If you want to avoid parabens, aluminum compounds and triclosan, you can opt for an all-natural alternative to meet your armpit's needs. These products have become increasingly popular in recent years as many consumers are dodging products chock full of chemical ingredients in favor of those that take a more natural approach. The goal of a natural deodorant is essentially the same as a non-natural brand -- reduce the amount of bacteria in your armpit. Instead of using triclosan to kill the bacteria, they use natural ingredients like plant extracts and essential oils to reduce the bacteria count. These essential oils also have pleasing smells that help to mask the stink under your arms. Baking soda is another common ingredient natural deodorants use instead of using parabens, along with natural preservatives like vitamin E.
There are also all-natural crystal deodorants you can opt for. These are dry crystals that are wet and applied under your arms. When you do so, a thin layer of the crystal sticks to your skin, and its mineral salts help to reduce the bacteria levels. The mineral in this case is called alum, a natural compound that has molecules so large they can't be absorbed into the skin.
So do these all-natural options work as well as their chemically-laden counterparts? Unfortunately, there isn't a black and white answer. It all kind of depends on you and your body. For some, natural deodorants that contain essential oils like lavender and tea tree do a great job at keeping you smelling fresh as a daisy all day long. For others who tend to sweat more, they don't work as well as the non-natural deodorants, but do a good enough job to make the chemicals worth avoiding. For heavy sweaters, the natural varieties don't work very well -- there's simply too much perspiration and bacteria to keep in check. Some people swear by the crystal deodorants, while others claim they don't work at all. It's all about giving it a try and seeing how your body reacts to it.
While some of these products work for some people, something none of them can do is to stop you from sweating. So far, there isn't an all-natural antiperspirant that can block your skin's pores. If you're interested in trying some all-natural deodorants, you may have to shop around and go through some trial and error to find one that works for you. Just make sure you have some understanding friends and family in the meantime.
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- Shapely, Dan. "Nine natural deodorants that really work." Green.yahoo.com. July 30, 2009. http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/122/nine-natural-deodorants-that-really-work.html
- Truitt, Eliza. "No Sweat: Putting deodorants and antiperspirants to the test." Slate.com. Dec. 28, 2000. http://www.slate.com/id/95549/