Most people wear deodorant every single day, it’s considered an absolute staple in many people’s personal hygiene routine (although there’s nothing unhygienic about sweat) and many people begin wearing it at a young age, even children. Deodorant isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself. However, it works to suppress a natural body function, and most deodorants on store shelves contain chemicals thought to cause major health risks and cause for concern.
The biggest reason why deodorant is dangerous is it has multiple chemicals which have been linked to cancer in studies. These chemicals are called carcinogens.
One in every eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime (the most common cancer associated with deodorant) – Cancer is also not the only risk with using most brands of common deodorants. Read on to find out what exactly is lurking in such a common product, and be sure to read and study your labels’ ingredients afterward.
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What are the top 3 most toxic ingredients commonly found in deodorant?
Aluminum is an active ingredient in most brands of antiperspirant and has been found in breast tissue; almost certainly absorbed from deodorant usage. I talk about some of the dangers in my post about the dangers of fireworks, but the effects of aluminum in deodorant are a bit different and even more dangerous. The armpits are one of the most sensitive areas of skin and absorb applied substances with ease. This can cause multiple problems but the biggest cause for concern of aluminum is its link to breast cancer. It’s theorized that aluminum greatly increases the risk of breast cancer due to causing tissue irregularities as well as DNA alterations (which aluminum is known to cause). It is also shown to be a huge danger to pregnant women; possibly causing birth defects.
Although parabens are considered safe by the FDA, they’re anything but safe. Like aluminum, the most dangerous effect of usage is cancer. In a case study, parabens were found in 99% of breast cancer tissues sampled. Parabens are a preservative (sometimes found in food and often found in cosmetics of all sorts) meant to stop bacterial growth which serves a purpose in deodorant to stop the natural chemical reaction which creates body odor. Parabens are known to disrupt hormones, primarily estrogen, and it’s known that estrogen in breast tissue is linked to the initiation of breast cancer in many cases.
Phthalates (& Fragrances)
Fragrances are used in deodorant in fragrance oils to mask the smell of body odor and are usually of a chemical nature instead of a natural one such as essential oils. The problem with fragrance in deodorant (and numerous other products such as shampoo, candles, and perfume) is that they contain phthalates. Phthalates have been proven to be carcinogens.
Some of the other dangerous chemicals in deodorant are triclosan, talc, silica, propylene glycol (even Tom’s deodorant contains this!), and multiple kinds of artificial coloring. The problems these chemicals cause include organ & neurotoxicity, allergic reactions, and some are carcinogens.
A question that I think needs answers to is why government agencies allow every single top brand to continue using these (and many other) harmful ingredients. I’m of the opinion that even if something is purely suspected with minimal evidence of causing serious health problems, it should be banned immediately. I don’t understand why so many chemicals known to be extremely dangerous are deemed fully safe, especially since there is no good reason to continue the use of such harsh chemicals. The good thing is that there are options, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
So… What deodorant types/brands are safe to use?
Schmidt’s Deodorant is one of the best deodorant alternatives. They make multiple kinds including a stick variety and an allergen-free kind.
- Stick deodorant: 6 different scents, $9.99
- Sensitive skin stick deodorant; Lavender $14.99, Geranium Flower $10.95, Tea tree $10.94, Jasmine Tea $14.99, Unscented $10.74
- Jar deodorant: 6 different scents, 3 sizes, $9.24 to $11.00
Primal Pits is a hugely successful natural deodorant brand. The company is completely dedicated to all-natural organic deodorant and is approved for heavy use, such as sports.
- Jar deodorant: 8 different scents, 2 oz, $10.95
- Stick deodorant: 3 different scents, $11.52 to 12.95
Hippy pits is one of the most well-known natural deodorant brands for good reason. Its ingredient list is small, natural, and recognizable and is made by just two people. Another bonus is that it is kept in small reusable jars.
Carolina Soap Works
This paste deodorant is made by a small company dedicated to creating organic deodorant that really works. They have an unscented variety friendly for sensitive skin and it is packaged in reusable jars.
We are surrounded by endless chemicals. It is a terrifying thought that we, unknowingly, consume toxic chemicals every single day and have been since childhood since our parents also did not know better. The good thing is that people are now waking up and asking questions about what we are consuming. I’m here to help you along this journey as I discover these things myself. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow my blog on social media sites to be notified when I post new blogs relating to sustainability and holistic health, every Tuesday and Thursday.
Categories: Natural Health