Last updated on August 9th, 2022 at 06:31 pm
My antiperspirant was one of the last things I replaced in switching to safer products. For one, most of the natural deodorants out there are just that, deodorants, not antiperspirants. I was scared since I sweat like my father (and that’s just not pretty). The other thing is that most of the natural deodorants felt like rubbing honey on my armpits, which left me feeling sticky all day, on top of sweating.
Hence the list of safer deodorant options is below. I’ve tried many of them; they get the job done and leave me feeling clean and fresh.
What’s Wrong With My Antiperspirant and Deodorant?
Time for a refresher course! Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants use an aluminum compound as the active ingredient.
Dove’s active ingredient is ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM TETRACHLOROHYDREX GLYCINE COMPLEX (mmmm, that sounds safe).
Some studies have shown a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s and possibly some forms of breast cancers. Indeed, all the research is not conclusive, but it does suggest a possible link, not to mention the evidence indicating a strong link, and that’s enough for me to want to avoid it.
You will always find evidence to the contrary, but the research continues. That’s not all there is to be concerned about.
Most Deodorants and Antiperspirants Contain Hormone Disrupting Chemicals
Deodorants are also laden with hormone-disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates, which mimic estrogen and are linked to a bevy of health issues. (Early puberty in girls, premature delivery, impaired sperm quality and sperm damage in men, genital defects and reduced testosterone production in boys, genital defects, and testicular cancer. Studies are now showing that phthalates are linked to obesity.
I’ve read a lot of studies, and while all research is typically inconclusive or a big fat “maybe,” I feel that enough evidence is there to warrant concerns.
These are petrochemicals that are over-processed and you’re applying them to your underarms every single day. That’s a lot of exposure to chemicals that may very well cause some serious health issues.
SafeMama Natural Deodorants Criteria
The deodorants in our list must be:
- aluminum-based compounds Free
- parabens Free
- synthetic fragrances (phthalates) Free
- petrochemicals Free (PEG’s, propylene, and glycol)
List of Safer Deodorants
When choosing a safer deodorant, I look for deodorants without aluminum-based compounds that don’t contain the typical ingredients I avoid in all my skincare; see the list of criteria above.
What I discovered is a lot of deodorants that not only work great but are completely made with natural ingredients. I rest easy! And I don’t stink, even on my worst sweaty days. I haven’t used conventional drugstore deodorant in almost eight years and haven’t had an issue with body odor. Here are some of my picks for safer deodorants:
Prefer Deodorant Sprays?
Tips For Switching To A Safer Deodorant Successfully
- BE PATIENT. You’ll need at least 2 weeks to adjust, so if you go a couple of days on a new deodorant and you still experience odor issues, this could mean your body is still ridding itself of toxins. You might have to try a brand or two to find the right one for your body chemistry too, so give it some time. If one doesn’t work try something else. Everyone is different; what works for me might not work for someone else. You have to find the right deodorant for YOU. Once I found what worked for me I never went back. I haven’t used mainstream deodorants in about 4 years. I don’t smell funny either.
- Exfoliate. Its a good idea to GENTLY exfoliate your armpits once in a while to remove any dead skin blocking your sweat glands and pores. Use a soft washcloth and gently massage the area. Don’t use scrubs or salts as this might damage the delicate skin of your armpits.
- Sweat! Deodorant makers put Aluminum in their products to prevent you from sweating. A major problem with this in that you are supposed to sweat, sweating is your body’s way of ridding itself from toxins and impurities. Once your body is used to not having antiperspirants it can regulate your sweating. Since switching I have not noticed being “wet” unless I am huffing and puffing on the treadmill, in which case who cares. What matters is I don’t SMELL like sweat.
Let’s Talk About B.O.
I have read that diet affects your smell, so pay attention to what you ate before discovering your pits smelling a little ripe. Some say red meat is a culprit. Being perfectly honest, once my body is regulated and adapted to my new safer deodorant, I rarely, if ever, smell. Not even in the hot sun, not after I work out, and even if I skip a day showering. For the sake of science, I’ll admit I skip a day here and there. (What, like you never did? LIES!)
Making Your Own Safe Deodorant
This DIY recipe comes from my buddy Statia who used to help out around here.
What you’ll need:
- A deodorant container (save your old one, and re-purpose it)
- coconut oil (the solid kind)
- arrowroot powder
- essential oil (whatever your favorite is, which is nice, you don’t have to smell like “fake baby butt”)
- vitamin e oil
- corn starch
- Add the dry ingredients in a bowl first. Mix equal parts corn starch and arrowroot powder.
- Add equal parts coconut oil, mix thoroughly.
- Add a few drops of vitamin e and your essential oil. You can add as much as you like, but I wouldn’t go overboard. The mixture will be a bit flakier if you use more oil.
- Knead the mixture with your fingers until it forms a ball-like consistency, it should be hard enough to put into the deodorant container but still malleable and not crumbly. Put the cap on and let set overnight, and voilà!
Do you have a natural deodorant you like? Or a DIY recipe? Tell me about it!