What to look for in a Deodorant


Why what’s in your deodorant matters

I’m not exaggerating when I say I sweat. A lot. I sweat when I’m working out and, unfortunately, even when I’m not. I never thought twice about loading on the antiperspirant to try to cut down on some of my sweaty mess. Antiperspirant and/or deodorant is something most of us put on our skin every day. But have you ever stopped to think about what’s in it?

Aluminum and Antiperspirants

Antiperspirants use aluminum to plug up the ducts and decrease or stop sweating through those sweat glands. Sweat is a natural detoxification method for the body. So, the first problem with antiperspirants is that we aren’t letting out body do its job to get rid of toxins.

The other problem is the chemicals used to do this and the potential harmful side effects of putting them on our bodies daily. Dr. Mercola explains:

“In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.

That is scary to me! I don’t want to add aluminum to my body every day. Critics of this study say that it’s such a small amount that it doesn’t really matter. A little bit every day (or even a few times a day!) the exposure becomes a significant issue.


Antiperspirants and deodorants are also known to contain parabens. Parabens can disrupt cellular function.  They also mimic estrogen in the body. In a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, 99% of breast cancer tissue samples were found to contain parabens. Like the aluminum mentioned with antiperspirants, only a little bit is actually getting into the body each day.

However, even a little bit can be a problem, because we get parabens from many sources: deodorants, sun screen, personal care items, and even drugs. In fact, parabens are the most commonly used preservatives in personal care products. This can cause a major buildup of estrogenic-acting parabens in the body tissues. This is especially problematic in relation to breast cancer as estrogens (either synthetic or naturally-occuring) are a primary risk factor for getting the disease.

What to do about it:

Decide the level of risk you are comfortable with. As for me, I want to get the toxins out! We are exposed daily to so many chemicals, I want to minimize the chemicals I am applying directly to my skin. I particularly want to avoid those that have been shown to be harmful. I believe as time goes on we will see more and more proof that these aluminums and parabens are harmful to our bodies.

I have switched to NYR’s Lemon and Coriander deodorant and gotten rid of the antiperspirant altogether. I still sweat, but I don’t stink AND I’m not adding parabens and aluminum to my body a couple times a day. Have you found any natural deodorants that work for you?


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