The Five Best Options For Using Plant-Based Deodorant
When it comes to all-natural body care, deodorant might be the last product to consider– but the latest numbers indicate that Americans spend $18 billion dollars a year to ensure we don’t smell bad. Which soon begs the question: what are we all putting on our bodies, and is it safe?
Among the aisles of various products, there are two main types of commercial deodorant: scented and antiperspirant. Scented versions mask perspiration odor with a scent while anti-perspirant deodorant contains aluminum, which prohibits natural sweating by clogging pores, and as a result building up toxins. (On a side note, it’s ironic that as consumers, we pay to sweat in saunas and hot yoga classes, and then we pay to stop sweating.)
Some scientific studies show a link between the aluminum found in antiperspirant deodorant and breast cancer. However, other studies have found contrary results. The National Cancer Institute writes that, “Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved.”
Parabens, which are used as a preservative, are another common ingredient in commercial deodorant, and, more generally, are used in 85% of body care products. They’ve been found to be estrogen disruptors, which can also lead to breast cancer and reproductive issues over the long term.
Regardless of the different results of scientific studies, there are several reasons to consider switching to all-natural, plant-based deodorants, or making your own. For one, natural deodorants can balance PH levels, so that you’re not over-sweating from being conditioned to antiperspirant products. Additionally, many people who are prone to rashes from the harsh chemicals applied to sensitive skin benefit from a softer, more natural product that can eliminate these side effects.
There certainly seems to be a market for all natural alternatives to standard deodorant. For example, in January of this year, Piperwai, an all-natural deodorant company, sold 100,000 jars of their plant-based deodorant after airing on Shark Tank, though they had expected that the appearance would only generate 10,000 jars in sales.
It often takes a week or two to fully detox from antiperspirant, aluminum-based deodorant, though there are processes to aid this along. Wellness Mama recommends a process involving mixing bentonite clay, apple cider, vinegar, and water and applying the paste to the underarms, much like a clay mask. For those who want to go the all-natural route, we did the research and found five top all-natural deodorants for your consideration:
Crystal Rock Salt
A crystal salt rock is a common alternative deodorant, often available even in mainstream pharmacies– and Crystal Mineral salt now offers chamomile and green tea-enhanced varieties. To use, simply moisten the soft, smooth rock with a few drops of water so that you can easily roll it on. It comes both in rock form and as a deodorant bar to make for easier travel. As with all the deodorants listed in this guide, Crystal deodorants are free of aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, and phthalates.
Another popular all-natural deodorant product is called Lavanila, a roll-on which uses vanilla spice, aloe, lemon peel, and their signature Beta Glucan Technology. Lavanila comes in several scents, from vanilla grapefruit to vanilla passionfruit.
Piper Wai and Primal Pit Paste
For a smooth paste that you apply manually, Piperwai and Primal Pit Paste are two great options. Piperwai’s main ingredient is activated charcoal, which is mixed with a blend of 11 essential oils. The charcoal creates a chalk-like paste which absorbs sweat without preventing it, so you stay relatively dry without blocking pores.
Primal Pit Paste uses shea butter as their base ingredient, and a variety of essential oils to create scents like thyme and lemon grass, orange creamsicle, and coconut & lime.
Make Your Own
Lastly, you can always choose to make your own deodorant, which can easily be done by mixing equal parts coconut oil and arrowroot powder, and two tablespoons of baking soda. You can then add in essential oils for a scent of your choosing — lavender, orange, and grapefruit are all great options, at citrus is both refreshing and universally appealing, without being overpowering.
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