Most of us use deodorant as second nature. Even on the sleepiest mornings, we’ll instinctively stumble over to our bedside tables to spray or roll on an instant freshener to keep us going throughout the day - it’s a basic part of grooming, and without it we often feel uncomfortable, or like our routines are somehow incomplete.
However, despite their status as mainstays of the bathroom cabinet or bedroom shelf, traditional deodorants can be potentially harmful. Their effectiveness at keeping us feeling (and smelling) fresh and clean for hours comes at a possible cost, as many of even the most trusted products contain harmful chemicals such as aluminium and parabens.
Aluminium-based compounds are usually the active ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants. They are used in these formulas to block the sweat glands, stopping perspiration from reaching the skin’s surface. Research has suggested that these compounds can be absorbed by the skin, which can sometimes prompt allergic reactions and reportedly contributes to the cause of illnesses as severe as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Parabens are also linked with breast cancer, and research is currently being undertaken to clarify the strength of this link. Parabens mimic the behaviour of oestrogen in the body, and as an excess of oestrogen is connected with the development of breast cancer (which most commonly emerges in the underarm area), they are probably to be avoided.
We’re happy to report that there are a number of alternatives to traditional, off-the-shelf spray or roll on deodorants which don’t contain any nasties, and we’re even happier to be a stockist of one! Introducing The Natural Deodorant Company, a UK-based company producing chemical-free, all-natural deodorants which, best of all, actually work. Company founder Laurie was inspired to create The Natural Deodorant Co. after trying and failing to find a natural deodorant which was as effective as chemical alternatives: “I worked in the beauty industry for many years prior to having my children, and shortly before falling pregnant I started to pay a lot more attention to the products I was using - which was quite an eye-opener! I made the switch to natural products quickly after that, but always struggled to find a deodorant that kept me fresh on gym days, so it seemed logical to make one myself,” she says.
Like us, Laurie had a number of concerns with the contents of traditional deodorants - “They often contain toxins such as parabens, aluminium and propylene glycol,” she notes. “There are more than 20 lymph nodes in the armpit, and a high concentration of hair follicles and sweat glands, so applying potentially toxic chemicals onto that skin every day is problematic. Conventional antiperspirants also contain a substance that ‘blocks’ sweat from being released, which is not ideal either as sweating is a crucial part of our body’s natural ability to release toxins.”
The Natural Deodorant Co. works in total opposition to these types of formulas - their Clean Deodorant Balms contain only natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients, allowing the body to perspire naturally whilst deodorising effectively all day. “Even if you commute on the tube, go to the yoga studio and climb five flights of stairs - our deodorants promise to keep you fresh,” Laurie says. The Balms are creamy and melt seamlessly into the skin, and contain coconut oil due to its anti-microbial and nourishing properties.
Clean Deodorant Balms come in a number of scents, two of which (Lemon and Geranium and Vanilla and Manuka) are now in stock both in the salon and online. Each fragrance combination, crafted from essential oils (selected for their anti-bacterial properties) has been specially considered - the range offers something for everyone, and all of its products are neatly and sustainably packaged in a small glass jar, too.
With exciting new products coming next year, we can’t wait to see what The Natural Deodorant Company do next - but for now, we’ll settle for being proud stockists of such innovative new products which offer a viable all-natural alternative to traditional deodorant formulas.
Cover image: Tumblr.com
Words: Lauren O’Neill