Today is a good time to talk about deodorant since I’ve been in Florida for a week where it is already brutally HOT! Switching from traditional deodorant to natural deodorant has been on my mind for the past few years due to research that has shown possible health concerns (more about this later). But, I was a little worried about the transition and whether natural deodorant would stand up to my sweat sessions in the gym. I’m really glad I took the leap though, because now I am stink-free and harmful chemical-free!
So, what exactly is the deal with natural deodorant versus the traditional deodorant found in retail stores? First, I want to point out the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. An antiperspirant keeps you from sweating by blocking your pores. Deodorants simply neutralize the smell of your sweat. The concerns that have popped up over the past decade concern both antiperspirants and deodorants and are mainly focused on two ingredients – aluminum and parabens.
Aluminum is only found in antiperspirants and acts as a temporary plug for your pores. Around 2001, rumors started circulating on the Internet that there was a connection between shaving and then using antiperspirant and breast cancer. The theory states that the aluminum in antiperspirants gets into a woman’s bloodstream through small nicks in the skin made from shaving. There have been three studies performed to prove/disprove this theory, one in 2002, one in 2003, and one in 2006. Although none of the studies were able to prove that there was a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer, one study did find that women who shaved “aggressively” and then used antiperspirant were diagnosed with breast cancer 22 years earlier than others.
The second concern that has popped up has been over the use of parabens in deodorants. Parabens are preservatives that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. According to the American Cancer Society, estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer cells. A 2004 study found parabens in tissue samples taken from breast tumors. Although this finding doesn’t prove that the parabens came from deodorant (as opposed to cosmetics, food or pharmaceutical products), it was enough evidence for me to take a look into natural deodorant!
After reading through reviews over many different natural deodorants found in stores such as Whole Foods or even online retailers such as Amazon, I finally settled on a small, woman-owned company called Primally Pure. What I liked about this company (other than the fabulous reviews) is their belief that “fewer is better when it comes to ingredients”. My first purchase was a geranium scented deodorant that glided on smooth and kept me smelling fresh all day long – even when working out. After loving that product, I decided to try out the charcoal-based deodorant. I have super sensitive skin, which means that every time I shave, I get little red bumps in my underarms. My hopes were that the charcoal in the deodorant would draw out the skin and dirt clogging my pores and give me a smooth, flawless look under my arms. And, it actually does! I have got to say that this one is the best natural deodorant I have ever tried.
I’ve been obsessed with this deodorant ever since I started using it and have been telling everyone I know to check it out. Primally Pure even has a deodorant subscription service so you don’t have to think about it and it gets you free shipping! How cool is that?