THE SCIENCE BEHIND NATURAL DEODORANTS
Sweat itself doesn’t smell, its an odourless watery substance rich in triglycerides, fatty acids, proteins and steroids. A triglyceride is a molecule of glycerol with 3 fatty acids attached. Bacteria on our skin are able to break off the fatty acids and then use them as a source of food and as those fatty acids are broken down they release smelly componds called thioalcohols. These thioalcohols are responsible for the odour we associate with sweat.
There are many different types of bacteria living on our skin and usually they usually all work and live together in harmony, they are called our natural flora. Our natural flora can interact with our skin at a cellular level, triggering our immune system and actually help protect us from invasion from harmful bacteria that cause diseases and illness.
THE ROLE OF BACTERIA IN PRODUCING BODY ODOUR
HOW DO SYNTHETIC DEODORANTS WORK?
Synthetic deodorants control odour by killing bacteria on our skin and thus preventing those smelly fatty acids being produced. However, by doing this they also kill our natural flora and disrupt the skin microbiome and interfer with the protective mechanisms that prevent invasion from potentially dangerous bacteria.
HOW DO NATURAL DEODORANTS WORK?
Natural deodorants work differently to synthetic deodorants. It’s a simple acid + base reaction that takes place on the skin to produce a sodium salt that doesn’t smell. Sodium bicarbonate is a weak base (ie it has a ph higher than 7). This weak base reacts with the smelly fatty acids to produce a sodium salt. The sodium salts are odourless and they can't be further broken down by our skins bacteria to the nasty smelling thioalcohols. Our skins natural flora of bacteria remains intact and can continue their role in protecting us from invasion from pathogenic bacteria.
I hope you've enjoyed this quick explanation of the science behind natural deodorants, that you now understand the differences between the mechanism of action of synthetic and natural deodorants.
ARE YOU READY TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO NATURAL DEODORANTS?
We produce a range of safe, effective and skin friendly organic and vegan natural deodorants. Head to our online shop to find a range of beautiful hand crafted, aluminium and paraben free natural deodorant.