Lots of us like to detox at the start of the year.
As we hit the gym, why not look at detoxing our favourite gym-bag staple - our sweat-busters? This week I'm looking at ditching aluminium antiperspirants and instead looking to natural deodorants that will work as hard as we do during our workouts.
Most antiperspirants block and inhibit the healthy and normal bodily function of sweating, primarily by their use of aluminium. Recent scientific studies have raised health concerns about its usage as it can be easily absorbed in the skin. Sweating is also vital for temperature regulation, and ridding our bodies of toxins.
Natural deodorants, on the other hand, allow our bodies to sweat but disguise any odour with bacteria-sopping ingredients, including baking soda and arrowroot.
One of my favourite natural deodorants is Warrior Botanicals Deodorant, €7.50, made in small batches by founder Réidín Beattie in her herb and botanical studio in West Cork. After being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015, her sensitivity to toxins and chemicals in her lifestyle accelerated and she was no longer able to use skincare products that were even advertised as natural. She started formulating her own skincare using simple ingredients from her kitchen and local forest, and her line has exploded since. Réidín explains: "Perspiration is your body's way of eliminating toxins from your body. Rather than blocking up your precious sweat glands to prevent perspiration, natural deodorants work by drying up the excess moisture and by making your armpits smell daisy fresh."
Natural deodorants usually come in solid balm form and can take a bit of getting used to. I've included some spray and roll-on versions for you - and all are 100pc natural with nary a metal in sight!
This low-alcohol, natural deodorant is packed with powerful botanicals like sage, mint and witch hazel that work to control odour caused by sweating, while tapioca starch helps absorb moisture. Pore-restricting aluminium is ditched in favour of botanicals in a gentle formulation that helps adjust our skin pH to discourage sweaty smells, and gives the loveliest, fresh scent from its pure essential oils. Leaves no white marks either! Dr Hauschka Sage Mint Deodorant, €17.95, from pharmacies and health stores nationwide.
Natural deodorants in spray form are hard to find (Modern Botany Deodorant, €25, is another great spray option). Most natural deodorants come in solid balm form, which can be tricky to use if you don't shave. If you'd prefer a spray, try this gorgeous option, with its blend of citrus and aromatic oils, aloe vera, burdock and nettle extracts. Free from sulphates, parabens, aluminium, synthetic fragrances, minerals oils and artificial colours. Sukin Natural Deodorant, €7.50, from pharmacies and health stores nationwide.
This skincare line is handmade by founder Réidín Beattie in her herb and botanical studio in West Cork. She makes small-batch skincare and herbal potions that honour traditional herbalism and folk wisdom. This deodorant cream is a favourite of mine. It uses organic plant oils, shea butter, bicarbonate of soda and arrowroot to keep underarms dry, while plant essential oils from rosemary and cedar wood atlas combine to create a scent that will take you deep into the forest! (This is a solid deodorant, so to use just massage a pea-sized amount under arms). Warrior Botanicals Deodorant, from €7.50, from health stores nationwide, Urban Outfitters stores and warriorbotanicals.com.
If you have super-sensitive underarms and are on the lookout for a natural deodorant that will be kind to your skin, try this beaut. It's 100pc natural, aluminium-free, vegan and comes in zero-waste packaging (I wish there were more non-plastic packaged deodorants), while doing a solid job of protecting against moisture and odour. Smells divine, too.
Ben & Anna Deodorant in Japanese Cherry Blossom, €13, from health stores nationwide, thecleanbeautyedit.com and evergreen.ie.
If you've no interest in fragranced deodorants and want a truly neutral, unisex deodorant, this could be a great pick. No fancy fragrances or strongly scented essential oils, this 100pc natural deodorant creates a natural barrier that absorbs odours. will leave no staining on clothing and is 100pc aluminium-free and has also ditched the parabens and paraffin ingredients. Human + Kind 0% Aluminium Salts Deodorant, €12.95, from health stores and pharmacies nationwide.
The sporty one
Using coconut oil, arrowroot, jojoba, and sunflower oil, this gem has natural ingredients that work together to keep body odour at bay. Another plastic-free option, it comes in a fully recyclable aluminium tin and is unscented so suitable for younger skin. It's also stronger acting, so if you're sporty this could be the one for you. Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant Balm Strong, €8, from health stores nationwide.
The Germ Buster
If you're a wee bit of a germophobe when it comes to sharing workout equipment, weights and yoga mats in your gym, why not invest in a hand sanitiser that smells divine and keeps 99.9pc of germs at bay naturally?
DETAILS: Neal's Yard Organic Hand Defense Spray, €7.99 from health stores and pharmacies nationwide.
Okay, so you're not the biggest fan of wearing makeup to the gym (I hear you), but you can't quite get on board with going completely bare-faced. A few coats of this sweat-proof mascara will have you looking a bit more wide-eyed and awake - with zero tell-tale panda eyes during your workout!
DETAILS: Wet 'n' Wild Mega Length Waterproof Mascara, €3.95 from pharmacies nationwide.
If you're into more of a chilled-out vibe for your workouts (eg Pilates, yoga, walking), why not make your exercise routine a really pleasant ritual? I love bringing my crystals to my yoga class and a slick of this essential oil gets me into a lovely frame of mind.
DETAILS: The Nature of Things Essential Oils from, €7 from health stores nationwide and thenatureofthings.ie