The ‘Natural’ Deodorant Challenge....

This article is a look at some of the common ingredients in personal care and specifically deodorants, how this can potentially knock your body off balance and make conception of a healthy baby harder. We also look at some of the brands out there that claim to offer a ‘clean’ solution and whether or not they actually work and are as ‘clean’ as they claim to be.

When it comes to keeping your hormones in balance one thing you have to watch is what you put on your skin, particularly if you’re putting it on every day or even several times a day.

The reality is the beauty and personal care industry is highly unregulated - click here for much more - and when you take a look at many of the commonly used ingredients you realise that these can have a potentially disruptive effect on our hormones.

Not what you want at any time, but particularly not if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or are a rapidly growing little person.

Some of the worst culprits are actually labelled with phrases like ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘vegan’ which can at best mean very little when it comes to keeping our bodies in balance and avoiding potentially harmful ingredients and at worst can lull someone (who may want to be healthy) into a false sense of security.

One item most of us wear every day that has been found to have many undesirable ingredients in? Deodorants.

So, we decided to test out a few ‘natural’ brands. Assessing three main characteristics:

  1. The ingredients: are there any hidden nasties

  2. Does it actually work? (‘Natural deodorants of the past often left us smelling somewhat less than desirable)

  3. Ease of application (as let's face it, we are all busy and want quick and easy)

Here’s what we found:

Roll-On Cream Deo (Coconut) by Urtekram:

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This was the first we tried and actually came last - here’s why:

Ingredients: this one fell at the first hurdle and is actually a great example of how labelling can be misleading. This one is ‘certified organic’ and ‘100% natural origin’ despite that, when you look at what is inside you see ‘parfum’ aka. Phthalates which are known ‘endocrine disruptors’ aka they knock your hormones off balance. Now, the manufacturer will claim that it is in such small amounts that it won't have an effect, but the truth is a) we don't know what is a ‘safe amount’ and b) if you’re using this every day (even more than once a day in some cases) you cannot rule out it not having an effect, particularly as on average our skin absorbs 70% of what is put on it. Perhaps this is fine if you’re not either trying for a baby or pregnant but we just like to avoid - particular as there are great alternatives now out there…

Does it actually work? Yes, it worked all day.

Ease of application: easy roll on.

Final verdict: 5/10 the reason it scored badly here is because of the added fragrance.

Clean Deodorant Balm: Lemon and Geranium: by the Natural Deodorant Co:

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Ingredients: Does well here. More ingredients than the eventual winner, but no nasties and actually the pleasant fragrance is from essential oils.

Does it actually work?: Yes, although (personal taste only caveat) we didn't love the scent.

Ease of application: this is where it falls down a bit as the balm is a bit messy when it comes to application.

Final Verdict: great on the ingredient front, no preservatives or nasties and a genuinely natural fragrance vs the fact that the others are scent free (albeit the scent wasn’t to our personal taste) the only downside is the application vs the others which is a bit messy: 7/10

Coconut Vanilla: Natural Deodorant Balm by Native Unearthed:

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Ingredients: very strong here as it only has five ingredients and a natural scent from vanilla pods and coconut oil, we also really liked the smell.

Does it actually work? Yes

Ease of application: as with the previous, the fact it is a balm is unfortunately a bit trickier and loses it points. It is messy and not ideal if you’re super rushed. Is the only reason for points being deducted as otherwise we loved it. 7.5/10

Natural Deodorant: Grapefruit & Rose by Ku.tis

Ingredients: No nasties and extra bonus points for being plastic free in terms of the packaging.

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Does it actually work? Yes

Ease of application: Simple push up roll on.

Final Verdict: Joint runner up. Scoring well on ingredients, packaging and ease of use. The only reason it didn't win is because the winner has fewer ingredients and because the scent wasn’t our taste. Otherwise did well and would try others from this brand. 8.5/10

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Sensitive Scent-Free Deodorant: by Green-People:

Ingredients: Quite a few ingredients but no major nasties - 89% certified organic.

Does it actually work? Yes, all day.

Ease of application: very easy. Simple roll on. Zero mess.

Final verdict: This one did well and I would absolutely use it again, it actually came joint runner up - with the only negative being that vs the winner, it had more ingredients (we always like to go with as few as possible). 8.5/10

Fresh Kidz: Fragrance Free Deodrant: by KeepitKind

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Ingredients: like the Green People brand above it has no major nasties but does have quite a few ingredients.

Does it actually work? Yes

Ease of application: very easy. Simple roll on and zero mess.

Final Verdict: the other join runner up. Just like the Green People brand it scored very highly, we just would have liked fewer ingredients which the winner achieved. Tough competition here! 8.5/10

Effective Natural Deodorant Unscented Classic: by Salt of the Earth

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Ingredients: this one was by far the best when it comes to ingredients with only two: Potassium and Alum (a natural mineral salt). No fragrance, no aluminium, chlorohydrate, alcohol, Parabens or Triclosan. Well done!

Does it actually work? Yes.

Ease of application: this is the only slight negative to prevent a score of ‘perfect 10’. It is in a roll on stick, the only slight faff (stress on slight) is that they ask you to wet the stick, apply it and then dry the stick after. Not too much of a drama but ever so slightly more work than some of the simple roll ones.

Final verdict: ***** The winner! **** The fact that it has such few ingredients and actually works is the main reason why this one wins with a score of 9/10.

Ultimately what is nice to see is that vs a few years ago there is now a lot of choice of products that genuinely work and are genuinely conscious when it comes to ingredients. However, the one that came with added fragrance is a good reminder that if you are going to bother with a ‘natural’ deodorant it is worth really checking the ingredients. Good news all around and we genuinely found it hard to pick a winner - hence the three joint runners up!