There is no question that across the board, we are making the shift to more 'natural' lifestyles.
As we are exposed to research about the harmful chemicals that are contained in many day-to-day products, it’s no wonder that so many of us are shifting to all-natural cleaning products and organic food, while also eliminating plastic from our kitchens and embracing natural beauty products. One of the most important options for natural self-care, however, also happens to be the most feared: natural deodorant. But with a little bit of focused thought, it’s clear to see that the chemicals we place under our arms each day might not be among our healthiest of habits. Those deodorants that stop us from sweating, with direct access to some of our bodies’ most important glands … The thought alone is enough to make us, well, sweat. But the alternative seems almost impossible to bear. Without deodorant – wouldn’t we stink? Would our clothes be left with puddles under the arms by 8am? Would we forever be ‘that woman’ at kindy drop-off who leaves a not-so-intoxicating trace of last night’s dinner? Thankfully, it seems we’re not the first to have pondered these same questions, and brands across the globe have been sourcing top technologies and unique ingredients to create safe, effective deodorant options, including US-based Native, who recently expanded their range to include an offering for teens, who can now enjoy natural, aluminium-free deodorants that have been branded as fun and effective. Another company paving the way is Australian brand KIND-LY, whose founder – Lisa Raciti – kindly (get it?) spoke to us about why switching to natural deodorant may be the best thing to do for your health and how to ease the transition, no embarrassing moments in sight.
What are some of the chemicals that exist in traditional deodorants that we should be aware of?
Traditional antiperspirants and deodorants found on supermarket shelves contain a number of ingredients that we should be concerned with applying to our skin, especially to such a sensitive area like the underarms. The main culprits are aluminium, parabens, synthetic fragrances and a range of other chemical nasties.
What are the impacts of these on our bodies/our health?
Aluminium is used in traditional antiperspirants to clog the sweat glands to prevent sweat, whilst also stopping the body’s ability to expel toxins. Your body becomes reliant on these chemical nasties, essentially forgetting how to naturally correct any bacterial imbalances on its own. Much has been written about the possible links between aluminium and breast cancer which is why many people prefer to err on the side of caution and switch to an all natural deodorant. Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and have been associated with disrupting the functions of the endocrine system. Studies have also found this “synthetic estrogen” in fat cells, including breast tissue, as the body does not easily break it down.
What is contained in natural deodorant?
When it comes to natural deodorant, it’s more important to say what isn’t contained in it! If a deodorant is truly all-natural, then it won’t contain any aluminium, parabens, alcohol, synthetic fragrance or nasties of any kind. Most natural deodorants contain a mix of natural plant powders to help absorb moisture, as well as bi-carb soda, etc. KIND-LY differs in its ingredients compared to most other natural brands currently available – whilst containing only natural and organic ingredients and being free from aluminium, parabens, alcohol and nasties our unique liquid roll-on formula is also enriched with probiotics and magnesium. So whilst you also have some ingredients traditionally used in natural deodorants, we’ve upped the game to introduce some new superhero natural ingredients, too! The magnesium neutralises any body odour while allowing you to perspire naturally and the probiotics contribute to the biodiversity and strength of your skin microbiome. The good bacteria in probiotics, essentially help keep the bad (smelly) bacteria at bay!
Important question… Does it work?
Absolutely, KIND-LY 100% Natural Deodorant does work! However, I will say the struggle to find a natural deodorant that works for everybody is certainly real and something I personally experienced after trying many other brands on the market… Which is ultimately what led me to create KIND-LY! It’s important to note, that a natural deodorant is not an antiperspirant (as it doesn’t contain aluminium). That means you’re not blocking the sweat glands, so you may still sweat from time to time, but that it’s perfectly natural and shows your body is functioning how it should. Most people also find that once their body has fully adjusted to natural deodorant, that they actually sweat less, as the body is better able to regulate its self. Remember: sweat is your friend, but it doesn’t have to stink!
I understand there’s a period of time when our bodies adjust to wearing natural deodorant. What do you suggest we do to work through this period? How long does it take?
Once you switch to a natural deodorant and stop using aluminium to clog all those underarm glands, some people may find they go through an initial “detox” period, where they sweat or smell more than usual. Not to fear – it’s not that your natural deodorant doesn’t work, it’s simply the body expelling all of those toxins and gunk that has been trapped in your armpits all this time! This detox period can last anywhere from a couple of days, to a couple of weeks, depending on the person. During this time, please stick with using your natural deodorant – your body will eventually adjust and be healthier for it! To assist with this transition period, KIND-LY created The Armpit Detox – a 7-day armpit mask that helps draw out impurities, clear skin and assist in the transition to natural deodorant. It’s similar to a mud mask for your face… But goes on your underarms! The Armpit Detox contains activated charcoal, Australian bentonite clay, colloidal silver, other all-natural ingredients and is blended with essential oils of lemongrass and ginger. Simply squeeze a small amount of the mud mask onto fingers, apply to clean dry underarms and relax for 10-15 minutes as the mask dries. Rinse off in the shower with warm soapy water and then you’re right to apply your natural deodorant as per normal to clean dry skin. We recommend using The Armpit Detox once a day for 7 days, and then once per week for maintenance or whenever you feel like a freshen up! Other helpful tips to get you through your transition to natural deodorant include:
- Keep Up The Fluids – Drinking plenty of water during a detox is important as it assists in removing toxins from your body and keeping you hydrated.
- Set Your Armpits Free – Give your underarms a little air and room to breathe by wearing lightweight, breathable fabrics. Avoid synthetic fibres and anything that clings tightly to the underarms.
- Watch What You Eat – Certain foods will change the way your body odour smells. Red meat and alcohol are probably the biggest culprits, so if possible aim for a mainly vegetarian diet during your detox period, which will help maintain a neutral body odour. Beware also of any food with a strong odour, such as garlic and onions.
- Dry-off Properly After Showering – Be sure to carefully dry off your underarms after showering. Bacteria love warm, moist environments and the last place we want bad bacteria growing is in our pits!
- Sweat It Out – Don’t be afraid of sweat during a detox. In fact, a little exercise (or sauna) to build up a sweat will help speed up the detoxification process as your body relearns how to function and control bacteria again.
- Go Natural – During and after your armpit detox, it’s important to only use natural deodorant. If you revert back to aluminium antiperspirants and deodorants again, you’ve just defeated the purpose of the detox. Your pores will again start to get clogged with all the nasties that you just expelled!
Should we be encouraging our teenagers to wear natural deodorant? Does it work against their crazy hormonal smells!?
Tell us a little about KIND-LY.
KIND-LY offers a range of friendly skin essentials made from only natural and organic ingredients, which are vegan, cruelty-free and Australian made. Our 100% Natural Deodorant range enriched with probiotics and magnesium, is free from aluminium, parabens, alcohol and nasties. The unique liquid roll-on formula available in 5 essential oil scents is suitable for the whole family. We also created The Armpit Detox – a 7-day armpit mask powered by activated charcoal, Australian bentonite clay and colloidal silver – which draws our impurities, clears skin and assists in transition to natural deodorant. KIND-LY was conceived after founder, Lisa Raciti identified a gap in the Australian market for an all-natural deodorant that actually worked. Lisa found that countless women knew the dangers posed by aluminium and other chemical nasties in commercial antiperspirants and wanted to switch to a natural option, but just couldn’t find one that worked!
How else do you encourage natural beauty and wellbeing in your own home?
I believe making small gradual changes can make a big difference to our overall wellbeing. Whilst I (and I’m sure many others) would love to say they they’ve switched every single beauty item, food, household item and product they come into contact with to all natural, organic, vegan, plastic free, packaging free etc, the reality is – it’s not a perfect world and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mentality! Do what you can with what you have available, and when you can do better, do! I’ve started by switching the products that I use the most and are closest to my body and then worked outwards. At the top of that list is of course deodorant! Other beauty products that I’d recommend switching to all natural which are quite easy and affordable are your core body basics – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face cleansers, scrubs, moisturisers, fake tan and perfume. After that, it becomes a bit trickier as far as makeup goes – so it may take longer to find natural alternatives that you’re happy with and perform in a similar manner to your traditional products. In conjunction with your body basics, I’d also suggest changing your core household cleaning products such as laundry washing powder, as it is used to wash your clothes and sheets which your body is in contact with nearly 24 hours a day.