Using conventional deodorant and antiperspirant isn’t just bad for your skin; it’s also bad for the environment. Have you ever considered that the chemicals that are inside these products end up in waterways when you wash them away? Did you know that the aluminum used in these deodorants and antiperspirants is mined while destroying landscape and polluting waters? When you think about all these aspects, natural products seem like a much better choice.
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A Closer Look
As you will notice reading this article, the true difference between natural deodorant and natural antiperspirant lies in the way that each of them works. But, first of all, it’s important for you to know that deodorant and antiperspirant are two different products, even if these terms are often used interchangeably.
|Natural Deodorant||Natural Antiperspirant|
How it Works
Sweating is a perfectly normal body process, and a very healthy one at that. The goal of sweating is to help your body eliminate toxins, but throughout time, this was considered a very shameful thing. Nobody likes a sweaty armpit, so people would go to great lengths to avoid that from happening.
Deodorant is a product that allows you to sweat, but prevents that unpleasant odor that comes along with it. Deodorants are just created for armpits, as they can be used in other areas of the body as well (yes, there’s even deodorant for your feet).
Natural deodorants are meant to do everything that conventional deodorants do, but without the chemicals and toxins that are normally found in this type of product. Generally speaking, there are four categories of ingredients that a natural deodorant must contain in order for it to be as efficient as its conventional counterpart:
- Essential oils – These are used to add fragrance to the product, but also because essential oils have health benefits and are good for the skin. There are plenty of them which have antibacterial properties, as it’s actually the bacteria on the skin that causes the unpleasant odor, not the sweat alone.
- Natural oils – These stand at the base of a natural deodorant, because you need the final mixture to be easy to apply on the skin. Probably the best example of a natural oil that serves as deodorant base is coconut oil.
- Odor control ingredients – Your natural deodorant needs to have some sort of powder that can absorb sweat and keep it under control. This ingredient is typically baking soda, although there are people with a sensitive reaction to this ingredient (in which case, arrowroot is a good alternative).
- Wax – It might sound odd, but natural deodorants with wax aren’t something you want to avoid. Wax is an ingredient that gives the deodorant consistency, which makes it easy to apply.
The price of these products varies depending on the amount of each one, but also on the brand that manufactures the item. For example, two sticks of Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant can be bought for as low as $8, while Routine Natural Deodorant is priced around $30.
How it Works
Antiperspirants are a very specific type of deodorant. Their purpose is to block the pores under your arms, to inhibit sweat altogether. For a very long time, antiperspirants have been sought out because their role to prevent sweat was considered more desirable to the nasty sweat stains in the armpits region.
In the more recent years, people have understood that sweating is healthy for the body, so antiperspirants aren’t in such high demand as they used to be. Conventional antiperspirants are classified as over-the-counter drugs by the FDA, because they use aluminum to close, block, or clogs pores. That’s why it’s important to go with a natural option.
With antiperspirant, the situation is a bit more complicated. As mentioned above, the entire concept of antiperspirant is to prevent your body from sweating, and aluminum is the base ingredient that helps such a product achieve its goal.
However, there is a lot of controversy on what aluminum actually does for a person’s health, and this is one of the main reasons why people prefer using natural antiperspirants instead. The role of aluminum is straightforward: to eliminate the sweat that skin bacteria feeds on, in order to prevent odor.
Naturally, a question pops to mind: is there a natural ingredient that can be used in an antiperspirant recipe to make it just as efficient, while also keeping it aluminum-free? Consider the following: aluminum salts are the ingredient that makes the FDA considers antiperspirant over-the-counter drugs. That would mean that there is no such thing as “aluminum-free antiperspirants”. So, what makes an antiperspirant natural for the time being is the lack of aluminum salts in the recipe.
Even so, there is an ingredient that claims to be able to replace it: peptides. The efficiency of peptides compared to aluminum salts is questionable, so that’s a topic that we’ll still have to follow.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that aluminum-free antiperspirant isn’t as available as natural deodorant is. You can buy peptide alternatives, such as Perspi-Guard Maximum Strength Antiperspirant (priced at about $26) or Klima Hyper-Dri Antiperspirant Serum (average price is $25).
While the topic of natural deodorant is pretty clear, there is still a lot of controversy revolving around the efficiency of the antiperspirant when compared to its conventional counterpart. The true debate here is whether natural is better than conventional, not whether natural deodorant is better than natural antiperspirant.
There are two key takeaways here: natural deodorant can be just as efficient as conventional one, and natural antiperspirant is all about finding an aluminum-free product.