Why switch to a Natural Deodorant
The importance of sweat
Our skin, the largest organ in the human body has an important job in helping us rid the toxins we accumulate every day through sweating[i]. But every day, we block our natural sweating ability by lathering on a seemingly harmless anti-perspirant.
Toxins in our bodies accumulate from the chemicals found in the food, water, air, personal care products, furniture, cookware, etc we come into contact with every day. Our liver does a fantastic job of breaking down potentially harmful toxins into water-soluble chemicals which we must get rid of to evade an environment that is prone to disease. The body does this one way through sweating.
Perspiration is essential to a healthy skin as it aids the body to detox, regulate body temperature and release toxins.
Our skin is extremely permeable and absorbs all the ingredients we put on it, allowing entrance into our bloodstreams. Reports from various studies have shown that some of these toxic substances have been found in the wombs of pregnant women, threatening the development and life of the foetus.[ii]
Many of the ingredients listed in drugstore cosmetics today contain chemicals that are known to be:[iii]
· carcinogenic (cancer causing),
· neurotoxin (affect our nervous system),
· mutagenic (mutate DNA),
· hormone disruptive (fertility issues)
How do natural deodorants work?
ODOUR IS NOT CAUSED BY SWEAT, as sweat itself is odourless. The odour appears when your sweat comes into contact with bacteria on your skin. This is where natural deodorants do exactly what they need to do – they kill the bacteria on your skin with natural ingredients like baking soda.
Preparing for the switch and what to expect:
You may experience a little more sweating the first few days with your new natural deo. Don’t despair - this is GREAT! The extra glands that have built up in your armpits (due to the blockage caused by antiperspirants) need to clear out. In additional, the skin needs to neutralise to combat the odour concern.
Why are there so many chemicals in our products?
The average women uses between 9 and 15 personal care products a day, each containing on average 15–50 ingredients. When combined with perfumes, women are placing around 515 individual chemicals on their skin every single day.[iv] The basis of most cosmetics include water, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, moisturisers, colours and fragrances. Most of these are chemically derived and since their doses are considered “too small to pose a risk” there is very little responsibility placed on manufacturers to provide potential associated health risks. But herewith lies the kicker in the everyday habit we have formed as a modern, highly-functional, convenience-driven and media-bombarded society. The incremental use of multiple individual products everyday over our lifetimes results in a build-up of chemicals that cause disruption to the body’s natural functions. Our systems have become overloaded with hidden toxins and we just can’t see or feel its immediate impact to validate its harmfulness.
Impact on our environment
When we shower or swim, everything we have put onto our bodies (sunscreen, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, makeup, etc) gets washed away into the waterways and oceans impacting all aquatic life as well as the integrity of the water used to irrigate crops and provide drinking water. Phthalates impose long lasting effects on our aquatic systems as well as fish fertility. Triclosan is now banned in some countries due to its devastating effects on both humans and wildlife, particularly fish. Even the water treatment process cannot fully remove this toxin from our water system.
Packaging is of course, a consideration when purchasing any product.
Our skin absorbs all of these ingredients. Their placement on the product’s ingredient’s list is made in descending order by mass or volume.
How to choose a good natural deodorant:
Look specifically for:
Fragrance-Free (unscented or natural fragrances (essential oils).
Cruelty-Free: if it’s not safe enough for my bunny, it’s not good enough for my family
Charcoal: a natural detoxifying agent which draws impurities from your armpits
If you have sensitive skin remember to spot test on the inside of your arm.
Natural deodorants are generally more expensive as they aren’t using cheap and mass produced chemical ingredients. For a more budget friendly option try a homemade recipe:
· 1/4 cup of baking soda
· 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder
· 4 tbsp. of coconut oil
· 1/4 tsp. of an essential oil like tea tree or lavender
I’ve tried a few brands and my favourite has to be Schmidts (available on Amazon and iHerb). I don’t have any skin sensitivities and didn’t do an armpit detox beforehand. I did experience extra sweatiness for about a week, but after a few months of using this product, I have to say it’s better than any anti-perspirant I’ve ever used. I love the subtlety of the essential oils and the product generally lasts me 6 weeks (in the sweaty tropics too)! My mountain-biking-mad husband is also a fan.
Let your body detox naturally and avoid the unnecessary chemical overload (to your body and our planet) by switching to a natural deodorant.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to any products are brands mentioned in this article.
[i] https://www.livescience.com/34845-detox-cleansing-facts-fallacies.html#:~:text=Your%20body%20can%20accumulate%20both,to%20the%20Environmental%20Protection%20Agency. [ii]https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/toxic-chemicals-found-minority-cord-blood [iii]https://www.thediysecrets.com/are-you-aware-of-the-toxins-in-your-everyday-products/ [iv]https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/chemistry-cosmetics [v]https://mynaturaldeodorant.com/10-toxins-in-your-drugstore-deodorant/