Be Aware of Your Deodorant
We use many products as part of our routines in the morning, from toothpaste to your favorite pair of shoes. But what if I said that one of the most reliable things that we use every day can actually be potentially dangerous to your health. Scary, right? About 95% of Americans use deodorant, and it is a very profitable industry since everyone wants good hygiene. However, there are more hazards to using conventional deodorants and antiperspirants than we know. Some people may not even need deodorant, but there are natural alternatives that can be used just for a few more dollars, or you can even DIY it.
Why We Sweat and Release Odor?
We produce sweat because it is our body’s natural cooling system that prevents us from overheating, flushes out toxins to help maintain a good immune system, and cleans pores to clear out acne and blackheads. The sweat we release has salt that combines with bacteria to create the odor from our armpits. Anthropologists believe that humans produce smell because it was a defense mechanism against animals wanting to prey on us. Since that’s not much of a problem in our modern world now, we use our deodorants to mask the pungent aroma and avoid perspiring.
Do You Really Need It?
People put on deodorant because it has been conditioned in our routines since adolescence. However, we are not taught if we really need it or not. According to the University of Bristol, there is a particular gene called the ABCC11 gene that causes the odor when sweating. For some people, this gene is actually not active in their system whether they know it or not. Because of unawareness, 78% of people who don’t produce odor still use deodorant. To test if you have an active ABCC11 gene or not, look at your earwax and see if it is wet or dry. Dry earwax most likely determines that you have an inactive ABCC11 gene, so deodorant is unnecessary for you.
You Need To Sweat: You are probably thinking, what about sweat production? Even if you might not smell, you still sweat. Sweat is a natural thing that we do that is triggered by exercise and controlled by our autonomic nervous system, which reacts with certain emotions.
It has the ability to reduce the risk of infections due to dermcidin, an antimicrobial peptide that is in our sweat glands. Sweat also can lower your chance of getting kidney stones. The more you sweat, the more salt leaves your body so it does not contribute to a stone formation in your kidneys. Replenishing with water can also help lower this chance. For people who don’t sweat much, it is encouraged to detoxify by going into a sweat-inducing sauna.
What Is in Your Deodorant?
People look at ingredients, brands, or just find items that do the job. However, when we find something we cannot read in a product some people overlook it and not even give it one more second of thought. With deodorants and antiperspirants, that’s what we do. We feel satisfied that it doesn’t let us smell bad or sweat and not think about the potential harm that it can do to us.
Aluminum: Aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum hydroxybromide, and aluminum zirconium are a few of the active ingredients in deodorants that block the sweat ducts in our armpits. They do a great job at that, but aluminum is also a metal and a known neurotoxin. It has been linked to studies showing that the aluminum we absorb can imitate estrogen which increases breast cancer cell growth. A study in Saint Louis University showed that aluminum can cause liver toxicity and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. There has not been evidence if deodorant has actually caused these health problems, but has displayed evidence that the exposure of it can be shown at an earlier age in life.
Pesticides: Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in many body care products that is shown to make bacteria resistant to antibiotics and also have an altering chemical reaction when exposing triclosan on human skin to UV rays. However, these studies are still ongoing. The FDA established a final rule in December 2017, declaring that triclosan and 23 other ingredients won’t be accepted without a full data premarket analysis of safety and effectiveness. At this time triclosan is being tested to see if it is even appropriate to be used.
Parabens: Paraben is a preservative that is also in many body care products, under names such as bethyl, ethyl, and butyl. They prevent bacterial growth, but the problem of it is that it can interrupt our natural hormone balance and can potentially create negative immune, neurological, and reproductive effects. Mainly, it has been revealed in a study that high levels of methylparaben was found in 20 human breast tumors. However, they were benign. There are still studies going on to see how much the human body can handle before it becomes dangerous.
Switch To a Natural Solution
With these ingredients in our deodorants and antiperspirants, it may alarm you and maybe make you not want to use it again. However, that doesn’t mean you have to steer away from it. You could also decrease odor by eliminating spicy foods, onions, garlic, alcohol, and processed and sugary foods. But sometimes, that doesn’t always do the trick to fully conceal odor. You can buy a natural deodorant, such as Schmidt’s Rose and Vanilla Natural Deodorant or Herban Cowboy Natural Vegan Grooming Deodorant, which are paraben- and aluminum-free. There are also some that will take the odor away and let you sweat. It’s worth trying a few brands until you find one that works with your body- everyone’s chemistry is different!If you don’t want to spend an extra dollar, well that’s no problem, you can even DIY your own deodorant!
Homemade Coconut Oil Deodorant:
- 3 Tbs. Coconut oil
- ¼ cup Baking Soda
- ¼ cup Arrowroot or Organic Cornstarch
- Any essential oil of your preference
Mix the arrowroot and baking soda in a bowl, then mash in coconut oil until well combined. Add desired essential oil and then pour into an old deodorant container or small glass.
Homemade Shea Butter Deodorant:
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Shea Butter
- 11/2 Tbsp. Beeswax
- 5 drops Vitamin E oil
- 8 drops Lavender essential oil
- 4 drops Melaleuca essential oil
- 3 drops Sage essential oil
Melt shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. After they are melted together, remove from heat to cool. Add Vitamin E oil and essential oils into the melted concoction and mix well. Then pour into a deodorant container and let it harden.
Homemade Spray Deodorant:
- 1 (4 oz.) Spray bottle
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ cup Distilled or Springwater
- 30 drops Lemongrass or lemon essential oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Fill the bottle halfway with apple cider vinegar. Add the water and essential oil and put on the lid. Shake well.