Switching from conventional to green. Some personal care products are easier to swap out than others. Makeup – no problem. Skincare – once you find what’s right for you, works the same as the synthetic-loaded stuff. Deodorant – here is where most of us hit a speed bump.
Unlike other natural and organic cosmetics, natural deodorant can take some getting used to. The main issue most take with the synthetic-free version is the lack of antiperspirant. Conventional antiperspirant/deodorants use aluminum to block pores and prevent perspiration from coming to skin’s surface. This may keep us somewhat drier, but aluminum is listed by The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database as a human nervous system toxicant with the potential to cause DNA damage.
Studies have linked the aluminum used in antiperspirants (Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex) to Alzheimer’s Disease, showing that aluminum may contribute to the formation of plaques in the human brain which cause dementia.
Research has also found aluminum salts in their intact forms in the tumors of breast cancer patients. While aluminum is not, at this point, thought to cause the cancer it is making its way into these tumors. And the estrogenic effects of the salts may be causing the tumors to grow more rapidly.
Aluminum is not the only reason to avoid conventional deodorant/antiperspirants. Petro-chemicals, parabens, propylene glycol, and synthetic fragrance are other not-so-natural ingredients commonly used to make these products.
While natural deodorants do not contain aluminum for dryness, many offer a combination of safe ingredients that do help to minimize wetness and order. I have found that natural deodorants actually do a better job of keeping me freshly-scented than the regular ones. And as far as wetness goes, it seems if you are going to sweat you are going to sweat whether you are wearing an antiperspirant or not. I, personally, would much rather smell fresh and clean than like a chemical fragrance. Yuck!
My husband and I have both found that we sweat no more with natural deodorant than with aluminum-containing antiperspirants, smell much fresher, and have to use a lot less of the green deodorant. Whether you prefer solid, roll-on, spray, or even cream, there is a natural deodorant out there for you. Trust me.
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream – Voted most effective by both my husband and myself, this cream deodorant keeps you smelling fresh and helps to ward off wetness. Added bonus: a little goes a long way. My husband claims he only applies this cream every 2-3 days and he never stinks!
Bubble & Bee Pit Putty – Close runner-up is this stick deod. Choose from many scent options, this one will keep you smelling fresh too. One tip, rub it in with your fingers after applying to underarms so you don’t have any crumbles.
Bubble & Bee Deodorant Spray – This is another top choice by the men in my life (hubby and son) and is fairly manly smelling. They say it is hard-working and long-lasting. I have found ANY deodorant spray to be too strong for freshly shaven pits. Must be a guy thing.
Terra Naturals – This stick is one of my mainstays, I use it almost every day. I prefer Goji Acai which is a very light and neutral scent. Terra Naturals also offers great roll-ons in fun scents, like strawberry.
Lavera Roll-On Deodorant Orange Sea Buckthorn – this roll-on is very gentle (so great for those with sensitive skin) and contains natural bamboo and cotton fibers to help soak up wetness. It is also alcohol-free so will not irritate skin.
MADARA Herbal Deodorant – This roll-on is another favorite of mine. Fresh, clean, uni-sex scent for a straightforward odor protection.
I find that deodorant works best when you rotate between 2 or 3 different types. I may use the cream for a week, then switch to one of the sticks for a few days, then a roll-on, and back to cream. This may not work for you, but swapping them out seems to improve their effectiveness. I felt the same way back when I used the aluminum stuff.
Natural deodorants use a combination of plant extracts and essential oils to inhibit bacterial growth and provide safe and gentle freshness. Baking powder, cornstarch and alum are also used as effective wetness absorbers
Using a safe, natural deodorant not only keeps you away from the aluminum and other harmful ingredients in conventional antiperspirants, but I think you will find, smelling fresher too. And with children using deodorant at an ever earlier age, you can feel good that they are using healthy ingredients also.
Have you started using natural deodorant? Which do you prefer? Any questions or concerns?
Writer: Liz Thompson – Organic Beauty Source – Green beauty news, trends, and reviews.
Image: Fernando Silveira at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license.