Saturday 18 September 2010

Green People Aloe Vera Organic Roll-On Deodorant

Organic Fortnight has just drawn to a close so I've been reading lots of interesting information about organic products, including skincare. For example, Charlotte Vøhtz, the founder of organic-lifestyle company Green People says, “It is actually worse to put toxins on your skin than eat them. When you put something on your skin, it can go directly into the bloodstream. The use of multiple personal care products means that ingredients interact with each other, causing unpredictable additional toxicity to increase the risk of allergies.” Hmmm that certainly makes you think. What do we actually do to ourselves in the name of beauty ? Are we any better than our female ancestors who used to poison themselves to death by painting their faces with white lead paint to look pale and interesting ?!

Green People explain on their website, "Did you know that most deodorants contain a cocktail of chemicals that may be hazardous to health? Green People’s natural deodorants are made with 84% certified organic ingredients and are free from alcohol, pore-clogging aluminium, parabens and other nasties." So far so good.

However, the next bit did make me wonder how well I would actually like a chemical nasty-free deodorant. "Using an organic deodorant won't stop you sweating but, in conjunction with good basic hygiene, it will stop unpleasant odours without exposing you to harsh chemical ingredients and suppressing the body's vital functions." Hmmm I'm not sure about that. I love eco-friendly and organic products but only if they're as good as the less ethical alternatives so the idea of a deodorant that doesn't stop me sweating doesn't sound very convincing to me. Most of the non-organic deodorants on the market are also anti-perspirants, albeit with chemical nasties and pore-cloggers, so sweating is a bodily function that has been made almost taboo now !

So how does it work ? If it doesn't stop you sweating, does it just mask the smell ? Well, no, it does more than that. Green People have cleverly used natural ingredients that will help keep nasty whiffs at bay by preventing the build up of bacteria. They explain, "Aloe vera is a common ingredient across all three of our ladies’ roll-on deodorants thanks to its anti-microbial properties together with its soothing action on skin. Our men’s deodorants contain ingredients such as peppermint and rosemary, which have similar actions. However, it is two other ingredients – Ammonium alum and Zinc ricinoleate – which give our organic deodorants their remarkable effectiveness. Ammonium alum is not like the pore-clogging aluminium you will commonly find in high street antiperspirants. It stays on the surface of the skin, where it prevents the bacteria which cause odour from thriving. Zinc ricinoleate is derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant so is a completely natural ingredient. It has the capability to stop the bacteria from releasing odour, thereby keeping you smelling fresh as a daisy!" The Aloe Vera deodorant that I tried is also perfumed with Sandalwood and Chamomile which smells lovely and musky but not overpowering.

I tested the deodorant on myself and, on normal relatively chilled-out days, I found it actually worked very well but, I must admit, I felt self-conscious on the days when I needed to run about all over the place getting hot and sweaty or on really hot days. I would never live down walking into a classroom full of teens with big under-arm rings of sweat on my T-shirt so I did keep checking under my arms throughout the day, worrying about how I looked !

As this is such a gentle, natural product, I decided to let 9-year-old Sophie try it out. She's starting to worry about getting sweaty and a bit pongy after doing sport at school so, as I guessed, she was over the moon when I said she could use it. I wasn't keen on getting her started on deodorants this early on in her life but with Green People's ethics and chemical nasty-free formula, I had no qualms at all about her using it. She absolutely loves it and feels very grown up putting some on in the mornings before school on the days she has sport ! There is also a teen version available, called Oy!, with a fruity Orange and Vanilla scent that I'm sure she'd love too.
In conclusion, there are things I liked and things I didn't like. It basically comes down to one pivotal question : to sweat or not to sweat ?! If you want to keep your under-arm area as dry as the Gobi desert, you probably won't like organic deodorants. If this doesn't worry you, it's great to find a formula that is so gentle on your skin and that works WITH your body, rather than AGAINST it, trying to aggressively suppress natural bodily functions like sweating as most normal non-organic deodorants that you find in the supermarkets do.

According to the label, Green People's deodorant is made with 89% certified organic ingredients. It is suitable for people who may be prone to eczema and psoriasis, it's soothing and active with anti-bacterial properties, it's made without alcohol and pore-clogging Aluminium, it contains herbal extracts to soothe delicate skin and it's made with fairly traded, organic ingredients. It is certified with the Organic Food Federation and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. But what's on the outside is as important as what's on the inside and they also have eco-friendly packaging. They explain, "Our packaging is recyclable and non air-freighted so you can be sure that any environmental impact is minimal." It's not cheap but you do get the peace of mind of knowing that you're not polluting your - or your kids' - bodies with potentially harmful chemicals.

Green People's Aloe Vera Deodorant was the winner of the 2009/10 Green Beauty Bible awards and was also "Highly Commended" 2010 Natural Health Beauty Awards. For a natural, organic deodorant, it is certainly a very good product.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.75 (75ml)

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