Sweat It Out - Natural Deodorants.
Each day we apply many cosmetic products topically on our skin and one of the most lethal of all is applied under our arms and around our breasts. Deodorant. When deodorant is applied it is not washed off until the end of the day when we shower and by then most of what you have applied has been absorbed into your skin and therefore your bloodstream. Just how much of the deodorant is absorbed into the surrounding breast tissue is not known. Things such as applying the deodorant when you have just got out of the shower and your pores are open, or if you have a shaving rash and your skin is torn and exposed then the level of absorption may be increased. Over the past few years I have tried many natural deodorant brands; creams, sprays, crystals and traditional roll ons. I have personally found them to be average and due to this have always reverted back to generic supermarket brands. Naughty? Yes without a doubt, and using supermarket deodorants (such as Dove, Rexona, Nivea) has always left me feeling guilty as the toxic ingredients in them are not the best for us.
Some of the nasty ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants are triclosan, aluminium, and parabens (there are many more but I will just be talking about these 3). What are these ingredients you ask? Let me tell you.
Triclosan – This is in most deodorants and used as the odor killing part of antiperspirants for its anti-bacterial properties. Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide in 1969. The FDA has said that in animal studies triclosan has shown to alter hormone regulation. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The Environmental Protection Agency have classified it has a probable carcinogen (cancer causing). Because of this some companies have removed the ingredient from their deodorant.
Parabens– these should be avoided regardless of what cosmetic product they are in as there is not enough research to show that they are 100% safe. Parabens are used as a preservative in cosmetic products. Anything that begins with ethyl, methyl, benzyl or butyl is a paraben. They that can disrupt hormones, mimic estrogens, harm our precious reproductive systems and act as carcinogenic compounds. Again, there is conflicting information so until they have been proven safe it is best to avoid, especially when there are paraben free alternatives.
Aluminium – I have saved the worst for last. This is the most talked about and debated antiperspirant ingredient. Aluminium is used in antiperspirants it clogs the pores and stops you from sweating. The aluminium is absorbed into breast tissue, whether or not this is linked to breast cancer is still to be decided but hey, let's be honest, spraying something onto your skin that is foreign to our bodies must not be that great for you, right? Some of the toxic effects of aluminium are mainly to do with motor coordination; these have been proved in epidemiological studies of subjects who have been exposed to aluminium. There is no conclusive evidence for or against aluminium as a primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease but most researchers agree that it is an important factor in dementia.
Sweating, or perspiring, is a normal bodily function and our bodies’ way of cooling down. There is nothing wrong with sweat, and it's not actual sweat that smells, it is the bacteria on our bodies that causes odour. Using a natural deodorant will not stop you from sweating but it will stop the sweat from smelling especially if there are essential oils in the formula.
The purpose of this post is to make you think twice about what you a spraying under your arms each day. Do you really need an antiperspirant? Is it necessary to spray deodorant on three times a day? Before bed? If there are alternatives to chemical laden deodorants that are gentle and non toxic then they should be used.
For the past 8 weeks I have been using a natural deodorant for the purpose of this post as I wanted to make sure that the brand I recommended actually worked. The brand is called Fresca and can be purchased from here. Fresca works really well for me, it of course may not work well for you but of all the natural deodorants I have tried Fresca is the one that stood out and has made me start to use natural deodorants again. The scent I have is natural citrus. Where I live temps have already reached the mid 30 mark and on those days I may have to apply the deodorant twice which is really no issue.
The ingredients in Fresca’s roll on deodorant are:
Purified water, aerated salt (saleratus), vegetable gum, fragranced only with essential oils of grapefruit peel (citrus x paradise), lime fruit peel (citrus aurantifolia), tangerine (citrus reticulata), mandarin (citrus) and Fresca Natural’s proprietary essential oils blend.
Fresca = 8 ingredients. 5 of which are essential oils that help to nourish skin.
Lets compare Fresca's ingredients with Nivea’s anti perspirant pure invisible spray on deodorant ingredients. (I could not find the ingredients on their website so went to the supermarket and wrote them down).
Butane, Isobutane, Propane, Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Aluminum, Chlorohydrate, C12-15 Akyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Parfum, Butyloctanoic Acid, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polysorbate 65, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol.
Nivea = 18 ingredients, half of which I can not even pronounce.
It is your body so your choice as to what cosmetic products you use. At the end of the day if you can’t eat it chances are you shouldn’t be putting it on your body. If you have never used a natural deodorant before there is no harm in giving it a try. Fresca's natural citrus deodorant is also safe for pregnant woman and has been naturopath approved.
To take a look at the other scents in the Fresca range here.
Would love to hear your thoughts below as to what natural deodorant brand you use and if you find it to be effective.