Today we are going to talk about something no one is really talking about. Okay, hardly. Whether you are team no-hair or hairy-don’t-care, underarm sweat is a nuisance, especially if it’s too much to the point that it affects your life.
But first, sweating is perfectly normal. It’s our body’s way to cool off in response to heat and extreme temperature, exercise, emotions and hormones. Our body is made up of millions of sweat glands. Apocrine sweat gland is found in certain areas like our armpit. It has no odor but when combined with bacteria, it can be obnoxious. With these facts in mind, and barring any medical conditions that can cause hyperhidrosis (medical term for excessive sweating which requires formal diagnosis from a doctor), the ideal deodorant should not prevent you from sweating but rather just minimize the odor, if need be.
Previously, I shared my tips to achieving bright and smooth underarm which includes use of natural deodorants. Chemical-laden deodorants can cause irritation which can lead to hyperpigmentation. In particular, anti-perspirants that contain aluminum. Fragrance is also a culprit to irritation or allergy. I know this for a fact because I experienced it first-hand and also see it as presenting problem from some of my patients. Natural deodorants on the other hand are devoid of harmful ingredients but be wary of fragrance! Look at the hierarchy of ingredients, if fragrance is listed first or second, potential irritation may ensue.
Baking soda versus crystal deodorant. Both are good natural deodorants if you ask me. Baking soda is sometimes mixed with arrowroot powder for better absorption of sweat whilst neutralizing the odor. Crystal deodorant is made from mineral salts that have natural antimicrobial properties. Take note though, as with other products, stop using a deodorant if you develop redness, itchiness or any form of sensitivity. You are not detoxing if you are experiencing these, contrary to what some people say. Rash is a reaction, so stop using it.
Solutions for underarm sweat are not rocket-science. Choose fabric like cotton that’s breathable and absorb moisture. Outfits that are too tight and constricting are not only uncomfortable but also make your underarm sweat more noticeable. Carry travel sized deodorant especially if you’re at the gym.
Suffering from hyperhidrosis? go see a doctor so it can be managed professionally. On the aesthetic side, neuromodulators (injectable) are approved for this condition. There is also a device cleared by the FDA that targets the sweat gland (it’s an out of pocket expense, not covered by insurance). Sympathotomy is a surgical procedure which involves cutting of sympathetic nerve which controls sweat reaction. As some of you know, I am an Aesthetic Registered Nurse by profession so I thought I’d mention these in case you are desperate to find solutions.
These are my natural deodorants in rotation:
Claydry. I got this from one of the Kinder Beauty Box subscriptions. The size is great for travel. Ingredients: Maranta Arundinacea Root (Arrowroot) Powder, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda),Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Magnesium Hydroxide, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Yuzu Fruit Fragrance, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Flavor, d-alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ionic Clay Minerals, Arnica Monatana (Arnica) Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria (Chamomile)) Flower Extract, Carthamus Tinctorious (Safflower) Seed Oil, Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract.
Madame Lemy. I’ve had this for quite a while now and it’s my most used deodorant. It comes in powder (with puff) so it took a little bit of adjustment to it. They sell refill so aside from being vegan and cruelty-free, I like that it also aims for zero waste. The short list of ingredients is admirable: Himalayan Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Powder, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil, Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss)
Biossance Squalane Bamboo Deodorant. Yes, this skincare brand has a deodorant. No baking soda but has tapioca starch in it. Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Stearyl Alcohol, C13-15 Alkane, Tapioca Starch, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Triethyl Citrate, Jojoba Esters, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Bisabolol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Limonene, Citronellol, Linalool, Geraniol, Tocopherol
Rustic Maka Dream Catcher Baking Soda-Free Deodorant. Again I got it from either Kinder Beauty or Vegan Cuts subscription box. It gas coconut oil and tapioca starch as key ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Magnesium Hydroxide, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Powder*, Shorea Robusta (Sal) Butter, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Zinc Ricinoleate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Natural Fragrance**, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract
Pacifica Pineapple Flowers Underarm Deodorant Water. Spray-on, quite unique in the presentation. Sometimes I use it after an intense workout Ingredients: Aqua, Saccharomyces Ferment, Parfum (Natural), Phenoxyethanol
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