The Truth About Conventional Deodorant and the Reliable, Natural Deodorant Alternatives
Before we start talking about natural deodorant, I’m going to let you know that there has not yet been undeniable proof that store-bought deodorants cause any kind of harm or health issues. However, the studies that have been conducted have said things like, “Our comprehensive search has identified an insufficient number of studies to conduct a quantitative review and obtain reliable results. Further prospective studies are strongly needed.”
So, while we wait for “further prospective studies”, let’s look at the proof that does exist about the harm the individual chemicals that are put in deodorants/antiperspirant can cause. Some of those harmful chemicals are:
Aluminum Compounds (Aluminum chloralhydrate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly)
Aluminum is in so much of the world around us–foods, antacids, vaccines. So why are we putting it in our armpits where our lymph nodes are, right next to our breasts? It’s, unfortunately, no surprise that an increasing number of people have issues with these areas.
This ingredient has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Sounds good right? Except that it kills ALL the bacteria–good and bad–which causes an imbalance of natural bacteria, creating an even worse smell when you don’t wear deodorant. There have also been studies that show its effect on thyroid hormones, making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and another study is determining its potential for giving us skin cancer. In our armpits doesn’t seem like the healthiest place for this to be…
This ingredient may cause delayed allergic reactions, and is also known to cause “neurological alterations.”
So why is it allowed in our deodorants?
Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl)
These, I think, are what we’ve heard the most about as we’ve started to buy shampoos and conditioners without these chemical tyrants. These occur in most cosmetics and have been shown to cause breast cancer .
This ingredient is probably the most frustrating because, when listed as an ingredient, “fragrance” itself can actually contain hundreds of ingredients in itself. And the company doesn’t have to list them because they are legally considered “trade secrets” by the US FDA. How disturbing is that??
Other ingredients to avoid include: Silica, Talc, Steareth-n, Phthalates, Diethanolamine, Butane, and Isobutane.
If you aren’t sure about an ingredient’s safety, you can always go here and type it in. This website checks 50 toxicity databases for information and safety levels.
In addition to all of these chemicals that have been shown to cause harm, there’s also proof that using those deodorants can actually change the bacterial community in your armpits. So the very thing you are using to prevent an odor in your pits could be changing the microbes anyway, causing a different odor. Awesome…
NATURAL DEODORANT ALTERNATIVES
So, now that we’re all done talking about the ingredients found in the common store-bought deodorants/antiperspirants, let’s get into the easy solutions! You know, the fun part!
If you’re ready to make the change and trade in your old deodorant for something new, we’ve got some awesome safe, natural deodorant options for you! Some you can buy, and one you can make yourself.
If you are super excited about using natural ingredients, but have zero desire/time to make your own, here are some great natural deodorant options you can buy!
DIY Natural Deodorant Recipe
This is the recipe I’ve used for over two years personally, and have made for my husband for the last year. My husband really struggled with having deodorant that works. He is a milkman and runs around in the middle of the night, delivering to people’s homes, drinking coffee to stay awake. He would often smell through the deodorant, even after reapplying it several times during his day. (He’s used Old Spice deodorant since he first started using deodorant.) I convinced him to try this recipe, and he hasn’t looked back–or had problems with odor–since!
- 4-6 tbsp organic unrefined coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup baking soda or arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup organic cornstarch
- 10-20 drops essential oil you like (I use tea tree oil because of its amazing anti-microbial, -bacterial, -fungal, -septic, and -inflammatory properties. Perfect for the armpits!)
1. Melt the coconut oil until just turned into liquid.
2. Sift the baking soda and corn starch into the bowl.
3. Mix together.
4. Add essential oils and mix again.
5. Leave in a plastic container, or pour into an old deodorant stick.
6. Leave to harden–either on the counter or in the refrigerator.
NOTE: On hot days, this deodorant will melt. (I am working on a change to this recipe that will prevent melting from happening. Stay tuned!)
Essential oils to consider using that also have antimicrobial properties: Lavender, lemon, lemongrass, bergamot, peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, palmarosa, rosemary.
Using a natural deodorant is a simple switch you can make in your life to decrease the amount of chemicals you put into your body, with little to no cost difference! Being healthier through Nature isn’t a battle of time or money anymore, it’s just a matter of having the knowledge. I hope after reading this, you feel more knowledgeable and confident in making these changes for you and your family.
Here is a round-up of companies and products mentioned in the article for your shopping convenience!
- NYR Organic
- Primally Pure Charcoal
- Bright Earth Organic
- Magsol Magnesium
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Arrowroot powder
- Organic cornstarch
- Essential oils
- Tea tree essential oil
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