What are you scared of? Probably not the deodorant in your bathroom—but maybe you should be. Turns out, what keeps us smelling fresh all day is actually very toxic to our bodies in a number of ways. Most of the commercial deodorants you’ll find on store shelves are packed with chemicals that can harm your body—and natural deodorants often aren’t effective all day. So what can you do to ensure your days are odor and chemical-free? Let’s take a look at why commercial deodorants are so scary—and how you can stay feeling clean and fresh without them.
Parabens Disrupt Endocrine Function
Some of the scariest ingredients in your deodorant are synthetic compounds known as “parabens”. There are several types of parabens that can be in your deodorant, and they’re all dangerous to your health. Parabens are used to keep your deodorant from growing yeast, mold, and bacteria. While that sounds like a good thing, the downsides of using parabens are their effect on the body.
Studies have shown that parabens are linked to hormone disruption—which can cause all kinds of health problems. The systems most often affected by endocrine disruption are the immune, reproductive, and neurological systems. Now that’s scary.
Aluminum Blocks Sweat Glands
Deodorants block odor, but they don’t do a thing for preventing sweat pockets on your shirt. However, most commercial deodorants are also antiperspirants, which means they help you stay dry during the day. While it might seem unimaginable to go through a day without antiperspirants, you might think again about using them once you know what they do to your body.
Most antiperspirants work by actually blocking the sweat glands with aluminum compounds. Not only does that prevent your body from releasing the toxins that build up over time. Sweating is also a normal bodily function that helps regulate the temperature, keep pores clearer, and supports the immune system. Suppressing that function isn’t healthy for your body, and can irritate your skin.
Aluminum has even worse implications for health than just blocking the sweat glands. It’s a very scary substance when applied to your skin, and has been linked to serious diseases. Aluminum mimics the estrogen hormone, and have been linked to the growth of cancer cells, especially breast cancer. Some research has also shown that aluminum could be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Scary stuff!
You might think that manufacturers would never use pesticides in your deodorant, but unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Triclosan is an antibacterial pesticide that is known to be a hazard to humans—and yet it appears as an ingredient in many deodorants. This pesticide is serious business—it’s been linked to everything from allergies to thyroid problems!
Antiperspirants Are Not That Effective
You might be surprised to learn that antiperspirants don’t actually block that much sweat. They’re only required to block 20% of sweat production in the United States to classify as providing all-day protection, so you’re probably not getting as much protection as you think you are. Why risk your health when your deodorant isn’t even doing a very good job of keeping you from sweating heavily?
Cut Down on Body Odor—Naturally
One of the complaints about natural deodorant is that it doesn’t work well. That isn’t the case anymore, since more health-conscious companies have been diligently working toward effective, chemical-free deodorant options that help keep underarms dry and odor-free. Aside from buying or making a safe deodorant, you can also cut down on body odor naturally, by watching your diet. Garlic, onions, processed foods, alcohol, and spicy food are more likely to cause body odor and sweat than hydrating fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumbers or fresh herbs.
Natural Deodorants & Homemade Deodorant Options
There are lots of options for natural deodorant or organic deodorant on the market—just check the label and make sure it’s made with natural oils, essential oils, and without harmful chemicals. If you don’t recognize the ingredients, look them up before you buy!
Another great option is making your own homemade deodorant. Our friends at Little Green Dot swear by baking soda for deodorizing the underarms, but you can add other natural ingredients for skin-soothing and a pleasing scent. Some people are also sensitive to baking soda and need something a little gentler. Here’s a basic recipe from Mommypotamus that you can add your own natural scents to!
3/4 cup arrowroot powder/non-GMO cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda or food grade diatomaceous earth (sensitive skin formula)
4-6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the coconut oil until your mixture reaches your desired consistency. Store in a glass jar.
Remember, homemade deodorants don’t contain preservatives, so make small batches you can use quickly!
Trust Mother Nature
When it comes to natural deodorant, trust Mother Nature to provide you with what you need. Whether you choose to buy an organic deodorant or make your own homemade deodorant, be sure that you’re only putting the purest ingredients on your skin and avoiding chemicals that could harm your body.
If you’re thinking about making your own deodorant, start with a pure, cold-pressed oil, like our virgin coconut oil, to form the base of your recipe. Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and keeps the sensitive skin of your underarms soft and soothed. You don’t have to risk your health by using chemical-laden deodorants—try an option that’s friendly to both your body and the planet!friendly to both your body and the planet!