Once upon a time, I was a biology major. I wanted to be a doctor. I believed that new scientific inventions and discoveries were always not only the best, but the only solution. Until I realized that “Western medicine” simply treats an already existing problem and some scientific advances have begun to make us all weak in the knees, in a bad way. Science has brought us GMO’s, it has brought us pills to counter the pills to alleviate the symptoms of diseases that could have been prevented. I was, and still am skeptical of holistic solutions, and one of the tests that is always failed is by natural deodorants. Natural deodorants have a special way of leaving you smelling like a barn after only a few short hours, and on top of that you usually feel drenched. I have found the holy grail of natural deodorants.
But why is everyone making such a big deal about regular, conventional antiperspirants? The active ingredient in antiperspirant deodorants is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly. Most people will probably struggle to pronounce this, but that is not why we should not use it. How aluminum zirconium works is by being absorbed into the skin where aluminum ions cause the skin to swell enough to pinch the sweat glands shut so as to prevent any sweat from escaping. Many people believe this can cause infections. You know, those little red bumps you get in your armpits? I haven’t gotten a single one since I switched to Soapwalla’s deodorant cream (yes, I still shave my underarms). Many also subscribe to the belief that antiperspirants block your ability to release toxins, which to me is a bit far out there for my science background, but worth mentioning. The most pressing issue regarding conventional antiperspirants is their very possible correlation to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, though there isn’t affirmative proof of this (…yet).
If I’m such a skeptic though, why would I switch to a natural deodorant? I switched to natural because I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. I like to avoid the used of parabens and ingredients that I don’t know the origin of. Ingredients that I cannot pronounce. These chemicals are absorbed into our skin, and if there is no proof that they’re either safe or dangerous, why not take the route we know is safe? So I went on the ultimate mission: to find a natural deodorant that leaves me feeling and smelling as fresh as a daisy. I stood in the natural food store time after time, smelling the deodorants in their tubes. Most of them smell lovely, but after a mere 4 hours of wearing them: barnyard. Then one day, by the recommendation of a fellow volunteer; I was directed to Soapwalla’s deodorant cream. Soapwalla was started in a little Brooklyn apartment by a woman who needed to make her own skincare products due to her very sensitive skin caused by systemic lupus. She decided to leave her law career to pursue her love for creation, and she opened Soapwalla to the public. All of her products are 100% vegan, never tested on animals, and are loaded with essential oils and all natural ingredients. Plus, there’s the added bonus that for we New Yorkers Soapwalla is local!
On to the deodorant cream: I practice vinyasa yoga. It is a form of flow yoga, not as athletic or fast paced as ashtanga, but it certainly works up a sweat and tests your strength in ways I’d rather not describe. For you ayurvedic followers, I’m also a pitta; i.e. I’m always hot. I wouldn’t say that I’m a profuse sweater, but I definitely wouldn’t want to go to a yoga class or for a run without deodorant on. And so one day I went and picked up Soapwalla’s deodorant cream and put it to the test. I opened it up to find a rich, creamy, pale yellow substance. It smells as it should, given it’s list of ingredients:
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*; Rosehip Seed Oil*; Butyrospermun parkii (Shea) Butter; Corn Starch*+; Sodium Bicarbonate+; Kaolin Clay; Vegan Kosher Glycerin*+; a custom blend of essential oils, including: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*; Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)*; Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange); Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)*; Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergaptene-free Bergamot)*; Non-GMO Vitamin E*+. (*: certified organic, +: food-grade)
Essential oils can be an acquired taste for some, they often smell somewhat medicinal. Once you’ve adjusted from artificial fragrances to naturals, though; essential oils are unbeatable. This deodorant cream doesn’t smell like your regular antiperspirant. It smells very much of tea tree, peppermint, and lavender; but after the tea tree begins to fade you can smell the sweet orange begin to shine through. I think it smells wonderful. Essential oils are completely absorbed through the skin, so you won’t smell anything at all after a few hours. Even with my old antiperspirant I started to smell a little ripe after a 16 hour day, but with this? My pits smell like nothing at all. I also have the added bonus of irritation-free, soft, smooth underarms! Something I NEVER had with an antiperspirant, even if they were marketed to promise smooth underarms after however many days of using it.
So why does this stuff work? Essential oils are naturally antimicrobial! But it doesn’t stop there, as a buffer sodium bicarbonate has been added to ensure freshness by absorbing any odors and both corn starch and kaolin clay have been added to aid in sweat absorption. It’s also chock full of moisturizing ingredients that are gentle on even the most sensitive skin, gentle enough that I personally haven’t experienced any stinging or irritation even immediately after shaving.
So there you have it, our natural deodorant wishes have been answered by Soapwalla.