Should You Consider Using
Natural deodorants versus conventional deodorant and antiperspirants.
Have you wondered if switching to a more natural product makes sense?
Finding a good deodorant or antiperspirant can be hard enough but the decision is even harder when there is concern over the ingredients. Are harmful ingredients absorbed into the body when we use these products?
Deodorants and Antiperspirants Are Not The Same
Deodorants and antiperspirants are different products that do different things. Antiperspirants work by blocking or closing pores with aluminum, so you can't perspire or don't perspire as much.
Deodorants work to destroy the bacteria in our sweat and try to neutralize the odor. They are actually better than anti-antiperspirants because they do not block the body's natural process, sweating. Sweating is good for us. It allows the body to purge toxins but I don't have to tell you that there are times that sweating is not a good thing.
What is the problem with buying conventional deodorants or antiperspirants?
Problem Ingredients In Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Concerns have been raised about aluminum in antiperspirants. The FDA, Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society all say there is no conclusive evidence that aluminum is a link to cancer.
Aluminum is found in antiperspirants and is used to help block the sweat glands from producing sweat. And while at present there does not seem to be a link to cancer some concerns have been raised over whether the aluminum is absorbed into the breast tissue where it could possibly cause estrogen like effects. Estrogen is thought to increase the risk of breast cancer. More studies are needed.
Aluminum has also been linked to Alzheimers and here too the studies have been inconclusive. Leaving us with no real answers. But to me there are enough unanswered concerns that they warrant consideration.
In order to stop perspiration a high percentage of aluminum needs to be present. Since antiperspirant may be used throughout a lifetime that means more exposure to aluminum. Until more is known, I'll try to keep aluminum exposure to a minimum.
This common preservative is found in many of our personal care products. It has been found stored in breast tissue in some women which raises issues as to how this might affect our health. In trying to limit my exposure to so many toxins, especially those that tend to hang around inside the body, I have chosen to try and not buy any products that contain parabens.
If you check your products on the Skin Deep Database you will see that fragrance almost always is considered a high hazard ingredient. It is a generic term that tells us nothing. Often it contains synthetic ingredients that are considered harmful. It is also the first ingredient to consider if a product causes irritation. Even the term natural fragrance is questionable.
The above are my red flag ingredients. The ones I consider first when shopping for deodorants or antiperspirants. There are many other ingredients used in these products that are found to have varying degrees of safety.
For more information check out nontoxic skin care.
Finding A Natural Deodorant That Works
It has been a challenge finding a natural deodorant that works reliably. And I'm not alone. I've read reviews and message boards looking for a brand that seems to be the all time favorite but I don't see one brand with a clear lead.
This appears to be a product that either works for you or it doesn't. I think everyone's body chemistry is different so you will probably have to try several different kinds to find one you can rely on.
Crystal deodorants are an interesting choice. They come in a dry form which you wet to apply and it is available in a roll-on form.
Crystal deodorants work by rubbing the dampened crystal on your underarms. A thin layer of minerals that you don't see are left behind. These mineral salts stop bacteria which cause odor while allowing the skin to breath and perspire naturally.
The mineral contains alum, a compound found in nature and present all around us in our air, water and soils. It is the 3rd most abundant mineral in nature and it is used to make aluminum. The alum in deodorant crystals has larger molecules than the smaller molecules found in aluminum. These larger molecules are not absorbed by the body. They do not block pores and stop perspiration.
Solid crystal deodorant usually has no scent, is not sticky and will not mark or stain fabrics. I've noticed the roll-on forms may have extras like essential oils. Read the labels and make sure they are safe ingredients.
Natural deodorants rely on vegetable enzymes, herbs or essential oils to neutralize or destroy odors. Many natural ingredients are known for their antibacterial qualities. Ingredients like lavender and mint are just a few that work on odors and also provide a pleasant scent. Tea tree oil and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) also work very well for destroying odors.
Using Natural Deodorant
For me, keeping harmful and questionable ingredients to a minimum is important. So I have tried to find a middle ground. If need be I will use an anti-antiperspirant during the summer months and for those occasions when perspiration is particularly unwanted. To be on the safe side I do not apply directly after shaving because there is some thought that a nick in the skin might allow the aluminum to enter the body more easily. (there has been no hard evidence that this is true, I am just more comfortable with this approach)
Other times I use natural deodorant. Repeated application during the day is sometimes necessary to keep perspiration odor in check and sometimes even then I am not happy with the results. I have found it helps to apply deodorant to clean skin which is sometimes hard when out and about. In a pinch natural baby wipes to the rescue just choose those without a fragrance.
It's also really important that you thoroughly remove perspiration odor from clothing when washing. When you perspire during the day and clothing becomes moist any odors left in the clothing will start to stink and it seems like your natural deodorant quit but it just might be your clothing instead of you. Perspiration odors can be hard to remove.
Try these natural suggestions:
Natural Deodorant Reviews
I try to find reviews for most every product I use. They have helped me on several occasions avoid some real stinkers. I joke but true especially when it comes to natural deodorant. Before you buy another deodorant consider checking out some reviews sent to this site.
Still Wonder If Natural Deodorants Are Worth It
Natural deodorants are a choice I have made for myself. But you be the judge. I am including a few websites that can be a starting place for your own research.CBS News
The National Cancer Institute
Copyright© 2006-2012 Natural Living For Women