A Testing Time on the West End Stage 

The warm memories of travelling to London’s West End as a child wash over me every year around Christmas. Whether it was Billy Elliot, Hairspray or The Lion King, for 2 hours I was submerged in an all-consuming world of fantasy, capturing my heart for the weeks which ensued. Performing to an audience of hundreds, the dancers and actors would throw themselves into each moment with seemingly unlimited energy, any less and the illusion would be broken for the rows of enraptured onlookers. As a child, it never occurred to me that I was watching real humans on stage, working tirelessly day and night, performing under extreme physical demands to provide ticketholders with an unforgettable experience. Performers Ed Currie and Andy Coxon have first-hand experience with the gruelling demands of life on the stage. The two friends, and later business partners, met in 2015 whilst performing on the West End. United by the testing reality of a gruelling work schedule, the pair recall “eight shows a week, dancing under hot lights, a dressing room five flights away from the stage”. Currie and Coxon needed a deodorant that would sustain the hours of “rehearsals, classes and training”, but the pair struggled to find a product that could meet the demands of such a physical lifestyle. Motivated to establish a purpose-driven brand, Currie and Coxon embarked on a three-year journey to develop Akt: “a premium natural deodorant that is truly born to perform” (Akt).

The Natural Deodorant Balm - Orange Grove

Could your deodorant be harmful to both yourself and to the environment?

According to an article by the New York Times, deodorants and perfumes “are fouling the air with a harmful type of pollution — at levels as high as emissions from today’s cars and trucks” (New York Times). Since car manufacturers have been asked to reduce their emissions in recent decades, “scientists see the invisible pollutants that arise from a spray of deodorant or a dollop of body lotion”(New York Times). In addition to these carbon dioxide emissions having a negative impact our planet, researchers also found that the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) when combined with other particles in the air “can trigger asthma and permanently scar the lungs”(New York Times). In a document released by the UK National Cancer Institute, research by scientists “have suggested that the aluminium-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer” (GOV UK). In light of this, Currie and Coxon defined their mission: to create a deodorant with a fundamental environmental ethos that is kind to the body.

“It’s clear to us there’s a real need for a skincare range for both men and women which supports their personal care, health and wellbeing.”

Ed Currie, co-founder of Akt

The Natural Deodorant Balm - Orange Onsen

Akt Deodorant Brought to Life

2015 marked the beginning of three years of research and development for a highly effective, environmentally conscious deodorant. Away from the theatre stage, Currie and Coxon began cooking up their own drama on their Camden kitchen countertop and set to work trialling a vast range of formulas to find a vegan, cruelty free and aluminium salt-free solution. After much experimentation, the duo developed a deodorant balm truly unique to the industry. The formula blends Vitamin E, Shea butter and Calendula to moisturise the skin, and combines Sodium Bicarbonate and Zinc Oxide (both natural ingredients) for odour eliminating properties.

“People need to be able to make a choice on a deodorant that they enjoy applying, whilst knowing and being educated on what’s best for their bodies.”

Andy Coxon, co-founder of Akt  

Through the brand’s development of Deo-Barrier Complex™, a combination of botanical and mineral powders, Akt deodorant rests invisibly on the skin, absorbing natural perspiration. Once a pea-sized amount is applied wherever necessary, the balm lasts throughout the day without the need for a second application. On a mission to reconnect us with our bodies, the deodorant can be applied by a gold applicator, a product inspired by the ancient Chinese practice of Gua Sha. Adding an extra level of self-care to your morning routine, the applicator encourages blood circulation, promoting lymphatic drainage, all whilst boosting immunity and energising the body.

The Natural Deodorant Balm - After Thunder

Grabbing the Attention of the Beauty Industry

Gone are the days of ineffective natural deodorants and harsh extra-strength antiperspirants, this deodorant balm embraces natural ingredients, is free from plastic packaging, inviting us to reconnect with our bodies with confidence. This groundbreaking product has not gone unnoticed by the beauty industry since its launch in May 2020: features include GQ and Vogue, with Harper’s Bazaar naming it the best deodorant of the year. One customer writes: “Akt is perfect. I will use it now and forevermore”. Coxon and Currie have masterminded an authentic, environmentally conscious deodorant that’s born to perform. 

by Eliza Edwards