Natural deodorants: working with nature

If you can feel yourself beginning to sweat at the very mention of phrases like “solid deodorant” or “aluminium-free” (*shudder*), and think making the switch to more natural alternatives is a job reserved for granola-munching hippies, then think again…

Sweat happens - and it doesn’t smell!

Say what?

Sweat is your body’s natural means of bringing your internal thermometer down and eliminating toxins. It’s mostly made up of water and salts - sodium, potassium, and magnesium - which are fundamental to the electrical and chemical balance of your body.

All this is not to say that body odour is just a bad dream though; living with pubescent teenagers or entering badly aired changing rooms is enough to prove that it’s real. However, it’s not the sweat itself that smells, but the bacteria on your skin that break down the acids in your sweat.

Mark Constantine, founder of Lush, explains: “B.O. is the smell of decomposing micro-organisms. The micro-organisms proliferate under the arm because it’s like a tropical jungle.”

Most antiperspirants (they’re different from deodorants) are created using aluminium compounds to try and limit the amount you sweat. In the US, they are classified by the FDA as: “a drug product applied topically that reduces the production of perspiration (sweat) at that site.” Ingredients such as aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium act like plugs to partially obstruct the orifice of the sweat gland, thereby minimising the flow of perspiration.

Freshen up: nature's way

Lush deodorants instead utilise effective ingredients that are aluminium-free to keep you feeling dry, confident and unperturbed by unwanted scents or stains, all while letting your body do its job.

This is possible because of the absorbency of powders like lycopodium powder, sodium bicarbonate, charcoal and magnesium trisilicate, which can blot up any excess moisture you release through the day. Sodium bicarbonate meets cream of tartar and magnesium carbonate in T’eo to create a naked, solid deodorant that won’t crumble on-the-go, or under the pressure of keeping you fresh. It contains juniperberry, lemongrass and tea tree oil to combat bacteria and make you smell appealingly citrusy. The base is also hand-dipped in blue wax so it’s easy to hold and apply wherever you need it.

Still not persuaded? Choosing a solid, naked bar saves on packaging, so it’s a more environmentally-friendly deodorant choice too!

Harnessing essential oils and natural ingredients that influence physical processes is also key to the Lush deodorant range. Take patchouli for example: the cooling effect it produces deters the need to perspire. According to product inventor Helen Ambrosen, its distinctive, smoky fragrance is long-wearing (“it sticks on skin and stays there for a long time”) so you smell great all day long. Patchouli is put to work in both gentle, solid Aromaco and the clean, green machine The Greeench deodorant powder.

So, there you have it. Natural deodorants are beautiful to sniff, while (ironically) not to be sniffed at…

If you’re ready to try them out, take your time. There may be an adjustment period to finding the best fit for you, particularly if you’ve been using antiperspirants. However, patience and a few more top-ups than usual in the first week or two is usually all it takes to have a no-sweat switchover. 

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