Cast yourself back to the days of your insecure high school adolescence, back to the day when you first started using deodorant.
Smelling good (or at least not smelling bad in any way, shape or form that could potentially draw any attention to yourself whatsoever) was an absolute must. And as long as the deodorant guaranteed that, nothing else mattered.
Back then it was all about "antiperspirant". Stop the sweat at all costs. If you sweat, you will get BO and die.
Turns out that was a bad idea. As mammals, we're meant to sweat. And sweating is good. It's our way of regulating temperature and eliminating toxins from the body.
And recently, more and more men are becoming aware of the harmful effects that regular antiperspirants can have on the body, which has led to a greater demand for natural and effective alternatives.
But what exactly is a natural deodorant? Does it actually work? Should we be using it? What's the difference from an antiperspirant? Is aluminium bad? Oh, I'll feed you baby birds.
Buckle up. We'll run through what you need to know when making the switch to a natural pit stick.
What is Men's Natural Deodorant?
Natural deodorants for men can differ slightly depending on which brand you go for, but generally, they are all aluminium free and ideally made up of plant-based ingredients that benefit your skin and work with your body to prevent odour rather than working against it.
It wasn't that long ago that natural deodorants weren't even considered an option by most men. They either didn't work, didn't smell great or didn't have that sexy ad campaign to reel you in.
No one can deny that man's sex appeal.
But not only have we learned that dousing ourselves with a noxious cloud of body spray comes off as super douchy, but it's also contaminating our body with harmful chemicals that can interfere with hormones, fertility and affect the balance of the skin's microbiome.
This may not be particularly harmful in the short term. But over a lifetime of applying these synthetic compounds to our skin, who knows what impact it could have.
In short, it ain't good. So to combat this, men's natural deodorants have become more advanced to the point where there are now highly effective alternatives for conventional deodorants.
Deodorant vs Antiperspirant.
Deodorants work by eliminating odour causing bacteria. By eradicating the bacteria, your sweat has nothing to interact with, which prevents odour from being produced.
In many conventional deodorants, alcohol is used as a key antibacterial ingredient that attempts to prevent odour.
But although alcohol can be useful in killing bad bacteria, it also kills off all the good bacteria which messes with your body's balance and leads to dryness, irritation and can actually make you smell worse.
Basically, our skin flora is supposed to have a balanced mixture of good and bad bacteria, but when we wipe out the good bacteria, the bad bacteria (strands like Actinobacteria, which are responsible for foul-smelling armpit odour) goes unchecked.
The same goes for Antiperspirants. Their primary focus is to block your sweat pores to prevent sweating or reduce the amount you sweat and most commonly use aluminium as the primary active ingredient.
Both also usually contain synthetic fragrances to mask any odour that does occur.
Why You Should Use Natural Deodorant
There are a few reasons why you should be making the switch.
1. You'll Be Healthier
Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are made up of a bunch of synthetic compounds with the primary active ingredient often being aluminium.
Aluminium salts function is to alter the body's natural perspiration process and plug up your apocrine sweat glands to prevent sweating.
But as we mentioned earlier, sweating is good. Sweat is your body's in-built temperature control mechanism, and it keeps you healthy.
Your 4 million sweat glands enable you to maintain body temperature and send sodium back into the blood to maintain salinity in the body.
And when your sweat glands are blocked using aluminium, your body adjusts to the blockage and attempts to over-produce sweat to deal with it.
This, in turn, leads to more body odour according to research published in the archives of Dermatological Research.
Aluminium not only disrupts the natural bodily functions and causes irritation, but there are also growing concerns that it is linked to a multitude of health issues, including cancer and dementia.
And most importantly, aluminium is also the culprit for those yellow stains on all your shirts…
Aluminium isn't the only synthetic compound that wreaks havoc on your pits.
Conventional deodorants can also contain chemicals such as BHT, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, propylene glycol, formaldehyde and fragrance that are potential endocrine disruptors and can interfere with hormones, fertility and the health of your swimmers.
Some of the effects of these chemicals are unknown and If you're using this stuff on your skin every single day for the rest of your life, do you really want to risk it?
2. You'll Smell Better
Using antiperspirant and applying conventional deodorants to your pits can upset the bacterial balance and end up making you smell worse off in the long run.
And despite what many people think, sweat doesn't actually smell. It's the bad bacteria on your skin breaking down the sweat that produces the infamous body odour that we've become all too familiar with.
But as one study shows, conventional deodorant and antiperspirant users who stopped using for two days produced far more Staphylococcus hominis (a rank smelling bacteria) than those who were going au naturel.
This indicates that by using a natural deodorant, you'll allow your body to detox from the chemicals that have plugged your sweat ducts and self regulate back to its normal balance, where you will end up producing less body odour causing bacteria.
And now that men's natural deodorants have become far more advanced you can be confident that the safe antibacterial components will eradicate any odour and leave you smelling clean, crisp and fresh - without interfering with your favourite cologne.
However, if you do make the switch from antiperspirant to natural, there is a detox phase you'll go through that we'll speak about further down.
3. You'll Single-Handedly Save the Planet
Okay, maybe not. But the majority of natural deodorants for men on the market use sustainable plant-based ingredients (like us) that are good for your body and good for the planet.
Many of them are also ethically minded companies that are often cruelty-free and tread lighter than the larger corporations to look after the environment. Goooo Planet!
Switching To Men's Natural Deodorant
If you're ready to take the leap and want to switch from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant for men, there is a detox phase of 2-3 weeks that most people will go through before they start seeing results.
Not everyone will go through this phase. It can depend on the specific ingredients in the deodorant you were using prior, and also you're own skin flora and genetic makeup.
Some will make the switch with no worries, but for most people - here's what to expect:
If you were previously using an antiperspirant deodorant that contained aluminium, you probably won't notice much difference within the first few days.
This is because aluminium compounds in antiperspirant form a gel-like plug which takes a few days flush out.
Heading into the second week, you may start to experience a substantial increase in body odour and additional sweat.
It's important to know that this is only temporary and is an essential process to flush out the toxins that have clogged up your pores.
Tonnes of men get to this stage and assume the natural deodorant isn't working for them and go running back to their dirty tricks.
Don't break. Keep going.
You'll notice the body odour begin to subside as your body's culture of bacteria starts to balance out and stops overproducing odour causing bacteria.
Your sweat production levels will also begin to normalise and significantly decrease.
You will still sweat more than you did when using antiperspirant though. It's part of life - own it
By the fourth week, your body should have fully adjusted to the natural deodorant.
For some men, it can take up to 30 days to fully regulate, and for others, it will only take a week.
Lots of men try natural deodorant and stop using after a few days because they don't see immediate results and aren't aware of the process your body goes through.
But if you've got the balls to ride that wave and reach the other side, you're gonna be a much cleaner, healthier and better-smelling human.
It's important also to note that body odour can change depending on your day-to-day based diet, skin pH, alcohol consumption, stress and medication.
When this happens, people can sometimes worry and assume that the natural deodorant has stopped working.
However, it's usually caused by one of the above factors and will return to normal quickly.
What Men's Natural Deodorant Should I Use?
There a lot of great options for deodorant on the market today, but if you're looking for the absolute best natural deodorant available that:
- Is 100% natural
- Uses only plant-based ingredients
- Uses sustainably sourced materials
- Is Aluminium free
- Effectively kills bacteria and eliminates body odour
- Is vegan and cruelty-free
- Uses 100% recycled plastic
- Is handcrafted in Australia
- And smells amazing
Then there's only one choice: