There come times in our lives when we need added protection against body odor. Whether we’re at the gym or in an important meeting, it’s very likely that, without some type of deodorant, we’ll sweat and let out a little odor. Not a pleasant topic, but it can’t be ignored. Choosing the right deodorant is just as important as wearing it regularly, not just because you need to find one that will provide lasting protection, but because you also require one that will protect your health.
Difference Between Antiperspirant and Deodorant
While most people use the terms antiperspirant and deodorant interchangeably, the two are not the same. Antiperspirants work by preventing perspiration from occurring. Deodorants, on the flip side, actually allow perspiration but block odor. The main goal of deodorants is to kill the bacteria that causes odor when we perspire. From a purely natural standpoint, it makes more sense for us to use deodorants, as it is clearly a more natural process. Seeing as our body sweats as a way to cool ourselves, eliminating perspiration is just an unnatural concept.
Of course none of us wants to emit an unpleasant, offensive odor, and some of us don’t particularly enjoy sweating. The fact is many personal care products that deal with these concerns contain aluminum as an active ingredient. Aluminum is also a known neurotoxin. Aluminum-free deodorants are perhaps the best alternative, and these products are growing considerably in both availability and number.
The Dangers of Using Products Containing Aluminum
Many people are allergic to the aluminum and other toxins in the products, including the synthetic fragrance.  If you find that your underarms are irritated, it may be an allergic reaction to your product, and not just the sweat from exertion. The focus today is on aluminum because it’s so toxic to the body.
- Breast Cancer
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Bone Formation Disorders
- Kidney Problems
What to Look for in an Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Aluminum-free deodorants should consist of therapeutic-grade essential oils and all natural ingredients. This is much better for your body overall since you’re not taking in all the toxins that are present in regular deodorants and antiperspirants. Don’t be fooled by some deodorants that claim to be natural or even those that claim to be free from aluminum. Some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk, according to the Environmental Working Group, containing chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan is perhaps a fiercer endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so always avoid personal care products that contain it. You can also make your own deodorant using natural ingredients like baking soda and coconut oil.
The Take Home
With new evidence and reports of adverse reactions staring us in the face, it is difficult to ignore the potential danger of so many health and beauty items on the market. What it boils down to, however, is that each of us has to take the initiative and actively seek out the products that are healthier for us.
Do you use organic or natural personal care products? Tell us about them in the comments!
- Matthew J. Zirwas, MD and Jessica Moennich, MD. Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2008 Sep; 1(3): 38-43.
- Darbre PD. Aluminum, antiperspirants and breast cancer. J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Sep;99(9);1912-9.
- Tomljenovic L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.
- Malluche HH. Aluminum and bone disease in chronic renal failure. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002;17 Suppl 2:21-4.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.