What's The Difference Between Natural & Chemical Deodorants?


Why use a natural deodorant?  Is it better than a chemical deodorant?

Which is more effective at blocking odour? Are all chemical deodorants bad?

We get asked these questions a lot. There's a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there and it's time to put the record straight.

In today's article, we're giving you the ins and outs of both options so you can make your own mind up.

Let's start at the top.

A chemical deodorant is often alcohol-based and targets bad odor with compounds like sodium stearate, stearyl alcohol, and sodium chloride.

A natural deodorant targets bad odour with ingredients like Blue Cypress Oil, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Leaf Oil and Lavender Oil.

Cons of natural deodorant

First up, the aluminium in chemical deodorants causes those crispy yellow stains you get on your white shirts.

For years, we all thought that those were sweat stains. It's actually your sweat reacting with the aluminium. (And it's almost impossible to wash out!)

Chemical deodorants can also make your perspiration worse due to the bacteria build up in clogged pores. 

Some chemicals used in chemical deodorants can also cause allergic reactions. Many of us go through life not knowing we are allergic to something until it causes a reaction.

This irritation can cause bumpy underarms, redness, swelling, itching and intense soreness.

What is wrong with aluminium in deodorant?

Believe it or not, aluminium is used extensively in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. In antiperspirants, aluminium salts are used to prevent sweating. These salts dissolve into the pores of your skin blocking the sweat from escaping.

Another worry of using antiperspirant with aluminium is understanding where all of that aluminium goes. Studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that frequent use of antiperspirants can cause aluminium to accumulate in your body tissue.

Parabens in men's deodorant

Another harmful chemical in deodorants and antiperspirants are parabens. Think of them as preservatives in prepackaged lunch meat and canned food.

Parabens are used to create a longer shelf life by preventing fungi, bacteria and yeast from growing on a range of products.

Triclosan in men's deodorant

Triclosan is another artificial ingredient found in deodorants. Used as an antibacterial ingredient, Triclosan is found in many deodorants, cosmetics and hand washes.

Silica in men's deodorant

Silica is another artificial ingredient used to absorb perspiration. It has been found to cause skin irritation including bright red spots and itchiness.

Propylene Glycol in Deodorant

Propylene Glycol is a synthetic compound that is found in a lot of foods and also cosmetic products. This compound is also used to de-ice aircraft in cold conditions.

Something that thaws aircraft doesn’t seem like something that should be against your skin 7 days a week…

Is deodorant harmful for your health?

While like many of these other artificial compounds and ingredients, it would take a whole lot of ingestion to be harmful. However, the question is whether this combination of substances could cause health issues.

Chemical deodorants: the positives

The biggest positive of chemical deodorants is how easy they are to find. You can go to any supermarket or pharmacy and find a huge selection of chemical deodorants.

They have tons of options in different scents and strengths - at a wide range of low prices. 

Another positive is that chemical deodorants will do a good job of blocking your sweat and bad odour.

Alternative to chemical deodorants? Go natural


Now, I know what you’re thinking — “Natural deodorants don’t work.” We get it and to be fair some of the natural options are weak. It is important to find one that does work and is long-lasting. 

For a natural deodorant to work - it needs ingredients that are shown to fight bad odour - not mask it. 

What are the benefits of using natural deodorant?

First of all, they don't clog your pores. 

Leaving your pores unclogged allows your body to detoxify, releasing bacteria and chemicals like BPA through sweating. It helps decrease your body's internal temperature - keeping you cooler.

Another advantage of using a good men's natural deodorant is the ingredients are... well, natural. You know what you're getting - nothing has been manufactured in a laboratory.

Here are some natural ingredients that you should look for in your choice of natural deodorant.

    • White Tea Leaf Extract - Uses antioxidants to relieve stress to the skin, reinvigorating it to look younger and shield it from damage.
    • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice - A hydrating substance that helps to heal the skin and combat irritation. It also serves as an antioxidant source that helps protect the skin.
    • Chitosan Lactic Acid - A healing accelerant that can reverse the damage on skin tissues.
    • Blue Cypress Oil - Antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-depressive. This potent oil makes an excellent skin treatment that can go so far as to prevent warts.
    • Peppermint Oil - A natural antiseptic that cleanses the skin. It produces the same cooling sensation that alcohol does without the defects.
    • Spearmint Leaf Oil - It soothes skin problems, reduces headaches, and prevents nausea. It also alleviates respiratory issues and cold symptoms.
    • Lavender Oil - Kills bacteria, reduces irritation, and unclogs pores. You can't beat it!
    • Eucalyptus Leaf Oil - An effective solution for men with overly-dry skin by increasing its Ceramide intake. Ceramides are a fatty acid responsible for keeping your skin moisturized.

Another advantage is natural deodorants are a "greener" product - aka better for the environment. 

Natural deodorants also don't leave those pesky yellow stains on your shirts. 

A final advantage of natural deodorants is that they are typically made of high-quality ingredients. Sure - the product might cost a little more but is saving a few bucks worth risking your health? 

Cons of natural deodorant 

Now, there are negatives to natural deodorants. While they aren't as serious as the negatives with chemical deodorants, they are worth understanding and knowing.

Natural deodorants don't control sweating like chemical deodorants do since the ingredients don't block your pores.

Don't stress! Once your body adjusts to the natural deodorant your sweat levels will normalize. 

Another negative of natural deodorants is that they may not have the same powerful odour-stopping strength as chemical formulations. This is due to using natural ingredients. Artificial ingredients can increase the scent of your deodorant.

Men's natural deodorants do have a bit of an adjustment time to them as well. Your body will take some time to adjust to the natural ingredients and release the buildup from standard deodorant.

It normally only takes around a week for this adjustment to occur. During this time, it may seem like the natural deodorant is not working. Don't worry though, it will.

The price of natural deodorants is often higher than standard deodorants. This is mainly because the ingredients are more costly to source as they are better.

The money you will invest in a higher quality deodorant will be worth it, unless you like risking your health to save a buck...

Natural deodorants are not mass-produced. This also increases the price. The extra you pay is worth it in our opinion. Not only are you getting better ingredients, but you are getting a better-made product as well.

The pros and cons of switching to natural deodorant

The choice is ultimately yours. If you want to try a long-lasting natural deodorant (that works!) check out VITAMAN’s Natural Body Deodorants.

Natural Body Deodorant - Ocean 

Natural Body Deodorant - Earth 

It won't give you painful, stinging underarm rashes, it doesn't block your pores like antiperspirant and it won't leave your shirts stained and crispy at the end of the day.

And the best part, each deodorant lasts up to 3 months if used as instructed! 

VITAMAN'S natural deodorant kills bad odour with unique, powerful natural ingredients like Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Chitosan, and Lactic Acid.