Toxic Chemicals in Deodorant & Alternatives

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.

This post contains affiliate links. If items are purchased through these links I receive a small commission.



What if the answer to greatly reducing breast cancer is to stop the usage of toxic chemicals in antiperspirants?

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

Schmidt’s Deodorant is one of the best deodorant alternatives. They make multiple kinds including a stick variety and an allergen-free kind.



Primal Pits

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.



Hippy pits

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.



You can also make your own deodorant. Check out this very simple recipe. You can buy empty deodorant containers (BPA free) here or empty reusable jars here.


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

Tags: , , ,

10 replies

  1. As strange as it sounds, Young Livings thieves aromabright works great as deodorant! I used schmidts for a while and switched over to the aromabright and I really like it! Several of my friends use it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very helpful article. Recently a family member in her early 50’s went through the pain of a double mastectomy, and I am hoping that she is now looking at safe deodorant alternatives. What I use is Milk of Magnesia, with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I just dab some under the arms in the morning. It works great..nobody has complained yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading & commenting! I’m so sorry to hear about your family member. It’s appalling to me that items known to cause cancer are sold without any warnings or even alternatives commonly available. Milk of magnesia sounds very interesting also, I’ll have to read about it!


  3. Hey, loving your blog! Thanks for your hard work. Was wondering if you’ve heard of alum rock deodorant? My French bf recently introduced me to this remarkable thing – it’s essentially a rock on a string, looks very much like a crystal. You put the tip under a stream of cold water and apply that under your pits. No fragrance – it’s just a rock – and you don’t smell any unpleasant odors all day (except like, really hot days or stressful situations but that’s understandable). I was shocked at first, if this is so simple why dont more people use it? I tried googling if there are any dangers of the alum rock but found nothing. All it does is neutralize bacteria so the unpleasant odor doesnt form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard of alum rock deodorant, and used it for quite a while! I live in a desert climate and almost never had to reapply it. I stopped just because it is a kind of aluminum since there are other options that work just as well.


  4. I tend to go back and forth between a kosher salt water splash and rubbing alcohol…. after showering, of course. The rubbing alcohol kills bacteria, and so does the salt, but if I use one or the other for too long, I tend to get itchy and raw. Honestly, some days days go without, as long as I know it’s going to be a cool, pleasant, do-nothing kind of day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it’s cool but not cold enough to wear nothing I actually use plain coconut oil, maybe you could try that while alternating between things when your skin is too raw? Thanks so much for reading & commenting!


  5. Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.|


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