Applying deodorant is a daily step in many of your morning routines, just like brushing your teeth. For this reason, more and more people are taking a closer look at this product they use everyday and what exactly is in it that keeps them fresh and dry all day long.
What's actually in there may surprise you and it's the reason natural deodorants and antiperspirants have become so popular.
A Bit About Body Odor
Everyone sweats. Some worse the others, but it's something we can all relate to. We can all name time or two when "pit stains" made an appearance on our best dress shirt. Antiperspirants are what's needed to control sweating, which can be caused by stress
, temperature or the environment or physical activity. What causes body odor is the combination of perspiration with bacteria found on the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Body odor is also common and can be remedied with a deodorant product. You can also find products that do both -- prevent perspiration and block odor -- for better protection.
Excessive sweating is known as hyperhidrosis while someone who barely sweats or doesn't sweat at all has what's known as anhidrosis. It's important to note any major changes in sweating or body odor should be reported to your doctor, as they could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Natural deodorants can contain a range of ingredients and come in just as many scents as more mainstream products. Here are some ingredients you may see on the label and what they're in there for:
Crystal -- This may be an ingredient or, most often, it's the only ingredient. Made up of minerals, these crystals are believed to prevent body odor, all without any added scents.
Essential Oils -- Essential oils, like tea tree, chamomile and calendula are known to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to prevent odor and can also provide natural scent.
Astringents -- The most commonly used astringents are alcohol and witch hazel. Produced from the leaves, twigs and bark of the witch hazel plant, witch hazel helps prevent excess sweating and bacteria that can cause unpleasant odor.
Moisturizers -- Shaving, the weather and your clothing can all irritate the skin under your arms, just like the rest of your body. Aloe vera and coconut oil are two examples of natural moisturizes to hydrate and prevent irritation.
Vitamins -- Included to nourish the skin, vitamins provide support for tissue healing and rejuvenation. They can also approve the appearance of the skin. Vitamin E and vitamin C are common additions for their antioxidant benefits.
Look for these ingredients on the back of any deodorant labeled "natural." If you see chemicals instead of ingredients you can recognize, try another one.
What's Left Out
As previously stated, all the ingredients within a natural deodorant/antiperspirant, or any type of product labeled as natural for that matter, should be those you can recognize and pronounce. The ingredients these products don't include are still considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but some people choose to avoid them due to animal studies. However, the evidence is still conflicting as research is ongoing. Here are some to know about so you know what you're getting:
Parabens -- These ingredients are added as preservatives to keep the product fresh longer. They aim to prevent the development of bacteria. Health and beauty items typically have a three-year shelf life.
Propylene Glycol -- Made from petroleum, propylene glycol is what makes your deodorant or antiperspirant soft and able to easily glide onto the skin.
Phthalates -- Also used to improve the consistency of these products are phthalates, which are also chemicals. They also help combine all the other ingredients together evenly.
Triclosan -- Another form of preservative, triclosan is added to prevent bacteria from forming, to keep the product fresher longer.
Aluminum -- A metal found mostly in antiperspirants, aluminum compounds help prevent you from sweating.
Shop our selection of natural deodorants and antiperspirants at eVitamins from top brands like Desert Essence, Now, Kiss My Face and Tom's of Maine. Let us know on Facebook and Twitter which ones work best for you!