In our last installment, we covered the problem with secret formulas in fragrances. Some aluminum-free deodorants may still contain harmful chemicals in their fragrance make-up. It is difficult to determine, especially if the formula isn’t readily available. Be sure to investigate if the company you are purchasing your cosmetics from is obfuscating any ingredients from their listings. Here are a few more you should look out for:
Triclosan. This is an antimicrobial chemical. Much like phthalates, this chemical is also a known endocrine disruptor. It specifically affects thyroid and reproductive hormones and can also be an allergen. While the concept of a chemical that kills bacteria poses benefits, there is a question, however, about how triclosan has contributed to making bacteria more antibiotic resistant. There isn’t enough evidence to support that triclosan washing products are any better at killing bacteria than regular soap and water. This chemical can be found in toothpaste, antibacterial soap, and deodorant.
Sodium luryl sulfate (SLS). This chemical compound can be found in an overwhelming number of personal care and cleaning products. Almost any “foaming” products you can think is likely to contain SLS. Some people who have used products with SLS have developed skin, lung, and eye irritation. The bigger problem with it, however, is how it reacts when combined with other chemicals. Some combinations can cause kidney and respiratory damage as well as increase the risks for cancer.
Last time, we covered parabens and synthetic colors which can be found in cosmetic products like deodorants and acne treatments. Be certain that your natural deodorant and other cosmetics are free of these harmful substances. Let’s take a look at a few more common ingredients you can find in almost any cosmetic product.
Fragrance. So who doesn’t want to smell good all the time? Certainly having a pleasant aroma is important in our social environment. But at what cost? Many companies claim a secret formula when it comes to addressing their fragrances. That right there should be frightening enough. How can you apply a topical agent to your skin without even knowing what is in it? Fragrance mixes have been known to cause skin irritation, allergies, respiratory problems, and even reproductive health issues. It can be found commonly in perfumes and colognes, but it can also be found in shampoos and body washes just as commonly.
Phthalates. Try to pronounce that one. Phthalates are chemicals used to increase flexibility and softness in plastics. These chemicals can be found in nail polish, perfumes, lotions, and hair spray. The risk they present is that they are known to be endocrine disruptors which can cause birth defects, early breast development and even an increased risk in breast cancer. Unfortunately, it’s hard to determine if a product has any phthalates as these ingredients are often listed as a fragrance. No wonder the formula is a secret.
You probably already know about the harmful effects of not using natural deodorants. Did you know that there are several other chemical nightmares in cosmetic and hygiene products that are probably lurking in your bathroom right now? In this series, we’re going to cover what these chemicals are and why you should avoid them.
Parabens. This is a widely used preservative which helps to prevent the growth of certain bacteria as well as mold and yeast which can grow on cosmetic products. What could the harm be in that? Well, parabens also have additional chemical side-effects, namely its estrogen-like functions that have been linked to an increased risk in breast cancer. Biopsy samples have discovered evidence of this chemical having been absorbed into the skin and found in breast tumors. You can find this chemical in make-up, soap, deodorants, shampoos, and acne treatments. Make sure your natural deodorant and other cosmetics don’t contain this preservative!
Synthetic colors. How bad can a little coloring be for your body? Well some coloring isn’t very harmful at all, especially natural coloring which occurs as a result of the combination of the ingredients used. However, synthetic colors are often made from petroleum or coal tar based materials. This has caused skin irritation in some people as well has having been linked to ADHD among children. Much like parabens, some synthetic colors have been suspected to be human carcinogens.
Not all natural deodorant claims ought to be taken at face value. This is where your research time comes into play.
First, it is important to understand why chemical deodorants are problematic. Do you know why aluminum is harmful to your body and why it is often used in deodorants and anti-perspirants? Aluminum can be toxic to the body. Some people are already sensitive to it and some may not even know it. Have you ever developed a skin irritation or allergic reaction from a cosmetic or hygiene product like deodorant? It might be from the aluminum in it.
Aluminum use has been linked to health issues like breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, bone disorders, and kidney problems. Many deodorants contain aluminum and other synthetic fragrances that are very effective at preventing sweat and masking body odor, but at what cost?
Now that you know why aluminum is bad, how do you know that this supposed aluminum-free deodorant is actually what it claims to be and it is the healthy choice? Check the ingredients. Truly healthy, natural deodorants should be made up of essential oils and minerals. Some products may claim to be aluminum-free, but have simply replaced that chemical with other equally harmful chemicals so be cautious!
Most pharmacy or grocery stores don’t carry a wide selection of natural deodorant. The trend is growing, however, it is still fairly new territory and not usually in the forefront of a shopper’s mind.
Deodorant is one of those things that we thought about a long time ago and hardly ever changed. It is much like how we buy other hygiene products like toothpaste or shampoo. It usually takes some clever advertisement, properly placed and fortunately timed for us to switch to a new product, if even for a cycle to try it out. If that marketing agency is lucky, we, the consumer, we stick to the new product and continue with repeat business.
There are stores in your local shopping center that probably carry one or two brands of natural deodorant. Though not all natural deodorant can be treated the same. It is more than likely better than the chemically overloaded alternative, however. You can probably find good buys for healthy alternatives to deodorant on popular shopping websites. All of this is fine and dandy, but before you make that first purchase, you should do your research on these products and find out the true chemical of the natural deodorant being sold. If possible, reach out to the company during your investigation and get the facts.
You won’t find too many television advertisements about natural deodorant. Most people do not think about what they use for deodorant. They simply go to the store and purchase the same product they’ve been doing for years.
There are fewer people that know how store bought deodorants or anti-perspirants actually work. With deodorants being a $3 billion dollar business, there’s a lot of money being spent to advertise and promote the marketing campaigns for these products.
However, there isn’t much being said about natural deodorants. Store bought deodorants include chemicals and ingredients to make your body odor more fragrant, yet most of these chemicals are known hormone disruptors. Harmful materials like aluminum are used in the process of closing the sweat ducts in anti-persiprants. It is making us all sick.
There is an alternative. A handful of companies throughout the world market natural, aluminum-free deodorant which uses organic material that is scientifically found to be less harmful to humans than their typical store bought counterpart. Most of these products will not be found on the shelf at your local pharmacy or grocery store, but you will find them online. The key is to find a reputable company and do your own research.
Maybe it is time for you to consider switching to healthy alternatives to natural deodorant.