This Natural Deodorant Is Loved by Celebs, We Find Out Why

Getty / Emma McIntyre

Finding the right deodorant can feel like the holy grail. Whether you’re looking to combat sweat patches or target unwelcome body odour, the options can feel never-ending. Especially if you are trying to move to natural alternatives, which can be even more confusing. I have tried quite a few natural deodorants. As much as I like the idea of them and the sustainability factor, I have always found them to be a bit disappointing.

Which is why I was intrigued to try Akt London The Deodorant Balm (£18) for myself. According to the brand, it already has some serious celebrity fans like “Saltburn”‘s Rosamund Pike – who requested it to be couriered to her hotel room during filming – and actress Cynthia Erivo, who used it throughout the soon-to-be released “Wicked” movie, it has been gaining some real momentum amongst those looking to make sustainable switches. It has also been a big hit on stage, with both Beyoncé and Taylor Swift‘s backing dancers all choosing to keep themselves spotlight-ready with it.

So what is so appealing about this natural deodorant? If it’s good enough for the A-list, surely it’s good enough for us?

For a brand to be loved by performers, it makes sense to discover that Akt London was created by musical theatre performers Andy Coxon and Ed Currie. While treading the boards in the West End, they found there wasn’t any deodorant on the market able to keep up with the intensity of eight performances a week. This led to the duo teaming up to embark on creating a product themselves.

“We were tired of throwing away clothes because of staining and spraying harsh chemicals onto one of the body’s most sensitive areas – the underarms,” Coxon, co-founder of Akt London, tells POPSUGAR. “This spring-boarded us to create something that worked when everything else we tried failed.” Three years of creating different concoctions in the kitchen, each prototype was tested on their performer friends (never animals) and led to the evolution of the deodorant balm.

The pair were adamant Akt London had to be an all-vegan, gender-neutral, and natural, as well as being strong enough to handle the bright lights and high energy demanded of, not only dancers and performers, but everybody. We all lead busy lives, so of course our deodorant needs to work hard, too.

They also wanted it to look good, so that people could proudly add it to their skin care shelf, and smell luxurious to make the process of wearing deodorant feel like a pleasure rather than a mere necessity. With six different scents, there’s something to tantalise most noses. It’s been no mean feat as natural formulas have to compete with traditional roll-ons and aerosol sprays, so how does the natural balm actually work?

Image Source: AKT LONDON

First, we need to go back to basics. Deodorants offer two forms of protection against odour. The first is antimicrobial properties that reduce the number of odour-producing bacteria. The second is a fragrance that masks odours.

Antiperspirants block your body’s eccrine glands, those glands which make you sweat, and is usually done with an aluminium-based ingredient. “Akt London uses a blend of natural minerals, powders, and waxes that rest invisibly on the skin to absorb moisture without blocking your pores,” explains Coxon. “It cleanses the skin, deodorises your sweat, and keeps you feeling dry and protected with one application.”

While both deodorants and antiperspirants are approved as products safe for everyday use, many have raised concerns of the possible harmful side-effects that aluminium salts and parabens could be having to your overall health and the environment. “The majority of well-known deodorant brands use questionable ingredients and harmful packaging,” says Coxon. “It was crucial that we created an instantly recognisable brand aesthetic. We want our customers to take pride in the fact they’re using a product that not only works really well and looks beautiful, but is good for their well-being, as well as the planet.”

The balms also come with a key, called “The Assistant” which helps you squeeze out every last bit, leaving zero waste. Plus, they use plastic-free packaging.

I’ve used Akt London for a few months now and I am always pleasantly surprised that I not only smell fresh by the evening, but experience less sweat patches. I used Columbia Road, which has notes of amber, violet, and tonka, and found the scent really endearing without overpowering any other fragrances that I wear – a big plus. The packaging is super chic and key that comes with The Starter Pack (£25, originally £32), is so bougie. I squeezed out a pea-sized amount and rub onto my pits each morning. It was a totally different experience to some of the other natural deodorants I’ve tried, from the texture to the performance.

I’m intrigued to see what the brand comes up with next as, rumour has it, it will be launching bath and body products. With the A-list stamp of approval, we’ll be keeping an eye on the next Akt.

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