Learn how to make safe and toxin-free homemade natural deodorant, and which harmful ingredients to avoid in conventional store-bought deodorants!
Ever since learning about all the toxins present in conventional deodorants, I stopped using deodorant for years. Luckily, I’m not much of a sweater so this was working out for me fine. If I felt a bit stinky, especially after a workout, I would just wash my underarms and was good to go.
However, after moving to Southern California, summers here can get pretty darn hot and sweating all day is just inevitable. I couldn’t just get away with not using deodorant anymore in the recent months, so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure if I would like my hippy-dippy version and if it would actually work, but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I absolutely love it. It gets rid of the stink and sweat, and it doesn’t stain any of my clothes like other deodorants I have a tried.
But before I share the recipe, I want to share just WHY I stopped using conventional deodorants and the ingredients in them that I don’t want to apply on my skin ever. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it, so being extra diligent about reading the ingredient labels is so important. After all, the toxins and certain chemicals in these products alter our hormones, burden our liver, and are linked to various types of cancers. Who wants that?
Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in conventional deodorants:
Parabens are extremely common in the US, and it can be found in both skin care products and food. They are used as a preservative, but also are known to mimic estrogen and cause hormonal imbalances by accumulating in our tissues. A study showed a presence of parabens in 99% of the breast tumor tissue samples.
You can usually spot parabens on the ingredients list easily (They are found in 75-90% of all products on the market!), because they are followed by some kind of prefix like methylparaben, and propylparaben.
Triclosan is a type of pesticide that you’ll find in most deodorants on the market because of its ability to kill bacteria. It is also an endocrine disruptor and can also be carcinogenic when it comes in contact with chlorine in tap water. As we know, it’s not too difficult for our deodorant to come in contact with water, especially when we apply right after showering.
3. Aluminum-based Compounds
Aluminum-based compounds are used because of their ability to block the body from sweating by blocking the pores, which sounds ideal for antiperspirants. However, this ingredient is easily absorbed by the body and accumulates overtime.
This study has linked long term use of deodorants with earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis. Aluminum exposure has also been linked to interfering with estrogen levels, which increases the risk of cancers, and causing brain health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.
Chemical fragrances in deodorant products are very common and they usually come with pthalates, which help lotions penetrate the skin and fragrances last longer. Pthalates are a bit trickier than other ingredients to spot on the label, because they are usually listed as one of the following acronyms: DBP, DHP, DBP5, and DEHP.
Pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and known to cause kidney and liver cancers. While most studies I found on pthalates and their harmful effects were done on animals, I’d rather be safe than sorry and steer clear, especially when they are considered probable carcinogens by the EPA.
5. Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is used to retain moisture in products, and it’s also used the auto industry in brake and hydraulic fluid. It is a form of mineral oil, which can block the pores and cause skin allergies and/or rashes. It has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.
You may be able to spot propylene glycol (also can be listed as PEG) easily on the deodorant label, because it is usually one for the first 2 ingredients on the list.
Are you surprised by the toxic chemicals that are present in our store-bought deodorants? Keep in mind that many of these ingredients are actually banned in Europe because of their harmful effects. Until our country steps up their game, I’ll gladly make my own homemade natural deodorant to avoid these cancer-causing chemicals.
If you don’t want to make your own deodorant, these are some my top favorite safer choices that actually work:
- In a double boiler or a microwave, melt together shea butter and coconut oil.
- Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir together.
- Add essential oils, if using, then pour into a glass jar and let cool. You can cool in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
- To apply, use your fingers to scoop out a small amount and rub on your armpits until invisible. A little goes a long way!
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