Let’s Talk Dirty: The Truth Behind Natural Deodorants
If there’s one thing that absolutely transcends age, gender, and social classes, it’s this: the feeling of utter bafflement while standing in front of a wall of deodorant options. The next time you’re out shopping, slowly drift past the deodorant aisle and cast your eyes on the customers staring helplessly at the rows of packages — it’s sobering.
And it’s not their fault.
Deodorant and antiperspirant manufacturers know they have intense competition, so they spend millions on marketing and labeling and even the prized eye-level-high spot on the supermarket shelf. They also know that today’s customers value health and wellness, so they’ve switched marketing tactics to appeal to our desire for more natural products.
But a “natural” claim doesn’t actually mean the product itself is natural. Why does that matter? Because whatever you rub onto your skin is absorbed into your body.
If you’re applying toxic ingredients onto your skin—even if it’s just on your armpits—those ingredients can have an effect on your overall health. That’s not a scare tactic: it’s science. Aluminum, which is common in antiperspirants, has created much controversy over the effects it has on brain performance and breast cancer due to various research studies’ conflicting results. Our motto is to err on the side of caution and just avoid it altogether — why take the risk? Though there probably isn’t a healthy antiperspirant (antiperspirants actively stop sweat while deodorants just remove odor from sweat), you can absolutely find a healthy deodorant.
When we say “healthy,” we’re talking about deodorants that use “clean” ingredients. Clean ingredients are those that are natural and organic and haven’t been linked to any toxicity issues. In other words: they come from nature, not a lab, and they’re safe for your body.
You might be surprised to discover how many “dirty” ingredients are in your deodorant. That’s why we’re breaking down the common issues we’ve seen when trying to find a deodorant that is safe for your body. Here's your guide on how to buy, by category:
Not Even Trying to be Natural
You know these brands because your teenager naturally gravitates to them. That’s because, instead of investing money in their product, these manufacturers spend their money on popular commercials and targeted advertising campaigns. They figure teenagers and young adults aren’t thinking about their health: they’re more interested in being cool. The next time your teen asks you to buy the “popular” product, do yourself a favor and look at the ingredients. You’ll find talc, aluminum, and an entire host of dyes and perfumes that you wouldn’t want your teenager—or anyone else, for that matter—to wear.
These companies exploit customers’ desire for natural products by delivering deodorants that claim to be natural, but aren’t. These deodorants will rely on earthy-looking packaging with pictures of a few plants or a green front. Occasionally, they’ll use the word natural, but most of the time they just want you to assume from the packaging that their product is natural so they can avoid a lawsuit when you realize their ingredients are problematic. In fact, there can sometimes be up to 300 synthetic chemicals in one of these fragrances. Seriously.
If you’re unsure of whether a product is actually natural product or a fake natural product, look at the ingredients list. Do not rely on what the front of the label promises.
These companies use real, pronounceable, normal ingredients to produce non-toxic deodorants. They may/may not be sold in supermarkets, and they definitely don’t have the multimillion-dollar budgets to devote to marketing, but what they lack in fanciness, they make up for in not slowly poisoning your body.
Take a look at the ingredients list, just like you would for any other deodorants. You’ll find common items like coconut oil, elderberry extract, and pure essential oils. Companies that produce truly natural deodorants work hard to make sure each ingredient can be absorbed safely, which means you could theoretically eat the deodorant without becoming sick (but please don’t). On the other hand, the same couldn’t be said for the not-even-trying-to-be-natural deodorants and the kind-of-trying-but-lying natural deodorants.
JK Naturals is a strong believer in producing completely natural deodorant that works. We’re transparent about our ingredients and are proud to contribute to a healthier, non-toxic lifestyle. We believe that everyone—from teenagers to grandparents—has the right to healthy deodorant, so we make products for the entire family. Throw your toxic deodorant away and give yourself the gift of green, clean, healthy deodorant.
Ready to go full natural? Shop our natural deodorants here!