Aluminum is one of the most commonly used active ingredients in antiperspirants. Many of the common brands of antiperspirants also have a deodorant factor to them but mainly use aluminum as the first level of protection. Antiperspirants are meant to stop sweating by plugging pores with aluminum compounds. Deodorants are meant to combat the smell of sweat by fighting the odor causing bacteria.
Alcohol can be found in many antiperspirants because it is an excellent solution for dissolving the active ingredients. Alcohol dries quickly and provides a great cool feeling when applied to the skin. However, the problem is that alcohol is very drying and can cause irritation and itchiness.
Parabens can frequently be seen across all cosmetics including antiperspirants and deodorants as a preservative. Parabens can irritate the skin especially where there is small cuts or razor burn, but a more serious concern is how it affects the body’s hormones and their essential functions. Parabens are shown in labels as part of much more complex names that typically end in -paraben such as butylparaben, propylparaben, and methylparaben. Fragrance is a common additive meant to mask the natural body odor, but it can be a completely synthetic additive that is irritating to the skin and ultimately can cause rashes.
Baking soda is perhaps the most natural option for an antiperspirant. It can absorb sweat very well. However, applying directly means finding the right amount that does not cause irritation as a high concentration of baking soda is much more likely to cause a rash. Commercial made antiperspirants can keep baking soda mixes at more appropriate levels for skin contact, and there are plenty of other great ingredients that make quality antiperspirant and deodorant for sensitive skin.
1. Dove Sensitive
Dove Advanced Care Sensitive (for women) and Dove Men+Care Sensitive Shield are readily available, inexpensive options. While the formulas do not contain paraben or alcohol, both contain aluminum as the active ingredient. Also, these sensitive care formulas contain a fragrance that has not been labeled artificial or natural. However, both offer 48-hour protection and nourishing ingredients that help to smooth skin.
2. Almay Sensitive
Almay Sensitive is another inexpensive option that does not include alcohol, paraben or fragrance and comes in a convenient gel. Almay sensitive also has managed to avoid toxic additives and maintains scent free to avoid artificial fragrances.
3. Primal Pit Paste
Primal Pit Paste is middle of line in terms of price. It is aluminum free and relies on baking soda as its foundation. It also contains no soy, no fragrance, and no paraben. It is a hand-made and hand-packaged product with BPA-free plastic lids. The formula is offered in different levels for various “stink” needs, with level one being recommended for those with ultra-sensitive skin.
Underarmed is one of the more expensive brands, however a stick of Underarmed can last you up to three months with daily use. It is completely aluminum free and gets its subtle scents from a natural source of essential oils. Underarmed even advertises that it contains ingredients that will detoxify the body and nourish the skin. It is safe for children and contains no parabens or toxic chemicals. Underarmed’s unisex formula is hand-made and packaged in BPA-free plastic.
5. Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
The Crystal Body Stick is a mineral salt stone that is exclusively a deodorant and airs more on the inexpensive side of things. It’s a twist-up crystal stick that creates a barrier of protection against the bacteria that cause bad odor. It is hypoallergenic and contains no aluminum, chemicals, paraben, or fragrance. The stick itself needs to be dampened with water before application or applied to a wet body such as after a shower for proper use. Even with daily use the Crystal Body Deodorant Stick can last you up to a year. The stick is completely smooth and does not stain clothing.
6. Schmidt’s Tea Tree Stick
Schmidt’s Tea Tree Stick has done an amazing job of creating a formula that is natural and avoids all the common skin irritants. The stick is free of baking soda, aluminum and, paraben. It is holds a middle of line price and uses magnesium hydroxide to absorb sweat instead of the common aluminum sweat blocker. It is also completely vegan, employing tea tree oil to protect against odor causing bacteria.