Sweating is a perfectly natural bodily function. If you’re full-time fitness hobbyists like us then you probably sweat quite a lot. It’s our body’s way of regulating our body temperature and cooling us down. Once the sweat hits the surface of our skin and then starts to evaporate, you feel cooler and more comfortable, so you can keep your mind focused on the task ahead. Bench press PB here we come.
Unfortunately for all its perks, there is a downside. Sweat smells when it mixes with the bacteria on your skin. While not the sweatiest part of our body — that’s the upper back according to a study from the University of Loughborough — the armpit arguably is the smelliest thanks to the apocrine sweat glands that dwell there, which release a heavier, fat-laden sweat that carries a distinct odour.
And that’s where we come to the hero of our story, right? Well, not yet. For years, we’ve used antiperspirant containing aluminium to block these sweat glands, which as aluminium chloride results in yellow staining on our clothes, and has had concerns raised against the chemical’s supposed links to certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
While reports on the latter are inconclusive, these antiperspirants are still just another chemical in modern-day life, when we’re already exposed to more irritants and pollutants than ever before.
Choosing a natural deodorant then, which neutralizes the bacteria in sweat (and the consequential bad smell) by using natural ingredients like coconut oil and arrowroot powder, is one more step in the fight against this chemical barrage — and yellow stains.
Here we highlight six natural deodorants that not only smell good but also do good thanks to the eco-friendly actions made by the brands behind them.
Six Of The Best Natural Deodorants
Made plastic-free, aluminium-free, cruelty-free and for all genders, inclusivity is at the heart of Akt and everything they do. Concocted by West End performers — dancing under those stage lights eight times a week is sweaty business — Akt has four main deodorant balms to choose from packed full of exotic, and more importantly, great-smelling ingredients like neroli, mandarin, and eucalyptus. Plus, they’re all packaged in recyclable aluminium tubes. Plastic applicators be gone.
Fellow B Corp Aesop is one of the key players in the sustainable skincare movement with an admirable target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This aluminium-free spray deodorant from the brand is formulated with a selection of essential oils including vetiver root and coriander seed.
Packaging wise the woody, earthy aroma is neatly housed in a recycled PET bottle, part of another pledge by Aesop to make all of its packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
If you want to go a step beyond recycled packaging, then the refillable pods at Myro could be the ones for you. All you need to do is pop your plant-based natural deodorant pod in your plastic neutral keepable case, roll on, and go about your day. There are tons of delicious-sounding fragrance combos to choose from and a handy subscription service to ensure you never run out.
Bright, witty imagery, a killer Insta page, and a completely biodegradable, compostable product — bar the refillable case of course — have helped Wild stand out as one of the best natural deodorants around. Scents like Coconut Dreams, Bergamot Rituals, and Mint Fresh also make the brand a tempting proposition, along with the beautiful simplicity of its packaging.
Salt & Stone
This natural deodorant from Salt & Stone does more than just cover up armpit stank, it also looks after the skin underneath. This is all thanks to super moisturising hyaluronic acid and skin-soothing shea butter, which also helps to protect your skin from external factors like UV rays and wind.
If you’re looking to completely rid your bathroom cabinet of plastic, then this natural deodorant bar from Earth Conscious is the way to go. Made with coconut oil, shea butter, and lemon oil, among other great smelling things, it’s ludicrously easy to use and an ingenious way to combat plastic waste and consumption.