Nala wants to make personal care personal, starting with deodorant

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

photo courtesy of Nala
photo courtesy of Nala

Related tags Deodorant Personalization conscious beauty Personal care

The Vancouver, British Columbia – based startup launched personalized deodorants this month. And Cosmetics Design checked in with Nala co-founder Mila Juristovski to learn more about the potential of custom, natural personal care products.

“We believe that all of us have unique needs, unique body chemistry, unique lifestyles and our own unique taste,”​ Mila Juristovski, co-founder of Nala, tells Cosmetics Design.

Personalization of deodorants, body care products and medicines is the future,” ​she says; and “Nala aspires to be a leader in developing personalized body care products and to innovate and modernize the natural body care industry.”

The Nala brand promises to eventually go beyond deo, “Nala will definitely expand into other personal care products,” ​Juristovski tells this publication, but not yet.

“Before we do so,” ​she says, “we feel there is still so much work to be done innovating the natural deodorant industry. No one seems to have completely figured it out yet and we welcome the competition.”

Formulating personalized personal care products

For now Nala is “on a mission to help consumers switch from deodorants filled with harsh chemicals to deodorants free-from any known carcinogens and find ‘the one’ that works best with their body chemistry.”

“Our bodies are not the same, why should our deodorants and personal care products be?” ​ asks Juristovski.

She believes that the deodorant category has been virtually overlooked in the current wave of personalized beauty and fragrance. And she’s confident that the market for personalized deodorant exists.

“What works for one person’s body may create sensitivity in another person’s body,” ​says Juristovski. “Take for example our standard formula, Lemon Myrtle and Geranium deodorant, which is regular strength in terms of content of baking soda and essential oils. While it is our best seller, there are consumers that wish it was stronger, while others find it too strong and may even develop redness and sensitivity to baking soda.”

Personalized Nala Deodorant comes in any combination of scent and strength. There is a sensitive skin formula (made without baking soda), a regular formula (with a low percentage of baking soda), and an extra strength (with a higher concentration of baking soda). There are 4 scents for consumers to choose from: unscented, eucalyptus, woodsy, and citrus. And each custom tube comes with the name of the consumer printed on the secondary packaging.

Juristovski acknowledges that there is still progress to be made when it comes to ingredients and formulation for natural deodorants: “Formulating and manufacturing a potent and stable natural deodorant is challenging due to the limited choice of known and regulatory approved naturally derived ingredients, limited formulation stability without using preservatives, and limited choices of available packaging options.”

Packaging the next generation of personal care products

“We are actively looking at upgrading our packaging to be easily recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable while meeting our standards for quality and safety - this includes for all existing and future products,” ​Juristovski tells Cosmetics Design. “We continue to explore new options in manufacturing as they are brought to market,”​ she says.

For now Nala deodorants a sold with paperboard tubes as the secondary packaging and with plastic tubes as the primary packaging. Juristovski and her co-founder Ada Juristovski chose this packaging with design, quality, safety, and stability in mind.

“From a design perspective, we wanted the packaging and the artwork to reflect Nala’s messaging of inclusivity, personalization, and quality,” ​explains Mila Juristovski.

It’s not uncommon for conscious brands—across industries—to chose packaging that can be upcycled or repurposed, which is something Nala has done: “For Nala’s outer packaging we picked round paper tubes which are not only beautifully designed and artfully filled with thoughtful patterns and messages but also handcrafted. Our desire is for consumers to upcycle these personalized tubes for their own personal treasures. We’ve seen people fill them with bobby pins, q-tips, flowers, and even tampons,” ​Juristovski tells Cosmetics Design.

“When choosing the inner plastic container for Nala deodorant we looked first of all for high quality materials that are safe and stable and doesn’t leach toxins into the product,” ​she says, adding that “The strength, rigidity and even resistance to UV radiation was also very important to ensure good protection and stability of the product since no chemical preservatives are used in Nala product other than natural antioxidant and preservative (such is Rosemary C02 extract).”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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