If you’re hoping to make the switch to natural deodorant, there’s good news. What used to be a small market is expanding, and there are a lot of natural options out there. The reason for this? Shifting consumer trends.
“Consumers in the US are showing greater preference towards natural and organic products, especially in the personal care product segment,” says Vijay Sarathi, a cosmetics and toiletry industry analyst. “Deodorant manufacturers have been quick to capitalize on this trend.”
Why Natural Deodorant?
So natural deodorant is becoming more trendy. But why? What reasons do people cite for ditching their old deodorant brands and switching to something natural?
The first reason is simple: people care about what they’re putting in and on their bodies, and they want the ingredients in their deodorant to be safe. Even though deodorant goes on the skin, blood samples have shown that some ingredients in antiperspirants can go through the skin and be absorbed into the body. So that chemical on the ingredient label that you’re feeling iffy about might not just be on the surface of your skin.
Some ingredients that natural-minded consumers are increasingly trying to avoid include aluminum, triclosan, phthalates, fragrance, and parabens.
Parabens – Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, and ethylparaben are a “family of related chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold, in order to protect both the products and consumers.”
Parabens have historically been found in makeup and beauty products, including deodorant. Concern over the presence of parabens in cosmetic products began following a 2004 study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology. The study found that in-tact parabens could be found and extracted from cancerous human breast tissue, and thus touted a link between parabens and breast cancer.
Many scientists dispute this claim, citing that the study does not do enough to prove a link between parabens and breast cancer. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute state that there is “not conclusive evidence” linking the two. Still, lab evidence does suggest that “combining different parabens with human cells creates activity that may contribute to the development of cancer,” and since the completion of the 2004 study, consumers have been more wary of the ingredients in the deodorant.
What Ingredients Are in Natural Deodorant?
If natural deodorant avoids parabens, aluminum, triclosan, phthalates, and fragrance, what does it contain? Of course this depends on the brand, but natural deodorant uses plant-based ingredients to help you smell good. Some common ingredients include:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Orange Essential Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Magnesium Chloride
- Rosemary Extract
- Activated Charcoal
- Tapioca starch
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Baking Soda*
- Shea Butter
- Cocoa Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Vitamin E Oil
*Some people find baking soda irritating, so if you are sensitive, choose a natural deodorant without baking soda
Does Natural Deodorant Work?
There is good news for those who want to use a deodorant without chemicals, but still want to smell good: the more natural deodorant there is on the market, the higher the quality is. In other words, natural deodorants work better than you might think.
Like most other deodorants, you can find natural deodorant as a stick, roll-on, or spray, and in formulas targeting both men and women.
For those who prefer to go scent-free, even with natural deodorant, Home Health sells an Herbal Magic Roll-On Deodorant that is unscented.
If you’re someone who loves your spray deodorant, there are options for you as well. Weleda’s Wild Rose Deodorant comes in a non-aerosol spray formula.