Natural Deodorant - The What & The Why
Before I dive into why you should be paying attention to the ingredients in your deodorant, let me clarify a few things in the general realm of what exactly is happening when we use personal care products that contain harmful ingredients.
Think about this. When we put things in our mouth (eating) they are broken down by our organs (think liver & digestive system).
But when we put things on our skin (another organ, remember) there is nothing to metabolize it before it hits our blood stream. We’re taking a shot straight up, no chaser!
Now, I’m not saying that everything you put on your body makes its way into your bloodstream. Because that blanket statement just isn’t true. BUT several ingredients, DO.
AND when it comes to deodorant specifically, some of those ingredients are also prone to hang out in your fatty cells a bit longer. They like it there apparently.
You know what is in the fatty areas of your armpits? Hormone receptors.
This matters when those toxic ingredients are known to cause endocrine disruption.
So what does it mean when people say something causes endocrine disruption? Basically it's chemicals or ingredients that wreak havoc on your body's reproductive and developmental hormones.
Deodorant & your armpits create an all too close relationship.
So what is it in deodorant that causes the problems? As in, why should I actually care about all this hub-bub?
Here are three ingredients you definitely don’t want in your deodorant:
Parabens. You've heard of them, I'm assuming. Unless you live under a rock. And no shade if you do, just crawl out here for second! Parabens are moonlighting as your best friend who keep your products on the shelf longer without getting all moldy and nasty. What they ALSO do though is mess up how your body produces and regulates estrogen & other hormones. The biggest problem is that (for both men and women) our breast area has estrogen-sensitive tissue. Now think about WHERE you're putting that deodorant. Boom. All of a sudden you're putting ingredients next to your breast area that promote & mess with how your body produces hormones and cancer cells. See the problem?!
Check this article out.
Aluminum. This ingredient is found in antiperspirants. What does it do that’s a problem? Well it has been known to cause gene instability in certain tissues. Like breast tissue. Why does that matter? Well because that instability encourages and fosters the growth of tumors. Some of those tumors are inevitably going to be cancer. Another point against aluminum is that it has been linked to increased risk of alzheimer’s later in life.
Triclosan. It’s a man-made chemical that was created with the intention to kill germs. However, the FDA has since banned this ingredient from antibacterial soaps. So why would you allow a banned ingredient from one product in another?? Anywho. Why should you be concerned? Triclosan has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and, you guessed it, hormone disruption. See a pattern here?
Now that we know the ingredients we don’t want, let’s go over a few that you’ll often find in natural deodorants.
Activated charcoal, which helps absorb dirt and sweat while minimizing your pores
Accessible ingredients like coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils (because fragrance as an ingredient is a solid no)
Baking soda & arrowroot (another common ingredient) absorb wetness & kill the odor causing bacteria
Witch hazel is great for anyone with sensitive skin. It also has the ability to help evaporate sweat
Bonus? Natural deodorant won’t block your pores. That means good bacteria can make their way in & work to reduce odor even when you’re not wearing deodorant.
Here are a few to check out in your switch to safer.
Give them a try & let me know what you think. You’re worth choosing safer products, sis.
Do you already have a natural deodorant that you love? Share with us!