Guide to natural deodorants

Conventional deodorants contain many chemicals, one of the main ones being aluminum chlorohydrate. This substance does dry out the skin, but it is very energy intensive to produce and vegan alternatives are less harmful to the environment. 

Deodorant or antiperspirant?

Often these terms are used interchangeably, even though the two products work quite differently. Our body is covered with four million sweat glands, but it is in the armpits and groin that the apocrine glands are located. Sweat itself is odorless, but apocrine sweat contains lipids and proteins that are very fond of bacteria, and as a result of their vital activity, an unpleasant odor appears. Deodorants kill bacteria, preventing them from multiplying, while antiperspirants block the sweat glands and stop sweating altogether. This means that no breeding ground is created for the bacteria, so there is no unpleasant odor.

Why choose a natural deodorant?

Aluminum is the main component of aluminum chlorohydrate, a popular compound in many deodorants. The extraction of this light metal is also carried out by open pit mining. This process is detrimental to the landscape and vegetation, which disrupts the habitat of native creatures. To extract aluminum ore, bauxite is smelted at a temperature of about 1000 ° C. Huge water and energy resources are spent on this, half of the fuel used is coal. Therefore, aluminum is considered a non-environmental metal, especially for the production of cosmetic products. 

Health issue

Research is increasingly showing that the use of chemical-based antiperspirants is bad for our health. It should be noted that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have a higher concentration of aluminum in the brain, but the connection between the metal and this disease has not been confirmed. 

Applying chemicals to sensitive skin can lead to problems. Many antiperspirants contain chemicals such as triclosan, which has been linked to endocrine disruption, and propylene glycol, which can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. In addition, sweating is a completely natural process by which the body gets rid of toxins and salts. Limiting sweating increases the possibility of overheating in the heat and provokes dry skin. 

Natural ingredients

Natural ingredients are much more sustainable as they come from renewable sources such as plants. Below is a list of popular ingredients in vegan deodorants:

Soda. Often used in toothpastes and cleaning products, sodium bicarbonate or baking soda absorbs moisture well and neutralizes odors.

Arrowroot. Made from the roots, tubers and fruits of tropical plants, this vegetable starch absorbs moisture like a sponge. It is milder than baking soda and is suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Kaolin clay. Kaolin or white clay – this mineral mixture has been known for centuries as an excellent natural absorbent. 

Gammamelis. Made from the bark and leaves of this deciduous shrub, this product is valued for its antibacterial properties.

Hop fruit. Hops are best known as an ingredient in brewing, but the hops are good at preventing bacterial growth.

Potassium alum. Potassium alum or potassium aluminum sulfate. This natural mineral blend can be considered one of the very first deodorants. Today it is used in many deodorants.

Zinc oxide. This mixture has antibacterial properties and forms a protective layer that prevents any odors. Zinc oxide was the main ingredient in Mum’s first ever commercial deodorant, which was patented by Edna Murphy in 1888.

Many natural deodorants also contain essential oils, some of which are antiseptic. 

There are a large number of vegan deodorants on the market at the moment and you will definitely find the one that suits you best. Here are just a few of these options:


Schmidt’s mission is to “change the way we think about natural cosmetics.” According to the brand, this award-winning soft and gentle creamy formula will help you neutralize odor and stay fresh all day long. The product is not tested on animals.


This vegan deodorant from the European company Weleda uses the antibacterial essential oil of lemon, grown in certified organic farms. Glass packaging. The product is not tested on animals.

Tom’s Of Maine

This vegan deodorant is made with natural ingredients and is free of aluminum to keep you fresh all day long. The product is not tested on animals.


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