Finding Natural Deodorants That Work

May 23, 2013

Everyone wants to feel fresh and keep odors in check. What we don’t want are the potentially harmful ingredients found in many deodorants and anti-perspirants—ingredients like aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, phthalates and triclosan. These ingredients work by killing bacteria with synthetic anti-microbials and plugging sweat glands, blocking natural toxin release. Unfortunately they’ve also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, hormone disruption and kidney disease.

Natural deodorants, made from essential oils, botanicals and salts, are a safe and effective alternative. Unlike synthetic anti-perspirants and deodorants, they work by neutralizing odors while still allowing our body’s natural detoxification process to rid us of undesired proteins and fatty acids. Another benefit? Without aluminum-based compounds, these deodorants won’t form yellow stains on our clothing.

Here, our expert estheticians tell us about some of their favorite products for keeping fresh and smelling great.

Dr. Hauschka’s Floral and Fresh Deodorants smell terrific and are very effective, says Cecily Cline, an esthetician at our store in Redmond, Wash. Botanical extracts of sage, witch hazel and neem make Dr. Hauschka’s deodorants particularly good for sensitive or irritated skin. Zinc ricinoleate, a natural salt, reduces odor without disturbing the skin’s natural functions.

Rubbing crystal rocks under our arms to stop odor? These deodorants have been a popular alternative to mass-consumer deodorants for many years. Kathleen Lamoureux, esthetician in our Berkeley store, says the Crystal Deodorant “Rock” contains natural mineral salts that form an invisible layer on skin that keeps bacteria from forming—perfect for purists who want a non-sticky, non-staining, residue-free solution. Crystal also makes user-friendly liquid spray and roll-on versions, as well as individually wrapped towelettes that are perfect for travel or after-gym use.

Lafe’s Organic Roll-On Deodorant counts on organic hemp oil, aloe vera and mineral salts for its strong anti-bacterial and odor-reducing properties. Hemp oil is known for its anti-inflammatory actions and high concentration of essential fatty acids that nourish the skin, making this a deodorant that’s especially kind to your skin. Bonus: Lafe’s has been honored with Natural Solutions magazine’s Beauty with a Conscience Award twice!

Tom’s of Maine found that hops (yep, the same ones in beer) have an antiseptic quality that slows and reduces the production of odor-causing bacteria. That’s why hops are a key ingredient in their deodorants, along with a variety of natural botanicals like lemongrass, fir, chamomile and coriander that create clean, outdoorsy scents. (Kathleen says they’re a customer favorite!)

Blending pure essential oils that naturally invigorate, refresh and neutralize odors, Weleda’s Citrus Deodorant Spray is a zesty aromatherapy experience in a non-aerosol spray. Lemon peel, orange, bergamot, grapefruit and fennel oil extracts come together to keep you feeling uplifted (and smelling great) all day.

Explore Pharmaca’s complete line of natural deodorants, with a wide variety of scents, ingredients and formulations, and find the right one for you!

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