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Everyone’s switching to cleaner, more natural ingredients in beauty and the question is, should you switch your much-needed deodorant too? With smaller indie labels creating Instagram-awareness and bigger beauty bodies like Forest Essentials following that path with their new launch, the case for natural deodorants is on. Here’s a look at the best natural deodorants in India that you should get your hands on ASAP.

The shift to natural deodorant was more motivated by health concerns than eco-consciousness. Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants have been flagged for using aluminium to clog your sweat glands, which many pseudo-science circuits claim to cause Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and more. However, little scientific literature exists to back the ties between aluminium and all its evils, but the fear-mongering has only led to natural deodorants gaining traction.

Another reason for natural deodorants becoming widely available is because consumers are becoming more educated about what they put on their bodies. A lengthy list of cryptic chemicals no longer flies under the radar because natural deodorants use familiar, recognisable, and skin-friendly ingredients to manage odours.

The caveat, however, is the dramatic difference in price. Assurance comes priced at four to five times more than your average drugstore deodorant, which makes many wonder if shaky ‘scientific’ claims are worth splurging in the natural direction. Here are a few things you want to know beforehand, to make the decision with ease.

Natural deodorant and antiperspirant are not the same

When people talk about the presence of aluminium in anti-odour body care products, they’re really talking about antiperspirants and not deodorants. To be clear, the distinction is that the former prevents sweat and odour, while the latter just manages odours. People not understanding this key difference has led to many criticising that natural deodorants do not work as well as their drugstore originals.

You will sweat with a natural deodorant on, though the true test of its effectiveness is whether you experience body odour or not.

What do natural deodorant use in their formulas to stop odours?

Odours are not caused by merely sweating. It is the interaction between the fluid and the bacteria living on your skin that leads to body odour. To counteract this, natural deodorants employ organic sweat-absorbing and anti-microbial ingredients such as witch hazel, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and baking soda. Given that these are non-chemical compounds, they are definitely kinder to your skin in the long run.

What else is so good about natural deodorant?

Its organic ingredients tend to be better for the environment. Conventional deodorants can contain ingredients like triclosan, which can be toxic to marine organisms in the long term.

Another major selling point for a natural deodorant is that it prevents sweat stains. When aluminium mixes with your sweat, yellow stains tend to form in the underarm areas of your clothes. Natural deodorants that don’t contain the metal don’t have the same problem, so you’re saving your garments from this kind of everyday wear and tear.

So, are natural deodorants really worth the price?

If you think making the swap to natural deodorant is going to guard you against chronic illness as some may claim, we’re sorry to say that this is false. You don’t have to write off the product entirely, though.

Natural deodorants are definitely gentler on the skin (barring some laden with essential oils). They may not dramatically improve your carbon footprint, given that their bottles are not all as natural as their formulas, but they are definitely less harsh on the environment overall. Plus, you must be mindful of the shelf life – they vary from brand to brand but they are not as long-lasting as the usual deodorants in the market.

As for the price tag — is natural deodorant worth all that much? Well, if you have sensitivities to the drugstore equivalent, then yes. If you want to invest in something kinder for your skin, then yes, as well. But if you’re only going greener if you’re buying into fear-mongering, then you’re better of keeping your wallet zipped. Looking to check out what natural deodorants we have on offer here in India? Check out the following seven picks below:

Forest Essentials Aluminium-free Natural Deodorants, Rs 1,250

Forest Essentials has recently launched the Aluminium-free Natural Deodorants enriched with naturally-derived enzymes and plant extracts. They scent the skin without disturbing the natural process of perspiration while preventing body odour – the smell is so intoxicating, and you need to refresh every three-four hours for better results. The deodorants are available in two variants; Lavender & Neem with leafy notes of therapeutic Lavender and bitter fresh Neem with an air-like, fine mist, and the Sweet Orange & Cardamom Natural Deodorant for a soft, lingering fragrance.


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L'Occitane EN Provence Refreshing Aromatic Deodorant, Rs 1,650

This one is tried and tested to perfection by us. The Aromachologie Refreshing Aromatic Deodorant formulated with essential oils from Provence is perfect for those who are trying to make that clean switch without disrupting your routine too much. Free of aluminium chlorohydrate, this duo gives you long-lasting natural protection and also contains essential oils like sage, sweet orange, and lemon.

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Maroma Body Deodorant, Rs 500

The Pondicherry-based label Maroma is known for its spectacularly scented products, and they’re all-natural. This natural body deodorant stick comes with essential oils like lemon, orange, and peppermint leaves and is a non-sticky, non-greasy formula. Vegan and cruelty-free, this product is 100% natural and has no alcohol, aluminium salts, parabens, sulfates, synthetic colours, and artificial fragrance.

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Treewear Forest Fragrant Natural Deodorant, Rs 499

The organic label comes with woody musk of Cedarwood and floral scent of Geranium – both work beautifully to give you that refreshed feeling. The natural deodorant also uses essential oils as natural deodorising agents to remove harmful bacteria while being super gentle on your skin.

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Vilvah Store Lavender and Sage Deodarant Stick, Rs 630

This south-based label has a wide range of deodorants to refresh and rejuvenate your skin. They don’t block the sweat glands and help absorb wetness and neutralise odour, making you smell fresh all day long. The ingredient list is exhaustive and well-meaning: Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Arrow Root Powder alongside Natural Vit E, Lavender Essential Oil, and Sage Essential Oil.

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Earth Rhythm Natural Deodorant with Matcha Green Tea, Rs 589

Matcha tea in a deodorant? Trust new indie label Earth Rhythm to do it unconventionally. Natural Deos do help in locking in moisture, and they also help defend against environmental aggressors. This particular deodorant also contains the goodness of Mango Seed Butter. Kaolin Clay, Matcha Green Tea Extracts, Peppermint Oil, and Orange Oil.

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Juicy Chemistry Grapefruit & Patchouli Deodorant Stick, Rs 750

This unconventional deodorant stick from Juicy Chemistry is loaded with the goodness of the fruit of heaven, grapefruit. Armed with antioxidants and essential vitamins like A and C, it exfoliates, detoxifies, and brightens your armpits while refreshing you. You can also find Rosehip oil that is perfect for pigmented skin. The deodorant also evens out skin tone.

All images: Getty Images

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.


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