Body care products are something people are quite accustomed to in the modern day. The market offers an expansive array of them depending on the specific needs of an individual. Both women and men strive to have a pleasing appearance and want to feel liked. And when it comes to human beauty, it’s not only about makeup, creams, lotions, moisturizers or hair products that support your looks, it’s the scent you leave when you walk by another person.
Unfortunately, our anatomy and biological characteristics include a very annoying and sometimes embarrassing process called perspiration, which means our skin secretes fluids, mainly as a means for thermoregulation. Though sweat itself is not smelly, our skin has certain bacteria that break down sweat excretions coming from the sweat glands. And which body parts are prone to bad odor mostly? That’s right, the armpits. Because they have apocrine glands that release oily sweat containing lipids and proteins which skin bacteria feed on, they seem to be the main origin of unpleasant odor. The cosmetic industry has developed countless types of deodorants and antiperspirants to either counter the bad smell or block the derma glands from releasing sweat. That sounds good, but on the flip side, when producing a conventional deodorant, companies traditionally use certain chemical components that could impose a threat to our health in long term.
Aluminum is a very widely used active antiperspirant ingredient that aims to keep our underarms fresh. Whether they’re in the form of aluminum chloride, zirconium, chlorohydrate or hydroxybromide, aluminum salts inhibit the sweating process. If we have to get technical, aluminum ions are attracted to the sweat ducts cells causing them to swell. Swollen cells press the ducts and they close, blocking the sweat from coming out.
Despite not being definitive, studies indicate that aluminum is a chemical acting as a neurotoxin that has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, the antiperspirant effects of aluminum could prevent (to some extent) the skin from releasing toxins via sweat. No matter the reason, if toxins accumulate, they tend to cause cellular changes, which in turn increases the risk for cancer. Other concerning studies also imply on more potentially detrimental effects of aluminum like kidney disease and liver damage (a study done by the Saint Louis University). Another common component in antiperspirants are a group of chemicals known as parabens that may have correlation with breast cancer because of their estrogen-like effects, but evidence is scarce.
Concerns about aluminum in antiperspirant deodorants revolve around mostly long term use, and deodorants are basically a long term type of product, so more companies are developing safer alternatives like all natural deodorants or fully certified organic deodorants at more affordable prices.
The benefits of using organic deodorants
Benefits of using organic deodorants in the long run are quite a few. Let’s check them out:
They are free of aluminum
Well yes, presumably this is a huge advantage. It doesn’t even have to be the best organic deodorant, because any type that is considered natural or organic is probably absent of this chemical. Many safe to use deodorants rely on baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and plant-based ingredients to absorb sweat, which is a better alternative to aluminum.
They aren’t labeled as antiperspirants
As just mentioned, the formula of an organic deodorant may act to absorb the fluids, but it doesn’t clog the pores from secreting it. But wait, how can it keep your armpits dry then? And how is this a good thing? Well, it is a good thing, because our bodies are actually designed in such a way that they need to expel sweat in order to cool down or to excrete toxins. So basically, sweating is kind of a body detoxification.
All natural organic deodorants improve your underarms’ health
Some people get disgruntled when they sometimes sense an odor when they switch to a natural formula, but the product is not to blame, because it usually takes a week or two for your body to adjust to the deodorant. During that time, depending on your body chemistry, you might experience higher sweating and some odor. This is actually a sign that your body is detoxifying itself.
All natural deodorants don’t have synthetic fragrances
People like it when perfumes and deodorants have a certain scent that prevails over the smell of sweat, but in a lot of cases it originates from artificial fragrances that are a combination of hundreds and sometimes even thousands of chemical elements. Many of these chemicals are associated with a risk of health harm. Organic deodorants that work effectively use safe essential oils to defeat the bad odor.
Organic deodorant sticks and sprays can be as effective as mass produced antiperspirants
Audrey Christie who is a wellness expert and RN, RM, CCMA explains that “The mechanism behind natural deodorant is really close to chemical deodorant…kill bacteria that cause the smell”. Instead of aluminum and parabens, natural body care products use a mix of essential oils, baking soda, coconut oil and cornstarch. While the soda and starch change the pH of your skin to make it hard for bacteria to thrive, the oils act as antibacterial agents and provide pleasant scent.
Safe deodorants open up your skin pores
Keeping your pores unclogged is good for skin health. The cosmetic industry offers products that are made to open facial pores, so why keep blocking them on the armpits?
Natural and organic body care products help for balanced lymph nodes
Balanced lymph nodes are essential for many reasons one of which is the decreased risk for breast cancer in women.
Organic deodorants could reduce potential risk of breast tumor in women
Antiperspirant chemicals infiltrate the skin through small abrasions and get stuck within the body. Given the underarm is close to the lymph node and breasts, if antiperspirants were to contribute to toxin buildups, that would increase your cells risk of mutation and hence they could become cancerous.
Nursing women reduce chemicals passed on to their baby’s milk
Nursing mothers would want to provide their infant clean milk, free of chemicals. Natural solutions help keep artificial ingredients at arm’s length.
A natural deodorant can help you maintain your hormone balance
That’s because they’re absent of parabens which as discussed earlier, have estrogenic qualities. These chemicals can cause a disturbance in your hormone levels because estrogen gets absorbed through the skin.
Organic deodorant sticks and sprays could reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s
Again, studies are far for conclusive and do not confirm it, but as someone who values their health, why risk it? Getting free of aluminum as well as any other chemical that could potentially cause harm to your health is the smart way to go.
Avoid further liver damage
Because aluminum allegedly could have downside effects on the liver, more specifically if someone already has a liver condition, the American FDA recommends they consult with their doctor before using conventional antiperspirants.
Protect the environment
Buying organic deodorants means you oppose massive manufacturing that has a significant carbon footprint and poisons the environment.
Now that you know what’s bad about mass produced antiperspirants and what the benefits of using organic deodorants are, let’s check out a few products that won’t let you down if you decide to switch to all-natural body care.