No, its not about nudism or the possibility of a new trend for nudist beaches. Nor is it the about fashion or a bad mix of german and english. With the term “nackt” we don’t mean being naked but talking about a new body care brand from Berlin with this exactly this name.
If you call your deodorant brand “nackt” , you run the risk of being asked a lot of strange questions. After all, being naked is natural, but not necessarily socially acceptable. This is also the case for the founder Anna Bernhardt, for whom “the funniest thing is explaining the name to the authorities, suppliers and potential cooperation partners”, as the Berliner herself puts it.
Admittedly, the name is unusual, but what is behind it? “The name “nackt” simultaneously reflects the core values of the brand,” explains the founder. “First and foremost, it’s about the human body being great, just the way nature created it – naked – and not needing harsh chemicals to look groomed and smell good. At the same time, the brand is rooted in the philosophy of minimalism and the idea of leaving out anything superfluous.”
Superfluous in this case are parabens, aluminum salts or other harsh chemicals. To understand why these ingredients can be dispensed within these products, we need to question why we use deodorant. When the body heats up, for example through sport or an increased outside temperature, we sweat. This is the body’s natural cooling mechanism – a fundamentally very clever function. Chemical-infused deodorants try to address this and prevent sweating. Although this prevents sweat stains and potential salt marks on shirts, it bypasses the body’s clever cooling mechanism. So the fact that we sweat is certainly beneficial.
What is less desirable, however, is the fact that we smell unpleasant afterwards. This is caused by bacteria that break down the sweat on the surface of our skin. And this is where “nackt” comes into play.
The first product from nackt is “nackt in the orchard” which comes in a 50ml aluminum box and contains exactly nine ingredients. Virgin coconut oil to fight the smell of sweat, shea butter which promotes collagen production and keeps pores unclogged, baking soda which also fights odor and balances the body’s PH levels, cocoa butter which moisturises and has an anti-inflammatory effect, kaolin which draws excess oil out of pores and absorbs dirt, corn starch which absorbs moisture, sunflower seed wax which ensures a consistent consistency even in warm or cold temperatures, tea tree oil which has a natural preservative and antibacterial effect and, as the final ingredient, perfume made from natural essential oils with an herbaceous base note and a citrus highlight – unisex, of course. The deodorant is available for 18 euros and lasts about four months, depending on the amount of use.
It not only regulates the body’s own temperature and spares the body from chemical ingredients. Anne Bernhardt adds: “For a long time, I searched in vain for body care products that were not only harmless to health, but also free of animal suffering and environmentally conscious. It was just as important to me that they not only fulfil the purpose, but also please all the senses through their texture, smell and packaging.”
While there are certainly other deodorants that meet comparable standards in terms of sustainability, they are not attractive to everyone in terms of smell and texture.
In addition, nackt focuses on a unisex product. Finally, the gender debate is making its way not only into the German language, but also into the gender-specific branded product range of drugstores and online shops. Quite rightly, as the entrepreneur finds: “Showering, applying deodorant and other body care products – that’s the time just for yourself, which you can enjoy and do something good for yourself – totally independent of gender. But unfortunately, the experience with conventional body care products is often just the opposite. Ingredients you can’t pronounce and aggressive fragrances add to our stress levels. Disposable packaging makes us feel guilty. Gender-specific design and fragrances additionally lead to simply having way too much stuff in the bathroom – not to mention that counter-gendered cosmetics are problematic anyway.”
The brand nackt was thus born out of a passion for sustainability and the need to “simplify life as a whole, which is stressful anyway, and focus it on the essentials,” as the founder puts it. Another cornerstone of the company is the zero-waste culture. For example, the deodorant container can be wonderfully used and reused for all kinds of little things. This makes the “nackt in the orchard” completely plastic-free and highly sustainable – also and especially because it is made in Germany.
But a brand with one product? Surely there’s more to come, right? Sure, says the Berliner: “My long-term goal is to build a broad product range according to the same principles of sustainability, transparency and respect for the human body. Ideally, our customers should be able to order a subscription box from us for all their body care, so that instead of shopping at several shops and suppliers and reading labels, they can rather put their time into the things that are really important to them. Ultimately, I want to make it easy for all consumer-conscious people to make the switch to safe and sustainable personal care.” So things remain exciting for the young Berlin brand. But what is guaranteed is that there will be sustainable and honest news, because the final point for Anna Bernhardt is “that transparency in communication with customers is also based on maximum honesty. Nothing counts except the naked truth!”
by Maximilian Immer