Let’s talk about deodorant. Every single day people far and wide use commercial deodorants to help prevent and/or mask stinky smells under their arms, but most people are completely unaware of just how toxic these deodorants can actually be. Every time you apply these products you are exposing yourself to a host of dangerous chemicals, and over time these exposures can spell disaster for your health. It’s no wonder chronic disease is on the rise in our country. According to the National Cancer Institute, “In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.” Because skin is the largest organ of the human body, it is important that we be mindful of what we are putting on it.
As far as deodorants go, the National Cancer Institute states, “Reports have suggested that these products contain harmful substances, which can be absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks caused by shaving. Some scientists have also proposed that certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants may be related to breast cancer because they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast.”
So what are these harmful ingredients that are lurking in deodorant? To name a few, many deodorants and antiperspirants contain 1) aluminum compounds (to block the pores from sweating) 2) parabens (used as preservatives) 3) Propylene glycol (another additive which often makes up as much as 50% of deodorant content, even in “all natural” deodorants) 4) Triclosan (classified as a pesticide by the FDA and used to combat bacteria) and 5) Steareths (caricinogenic additives used to make harsh chemicals more mild.) Now that we’ve named just a handful of the toxins in deodorant, let’s talk about what makes them so terrible for you.
Heavy metals, such as aluminum, often interfere with your estrogen receptors’ ability to correctly process the hormone. They have been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Heavy metals can accumulate in brain tissue, and they are very difficult to get rid of once they are there!
Parabens have been known to mimic the properties of estrogen in human cells, so they can disrupt hormonal balances. This can lead to early puberty in children, accumulation of toxins in your vital organs and even hormone-related cancers in women. According to a 2004 study, parabens can accumlate in breast tissue; parabens were found in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumors.
Propylene glycol has a terribly dangerous, synergistic effect when it’s mixed with other toxic chemicals (such as the ones previously mentioned.) Propylene glycol damages the central nervous system, liver and heart. Even when this ingredients is found in very small concentrations (2% or less), it can cause irritation in sensitive skin. As I mentioned already, many manufacturers have made deodorants that are 50% propylene glycol, and this even applies to many “all natural” brands. I don’t know about you, but I find this statistic to be very disturbing!
Moving on. Triclosan, which is used as a preservative and antibacterial agent in deodorant, reacts with tap water to create chloroform gas, a known carcinogen. It also has endocrine disrupting properties that can be passed along in human breast milk. It is often found in our blood.
Steareths are usually listed with a number (for instance, steareth-15.) These additives come from a cheap process that makes harsh ingredients more mild. Ethoxylation, as this process is known, produces potentially cancer-causing 1,4-dioxanes when manufactured.
So what is a stinky human to do? Well, there are many natural alternatives to commercial deodorant available to you. If you are a big DIY person, you can make your own deodorant using recipes like this one on instructables.com. If you’re like a lot of people, a super busy person with very little extra time to DIY personal care products, you can buy an already made non-toxic deodorant, like the ones offered by Young Living. But my personal favorite thing to use is Purification, an essential oil blend containing citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, lavandin and myrtle essential oils. I just put a little in my hands and rub under my arms after a shower. Easy peasy!
This oil blend is purifying, deodorizing and oxygenating, so it creates an environment that body odor-causing bacteria don’t thrive in. Bonus, the lemongrass supports the lymphatic system, so it can help your body get rid of some of those toxins you’ve stored from all the commercial deodorants you’re no longer using. (You’re going to stop using those, right? Ok, good. ;)) Plus the aroma of Purification oil is wonderfully fresh and uplifting. People compliment me on how good I smell everywhere I go. At the doctor’s office, at the tire shop, at the grocery store. I should mention that it does not prevent you from sweating; your body is supposed to sweat. It’s one of the ways we excrete our waste and is actually a very important function. But Purification can help you not stink when you sweat, and isn’t that the main goal at the end of the day?
So, how can you get your hands on some Purification essential oil? There are two ways. You can get on to the Young Living website, sign up as a retail customer and pay full price for a single bottle of Purification essential oil. OR (and this is the best way by far) you can grab a Premium Starter Kit where you will get a bottle of Purification, a diffuser and 10 other awesome oils that you can and will use every day for a healthier, reduced toxin life. The choice is yours, my friends, but whatever you do, please, please stop using toxic deodorants under your arms. Got questions? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me on any of my social media accounts below. Let’s connect soon!