There are certain personal care products that are fairly easy to choose. Take body wash, for example. You like the way it feels and smells, and you have yourself a winner. Deodorant? Not so easy. And since natural deodorant has a reputation for lack luster wetness and odor control, many shy away from going clean in the pit department.
Luckily, in today’s age of high performance, clean beauty, natural deodorants offer both wetness control and odor protection that rival their toxin-laden counterparts.
What Makes Deodorant Unsafe?
A host of toxins are used to make conventional deodorants, and since this product is used daily, that adds up to big time exposure to not-so-safe ingredients. Let’s take a look at ingredients best avoided in deodorant and antiperspirant.
Aluminum: Conventional antiperspirants contain aluminum powders to keep sweating at bay. Aluminum has made its way into the media as a possible link to Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer. While research is inconclusive as to whether or not aluminum can increase the risk of these two diseases, the ingredient has been shown to be a neurotoxin, potential endocrine disruptor, and skin irritant.
Propylene glycol: Another common deodorant ingredient is propylene glycol. Used to make the product feel moisturizing and keep it soft and spreadable, it is a penetration enhancer, which allows other chemicals to more easily penetrate the skin.
Synthetic preservatives: It’s not difficult to find synthetic preservatives, like parabens, on deodorant labels. Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors, appearing to act like estrogen in the body, and have been found in tumors of breast cancer patients.
Artificial fragrance ingredients: These chemical cocktails are linked to such health issues as cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergic reaction, and skin sensitivity. Who wants pits that smell like synthetic perfume, anyway?
Natural Alternatives to Toxic Deodorant Ingredients
Not many consumers are excited about forgoing dry, fresh underarms in the name of safer deodorant. Let’s face it, smelling good is important, as is not sweating through your silk blouse at that job interview or public speaking event.
You’ll be glad to know natural deodorants can give a feeling of wetness control and odor protection. Here’s what we use to keep you feeling fresh as a daisy all day. No nasty chemicals required.
Baking Soda and Kaolin Clay are used in our Extra Strength Sport Deodorant to make underarms smell fresh and you’ll notice a feeling of effective dryness. If you’ve ever DIY-ed a natural deodorant with baking soda, you may have ended up with irritated skin. We use super gentle Aloe, along with Lavender Water, for a hard-working formula that is suitable for delicate skin.
Both our Extra Strength and All Natural/Non Aluminum Deodorant contain a combination of essential oils for a feeling of smooth, softened skin, and a fresh, citrusy scent. We’ve also added Lichen Extract, with natural antibacterial properties, to ward off odor.
How to Switch to Natural Deodorant
There is a small adjustment period when making the switch from conventional antiperspirant to clean deodorant. It is always best to start with clean underarms when applying deodorant and, in the beginning, you may need to reapply during the day for maximum protection.
You may notice an increase in odor and wetness while underarms get used to your new, clean protection. To keep the process as comfortable as possible, where loose, breathable clothing, steer clear of foods heavy on onions and garlic, and try to schedule important events (just before your wedding is not an ideal time to switch to natural deod) until the detox process is over.
Once you’ve used clean deodorant for a week or two, your body should adjust to the natural ingredients. No more nasty chemicals and toxic-scented products. You may even find that you sweat less with natural deodorant. This may be one of the most difficult swaps to make, but it’s one you can definitely feel good about.