To avoid unpleasant underarm smells, people use either deodorants or antiperspirants. They’re both personal care products used to combat body odour. However, their function, ingredients, and sweat control mechanism are very different.
Antiperspirants are made to reduce sweat production by blocking sweat glands. Their active ingredients are typically aluminum-based compounds that temporarily prevent sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. They help minimize underarm wetness that contributes to body odour.
On the other hand, deodorants don’t reduce sweat production. They are formulated to neutralize or mask the odour caused by bacteria on the skin. They work to kill or inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria by masking it with fragrance.
Aluminum salts are the key active ingredients in antiperspirants. These work to form temporary gel-like plugs in the sweat glands to reduce the amount of sweat reaching the surface of the underarm. Deodorants contain a combination of ingredients that include antimicrobial agents or natural alternatives e.g.: essential oils or synthetic fragrance oils.
I personally choose not to use antiperspirants in my personal care due to concerns related aluminum exposure. While some people will say the evidence of aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorohydrate causing ill health is inconclusive, I prefer not to experiment.
Sweat itself doesn’t smell. However, when bacteria on the skin mix with the sweat, it causes an odor. Sweating is a natural and necessary bodily function for thermoregulation and toxin release, and I’ll avoid to interfere with this nature-designed process. By opting for deodorants, we can allow the body to perspire more freely while still addressing body odour.
However, not all deodorants are created equal. Commercial deodorants contain potentially harsh ingredients, such as parabens, propylene glycol, and combination of synthetic colours and fragrances that can cause irritation and allergies.
A good natural deodorant is made with simple, minimally processed ingredients from nature:
-natural butters and oils with antimicrobial properties
-botanical powders and clays to absorb moisture
-essential oils that smell good and have antibacterial properties
I formulated Nurtur Health deodorant to help control odour and treat you skin with healthy, moisturizing ingredients:
- Kaolin clay has excellent absorbent properties, which helps soak up excess moisture and keep your underarms dry. By absorbing sweat, it helps reduce the environment that promotes bacterial growth and odour. It’s an effective odour neutralizer with natural deodorizing properties, keeping your underarms smelling fresh throughout the day.
- Arrowroot powder helps absorb moisture and keep the underarms dry. It also has a soothing effect on the skin.
- Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can help combat odour-causing bacteria. It also helps moisturize the skin.
- Shea butter is known for its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It helps keep the underarm area hydrated and can soothe any irritation.
- Beeswax helps the deodorant ingredients stick together and also has skin-protecting properties.
- Cacao butter is highly moisturizing and nourishing for the underarm area, preventing dryness and promoting smoother, healthier skin. It has excellent emollient properties, meaning it forms a protective barrier on the skin's surface. It also gives the deodorant a smooth and creamy texture, making it easy to apply.
- Lavender essential oil possesses natural antibacterial properties and helps inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria on the skin. It has also been associated with relaxation and stress reduction. Its scent is often used in aromatherapy to promote a sense of calmness and tranquility.
- Patchouli essential oil has a unique, earthy, and musky aroma that helps mask or neutralize body odour. Its strong scent provides a long-lasting fragrance to combat odours throughout the day.
- Neroli essential oil is uplifting, refreshing, and calming. It provides a pleasant and long-lasting aroma, helping to mask or neutralize body odour effectively.
Deodorants applied on skin remain there all day. We don’t know the long-term effects of years of daily use and how they’ll affect us overtime, especially with combination of dozens of other products that we slather on our skin daily. I know that I personally cannot continue using the commercial deodorants.
It’s possible to use an all-natural deodorant and be odour-free at the same time!