Will making this product help solve the single-use plastic (SUP) problem? How can we have the biggest impact in reducing the volume of SUP items used once and thrown away? How can we have the biggest impact to enable more and larger scale ocean clean ups?
Product development: refillable deodorant
When it comes to deodorant, we found that aerosol cans are actually the most popular format for Australians. However, being made of aluminium, they are not a significant contributor to the SUP problem we’re facing. We moved on to the close second contender in the deodorant category; roll-on.
Did you know that each year Aussies buy and throw away 30 million roll-on deodorant bottles.* Crazy right?? With a focus on creating a closed-loop system and supporting the eradication of single use plastics on our planet, this was a problem we wanted to tackle.
Product performance was crucial to our development stage. We knew that if we wanted to drive change with a SUP-free solution, we needed to develop a product that our customers would love and actually worked to protect against mal-odour and sweating. This process was not without much debate, primarily due to the community’s polarising views on the use of aluminium, and consequently whether we should develop an antiperspirant deodorant (or not).
What’s up with Aluminium?
Simply put, it is the differentiating ingredient between a deodorant and an antiperspirant.
Aluminium compounds are the key ingredients in an antiperspirant deodorant that reduces your production of sweat whilst in use. The aluminium works to eliminate production of sweat by forming a temporary plug of your sweat pores. These plugs wear off over time through your daily activity and the natural skin renewal process. Aluminium has a second benefit of eliminating the bacteria that causes the smell associated with sweat and body odour.
Plain old deodorant without aluminium can protect you from unwanted odours but cannot offer antiperspirant protection. The reality is that the vast majority of these deodorants on the market don’t really work, and if we wanted to make one, it really had to.
Why is the use of aluminium in deodorants contentious?
Over the years, concerns have been raised on the use of aluminium in deodorant and its possible connection to the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
However, the latest up to date research from the well respected EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) reported its findings in 2020 that aluminium from aluminium compounds is not considered to have potential carcinogenicity. The report further conveyed it is very unlikely that aluminium exposure could be a causal factor for Alzheimer’s disease, based on findings of The World Health Organisation. The SCCS report ultimately considered aluminium compounds to be safe in antiperspirant roll-on deodorants up to 6.25%. You can read more about the SCCS report on The Safety of Aluminium in Cosmetic Products here.
How did you decide to go plain pong-free or pong and sweat-free?
In the end we came back to our mission - how can we have the biggest impact in reducing the volume of SUP items used once and thrown away? By offering the highest performing roll-on deodorant, our customers can trust will protect them from sweating, smelling and buying more SUP.
Based on the findings of the SCCC, we felt comfortable to include aluminium compounds in our formulation below the stipulated threshold in order to achieve our goal. Zero Co’s new SUP free deodorant has a safe aluminium compound level between 5 - 5.7% and will offer our customers the best possible roll-on antiperspirant deodorant.
We’re pretty stoked on the results and hope you are too.
Future product developments
We understand there will be a bunch of our much loved customers out there who’d still prefer a deodorant that allows sweating and we absolutely respect that. Sweating is our body’s natural way to rid itself of toxins and regulate body temperature.
We want to continue to develop and offer products that further our mission of eliminating SUP from Aussie homes, so if you are interested in us developing an aluminium-free, SUP free deodorant and want to hurry us along in our process, please register your interest in the following New Product Request Survey.
Are you keen to see our first SUP free roll on deodorant come to life? Shop Zero Co Body Care now
*According to the Federal Government Waste Report 2019