All about: local bodycare and natural deodorant brand, Ultrella

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago, I went hard on eliminating any sort of unnecessary chemical use from my daily routine – and that included my deodorant. The aluminium found in many mainstream deodorant formulas has been what most has been cited in the headlines more than anything else, with claims that using deodorants or antiperspirants increase your risk of breast cancer floating around now for several years. As yet no convincing link has been established between the aforementioned aluminium content and cancer but hey, the less a chemical load I can put in my body, the better.
Over the years I’ve tried a few deodorants from the natural world, with varying degrees of success. I’m lucky that I’m not the sweatiest of people, because I have to say that since they first started arriving on the scene, most natural deodorants literally reeked of issues. They weren't particularly easy to use, nor were they able to keep you smelling fresh until the end of the day. But after years of research, cosmetic chemists kept chugging until they found formulas that are just as good as the other deodorants you know and love.
One of the latest formulas that I’ve been having a play with (and loving) is by Ultrella, which is a locally crafted bodycare brand that offers some gorgeous and most definitely clean solutions for staying fresh as a daisy. It is the work of founder Mel Lewis, an inspiring woman based in Hawkes Bay who is passionate about self-care, ritual and sustainability – all things we can all definitely get behind as we navigate a strange new world.
Mel's background isn’t in the beauty sphere, but after she started making her own deodorants several years ago and selling them online she saw a definite gap in the market. Then just over a year ago she made contact via friends with the amazing Stacey Fraser, a product formulator who has worked with umpteen New Zealand skincare brands like Trilogy and Essence of Humanity to create some pretty ground breaking products. With Stacey’s help she reformulated and changed her packaging approach, and now Ultrella comes in a few different scents and in pouches, a delivery system which I totally love.

As well as offering several beautiful variants in the natural deo field, Ultrella also offer CalmPits, which is essentially a detox mask for armpits. If you are new to natural deodorant or have been using an antiperspirant for years, it is the perfect way to ease into using a natural formula – and I reckon lockdown and winter make this the perfect time to really make a go of it. When you transition from using an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, many people say that they experience irritation, B.O. and/or heavy sweating, and that makes them give up. When you think about it, it makes sense: if your body hasn’t been allowed to sweat naturally, it’s going to take a bit of time (up to two weeks in some cases) to get the hang of it again. The mask is also great for people with sensitive skin, and includes super soothing ingredients like rose oil, aloe vera, hemp and kawakawa to sooth, support and strengthen delicate skin. These apparently sold out during the last lockdown, so if you want to make the move then get to it!
For more about the brand and to find out how to try their little wonders go to their website here, and you can also find them at the amazing Clean Beauty Collective.

Main image by bruce mars on Unsplash


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