Let’s Talk: Deodorant
Anyone else pretty sure we couldn’t last an hour let alone a full day without our trusty deodorant? *raises hand* Well, I wanted to provide a few pieces of information and some advice when it comes to this product that we use so often and how it affects our health.
Let’s dive right in with the simple fact that the majority of deodorant products on the market are FULL of extremely toxic chemicals, not just antiperspirant. They add chemicals for a number of reasons: parabens to give them a longer shelf life, triclosan to eliminate bacterial contamination, and even aluminum to block you from sweating altogether.
The thing is, our underarm has a direct route to the lymphatic system, an essential part of our immune system, and our skin easily absorbs whatever we put on it (including all of the chemicals that they use to “help” us smell better). Our bodies also need to sweat in order to release toxins and regulate body temperature, so blocking that process entirely is sure to cause a lot of long term issues.
I’m an avid believer in smelling good, but not when it comes with a cost to my health. So, let’s take an in-depth look at what we should avoid and then we can talk about a few really good options that will help you smell good and be toxin-free.
In-depth Look at the toxins…
Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredient in antiperspirants. They work to block the body from sweating and research shows that these have the capability of causing changes in estrogen receptors. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to other health issues that affect the liver, kidneys and the brain and has been linked to Alzheimers. Definitely stay away from antiperspirants.
Parabens are preservatives that are used in deodorants and antiperspirants to prevent bacterial growth. Parabens have also been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. The five most common parabens are: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, benzylparaben and isobutylparaben. These are shockingly found in 75-90% of all products on the market! One study by researchers from the University of Reading, in the UK, took 160 samples of breast tissue taken from women who’ve had mastectomies and tested them for the presence of five different parabens. At least one form of paraben was present in 99% of the tissue samples, and all five were present in 60% of the samples. This is a truly alarming finding and something to not take lightly.
Polyethylene Glycol is used as a moisture sealer and as a penetration enhancer. It can be listed as PEG but also PG (Propylene Glycol) on an ingredients list, so don’t get confused. PEG is easily absorbed through the skin and is known to cause contact dermatitis and liver damage.
Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent which also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen. This chemical is also lipophilic, which means it can bioaccumulate in your fat for long periods of time, and as reported by Scientific American, triclosan is now detectable in human breast milk, blood, and urine samples.
Fragrance is listed as DHP, DBP5, DEHP, and dibutyl phthalate in personal care products. They are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA and likely to cause cancer. Phthalates are also known endocrine disruptors (may interfere, mimic or block hormones), development toxicants (can interfere with the normal development of a fetus or child), and a reproductive toxicant (can harm the reproductive system). Phthalates also have the ability to increase the absorbtion of parabens which enter the body and attach themselves to the nearest estrogen receptor.
Choosing a toxic-free deodorant…
Choosing a toxic-free deodorant can be a little scary when you are used to the way that aluminum or highly fragrance deodorants “work”. Your body will have to go through a short period of adjusting to a natural product, but I promise you will get used to how to best use your deodorant. Always apply after a shower or on clean pits. On hotter days or higher intensity moments of life, you may have to reapply a few times throughout the day. But, I promise you, it is worth getting in a new habit for your long-term health. Here are a couple clean, toxin-free options that we love: @schmidtsnaturals Lavender + Sage, @pitliquor is amazing and smells divine without any synthetic fragrance, and we’ve heard great things about @primallypure with all the good ingredients. There are A LOT of amazing options now available, you just gotta do a little research and find the one you like best.