As an addition of sorts to my blog entitled “It Hurts to Smell Nice!” I wanted to also post this information on store deodorants and the health issues with the chemicals found in them.
Just like perfumes and colognes, store deodorants contain many chemicals that are easily absorbed through the skin into the blood supply and other organs causing illness, damage and disease.
It’s even worse if these products are applied soon after shaving. Tiny nicks in the skin provide an even easier route for chemicals to penetrate the skin barrier directly into the bloodstream.
Drug companies are taking advantage of the ability of skin to absorb chemicals of all kinds with the smokers’ patch being one of the most well known. There are now skin patches for birth control and a patch for motion sickness when you take a cruise or fly in a plane.
Slathering on the chemicals and heavy metals contained in underarm products day in and day out is a dangerous practice and one that no doubt can contribute to a host of health woes in the long run.
Need some concrete reasons to ditch the store deodorant? Here is the top ten list to consider before your next shower and where to find nontoxic brands that actually work.
Most deodorants, even those labeled as “natural,” still contain harmful ingredients like parabens affixed to one of the following common prefixes: methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.
Parabens are dangerous substances, particularly when put on the delicate underarm skin which is so near the breasts.
The Breast Cancer Fund reports that measurable concentrations of six different types of parabens have been identified in breast cancer tumor biopsies. What’s even more telling is that the concentration of the parabens in the biopsies were in the same approximate concentration that would be found in paraben containing cosmetics like underarm deodorant.
Parabens are not just a risk for the breasts. Samples of a diverse sample of US adults found parabens in nearly all urine samples as well indicating that these chemicals get into the blood and move around the body before being excreted.
The heavy metal aluminum is contained in most deodorants and is even disguised in some natural deodorants under the word “alum”. Any compound containing the word “aluminum” would be a problem such as aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.
Scientific evidence has has demonstrated that aluminum exposure is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Preliminary analysis indicates it may be carcinogenic due to potential contamination with dioxin. Triclosan easily crosses cell membranes and is stored in body fat.
A 2006 study has shown that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disruptor in the North American bullfrog. In 2008, a study of juvenile male rats showed that triclosan exposure significantly impacts thyroid hormone concentrations.
Triclosan is in many deodorants labeled as natural so buying at the healthfood store is no protection from this chemical.
Love the smell of your deodorant? According to Environmental Working Group (EWG), even natural smelling fragrances like rose may be something else entirely. The fragrance industry takes great care to hide from the consumer exactly how chemical fragrances are concocted using any blend of the 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that are available. EWG also reports that:
“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”
Bottom line? If your deodorant has “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, you really don’t know what’s in it!
Yet another chemical popular in deodorant, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) has been banned in Europe. A well known skin irritant, SLS is also a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to kidney and liver damage; nervous system disruption; damage to eyes leading to cataracts; eczema and dermatitis.
#6: Sweat Blockage
Sweating is good! You want to sweat to release toxins and it is a normal cooling response the body needs. Blocking sweat with anti-perspirant ingredients is an unhealthy practice and can cause blockage of toxins.
#7: Deceptive Marketing
Some deodorants, even natural and organic ones like crystals and salt sprays, state that they have no aluminum chloride. However, if you examine the label in detail you notice that they contain potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate, which is still aluminum.
#8: Staining and Clumping
What in the world are those clumps left on your skin by conventional deodorants? This stuff doesn’t completely lather off in the shower either and eventually ruins your shirts by leaving yellow stains that don’t wash out (that’s from the aluminum).
Many people report that natural versions of conventional deodorants found at the healthfood store are ineffective or only work for a short period of time.
#10: Store Deodorant is So Uncool!
Let’s face it. Everything about store deodorant is uncool from the chemicals in the supermarket versions to the hidden baddies and ineffectiveness of the so called “natural” brands at the health food store.
What Deodorant is Nontoxic AND Actually Works?
We consumers deserve a deodorant that is safe AND effective, don’t we? Is that really so much to ask?
Fortunately, there are nontoxic deodorants out there that actually work and claim to be what they say they are. I am pleased to say that my family and I use such quality products. These products work even for friends of mine who are extreme athletes working out in extreme heat and humidity. If made properly, natural products really can withstand all sports, endurance races, mud events, WOD (work out of the day) and athletic competitions.
Some great brands: Primal Paste, Zoe Natural Creations, Jason, Alba, Kiss My Face, and more. *note: do read the labels on even these products as some of the scented ones may list “fragrance” as an ingredient and that’s something you want to avoid as you have no idea what’s really in there. The ones that list the natural ingredients that make up the scent of the particular deodorant are better. Unscented is the best!