If you clicked on this article, you probably wear deodorant (congratulations)! Using deodorant is like putting underwear on in the morning — you just do it. But did you know that there are toxins and chemicals in many deodorant brands that are actually pretty harmful to your health? I know, I know… not having B.O. should not have to be this complicated. But, it’s important to understand what you’re putting in and on your body.
First, let’s get the facts straight: there is a difference between antiperspirant and deodorant: antiperspirant is what stops you from sweating, deodorant is what keeps you smellin’ fresh all day. *Cue “the more you know” rainbow.* When we use deodorant with antiperspirant properties, we aren’t allowing ourselves to sweat. It may be nice to not have pit stains, but the truth is, your body needs to sweat. Sweating helps your body release toxins and regulate its temperature, both of which are very important to keep everything else in your body in check. Antiperspirants actually cause you to sweat underneath of your skin, which can cause rashes and itchy, clogged pores on your armpits (gross.)
So, what does that have to do with natural deodorant?
The reason why antiperspirants are not considered natural is that they are laden with chemicals, including aluminum, which is what stops you from sweating. There also is some talk, although not 100% scientifically proven, that the compounds in aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s and breast cancer… so maybe best to stay away regardless.
You’ve probably seen some natural deodorant brands start to introduce themselves more and more in the aisles at drugstores. You’ve also probably heard people say that natural deodorants aren’t as good at keeping the B.O. away, they make you sweaty, etc. These claims are definitely partially true. Different natural deodarant brands use countless concoctions of natural ingredients to formulate the deodorant, so no two natural deodorants are alike. What does this mean for you? You might have to try a few out before you find one that works with your body chemistry.
However, natural deodorants can also have some benefits. Since your pores aren’t being blocked by the aluminum of an antiperspirant, toxins and good bacteria are released when you sweat, so you actually will smell better when you’re not wearing deodorant. Plus, the natural ingredients in natural deodorants can soothe irritation from razor burn if you’re shaving under there.
If you’re a deodorant user (which, for the sake of humanity at large, I hope you are) you should definitely consider switching over to a natural deodorant. I personally find that the Native brand (sold at Target and on Amazon) is great for me. They have an array of great scents, and they only cost about $10. Again, not everyone has the same body chemistry, so shop around until you find one that works for you.