Natural deodorants have been around since, well, forever. Ancient Egyptians crushed carob seeds to deal with body odour, whilst Greeks and Romans unsurprisingly used olive oil blended with florals essential oils and other ingredients to combat their stinky pits.
Though they clearly aren’t new, the natural deodorant market has seen an influx of innovation as of late. It’s no longer rare to find vegan deodorant, aluminium-free deodorant, or natural deodorants that claim to be strong antiperspirants using zero chemicals. We’ve seen everything from pumpkin spice scented options, to formulas that use ingredients like CBD or probiotics. With so much variety, it’s hard to tell what actually works, and what’s just a trend.
With so many options available, what matters most?
We didn’t create Akt to follow a trend. Our deodorant balm was created by two performers who spent hundreds of hours performing under hot stage lights, often in stuffy (and occasionally ridiculous) costumes. In case you haven’t worked out in velvet… don’t.
So after spending a few frustrating years ruining their clothing with stubborn sweat stains, spraying chemical-filled aerosol cans in small dressing rooms, and generally feeling self conscious that they were “that guy” with the bad body odour, Founder, Ed Currie knew there had to be a better way.
That’s why he ended up concocting dozens of different formulas on his tiny hob in a Camden kitchen, after spending a full day on stage. While he had some ambitious goals, Ed was determined to come up with something natural, that actually worked both on and off of the stage.
The Akt Cast; natural ingredients that really work
So what makes Akt effective? Three years of perfecting our formula has produced a natural deodorant balm that relies on the power of natural ingredients and active botanicals to keep you feeling fresh all day long. Deodorant being good for you doesn’t have to mean it doesn’t work as well.
So what about aluminium?
If you’re struggling to find an aluminium-free deodorant, you’re not crazy! They don’t really exist. As we explain here (add link to other blog once published) - antiperspirants block sweat, deodorant just addresses the issues associated with sweat - like smell and wetness - without keeping them trapped in your body.
Since our deodorant doesn’t contain aluminium, we’re not an antiperspirant. From an ingredients perspective, aluminium in deodorant/antiperspirants often refers to aluminum salts. Those are the problematic ones that have been loosely linked to various concerns and studies about breast cancer, alzheimers and other health issues.
Packaging innovation helps us stay plastic-free
Whilst most deodorant packaging is plastic, we use a unique tube created just for Akt to dispense our deodorant balms. We’re the only company in the UK that has figured out how to create a completely plastic-free aluminium tube. Most other tube based products use plastic in multiple places including tube liners, caps and seals, as well as in their packing and shipping materials.
In addition, we tested dozens of packaging options. Prior to landing on the tubes we use today, we tried tins with sliding lids, considered glass jars, and also more traditional options like a solid stick.
After spending a significant amount of time testing, researching and revising our packaging, we were able to create a 100% recyclable plastic-free tube to dispense our formula, which means it has a significantly lower environmental impact than a “normal” deodorant.
The "secret" sauce
So what makes us more innovative than all of the other natural deodorant options out there? We think our gorgeous tubes are pretty cool, but we haven’t even mentioned the stuff inside.
When developing our formula, the goal was to create something safe and natural, that still worked! Which is harder than you’d think. Instead of using complicated chemicals or ingredients you’ve never heard of, our formula “innovation” actually relies on active botanicals and natural ingredients that have been traditionally used for centuries.
Akt Deodorant Balms are made without parabens, aluminium or other synthetic ingredients. We don’t use any “fillers” in our fragrances, which means we had to meticulously test countless scent formulations before landing on the perfect versions of our three signature scenes.
Using a rigorous testing, reviewing and revising process (that involved 1,000+ West End performers testing the balms while performing) we were able to take real customer feedback and revise our scents and formulas based on their notes.
So I have to rub it into my armpits? Sounds weird.
You may also be wondering why we’ve chosen to create a balm vs. something more “traditional” like a spray or stick.
The cream based texture of our Deodorant Balm makes it more like a premium skincare product than a traditional deodorant. The balms can be gently rubbed on with your fingers or applied with our gua-sha inspired applicator tool, giving you a brief moment of self-care before you start your day.
Though it takes some getting used to (we promise, it’s only a day or two), we’ve found that people enjoy adding this mini ritual to their morning routine.
Plus, they’re multi-use. They’re safe and effective anywhere else you may need protection, including your feet, forehead or chest.
By using premium, natural ingredients, we’ve created a product that can be used in so many more places than a standard deodorant! Bonus.
Despite what you’ve heard, being natural isn’t a negative
Deodorants have come a long way from the simple roll on or spray on option. Though many people equate the word “natural” with ineffective when it comes to deodorant, we’ve proven otherwise.
Using time-tested techniques and a rigorous trialing process, we think we’ve landed on the perfect product for all kinds of busy, active lifestyles.
Our tubes are easily transportable and small enough to travel with (fingers crossed we can travel again soon). They’re just as easily tossed in a gym bag or a carry on. They also look gorgeous on a bathroom shelf, so you may find yourself wanting to show off your first tube of Akt. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!