Deodorant is an essential personal care product for most of us. It is something that we rely on to keep our underarms odor free, even though there may be some questions about the safety of some ingredients. Some deodorants are also antiperspirants, which means they help to stop perspiration or minimize wetness. Even these do not completely stop you from sweating though.
This is a good thing, because you need to sweat, and your underarms are one of the places you sweat from the most. This is why odor builds up. Bacteria tends to collect in warm, dark places. Your underarms are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, and when it builds up it begins to have an unpleasant odor.
Most commercial brands of deodorant unfortunately contain several questionable ingredients. The first of these ingredients is aluminum. Aluminum has been linked to a variety of health issues, including breast cancer and Alzheimers.
Aluminum is a metal, and it has no business being on or in our bodies. Everything that we apply to the exterior of our body eventually ends up in our bodies as well. Aluminum has no use in the human body, and therefore it is easily stored in various areas since it is not utilized.
The reason aluminum is used in antiperspirant deodorant is that it helps to stop a person from sweating by blocking the sweat glands. It is a very cheap material, and also weighs very little, so it is easy to include in body care products. It is used in other common items such as baby powder, hemorrhoid medications, antacids, nasal sprays and more.
Heavy metals such as aluminum tend to gather in our body fat, where they can have ill effects on organ function. It also accumulates in the kidneys, liver, brain, thyroid and lungs. Excess aluminum exposure has also been linked to Parkinson's disease, liver disease, hyperactivity, stomach and intestinal ulcers and a host of other alarming health issues.
Another common ingredient found in commercial deodorants are parabens. Parabens are a family of chemical preservatives that help extend the shelf life of deodorant and other body care products. Parabens have been linked to hormonal disruption in men and women. They have also been implicated as a carcinogen (cancer causing agent).
Phthalates are another chemical family that is used in deodorants and antiperspirants, particular if they are in solid form. This is a plasticizing agents, meaning it helps to firm and hold ingredients together better for a more uniform consistency.
Phthalates have been regulated as an environmental pollutant, and yet they can still be found in many of the common personal care products we use today. They have been linked to endocrine (hormone) disruption and found to cause reproductive system abnormalities in studies.
Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in many solid deodorants as well. In fact, it is many times listed as the first ingredient. Although it is categorized as safe for use in cosmetics, one may want to approach this ingredient with caution as well.
Propylene glycol in large quantities can also cause liver and kidney damage. It is a mineral oil and is therefore used in products like antifreeze. It is used to enhance absorption and also as a humectant, to help product glide on better.
It enhances absorption, so using this in conjunction with ingredients like aluminum, parabens and phthalates is of particular concern. Propylene glycol is also included in a large number of processed foods, making our exposure to this fairly large to begin with.
If you truly want to get an all natural deodorant, it might be tough to find one without any chemicals. There are many ingredients that are completely safe and all natural that help to stop odor. It's just a matter of finding one you like and sticking with it for the health of you, and the health of your family.
Danna Norek owns and writes for several blogs and natural health sites. She frequently reports on her experiences with beauty and health products. You can find information on a 100% natural deodorant with no chemicals whatsoever here at Effective, All Natural Deodorant. You may also find information on an all natural acne soap which uses essential oils as a basis for ridding the skin of acne causing bacteria here at All Natural Acne Soap. It is free of SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), parabens and phthalates as well.