Natural deodorant always sounded like a good idea, but the thought of making the switch to me was intimidating
Although we may be proud to make the switch to natural
when it comes to moisturiser and other everyday
products, very few of us are willing to compromise on the topic of body odour.
Lack of knowledge and a fear of sweaty pits—a subject no one wants to talk about—may make you shy away from natural deodorants. But you shouldn’t disregard the concerns
surrounding some of the ingredients in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants.
Every day we use these products generously under our arms, an area where many lymph nodes lie close to the surface of the skin. And even though these products effectively block sweat, many popular brands are loaded with questionable ingredients that are worth examining, if not also replacing with safe natural alternatives.
Aluminium in Deodorant
Some reports have associated aluminium with certain cancers, bone disease and impaired motor function.
Aluminium is the active ingredient antiperspirants rely on to keep our underarms fresh.
How does it work?
Aluminium salts prevent us from sweating. Unfortunately, aluminium is also a known neurotoxin that has been linked to breast cancer and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s briefly break down these risks. Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast—the area closest to the armpit—and some research has suggested that aluminium compounds absorbed by the skin may cause changes in the estrogen receptors of breast cells.
High levels of aluminium have also been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study found that aluminium may cause liver toxicity, a contributing factor to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
However, some doctors claim that because the body is reacting with the chemical and not absorbing it, the risk is insignificant.
In addition to aluminium, parabens are another factor to consider when making deodorant purchasing choices. Often used as a preservative, these chemicals can throw off your body’s hormonal balance.
Other toxins to keep an eye out for when looking at antiperspirants are Triclosan, a pesticide that has anti-bacterial properties but can weaken the immune system over time, and artificial colours or bleaches that can cause adverse allergic reactions.
Making the switch
Switching to a natural deodorant will significantly reduce your risk for the simple reason that you are only exposing yourself to sensitive ingredients.
In addition to being aluminium free and paraben free, natural Deodorant is petrochemical free, mineral oil free, sulphate free, DEA free and cruelty-free.
How Natural Deodorant Works
People with sensitive skin or allergies may be able to use natural deodorants with little or no irritation. These products don't block underarm glands, but because of this, they also won't prevent the user from sweating. They fight odour-causing bacteria with essential oils, such as rosemary, lemongrass, lavender and citrus oils.
What does it mean to be free of these chemicals and toxins?
1. Petrochemical free
Petrochemicals are chemicals derived from petroleum and natural gas. Petrochemicals are used both as a preservative and an agent to increase manageability when spreading a product. In addition, they can add fragrance to a product. However, they are also known to cause dry, flaky skin and clogged pores.
2. Mineral oil free
Like aluminium and petrochemicals, mineral oil is a comedogenic substance that plugs pores, which traps dirt and oil in the skin. Without being able to keep the space clean and open, mineral oil cause blackheads and other acne. It also provides the perfect environment for yeast and fungus to manifest.
3. Sulphate free
Sulphates are salts with the lathering capability in shampoos and other household products that helps make us feel clean. Sulphate molecules attach to both dirt and oil. This saves hair from feeling and looking greasy. However, sulphates are too good at cleaning and strip natural and necessary oils from your hair and skin as well. In fact, sulphates are so strong they are even used to de-grease heavy machinery. Who really wants that on their skin??
4. DEA free
DEA stands for Diethanolamine. While it may go undetected as a harmful toxin on its own, DEA has the potential to react with other chemicals in a negative way. This leads to the scientific debate over its links to cancers, decreased brain development and even miscarriages.
Cruelty-free products ensure that no ingredients were manufactured or developed using animal testing. Natural deodorants are vegan and cruelty-free.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired inthe chaos of it all. Writer and blogger at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.