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Charm your underarm - what’s in and out of our natural deodorants and why

  • 4 min read

Charm your underarm - what’s in and out of our natural deodorants and why

No one likes wet, funky-smelling armpits, right?

But to stop the sweat and control the stench, many people reach for a traditional deodorant or antiperspirant - without really thinking about the ingredients they’re putting on their skin.

At Woohoo, we think A LOT, particularly when it comes to what ingredients are in and what ingredients are out of our natural deodorant formulas. Here’s a little rundown:


Aluminium Salts

Antiperspirants use aluminium compounds which ‘plug’ your pores to stop any oil or water from coming out.

Sure, this might sound like a good thing, but the concern is that blocking the pores stops the body’s natural sweating process, which is an essential body function. Antiperspirants are classed as medical products because they change the way your body works.

The other concern is that aluminium in the body does raise some red flags as it has links to some health concerns. Although some claim there’s little robust evidence to support these claims, who wants to take the risk?


Parabens are preservatives, used for their ability to fight bacteria, fungus, and other icky sounding microbes. They are very good at protecting from bacteria but not so good for your hormones.

Parabens are endocrine disruptors. They can be absorbed by the skin and have been shown to mimic the body’s natural hormones (like estrogens, androgens, and thyroid hormones). Anything that can affect your hormones is not the best choice for your health.


Known for its A-grade antibacterial power, triclosan can be a little too over-zealous when it comes to combatting bacteria. Sure, it’ll do a darn good job of killing the odour-causing bacteria in your armpits, but it also destroys the good bacteria, which is not so ‘good’!

Due to its environmental and health concerns many cosmetic regulatory boards are putting tighter restrictions on its use.


Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay can absorb both water and oil which is perfect as that is what sweat is made up of: sebum (oil) and water. Through this absorption it stops it becoming food for bacteria which in turn neutralises the not-so-lovely-smell of BO. But here’s the best bit; it doesn’t dry out your skin making it very kind on sensitive skin. No more underarm irritation!

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal not only mops up moisture but it’s also a toxic binder. Say what? This means it attracts toxins and bacteria and draws them away from the skin, leaving your armpits stink-free. (Don’t forget, it’s not your sweat that smells funky, it’s the bacteria mixed with the acid in your sweat.)

Triethyl Citrate

Triethyl Citrate has a technical-sounding name, and that’s because this naturally derived ester does some pretty technical odour busting. It adds an extra layer of defence by stopping the bad bacteria from breaking down the sweat proteins (which causes BO).

It does this without affecting any of the good bacteria, helping to keep your underarm microflora in perfect balance.

Essential oils

Pure essential oils, such as honey myrtle, bergamot, rose and cedarwood give Woohoo Natural Deodorants their fresh scents and help ensure pleasant-smelling pits. Some of the essential oils used (like lemon and eucalyptus leaf) also have antibacterial benefits. Double win.

… and there is oh-so-much more natural goodness in our deodorants that we haven’t even mentioned!

Making the switch without a stink

If you’re ready to ditch the not-so-appealing ingredients in your current antiperspirant or deodorant, we’ve got some tips for you.

We’ll be honest, for some people (about 50%), transitioning from traditional antiperspirant to natural deodorant can take time while your body goes through an adjustment phase.

You’re essentially ‘unplugging’ your sweat ducts. Your body will need to get used to the natural sweating process again. You might find yourself sweating more and smelling extra whiffy. This isn’t due to your new natural deodorant not working (which is what most people mistakenly think), it’s your body getting used to sweating again and the good and bad bacteria balancing back out, so stick with it. The time varies from a few days to a few weeks, so some persistence may be required, but remember it WILL start working and once it does, you’ll never look back.

To help make the transition less of a stinkfest there are a few things you can do:

  • Take warm baths to help deeply cleanse the pores (and because who doesn't love a long warm bath?)
  • Try our deodorant paste sample pack to find the product and scent you like best.
  • Use a clay mask, like our Armpit Detox Mask, on your underarms to speed up the adjustment phase.
  • Steer clear of tight-fitting or synthetic clothing, which can trap in moisture (Instead wear loose-fitting, natural, and moisture-wicking fabrics).
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep up your exercise and eat healthy.

BTW If you have sensitive skin and find natural deodorants can irritate your pits but you’d still really like to make the switch, check out our bicarb-free natural deodorant formulas.