When purchasing personal hygiene products, we are often drawn to items that are advertised to do what we want. For deodorants, we look for those that guarantee “24 hour protection,” “clinical strength” or even “little black dress-approved.” Nobody likes to smell bad and we certainly do not wish for our outfits to be ruined by embarrassing pit stains; that’s why we are compelled to buy the ones that seem most convincing and convenient on the shelf.
Because this is a product that we apply directly on our skin every day, it's important to acknowledge how the ingredients within each bottle may have a negative impact on our long-term health.
>> Read more: 10 Secrets to Healthy Skin
To understand this issue, it’s important to recognize the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants: Antiperspirants prevent perspiration, and deodorants allow perspiration, but block odor. Many deodorants contain antiperspirants with aluminum as the active ingredient because it blocks the sweat glands in the underarm area (controlling perspiration).
According to Mother Earth Living, aluminum salt used in antiperspirants “prevents us from sweating when aluminum ions are drawn into the cells that line the sweat ducts, causing the cells to swell and squeezing the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out.” Not only does this cause unpleasant side effects such as inflammation and a buildup of sweat-digesting bacteria, but the acidity of the aluminum compounds causes a reaction with fabric (commonly seen through the form of those lovely yellow stains on our favorite white v-necks).
Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that has been linked to several health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, bone and kidney disorders and cancer. According to an article in Women’s Lifestyle, common toxic antiperspirant ingredients that have harmful side effects include: aluminum compounds, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, silica, steareth, talc and triclosan.
So, what exactly is "all-natural" deodorant? Aluminum-free deodorants consist of essential oils and minerals that can naturally provide your body with beneficial and effective results. Those who switched to natural deodorants reported an immediate difference in their skin and claim to get a cleaner shave that lasts longer in comparison to when they used antiperspirants — not to mention the fact that their favorite white v-necks stayed white!
>> Read more: 4 Organic Skincare Companies You Should Know About
For an easy transition into more natural methods of hygiene, try substituting your regular deodorant with Crystal Deodorant, one of the most popular alternatives.
Crystal Deodorant consists of dry crystals that you wet and apply under your arms. They contain a naturally occurring form of aluminum (alum) made up of molecules too large to be absorbed by the skin. When applied to the skin, a thin layer of the crystal sticks to your skin and the mineral salts help to reduce the bacteria in the underarm area.
Other natural deodorant ingredients include baking soda, witch hazel, essential oils and mineral salts; all things that you should feel good about putting directly on your body!
>> Read more: Essential Naturals Deodorant Review
Like most beauty products, everyone has their own preference as to which one they favor the most, and everyone’s body will react and adjust at its own pace.
>> Read More: 'Nutritious' Beauty Products