Which Non-Toxic Deodorants Actually Work?
How many times a day do you apply deodorant? Did you know every time you apply deodorant you could be exposing yourself to toxic ingredients and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)? The buildup of EDCs found in nearly all of our traditional beauty and personal care products can eventually lead to health issues for you, and if you’re pregnant, they can lead to a range of health issues for your unborn child as well.
Endocrine disruptors interfere with hormones, preventing the hormone systems from working correctly. They can cause the body to overproduce estrogen (the female sex hormone), androgen (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones. They can also affect fertility, nervous system functions, and immune functions. Some researchers even believe the risk of breast cancer is significantly affected by one’s exposure to endocrine disruptors.
What’s In Conventional Deodorant?
Antiperspirant deodorants block your underarm sweat glands preventing you from sweating, which is how the body is actually meant to remove toxins efficiently. The biggest concern regarding antiperspirant deodorants is that aluminum is the most widely used active ingredient. There is research that suggests that daily exposure to aluminum can eventually lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. According to researchers, a majority of breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, closest to where we apply antiperspirant deodorants. Aluminum can easily be absorbed by the skin, especially when the skin’s surface is exposed due to shaving — making women more susceptible than men.
Parabens are chemicals that are used as preservatives to prevent bacteria from growing in many personal care products. Parabens are also easily absorbed by the skin and have also been linked to disrupting your body’s hormones. Although some argue that they are weak mimics, they do have a very similar chemical structure to estrogen and can mimic the hormone’s activity in the body. Research suggests that exposure to parabens can have a role in the “development and progression” of breast cancer because these EDCs have been found in breast tissue samples of women with breast cancer. The most common parabens in personal care products are methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben.
Triclosan was introduced in the ’70s as a surgical scrub in hospitals. While Triclosan has since been banned from use in antibacterial liquid soaps (2016) by the FDA, it’s still a present ingredient in deodorants and toothpaste. Used for and EPA classified as a pesticide, Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent used to destroy or inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. The main concern regarding this chemical is that it can also impact estrogen, androgen, and thyroid function. Scientific American reported back in 2009 that Triclosan is detectable in human blood, urine, and mother’s breast milk.
It’s unimaginable that something you put on your body every day, maybe several times a day, could actually be causing you harm but sadly it’s true. One of the best and relatively simple ways for you to reduce the exposure to endocrine disruptors and toxins in your life is to start with your personal care items. While these deodorants are pricier than your typical drugstore brands think about the long-term health investment you’re making.
Below are three non-toxic deodorants we are currently obsessing over. Not only are they elegantly packaged, they also smell great, they apply beautifully (no white streaks, no clumps, and no flaking), they are free of harmful ingredients and most importantly they work!
Agent Nateur & Shiva Rose Holi (Rose) No. 4 Deodorant
Handmade with high-quality, food-based ingredients and without aluminum, parabens, pesticides, sulfates, petroleum, and GMOs. The coconut oil base makes this deodorant naturally antibacterial and ensures it’s smooth application. The rose and sandalwood essential oil blend keeps you smelling fresh all day. Because sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is the second ingredient, some people may experience some sensitivity after shaving. $26
Ursa Major Forest Fix Deodorant
Ursa Major deodorant is a regular favorite, so it was super exciting to hear they were releasing a new scent. Forest Fix is an awakening citrus woodsy scent that isn’t overwhelming. This formulas also contains baking soda, as well as fir to fight odor-causing bacteria, kaolin to aid in absorbing moisture, and hops that help to neutralize unpleasant odors. It does not contain any aluminum or synthetic fragrances. A bit more of an outdoorsy scent but sure to keep you odor free for 24 hours. $18
Corpus Natural Deodorant
Corpus deodorant brings a high-end luxurious feel to the non-toxic deodorant world, and we’re not just talking about the chic packaging. This deodorant has the silkiest application of any non-toxic deodorant on the market. It literally glides across your skin and leaves absolutely no residue once dry. The highly effective vegan formula is water-based and made with natural enzymes. Corpus omits aluminum, talc, parabens, baking soda, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. The only tricky thing about this product is picking which of the five delicately beautiful scents to buy. $22
It’s recommended that you always dry your underarm area very well before applying a non-toxic deodorant due to the lack of chemicals and natural oils and ingredients used.
Something to also consider when making the switch from conventional deodorants to non-toxic formulas is the detox period. That means you’re going to smell worse before you smell better but don’t let that discourage you. The detox period can take anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks depending on your body chemistry but sticking through the entire detox period is vital in finding the right non-toxic deodorant for you.