What is the true price of smelling good? In this blog post, we will look at the ingredients that go into most deodorants and why choosing a natural, plastic free deodorant, is better for you and the planet.
If you’re reading this, you are probably an eco-friendly shopper looking to make more sustainable choices. You may have been asking yourself question like, Is deodorant harmful? Are deodorant cans and roll-ons recyclable? Is deodorant toxic? Most of us use deodorant or antiperspirant every day, whether it’s an aerosol or a roll-on, but have you ever wondered how these products keep us smelling fresh? Did you know that you could be harming your skin and the environment in your quest to avoid the dreaded B.O.? Here we will try to answer all the questions you might have about how to use plastic-free deodorant, why deodorant is bad for you, and which deodorant is safe to use.
What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?
First things first, let’s get a definition out of the way. Deodorants and antiperspirants may seem like the same product, but they are different. Deodorants cover up the smells caused by bacteria in our sweat. They mask the body odour in order to keep us smelling fresh. Antiperspirants stop us from sweating altogether – they reduce perspiration, or are ‘anti’, perspiration.
How do deodorants work?
Deodorants work by masking the smell that is created by the bacteria growing on the fat and proteins in our sweat and eliminating them with antimicrobial agents. One of the most prevalent of these agents in ‘off-the-shelf’ deodorant is Triclosan. It is so common that Time Magazine reported 75% of Americans had Triclosan in their urine, as it had entered their body through their skin. So, how is deodorant harmful? Triclosan is linked to a number of very serious health concerns and will kill off all the bacteria it encounters in your body – good or bad. No amount of probiotic will fix that!
How do antiperspirants work?
Antiperspirants are not much more appealing when you find out how they work. They use aluminium compounds to block the pores on the outer layer of our skin so that our bodies can’t sweat. Sweating is an essential bodily function for maintaining healthy skin. It helps us regulate our body temperature and eliminate toxins. As well as damaging our skin, using aluminium to block our pores in this way has been linked to a wide range of much more serious health concerns. You can tell what antiperspirant deodorant has aluminium in it by checking the ingredients – almost all of them will have an aluminium-based compound listed, along with lots of other nasty chemicals!
Can deodorant cause cancer?
Deodorants and antiperspirants can also contain parabens, silica, talc, Propylene Glycol, Steareth-n and a wide range of other nasty chemicals that can all enter your bloodstream through your skin, without being metabolized by your liver. Some of the ingredients are known carcinogens, meaning they are known to cause cancer. Will deodorant cause cancer? It’s not proven, but there is speculation. There is no agreement on which, if any, deodorant causes cancer but regardless, it’s not a great way to treat our bodies, and the knock-on effect on the environment and the planet is huge. I personally am not willing to take any risks and will not use any of the nasty ingredients listed above. I opt for a natural deodorant every time!
How are deodorants bad for the planet?
Can you believe that a number of the large cosmetics companies still test on animals, even in 2020? As well as this, the substances that wash off our bodies into the waterways can affect ecosystems. Triclosan, for example, is not removed by wastewater plants, and when exposed to sunlight in an aqueous environment it is converted into dioxin – a highly toxic compound. It enters the water table and has even been detected in earthworms.
The packaging that deodorants and antiperspirants come in is usually not recycled or is non-recyclable, with this impacting the amount of waste we send to landfill. Deodorant cans are usually made from tinplated steel and aluminium which are widely recycled metals and plastic. However, because they are aerosols, they contain liquid or gas which are pressurised, meaning there is a risk of them exploding, making them difficult and expensive to recycle. The recycling system in the UK is not at all uniform, so some councils may accept them and others may not. Roll-on deodorants are packaged in a mixture of materials making them hard to recycle too. The roller ball is often difficult or impossible to remove and as containers should be washed for recycling, if you can’t remove the ball to clean the container, that may cause it to be rejected by your local recycling depot.
Imagine the millions of bottles and cans of deodorant used in the UK every year just sitting in landfill or making their way into the environment. This is a huge problem, as plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, therefore every single piece of plastic ever produced is still in the environment today.
What alternative deodorants are safe to use?
Enter natural, plastic free deodorants. There’s no doubt that natural deodorants are better for your skin and better for the planet. They contain ingredients that won’t harm you, wildlife or the environment. Plus they come in recyclable or reusable packaging. Now you might be wondering, what deodorant should I use? Luckily, at Vida Eco Shop, we stock a range of natural deodorants that are sustainable, eco-friendly, kind to the environment, and gentle for your skin. The companies that produce these products sometimes give back to the environment in other ways too – for example, Earth Conscious, who donate 10p from every tube/tin to the Marine Conservation Society. See below for some products to get you started.
Check out our Earth Conscious Plastic Free Deodorants - £7.00
We have tried many natural deodorants and Earth Conscious is one of our absolute favourites. The texture is lovely and creamy and it melts perfectly into the skin. The scents are subtle but delightful. These natural deodorants are made from high-quality, 100% natural ingredients with no nasties like aluminium, parabens, carcinogens or toxins. They will not stain your shirt or your sheets, and are so gentle that you can use them before bed. They are vegan and cruelty free, and the plastic-free cardboard tubes are biodegradable or recyclable. As well as all this, Earth Conscious donate 10p from every tube to the Marine Conservation Society. At Vida Eco Shop, for every £1 sold, we donate 1p to the Marine Conservation Society, so by buying this product, you are donating twice!
If you don’t fancy having your deodorant in the cardboard tube, you can buy it in a tin too! Check out Earth Conscious Plastic Free Deodorant Tins which are just £7.00 each. To use, simply rub a small amount on your fingertip or if you have long nails like me, you may prefer to use the back of your nail to scoop out a little bit, and apply to your arm pit.
The plastic-free, aluminium tins are food grade and are reusable or recyclable.
Click for the Award Winning Moon Goo Plastic Free Deodorant - £10.99
Moon Goo is an award-winning plastic-free deodorant formula from Awake Organics and is another one of our favourite products. It's convenient size and light weight make it perfect for the gym, festivals or anywhere on the go. Moon Goo is made with 100% natural ingredients and produced very close to Vida Eco Shop headquarters in the UK, keeping our carbon footprint minimal.
It comes in an upcyclable /recyclable tin with a paper label so is zero waste. It is paraben free, alcohol free and cruelty free (certified with Leaping Bunny, the gold-standard in cruelty-free certification). It is made from sustainable, all-natural ingredients, including organic coconut, olive and essential oils and kaolin sourced from the UK.
With a soft, whipped texture, this plastic-free, natural deodorant goes on smoothly, smells great and really works. Even after a long day at work and the gym, it still works, without the need to re-apply. To use, just like the Earth Conscious deodorants, simply rub a small amount on your fingertip or use the back of your nail to scoop out a little bit, and gently apply to your arm pit.
The plastic-free, aluminium tins are also food grade and are reusable or recyclable.
Here is the hypo-allergenic Biork Crystal Deodorant Stick - £12.20
Biork is a hypo-allergenic, 100% natural and plastic-free crystal deodorant stick. It works like a roll-on deodorant however, the crystal lasts an incredibly long time. The protective container is made of super-sustainable cork, which is a renewable resource and biodegradable so is perfect for a zero-waste lifestyle.
Why is cork so sustainable?
Cork trees save up to 30% more CO2 than other trees. With an area of approximately 2.3 million hectares, the Mediterranean cork-oak forests absorb around 13 million tonnes of CO2 per year! Portugal's cork trees bind approximately 5% of the country's CO2 emissions and help to preserve one of the most biologically-diverse habitats in Portugal. The bark of the cork oak is harvested every nine years and processed, with very little waste, into various cork products. It is the only tree on earth whose bark can be removed without harming the tree. In fact, a cork oak whose bark is harvested regularly binds more than three times as much CO2 as an unused cork oak.
We love Biork because it is 100% natural, vegan, and plastic free. It is hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free, is free from aluminium chlorides and is not tested on animals.
To use, gently twist the cork container to open, moisten the tip of the crystal stick, and glide it gently over the important areas. The active ingredient in Biork products is potassium crystal, a natural antibacterial agent and deodorant. People have been using this ingredient since ancient times, and it is particularly favoured in Asia. Potassium crystal is a mineral compound made up of alum and potassium crystals - a completely natural product. Biork crystal deodorant slows the production of bacteria and prevents the build-up of unpleasant odours. It lets the skin breathe and perspire naturally. This is a natural anti-bacterial product, perfect for all types of skin – even the most sensitive.
When you're done, you could use the cork lid as a container for stationary, or to plant seeds or anything else you can think of! Alternatively, you can compost it.
Which plastic free deodorant is best for me?
As with normal deodorants, the best one for you will depend on your skin type, the scents you like and just personal preference.
If you like a delicate scent, I would go for the Moon Goo or Earth Conscious Jasmine and Rose. For a floral scent, go for Moon Goo or Earth Conscious Lavender and Tea Tree or Jasmine and Rose. If you prefer a citrus scent, try Earth Conscious Grapefruit and Lemon or Lemon and Rosemary.
Can I carry deodorant in my carry-on luggage?
While we are on lockdown now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be dreaming of your post COVID-19 travel plans. Another benefit of all these natural, plastic free deodorants is that they are great for travelling. Because they are not liquids you can take all these deodorants in your carry-on luggage. Roll-on deodorants are liquid so you can only travel with bottles below 100ml that have to go in ziplock bags for airport security and antiperspirant sprays can’t be taken on planes as they are aerosols.
Natural deodorants in plastic free packaging are far better for your health, the health of your family and the health of the planet.
Each of the plastic free deodorants we stock in Vida Eco Shop have been personally tested and we love each and every one of them. They are kind to you and kind to the environment – and you’ll still smell super fresh!
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my previous post on why you should switch to natural, plastic free shampoo. Please share this blog post with someone you think would be interested in the benefits of natural deodorant.
Tell Us How You Got On With Your Plastic-Free Deodorant!
We always love to hear from you! Have you tried any of our plastic-free deodorants? Which is your favourite? Do let us know in the comments below.
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