When it comes to natural deodorant, we all basically want the same thing: odor killing potential and naturally derived ingredients - you know, ingredients that you could look at and actually recognize them. Those that have made the switch to a natural deodorant know that it is definitely possible to get the same effectiveness out of a natural product as one can expect from the commercially processed versions....only without the health risks.
This article is intended for those thinking about making the switch to a natural deodorant or those that have tried some, haven't had success and are looking for a natural deodorant that works.
Ingredients to avoid
The very first thing to consider when looking for a natural deodorant that works is the ingredients the product is made out of. Your choice of natural deodorant must have ingredients that are 1) safe and 2) effective. Well, what exactly does that mean? First of all, it means the deodorant cannot have aluminum of any form in it.
While aluminum is the most prevalent mineral in the Earth's crust, it is also a neurotoxin and not utilized by any living organism for any biological purpose. For more information on why aluminum in your deodorant is a bad thing, you can read about it in our other blog post on the topic. You will find some brands that "green wash" their ingredients list with unnatural products that sound natural, such as potassium alum which is "natural" if you consider it comes from the ground but it's still a type of aluminum. Unfortuneately, you'll find potassium alum in both The Crystal and Tom's of Maine. Avoid aluminum in your deodorant at all costs.
Some other ingredients you'll want to avoid in your natural deodorant are things like propylene glycol, simple alcohols and fragrance.
Propylene glycol historically has been used in the cosmetics industry as a solvent or preservatives but there is a growing amount of research coming out that suggests it's toxic and should not be used.
Simple alcohols on the surface seems pretty logical just based off the fact that we use alcohol to kill bacteria and so why not use it to kill off the bacteria in your pits? Well, it causes mild irritation and while this may not be the case for some, if you're trying to use products what are good for you and don't cause irritation, alcohol is one of those ingredients you'll want to avoid.
Fragrance is relevant because it can be irritating to some people, causing migraines and lung irritation in people that have asthma. Even if fragrances don't bother you, they may still effect those around you. If you can avoid them, all the better.
What DO you want in a natural deodorant that works?
Alright, so we've established that you don't want aluminum and some other harmful ingredients in your natural deodorant so, what do you want? For a natural deodorant to work, it has to have ingredients that actually reduce odor. Here are a few that work: Coconut oil, baking soda and zinc oxide.
Coconut oil is probably the most common ingredient you'll find in a natural deodorant. It provides decent stability to the product with glide upon application. The star compund in coconut oil however, is lauric acid which is great at killing odor-causing bacteria. Of course for those who are allergic to coconut oil will need to find a product that doesn't contain it - they're out there but your options are a bit limited.
Baking soda...the old Arm & Hammer box we keep in our refrigerator to keep odors down in there. The idea is the same in a natural deodorant that works. Baking soda is effective because it neutralizes so many odor causing types of bacteria by raising the pH of the environment creating an inhospitable place to live for a stinky, BO causing bacteria. Baking soda can be a bit of a problem for those with sensitive skin. It's a good idea to test out a small amount of the deodorant in the crook of your elbow before you jump right in and swipe it all over your pits thinking the world is gonna be great now.
Zinc oxide was actually an active ingredient in the first deodorant ever, Mum. It can be very effective because it can convert the fatty acids in sweat that body odor causing bacteria have a feast on into zinc salts...which they don't like. One study even showed that zonc oxide was three times better at reducing odor than aluminum chlorohydrate, a common ingredient in commercial antiperspirants.
Types of Natural Deodorants
Because they vary in their ratios of ingredients, deodorants come in different forms, most commonly, sticks and creams.
For those switching from the tradional stick-style, commercial deodorants, you'll probably want the same experience out of your natural deodorant and want to stick with a stick (pun intended). The consistency and application experience can vary between brands with some being soft and more goopy and others being much more firm.
Those wanting a completely different experience and who dont think armpits are gross, there is the jar/cream option. With this style, you'll either apply the product directly to your pits with your fingers or with an application stick. It is a very different experience but they offer the same effectiveness of the stick forms.
Natural vs. Organic
There are companies that only source their ingredients from organic means and those who don't. You'll have to decide what's important to you and what you're willing to pay for in your natural deodorant. Organic products will generally cost more.
If you're looking for a natural deodorant that works, expect to pay much more than you do on a commercial deodorant. Natural ingredients are more expensive to source and are often purchased in smaller quantities than the chemicals of major commercial manufacturers. If you deem the quality and peace of mind to be important enough to make the switch or to stick with natural products, you can expect to pay $7-25 for a natural deodorant that works.
If you're new to natural deodorant, there are some things you should expect when making the switch. Check out our blog on making the switch to learn more.
A Natural Deodorant that works!
Full disclousure... we wrote this blog and so, naturally we're going to plug our product. Natural deodorants are for the most part, pretty similar. They're going to vary a little in formula ratios and a few ingredients but basically they're all oil based products with natural odor killing ingredients. Finding one that drastically stands out from the others can be both confusing and difficult. Enter Green Theory Natural Probiotic Deodorant.
If you didn't click the link for our ingredients, here they are: Beeswax, arrowroot powder (absorbs moisture), Shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, baking soda, bentonite clay, vitamin E oil, probiotics and essential oils for frarance.
You'll notice there are two ingredients on the list that help Green Theory stand out and add value from other products on the market: Probiotics and bentonite clay.
We add probiotics to our deodorant because there are only a few types of bacteria that produce "thioalcohols" which are responsible for body odor. By adding a bunch of bacteria to the armpit environment that dont produce odor, those probiotics outcompete the bad bacteria for living space, giving you long lasting odor fighting potential. In fact, a number of our customers have told us they have forgotten to apply deodorant for a day and never even noticed!
Bentonite clay is a volcanic ash which on the surface probably seems a little weird to include it in a deodorant so why do we? Well, the amazing thing about bentonite clay is that when it contacts water (think sweat), it changes it's electrical charge and thus attracts toxins out of the body! All those toxic chemicals from commercial deodorant and the environment that you come into contact with now have an added gate they need to pass through. You get healthier just by wearing your Green Theory deodorant each day because of its ability to help detoxify you!
Green Theory offers a wide variety of scents for you to try. We have Daily Wear collections with more unique, neutral, everyday scents made entirely of natural ingredients and essential oils. Our Evening Wear and After Dark collections are matched to perfumes and colognes for those moments where commanding attention is desired.