When we created Ultrella, we spent months (literally months) searching the planet for the best, the cleanest and most innovative natural ingredients we could get our hands on. I was determined to create a deodorant using natural ingredients that was just as effective as a synthetic one.
Why? Well, it all started when my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a massive wake up call. Up until then, I’d not given any thought to the antiperspirants I’d been using. Sprays, roll ons, sticks. I’d buy whatever was in the supermarket. Suddenly though, I was really aware of how close my armpits were to breast tissue and it freaked me out. I started reading ingredient lists and paying attention to what I was putting on my skin.
You will never find these ingredients in our products. Here’s why....
Aluminium or Aluminum
Aluminium Compounds and/or Aluminium Salts are a key ingredient in most antiperspirant products. When they come in contact with moisture on the skin, they dissolve to form a gel. This gel creates a temporary barrier over the sweat glands, meaning sweat doesn’t reach the skin’s surface. They stop sweating that’s for certain, but FYI they’re also responsible for the big yellow stains you get on your tops.
Also, there are a number of studies out there that have linked use of aluminium to breast cancer and Alzheimer's. I’m the first to put my hand up and say I don’t have a medical background, so I would encourage you to do your own research and reach your own conclusions.
The thing is, our bodies were designed to sweat. It’s how we control our temperature when we’re hot, when we’re exercising or when we’re stressed. If you’re using an antiperspirant daily, then how is your body going to perform this vital task?
Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben - basically steer clear of any product that ends with paraben. Parabens are preservatives that are commonly used in bodycare products. They are known endocrine disruptors. FYI - the endocrine system is the control centre for your body’s hormone production and it's not a good idea to go messing with it.
Propylene Glycol is the base for many deodorant products because it creates a smooth consistency. It is commonly produced from petroleum, but can also be derived from natural gas or vegetable sources. It is a key ingredient in antifreeze products for cars and airplanes. It acts as a penetration enhancer. This means that if it is paired with harmful chemicals, it can increase their absorption rates.
Also, PG is a known skin irritant, with links to allergic reactions in the skin. Examples include contact dermatitis and non-immunologic contact urticaria (commonly known as hives). Ouch!
Propylene Glycol is also used in antifreeze for your car!!
Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that is commonly used in antiperspirants and deodorants – even supposedly natural ones. It was initially developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals, but is used in bodycare products to kill bacteria and fungus and prevent odours.
Phthalates are plasticising chemicals that are often used in deodorants to improve the consistency of the product. They also help to dissolve other ingredients. They are known to be endocrine disruptors that may wreak havoc with your hormonal function. They have also been linked to a range of other serious complications such as infertility and low sperm count, cancer, organ damage and endometriosis.
And finally, Baking Soda. Baking Soda, or Bicarbonate of Soda, isn’t as controversial as the ingredients above, but you still won’t see it on our ingredient lists. Baking Soda is a really effective deodoriser but it’s also really harsh on the skin because it’s super alkaline. Just think back to making volcanoes at school with vinegar and baking soda. This mini reaction happens every time it’s applied to the skin. Your skin’s protective layer is called the Acid Mantle. Over time, products containing Baking soda react with the Acid Mantle and start to wear it away. Our theory is that that’s why lots of people are okay with a BS based deodorant for a week or two, but then they start to react.
Save your baking soda for your kitchen.
If you’re keen to dig deeper and do your own research, then here's a great place to start: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Alternatively, if you have any questions, then please feel free to come to us.