Why You Should Use Natural Deodorant

Learn more about the dangers associated with conventional deodorants and antiperspirants, and discover safer, natural deodorants.

| July/August 2014

  • Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
    Naturally occurring aluminum (with molecules too large to be absorbed into the body) helps prevent odors. $4, thecrystal.com
    Photo courtesy Crystal
  • Iwilla Remedy Deodorant
    Keep your pits happy with this gentle formula. Baby Powder I Love My Armpits Deodorant by Iwilla Remedy not only neutralizes odors but also soothes skin. $10, iwillaremedy.com
    Photo courtesy Iwilla Remedy
  • Lafes Roll On Deodorant
    Easy to apply, the Fresh Roll-On Deodorant by Lafes uses a blend of active ingredients and essential oils to keep you feeling fresh. $6, lafes.com
    Photo courtesy Lafes
  • Roll-on Deodorant by Lavilin
    Apply this Roll-On Deodorant by Lavilin before bedtime for best results—it keeps you fresh for more than 24 hours. $16, lavilin.com
    Photo courtesy Lavilin
  • Woman Applying Deodorant in the Mirror
    Not all deodorants are good for you. Learn which ingredients to look out for and where you can find safe and effective deodorants.
    Photo by Veer
  • Nourish Natural Deodorant
    Treat your underarms with a delicate scent. The Almond Vanilla Fresh & Dry Deodorant by Nourish Organic smells wonderful and controls odor. $10, nourishorganic.com
    Photo courtesy Nourish Organic
  • Deodorant Cream by Soapwalla
    A blend of vegetable powders; clays; and lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils, Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream absorbs odors. $14, soapwallakitchen.com
    Photo courtesy Soapwalla

  • Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
  • Iwilla Remedy Deodorant
  • Lafes Roll On Deodorant
  • Roll-on Deodorant by Lavilin
  • Woman Applying Deodorant in the Mirror
  • Nourish Natural Deodorant
  • Deodorant Cream by Soapwalla

Embracing natural beauty goes beyond creams, moisturizers, lotions and makeup—it encompasses anything we put in and on our bodies, including deodorants and antiperspirants. Although we may be proud to toss body-care products made with harsh ingredients, (understandably) few of us are willing to compromise on the topic of body odor.

Lack of knowledge and a fear of sweaty armpits—a subject no one wants to talk about—may make you shy away from natural deodorants. But you shouldn’t disregard the concerns surrounding some of the ingredients in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. Every day we slather these products under our arms, an area where many lymph nodes lie close to the surface of the skin. And even though these products effectively block sweat, many of the popular drugstore brands are loaded with questionable ingredients that are worth examining, if not also replacing with safe alternatives.

Analyzing Aluminum

Aluminum is the active ingredient antiperspirants rely on to keep our underarms fresh. This is how it works: Aluminum salts—in the form of aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum hydroxybromide—prevent us from sweating when aluminum ions are drawn into the cells that line the sweat ducts, causing the cells to swell and squeezing the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out.

Unfortunately, aluminum is also a known neurotoxin that has been linked to breast cancer and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s briefly break down these risks. Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast—the area closest to the armpit—and some research has suggested that aluminum compounds absorbed by the skin may cause changes in the estrogen receptors of breast cells. In addition, high levels of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study from Saint Louis University found that aluminum may cause liver toxicity, a contributing factor to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Aluminum-Free Deodorants

The most concerning risk factor for many of these ingredients—especially aluminum—is long-term exposure. Although studies about such health risks are not yet definitive, it makes sense to investigate safe alternatives. Fortunately, as more information comes to light on these chemical ingredients, more companies are developing safer alternatives—and with more products come more options. It’s becoming easier than ever to turn to safe, effective alternatives. Here are a few types you will find on the market.

Crystal deodorant stones contain a naturally occurring form of aluminum made up of molecules too large to be absorbed by the skin. This helps make these products effective at preventing bacteria-causing odor found in sweat from developing, rather than artificially clogging pores as antiperspirants do.

1/31/2016 1:00:00 AM

I use Junglewoman All-Natural deodorant. It's 100% all-natural, hypoallergenic, unisex and contains only 4 ingredients. www.junglemannaturals.com

1/26/2016 7:48:20 AM

In today’s time, whenever we go to the market, we find various types of deodorants that belong to different brands. But not all the deodorants are the same. Particularly when it comes to kids, we should always focus on selecting the ones that are safe deodorant for kids. Since some comprise artificial components like triclosan, it prevents the growth of bacteria while giving certain harm to their sensitive skin. http://www.wekeepitkind.com/us/

10/5/2015 1:22:29 PM

Thank you for this article. I recently started looking into deodorant alternative due to my grandmother having breast cancer. I am trying to minimize as much chemicals as possible used in my family. I went to a farmers market here in Brooklyn by the Library and found a nice young lady that sells natural deodorant. I have never seen anything like this before around here. Her webpage is http://kaieteurnaturals.com/ very hard to pronounce the name but her products works great so far

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