John Murray, Explains What Went Into Creating Their Groundbreaking 100% Natural Deodorant.
What Was Your Mission Behind Creating Modern Botany Deodorant?
For years, Simon and I have been trying and testing ‘natural’ deodorants in the personal-care market. As we travelled with our work around the world, we had the opportunity to try all sorts of various preparations, old and new. We found that some worked well as deodorants and smelt nice, but did not work at all as an effective antiperspirant, while others claimed to be natural, but would still have some hidden nastiness. We both did not like pastes or rub-ins (all a bit too messy and time-consuming when on the move) and did not want to use bicarbonate of soda, as this can cause itchy and scaly skin with prolonged use. We also did not want it to be packaged in an aerosol or in any plastic housing. So, from the start, we were very clear about what we did and did not want in our product!
What research did you do?
In trying to understand what constitutes a ‘good’ deodorant, we realised that we were not alone in our obsession to find a natural deodorant that meets our needs. We liaised with, and listened to the opinions of, our customers, beauty press editors, chemists and other professionals in the natural personal-care space. From this feedback, Simon set to work over two years to establish a unique formulation that would be 100% natural, plant-based and unisex. Being multi-tasking, it would not only work as an effective deodorant and antiperspirant, but also would function as a body scent that would work in harmony with the natural pheromones in your body. The bottom line is that it had to be safe, work as a deodoriser and antiperspirant, while also being 100% natural and suitable for sensitive skin.
What’s Wrong With The Chemicals In Conventional Deodorants?
Conventional synthetic deodorants use an antibacterial compound called triclosan, which attacks odour-causing germs. They also include Cyclomethicone, a liquid solvent that is used as a carrier to take the antiperspirant constituents on to the skin. Finally, they contain aluminium salts, which act as a plug in your underarm by physically blocking the sweat glands – an action that clearly goes against nature in some way. All three chemicals have alleged links to breast cancer, skin disorders, hormonal disruption and even environmental concerns (in terms of their inability to break down post-disposal). While the jury is out, as a natural product company and science-led one at that, we look to the day when a definitive result is published. In the meantime, Simon as always, looks to nature to find a healthier and safer alternative when it comes to effective personal care.
How And Why Does Modern Botany’s Deodorant Work?
The Modern Botany Deodorant formulation is a complex one that involves a high degree of natural science, but, in a nutshell, Simon utilised plant ingredients traditionally used for their anti-microbial, astringent and deodorising activity that naturally counteract underarm bacteria while reducing underarm odour. The secret of this formulation is the combination of 11 potent natural extracts that form a synergy to deliver natural and clean results.
What Are The Ingredients?
The star of the show is witch hazel, which contains an active compound called Hamamelitannin, which is a tannin (think red wine that leaves your mouth feeling dry). In our deodorant, it works by drying out your underarm. Witch hazel also works as a solvent and astringent, which reduces the sizes of pores, hence reducing sweat output without blocking the pores, as is the case with conventional deodorants. Other ingredients, such as lemon tea tree, sandalwood and vetiver, have been traditionally used for their antimicrobial and antifungal effects, particularly when it comes to neutralising body odour. So, Simon created a 100% natural deodorant that really works to reduce sweat output and keeps you smelling great without the nasties.
How Important Was The Packaging?
As an eco-sustainable company, the packaging concept was very important to us. We wanted the look and feel of the product to be aesthetically pleasing and one whereby our customer would be happy to #shelfie the deodorant. The bottle is glass (so fully recyclable) and beautifully screen-printed, and the unit carton is also recyclable/renewable, made from FSC paper and printed with soy-based ink.
What Feedback Have You Had?
When we launched the Modern Botany deodorant in London, it was during a heatwave and the product was put to test by a series of top beauty editors, who said it was a natural deodorant that really worked, even in the extreme heat! Since then, our customer following has grown and people tell us they love the natural botanical fragrance. It’s heart-warming to read testimonials from customers with various skin conditions who cannot use other deodorants because of ill reaction to their skin, or others who suffer with excessive sweat conditions and, more increasingly, pregnant women wanting a chemical-free deodorant that’s safe to use. The positive reactions make us feel proud that we are producing something that is having a life-changing effect on people’s lives, while being kind to the planet.