Keep your armpits odour-free naturally, without the nasties!
If, like many of us, you’re trying to help clean up our environment and make better choices for our world (one reusable coffee cup at a time), then chances are you’ve thought about what you can do to take greater care of yourself too. So why not make the switch to a natural deodorant?
Brands have been experimenting with different formulations for natural non-toxic deodorants for a while now, and awareness for more natural, eco-alternatives has never been higher. But making the switch isn’t quite as simple as you may first think. We’ve all had a post-holiday detox (a mind, body and soul cleanse after a week or so of overindulgence) well, believe it or not, your underarms need the same. They’ll go through a transition period as they adjust to their new, all natural, environmentally-friendly way of odour-free life.
To help with this process (and may we just say well done for taking the leap!), we’ve compiled a list of the good, the bad and the ugly about using natural deodorants, a well as a list of our favourite products (available here in Hong Kong) to help you take the next step to a cleaner, brighter future.
- Say goodbye to harmful ingredients!
Let’s begin with the positive impact making the swap will have on your health. Natural and botanical-based formulas don’t contain any chemicals or ingredients that have been linked to health issues. There are constant ongoing studies suggesting that the use of aluminium-based antiperspirants may increase the risk of developing Alzheimers later in life, along with suggestions of a possible connection to breast cancer. The reason why? The aluminium compounds found in antiperspirants form a plug within the sweat ducts, preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that when these formulas are used regularly on the skin near the breast, they may be absorbed and have harmful effects. However, it’s worth noting there is no substantial scientific evidence to support these claims, so the debate rages on.
- Say hello to caring, kind benefits.
Another encouraging reason to leave your conventional brand behind is that the ingredients used in natural deodorants are in fact proven to be good for you. With fast-absorbing elements such as charcoal, mineral rich clays, and moisturising botanicals (like Shea butter and coconut oil), these ingredients can help to improve your skin’s condition and leave your pits less prone to irritation.
- Do your bit to help our beautiful earth!
And just in case the lure of natural, moisturising properties isn’t reason enough to bin your regular deodorant, maybe thinking about the environment will help make your mind up. Traditional formulas contain Triclosan (an anti-fungal agent widely used in cosmetic products), which is a threat to our waterways. With increased use, these chemicals are accumulating in our rivers and streams, after being washed from our body and reaching the water. There’s evidence to support the harmful and toxic impact this has on aquatic life and how it affects their endocrine system. Add to this the fact that lots of antiperspirants come in non-recyclable and non-refillable packaging!
- Your body will need some time to adjust.
With your underarms being so used to regular antiperspirants and deodorants, making the change to a natural and simpler way of hygiene comes with its own detox journey. With no aluminium compound to “plug” your sweat glands, after a week or so of making the switch they will become exposed and your pits will have a minor freak out. You may experience a substantial increase in the growth of odour-causing bacteria and excessive sweating – this is just your body’s way of flushing out toxins. But don’t be put off ladies, by week three your body’s bacteria levels and moisture levels will normalise, and hopefully after a month of use your underarms should have fully adjusted.
- It takes a little trial and error to find out what works for you.
With such a wide range of chemical-free alternatives on the market (not just in terms of ingredients used, but also in the variety of formulas available – sprays, sticks, creams and powders), things can get a little confusing if you’re a newbie to the game. So it really is a journey to find one that works in balance with you and your body. With natural deodorants it really is apparent that what works for one person, may not work for everyone. Take some time to experiment and test the options available.
Simple, pure and holistic living is the aim for the founders of this Hong Kong born and bred lifestyle brand. We are huge fans of its products and we’re confident you will be too! ZeroYet100 was started purely to produce an all-natural and chemical-free deodorant that really works – and it doesn’t disappoint. The great thing about this brand is the variety, with sprays, sticks, and pots (from $108 to $168) and a natural detox pack ($128) available to help you begin your journey with ease, we’re confident there’s something for everyone.
Coconut Matter believes beauty products are best harnessed from plants and minerals to deliver natural and bioactive results. Along with its signature WILD Virgin Coconut oil, the brand also produces a range of MOOD deodorants (from $120 – $330) in several different scents (our favourite is Spring!). They’re made with cruelty-free, fairly traded and organic ingredients. If you’re new to natural products, it’s suggested you also use its WOOD exfoliate coconut oil soap (from $95) to help smooth out the transition process.
Meow Meow Tweet
If you’re keen to step out of your comfort zone and try something new altogether, Meow Meow Tweet’s Deodorant Cream ($125) is the pick for you. Made with baking soda, arrowroot and clay, this formula will help you stay dry and fresh. Its dreamy blend of plant oils and Shea butter moisturises and soothes sensitive underarm skin, with essential oils to combat odour-causing bacteria (choose from the lavender or tea tree scent). This vegan brand prides itself on being plastic free, and also donates to several charitable organisations monthly!
Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream, available online from Plastic Free HK
There’s a reason this all-natural company has won countless beauty awards and praise from our favourite online blogs and magazines! Its best selling natural deodorant sticks (from around $72) boast cruelty-free, natural botanical and plant-based formulas, with a promise of sustainable values and ethics during the manufacturing process too. Its non-sticky, non-greasy formula promises to keep you fresh all day. We love the bright citrus scent of Bergamot & Lime for an ideal start to your morning, however fragrance-free options are available if your underarms are too sensitive for even the gentlest of essential oils.
Schmidt’s Naturals Natural Deodorants, available online from iHerb
You may be all stocked up on bath bombs, lip balms and soaps, but we have another reason for you to visit the best smelling store in Hong Kong! That’s because Lush’s promise of fresh, handmade products translates into its solid and gentle Aromaco deodorant (from $97). It’s made with essential oils and anti-bacterial ingredients, and also contains witch hazel and chamomile vinegar (which tightens the pores to keep you cool and feeling fresh all day). Simply wipe the solid bar under your arms and you’re good to go.