You can’t talk about natural deodorants without a quick lesson in B.O. 101. First you need to know the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. An antiperspirant has chemicals like aluminum to stop sweating altogether. The aluminum salts plug the sweat glands, preventing perspiration. On the other hand, a deodorant masks and neutralizes odor. But where does the stink come from in the first place? When the glands in your armpits emit sweat, the liquid interacts with the bacteria in the area to emit unsavory smells.
Natural deodorants use essential oils like tea tree and witch hazel to curb the bacteria. Some also have other less harmful minerals like zinc ricinoleate and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to keep the underarm area dry without stopping sweat altogether. In addition to getting rid of aluminum, most are also paraben-free and safe for sensitive skin. If you’re thinking about giving up antiperspirant, start with these 15 formulas that actually keep the stink at bay.
— Additional reporting by Rayna Rossitto
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