Like it or not, deodorants and antiperspirants are pretty much a part of our daily life — and there is a pretty strong argument that they ought to be. Unfortunately, the majority of commercially available deodorants and antiperspirants contain chemicals and potential toxins that you wouldn’t want to be rubbed into your most sensitive areas. Luckily, we’ve got you. There are plenty of natural deodorants out there. Why should I use natural deodorant, you may ask? How is it any different than the cheap, name brand stuff? We’ll tell you why!
Why should I use natural deodorant?
There are so many reasons that you should be using natural deodorant. We’ll start at the beginning of the alphabet with the word “aluminum.” Aluminum is commonly found in antiperspirants — not deodorants — because aluminum is what plugs your pores. This helps minimize body odor by inhibiting the bacteria that feed on sweat, but the aluminum also helps by preventing you from sweating as much. This is a problem all it’s own, but we will discuss that a bit later.
The main issue with aluminum is that it has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. And listen, no one wants to stink unnecessarily or to sweat profusely. Deodorants and antiperspirants allow us to feel and smell fresh, but if they are laden with toxic chemicals and metals, then the cost is not worth it.
How are natural deodorants different?
Natural deodorants are different because they don’t contain aluminum, triclosan, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, or any other harmful chemicals that might be found in conventional deodorants. Instead, natural deodorants include all-natural ingredients with odor-abosorbing or antibacterial properties, such as coconut oil, tea tree oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cornstarch.
Instead of harsh chemical fragrances, most natural deodorants opt for subtler scents. They utilize natural essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, or bergamot to provide a pleasant scent and cover up any stinkiness. A few brands to look for are Nourish Organic, Crystal, Native, and Pretty Frank.
Can conventional deodorant really cause Alzheimer’s?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association and several studies, you bet your butt it can — so long as they contain aluminum. In the 1960s and 1970s, the research uncovered a link between Alzheimer’s and daily exposure to aluminum from pots and pans, foil, antacids, beverage cans, and, you guessed it, antiperspirants.
Another study in 1985 corroborated these results and found that those suffering from Alzheimer’s had high levels of aluminum in their brains. The study was far from definitive, though, and subsequent studies failed to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but it’s certainly a risk that doesn’t have to be taken — not if there are other options out there.
Can conventional deodorant really cause cancer?
Other studies have claimed that a majority of breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant of the breast — you know, the section closest to the underarms. The theory is that the aluminum from antiperspirants gets absorbed through the skin through razor nicks and pores, and travels through the lymph nodes located there, straight to the breasts.
This makes sense because antiperspirants are designed to plug sweat ducts, so any potentially cancerous substances aren’t sweated out. This is the problem we mentioned earlier. Deodorants may help you to smell fresh by killing the stinky bacteria that causes sweat to stink, but antiperspirants stymie the natural process. We sweat to release waste and toxins from the body — clogged pores cannot do that. It’s a fairly strong argument against using antiperspirants, especially those containing toxic chemicals.
If you want more evidence that sweating is natural and necessary, however, simply look to this study published in the Journal of Environmental Public Health. The study proves that metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and yes, aluminum, can be excreted when we sweat. But what of natural antiperspirants?
Are natural antiperspirants safe to use?
Here’s the thing — according to the FDA, conventional antiperspirant deodorants are safe to use. So go ahead and use them if you like. Personally, I would not be so keen on utilizing a product that stops a natural process from occurring within my body, no matter how dry it kept my armpits.
I would say the same thing about natural antiperspirants as well. Though, like natural deodorants, most of the natural antiperspirants out there contains only natural ingredients with antifungal or antimicrobial properties, rather than harsh chemicals or dangerous, pore-plugging aluminum.