Ah puberty. That magical age where your body grows hair in weird places, your hormones rage and you start to stink! Lovely! In comes deodorant. Probably one of the first personal care products you start using as a tween.
But how safe are the typical deodorants/antiperspirants on store shelves? There has been much about deodorant and the chemicals within, links to Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and the like.
As with all other personal care products, they do not need to be tested before they go on the shelves nor do all the ingredients have to be disclosed. Some of the chemicals found in deodorant/antiperspirant are:
Triclosan: Used as an antibacterial in many products. It is thought to accumulate in our bodies and has been associated with hormone disruption.
Aluminum: suspected to be linked to Alzheimer’s.
Parabens: Mimic estrogen which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancer.
Once again, there is no conclusive evidence stating that deodorants/antiperspirants definitely cause problems. But there isn't conclusive evidence to the contrary either. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Sweating is Natural
We wear deodorant to stop the stink. An antiperspirant to stop the sweat by blocking the sweat glands under your arm. They are 2 separate things.
Your body is supposed to sweat. That is one way we release toxins. Ingredients such as aluminum block the pores to stop you from sweating. Your underarms are home to a lymph node location. If your body cannot release toxins from your underarms, your lymph nodes are right there to suck up the toxins. This is one thing that can be difficult for people to get used to – that wet feeling under your arms. Honestly, I don’t like it. And on special occasions, I admit to wearing an antiperspirant.
Changing The Routine
Personally, I think our bodies become dependent on deodorant. Years ago, I found myself increasing my deodorant use and gradually moving toward the clinical strength deodorants because nothing seemed to work. While using the clinical strength, I finally read the directions and it stated that I should put it on at night to be absorbed into my skin. Something about that struck me as wrong.
I backed off and used a regular deodorant/antiperspirant, occasionally not wearing any at all if I wasn't going anywhere. Little by little I think my body adjusted. A few years ago, I gave up the antiperspirant all together and went with just a plain deodorant. It worked OK, but I found myself reapplying at the end of the days.
Finding a Natural Alternative
What I find difficult about deodorants is that each person’s needs are unique. What works for one person may not work for another. Some natural deodorants are downright expensive. I really don’t want to be paying over $20 to try one then have it not work only to go spend another small fortune on something else that may not work. All the while wondering if I am stinking out my friends!
About a year ago, Cheryl of The Whole Body Spa was experimenting with deodorant. I had the pleasure of being a tester!!!! I started using her version – cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil and lemongrass essential oil. It worked! This is what I use all the time. Now, it did take a little bit of getting used to because it comes in a jar and you rub it on with your fingers. Honestly, not a big deal. I think of it like lotion.
You can buy this from Cheryl or look up recipes and make your own. It is quite simple and inexpensive.
If you are not ready to take the plunge just yet, try these steps:
- Buy JUST deodorant, not an antiperspirant. At least this way you are still allowing your body to sweat and release toxins. And no Aluminum.
- Go scent free – fragrances usually contain phthalates.
- Avoid Triclosan and Parabens.
- You can check Skin Deep and Good Guide for health ratings on deodorants.
For The Tweens In Your life
I gave some of the Whole Body Spa deodorant to my daughter recently as she is just starting to wear deodorant. She has no preconceived notions about deodorant so she didn't think twice about applying with her fingers. My plan is to start all of my children off with natural products. They won't know the difference.
Have you made the switch to more natural personal care products? What are your favorites or ones you find difficult to replace?