Back in 2019, Justin Bieber made his foray into the grooming world with a natural deodorant called Here + Now. Another famous man launches a brand, and it’s business as usual. But, when you really think about it, it was actually a smart step into an ascendant industry.
According to a recent study by Grand View Research, the global natural deodorant market was valued at around $63 million back when Bieber first introduced his skincare range. Since then, it has skyrocketed by 14.1 per cent every single year, with Very Famous People like Cara Delevingne, Kourtney Kardashian, and Miranda Kerr making the switch to the organic stuff. And, judging by the fact that the #NaturalDeodorant tag has thousands and thousands of views on TikTok, you may well have made the jump, too.
But like other health and wellness trends such as ginger shots and coconut water, there are plenty of pros and plenty of cons, plus questions of efficacy. So, we sat down with some of the UK’s leading dermatologists and the biggest natural deodorant brands to find out if it’s actually as beneficial as some say it is. No sweat!
“The main differences between natural and normal deodorant lies in their composition,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “Natural deodorants are typically made from plant-based ingredients such as essential oils, baking soda, and mineral salts, and they do not contain artificial additives like parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances.”
“Some natural deodorant brands have also started distinguishing themselves by utilising skin-friendly ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter,” says Charlie Bowes-Lyon, co-founder of Wild. “Not only can these ingredients make your skin softer, they also have natural antibacterial properties to counteract odour-causing bacteria.”
“In most cases, natural deodorant means fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients,” says Dr Dev Patel, doctor in aesthetic and regenerative medicine and founder of CellDerma. “This is believed to create a happier and healthier underarm microbiome.”
“Most normal deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminium salts that work to stop sweat by completely blocking skin pores,” says Melissa Christenson, chemist at Hume Supernatural. “Alternatively, modern, clean natural deodorants use alternate renewable, non-petrochemical ingredients to reduce odour.”
However, it’s worth noting that the word “natural” is primarily a marketing claim and the term is not regulated. “Compared to conventional deodorants, those that claim to be natural tend to contain fragrances, baking soda, and essential oils,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Mia Jing Gao. “Conventional deodorants contain ingredients that reduce sweating and are more effective at it. Natural deodorants, on the other hand, tend to soak up sweat and mask the odour.”