesium hydroxide.
If you've experienced underarm irritation from trying to go natural, please reach out. We'd love to help you.
Activated charcoal can also be found in some natural deodorants. It’s used to absorb sweat and capture odour. Usually formulas mix in other active ingredients to boost performance.
Essential oils are also classed as an active ingredient against underarm bacteria. Every essential oil has different properties, which means the specific essential oil blend makes a world of difference to a natural deodorant’s overall odour control.
Not every underarm enjoys essential oils. If that's you - reach out, we're here to help.
Natural and organic might sound like pretty much the same thing, and until the 1940's they were - but no longer.
The term ‘natural’ generally includes plants and minerals found in nature. Natural ingredients, are like the vegetables in the supermarket, they're plants grown with conventional agricultural methods (i.e. synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides), but they're still plants. However, in some cases, manufacturers even call compounds that are isolated from a natural plant ingredient ‘natural.’
Unfortunately, the term 'natural' isn't regulated in New Zealand, which can cause a lot of buyer confusion.
‘Organic’ agriculture operates without those synthetics, and is focused on maintaining and improving soil and water quality, and conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. The way we figure it, that's better for you, and your world.
But like 'natural', not all things called 'organic' are organic. Which is why certification really helps. When ingredients are officially ‘certified organic,’ it means that the grower and manufacturers abide by an organic standard. The standard requires plants to be grown in soil free from prohibited chemicals, grown without harmful synthetic herbicides, fertilisers, and fungicides, and free from irradiation and GMO.
If an ingredient is ‘certified organic,’ its whole supply chain is audited annually to make sure it’s living up to this standard. So when you choose a ‘certified organic’ product, you know it’s filled with ingredients you can trust.
Natural deodorants tend to come in either a jar or a stick. If you choose a jar, you simply scoop out the recommended amount and rub it gently onto your underarms.
For people who aren’t a fan of touching their underarms, a stick might be the better choice. Most sticks come in either a plastic tube, or a purely paper-based tube that can be composted at home. A stick makes for easy, breezy application. For all-day protection, a couple of gentle swipes is usually all it takes.
You should expect a quality natural deodorant to last all day. That said, just like synthetic deodorants, if you go swimming, shower, or change the layer of clothing against your skin, you’ll need to reapply.
If you find that your natural deodorant has gone AWOL by lunchtime, then you need a better formula for your body. If this is your experience - reach out - we'd love to help you.
Switching to natural deodorant is simple. You just stop using your synthetic product, wash and dry your underarm area well, and then start with your natural product.
Generally your body shouldn't need time to adjust to the new product. It should just work. But some activated charcoal deodorant's advise a two-week transition period to achieve effective odour control.
No, you shouldn’t need to detox your underarms before making the switch. At this stage, there’s no scientific evidence to support claims that masks draw toxins from the underarm. Science tells us that sweating does this naturally.
If you've suffered underarm irritation, rather than masking it, it's best to look for the real cause. And if your deodorant isn't controlling odour, then look for one that's formulated for stronger odour control.
An acid-based mask might knock back some underarm bacteria by changing the environment, but a quality natural deodorant should be able to effectively control odour without this.
That said, if you feel like some Friday-fun, underarm detox masks are simple to DIY at home. Just mix together 1T organic apple cider vinegar, 1T bentonite clay, and 1-2T of water. Spread a thin layer on your armpits, leave for 5-10 minutes, and then wash off well. Enjoy!
There's an easy, breezy, three-step process for finding your forever natural deo.
Step 1: Pick the active ingredients that best suit your body. Always be guided by how your underarms have responded before.
Step 2: Select your favourite scent, or choose the essential oil blend best suited to your odour control needs.
Step 3: Choose the application method you love most (eg. jar or stick)
If you need a helping hand working out the best natural deodorant for you, please reach out - we're here to help!
Here at Everkind, we think you shouldn’t have to choose between your wellbeing and what works. We’ve carefully made our range of all-natural deodorants to work as well as – if not better than – their synthetic counterparts, without compromising on using quality certified organic ingredients. To find out more, shop the Everkind range, or get in touch with the team.
In her pre-mum life Amanda-Jane was an environmental lawyer. When her children were little she and her family moved to the country in a market gardening area, where they experienced first-hand the toxic impact of conventional horticulture on groundwater, land and personal health. This experience launched her on a journey to restore her family's health and find practical, truly natural solutions for everyday needs. Amanda-Jane became the founder and creator of Everkind - a body care brand strongly committed to providing body kind, people kind, planet kind essentials that work.
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