Do Natural Deodorants Really Keep The Stink Away? Here's What To Know

Even though we tend to forget various steps in our body care routines from time to time, deodorant is simply not one we overlook. Almost a force of habit, applying deodorant is essential to keep sweat and unpleasant smells under control. However, like many body care products we apply directly to our skin, these items have been called into question for their ingredients. Once research revealed that some ingredients used in common household products can lead to cancer and other serious health issues, these certain ingredients were labeled as harmful and toxic to our health. Upon further consideration, researchers found these ingredients to be included in many deodorants we use daily. To combat this serious potential health risk, natural deodorants were introduced as a safer alternative.

Natural deodorants don't contain parabens or chemicals that have been called into question and instead opt for natural ingredients to help eliminate odor. Although these deodorants seem to solve the most pressing issue, which is health and safety, they come with their own set of concerns. Natural deodorants are often considered weak for keeping away odor, with one Twitter user stating, "...Natural deodorants don't work. Give me ALL the chemicals fam." Natural deodorants, while considered safer, do block odor, but they may not be the answer most people are looking for.

How effective is natural deodorant?

If you question whether natural deodorants block odor, the good news is that they do work in this regard. However, like anything in skincare and body care that contains the term "natural," there's more to know than you might think.

While it's true that natural deodorants contain simpler ingredients, natural deodorants aren't completely better for you than regular deodorants. These deodorants can still contain ingredients that work similarly to regular deodorants and which may irritate your skin. The only difference between a natural deodorant and a regular deodorant is that natural products don't contain ingredients to control sweat. Although they hide and combat odor, they won't stop you from sweating, meaning the more you sweat, the more you're likely to start to smell over time. Moisture and bacteria are the perfect combination to create an odor storm, so it can become a problem as the day goes on.

Although natural deodorants tout their simple ingredients, the truth is that, as of publication, there is no direct link between regular deodorant and breast cancer. The previous rumors simply stated that ingredients found in deodorants had been linked to cancer, but there is no direct correlation or data to assume this. Playing on this consumer fear, brands have utilized the term "natural deodorant" to make their case to the public, establishing themselves as the safer option. In reality, both products are similar, with the primary difference being how they control sweat.

How to select the best deodorant for you

With conflicting facts and profound marketing in the mix, it can be challenging to figure out exactly which products are safe and work well. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure you're getting the best deodorant for you. Before picking one, you need to make sure you know the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. Antiperspirants help block sweat pores and can contain odor-masking ingredients. Deodorants typically only help block odor in bacteria.

The next step in selecting deodorant is to decide whether to go with a natural alternative. If you're not convinced of the effectiveness of natural deodorants or need one with sweat-blocking ingredients, you should opt for something aluminum-free, as aluminum is the main ingredient in deodorant that has received criticism. However, many brands have taken note and eliminated it from their products. Still, if you have sensitive skin, you'll most likely need a natural deodorant to avoid chemicals that can cause serious irritation. Either way, before purchasing, you should take a look at the products' ingredients to ensure they contain odor-protecting properties.