Can deodorant actually be safe, effective and natural? Absolutely! You won’t even miss your old routine.
A few years ago, I decided to grab some “natural deodorant” on my weekly (ahem, maybe daily) Target run.
I thought, “Well, this switch is easy enough.”
Until it wasn’t.
Why? I was sweating like a maniac!
I threw my hands up after a week and caved back into my old ways with the trusty deodorant I’d been using since I was a teenager.
Then, I came across an article about why you need to sweat, and how those chemical-laden deodorants actually clog your pores.
I also learned that there’s a bit of a detox period when you first make the switch, and that the waterfalls in your armpits slow down and won’t drown you your entire life, haha.
(Keep in mind that it’s different for everyone. Some of you won’t sweat the way I did. Thankfully, it was summer when I switched, and I could get some air in a tank top.)
I’m so thankful I made the switch to natural deodorant, now my exposure to toxins has drastically reduced — just from this one small change.
Exposure to Toxins
Every single day we’re exposed to thousands of toxins, from the air around us to the food we put in our bodies.
Quite honestly, it can feel overwhelming when you realize the extent of it.
Lately, the word is getting out — and more and more people are becoming aware of how dangerous these toxins really are.
You deserve to know the truth behind the products you’re using. You deserve to have all the information needed to make smarter purchase decisions as well.
So are toxins in your deodorant really as big a deal as everyone’s making it out to be?
First, let’s look at what a toxin actually is.
What Is a Toxin?
Simply put — a toxin is a poisonous substance that is usually very unstable and damages organisms.
Did you see the word poisonous in there? It’s true.
Toxins are poison. There’s no way around it.
No way to pretty up the word. Toxins hurt you.
Your hormones, your receptors, the list goes on and on.
Anytime you’re exposed — whether it’s ingested or slathered on your body — those toxins are damaging your health.
6 Harmful Toxins Lurking in Deodorant
These are the 6 most harmful ingredients that you’ll easily find in conventional deodorant. Even some natural brands still have a few of these hiding in there.
My advice is always going to be READ LABELS. Take your time, look through the ingredients and make sure none of these are listed.
I’ve got to hit on this one first because it’s a big deal!
Aluminum actually clogs your pores and prevents sweating in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I thought this is what makes a good deodorant… less sweating.
Not true at all.
Aluminum exposure has been linked to hormone disruption causing breast and prostate cancer. Not to mention a whole lot of other health issues, including Alzheimer's.
Triclosan has been classified by the FDA as a pesticide. Yet it’s still in thousands of deodorants. Crazy, right?
It’s because it kills bacteria. The problem is it kills all bacteria, even the good stuff your body needs.
Another interesting fact — when combined with chlorinated water, it actually creates chloroform. Um, what? For real? Yes!
These are preservatives that have been shown to mimic estrogen in your body.
They then interfere with how your body produces estrogen. In 2004, a study found parabens in 18 out of 20 breast cancer patients.
Luckily most parabens have been phased out of deodorant, but believe it or not, there are still a few major brands that continue to use it.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in plastics to make them durable. They’re often called plasticizers.
You can find them in kids' toys, fragrances and many different body products.
They’ve been linked to ADHD, breast cancer, asthma, autism and even fertility issues. Currently, phthalates are banned in Europe and California.
This is a synthetic food additive that is in the same chemical group as alcohol.
When used daily or in high doses, toxicity can occur. Did you know that it can be harmful at just 2%? Yet in deodorants, the dose is extremely high at 50%.
Adverse effects from propylene glycol include cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, dizziness and upset stomach.
These three are all ethanolamine compounds. Ethanolamine compounds are chemicals that are used in emulsifiers, fragrances and PH balancers in cleaning products and personal care products.
They’re banned in Europe because they’re considered carcinogens — affecting your heart, liver, and skin.
This is a great video that explains more about how these toxins are getting into your cosmetic products and the industry behind them.
Deodorant Detox Period
There is a detox period when you switch to natural deodorant. But don’t worry, detox is a great thing for your body and your overall health!
You may notice more smell and/or sweat during this time.
It’s because your clogged pores are finally unclogged, and they need to expel all that nastiness that was stuck in your glands.
The good news?
It’s only temporary, and you’ll be happy you made the switch in the long run. Trust me on this one!
Don’t let this detox scare you off. The adjustment period only lasts from a few days to 2 weeks. It’s over before you know it.
Ways to Naturally Reduce Sweat
Sometimes, it’s good to approach sweat from all angles, especially if you’re a naturally sweaty person in general.
Here are a few ways you can naturally reduce sweat to begin with:
- Allow your armpits to dry after showering before getting dressed or putting on deodorant.
- Shave your armpits regularly. Less hair, less sweat.
- Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated.
- Wear breathable clothing.
- Avoid sweat-inducing foods (caffeine, salty, alcohol, processed)
Natural Deodorant That Actually Works
Alright, now that you know what NOT to buy, it’s time to talk about deodorant that actually works.
Honestly, I’ve tried them all.
Even the cleanest ones I could find would end up clumping in my armpits throughout the day. Others left me feeling wet under my arms, even when I wasn’t sweating. Weird!
I became frustrated, and I was tired of throwing money out the door. So I decided, why not make my own?!
So that’s exactly what I did.
This deodorant is 100% natural, and guess what?! It actually works!
It keeps you smelling fresh all day long.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup baking soda (or arrowroot powder)
- 25 drops essential oils
- Put the coconut oil in a bowl, then mix in baking soda (or arrowroot powder if you’re sensitive to baking soda) until it’s a paste-like consistency.
- Add your choice of essential oils and gently stir until combined. (I love using lavender.)
- Store in a glass jar and keep it in a cool place.
- To apply, dab and rub under your arms.
Naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and free of:
- Artificial fragrances
- Synthetic chemicals
- Dyes or artificial colorings
Not up to making your own?
Then I suggest trying Attitude Natural Care Deodorant. It's the next best deodorant after this natural homemade recipe in my opinion.
Finally — deodorant that’s safe for the entire family, even kiddos!
It’s so incredibly important to be aware of toxins and make smart decisions when it comes to what you're putting on and in your body.
Here’s to changing one thing at a time and getting healthier every single day!