Why Choose a Natural Deodorant?
Deodorants kill bacteria on the skin and cover up offending odors. Conventional deodorants contain parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and aluminum to accomplish this. The product’s scent, or fragrance, is also designed and added to conceal our body odor.
The problem with conventional deodorants:
- Parabens, triclosan, and phthalates are all synthetic chemicals that can disrupt natural hormones produced by the body. Aluminum, a heavy metal, is also a chronic toxin and has been linked to a number of health conditions such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, to name a few.
- As for the fragrance, it isn’t made up of just one chemical. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are over 3,100 stock chemicals in the fragrance industry, many of which pose long term health risks, such as allergic reactions, and still need additional testing for safety.
Antiperspirants block sweat. Most use aluminum-based compounds to stop the pores from producing sweat and propylene glycol as a drying agent.
The problem with conventional antiperspirants:
- Sweating helps release toxins. Daily use of aluminum and aluminum derivatives prevent the body’s natural detoxification process. And because the body does not naturally produce aluminum, overexposure to this metal can be harmful. Propylene glycol is a neurotoxin and can cause skin irritation.
WFP’s Take-Home Advice
Natural deodorants avoid the harsh chemicals and use safer ingredients for the body to absorb and thus are less toxic to your body over time. However, not all natural deodorants are made the same. Though many claim to be chemical-free, some of the crystal stone deodorants contain alum, which means they are not completely aluminum-free.
Wiseman Family Practice wants to take the guesswork out of finding safe and effective natural deodorants. Most larger chain drugstores and grocery stores sell conventional deodorants that we believe are not entirely healthy. It is best to avoid these popular, brand name deodorants. Healthy alternatives can be found at your local health food store such as Wholefoods, Natural Grocers, Wheatsville, People’s Pharmacy, and Trader Joe’s, for example. No matter what you choose the most important rules are to avoid antiperspirants in general and avoid all deodorants with the word aluminum or alum in their ingredients.
Here are a few brands that we have personally tried and can vouch for. Remember, you might have to experiment with a few natural brands to find the one that works for you! Primal Pit Paste*, Lavanila Laboratories*, Weleda, Miessence roll-on, Burt’s Bees, and Tom’s of Maine.
Check our Preventive 10 for a list of other safe skin products for you and your family!
Sources and References:
- Mercola, J. (2013, November 27) Is Your Perfume Poison?. Articles.Mercola.com. Retrieved February 24, 2015
- Norek, D. (2011, August 19) Top five ingredients to avoid in deodorant. Naturalnews.com. Retrieved February 24, 2015
- Environmental Working Group. (2010, May 12) Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne. Retrieved February 24, 2015
- Mercola, J. (2010, February 16) Stop Using “Natural” Deodorants Until You Read This. Articles.Mercola.com. Retrieved February 24, 2015