It's confusing isn't it? What exactly are the natural ingredients in a natural deodorant and does it really matter if you use ingredients that are unnatural?

Here are some of the most well known and commonly used "baddies" you find in mass manufactured deodorants.

ALUMINIUM - Very useful for blocking sweat and reducing moisture.

PARABENS - Preservatives that stop the product going mouldy.

TRICLOSAN - Blocks sweat and preserves the product.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL - Adds moisture and preserves the product.

PHTHALATES - Improves texture and adds fragrance.

FORMALDEHYDE - Preserves the product and prevents it being contaminated.


They don't sound too bad do they? However there is a downside. Scientific research shows there can be side effects when using them on your skin. Aluminium is a sweat gland blocker and is linked to an increased risk of cancer, the same applies to formaldehyde and phthalates. Parabens can interfere with the normal function of your hormones and propylene glycol and triclosan can irritate skin and cause allergic reactions. 

Unfortunately these ingredients can also be found in hundreds of other cosmetics such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, nail varnish and eye make-up. Most big beauty companies have been using them for a long time but as we become more knowledgeable about what ingredients do, they will eventually have to find ingredients that are safer for use on your skin due to demand by customers.

Many smaller beauty companies have been leading the way in this area and at Flowery Whiff we've found that its easy to replace some of these ingredients with much kinder alternatives. Most natural deodorants use the following ingredients.

BUTTERS - Soothe and moisturise the skin

PLANT OILS - That are absorbed easily and calm skin irritation

WAX - Adds smoothness and holds the stick together without clogging pores.

CLAYS - Removes impurities and help detox under arms.

ARROWROOT - Absorbs moisture and odours. Evens skin tone.

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL - Draws out toxins, bacteria and odour.

BICARBONATE OF SODA - Absorbs odours.

Our deodorants contain all these ingredients except for bicarbonate of soda. We found that although its very good for absorbing odours it can cause irritation. We tried it out but decided it wasn't  for us. After a few more experiments we reformulated and now use kaolin clay, arrowroot and activated charcoal which all help with odour elimination.


One thing to remember about natural deodorants however, is that they are not anti-perspirants. Your pores will not be blocked and so there will be some sweat (which is annoying but perfectly healthy!) But all these ingredients will help minimise the moisture and odour and will also slowly detox any armpits that have been using some of those unpronounceable chemicals. Having the facts about what's in our skincare products makes it easier to decide what we want to use on our skin. You can probably guess what we think!

If you want some more in depth information, this is a very good podcast about deodorants from Formula Botanica.



Leave a comment