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Natural deodorants


By Dr Erum ILYAS


If you are seeking a natural deodorant that is aluminum free then reading the label is important to make sure the ingredients you see are all natural.


A common ingredient that is used to neutralize odors is eucalyptus oil.


Often times arrowroot powder, baking soda and kaolin clay are added to absorb sweat.


Coconut oil, vitamin E and Shea butter can be found to help the products moisturize and soothe the skin.

My only my caution with these ingredients would be the baking soda- the most common rash I encounter is the reddish brown discoloration that can be sore and itchy under the arms. This is most often a result of baking soda. 

Kids and teens can be more unpredictable with their sweating patterns. Excess sweating known as hyperhidrosis is more commonly diagnosed in teens and preteens and young adults. Their skin can be a bit more sensitive at time to products as well so being cautious about the ingredients used can help.


I tend to have my patients be cautious with baking soda as an ingredient. It’s not harmful per de but it can be really irritating to the skin. Lots of fragrances added can be pretty uncomfortable for sensitive skin types as well. Remember that natural deodorants are deodorants NOT antiperspirants. This is an important distinction because they do not stop people from sweating. They only work by trying to absorb sweat and neutralize odors. 


The concept behind sweat wicking technology is to pull moisture away from the skin by absorbing or pulling the moisture into fabric away from the skin, migrating the moisture through the fabric to the outer layers so it can evaporate from their. This allows the moisture from sweat to not not accumulate close to the skin. You will see this quite often in athletic wear as it has become quite popular. Since I study functional textiles I find this to be brilliant as it simply avoids a chemical finish and focuses on the manufacturing of the textile to achieve this effect. 


Breakouts associated with the use of natural deodorants may be linked less to traditional acne and more to a change in the ‘bioflora’ of the skin. With yeast and bacteria present in these areas they may be inclined to overthrow and cause their own irritation. It can help to exfoliate under the arms once a week to remove residue buildup from products. Remember that since they do not stop sweating they just absorb it, there can be a build up that develops over time. Taking a sugar scrub or an apricot scrub or a clean wash cloth it can help to gently clean this area once weekly to remove any buildup. 

Montgomery  Dermatology, LLC

Phone (610) 265-1166

FAX (610) 265-1186

860 1st Ave #8b, King of Prussia, PA 19406
10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA 19403

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