Natural deodorant has a bad rap and probably for good reason. Seems like there are a lot of natural deodorants that don’t work. Consequently, I’ve tried them, and the results are not good. Either you need to apply them multiple times a day, or they just fail you in a stressful, hot situation. Given these failures, you may wonder why it is important to switch to a natural deodorant. The good news is you can make this switch and still not stink!
Photo credit: Aqua Mechanical via Flickr / CC BY
Why is it important to switch to a natural deodorant?
Even though there are many substandard natural deodorants on the market, it is important to use one for your health. Many of the ingredients that make commercial deodorants effective are the very ones that could cause health problems such as cancer. Natural deodorant can neutralize your body odor without harming your health.
Take for example Tricoslan. Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient. It’s present in everything from soaps to socks to deodorant. Beyond Pesticides explains:
Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, to the contamination of water and its negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems.
When introduced to the market in 1972, triclosan was confined to hospital and health care settings. Since then triclosan exploded onto the market place in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. http://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/antibacterials/triclosan
The Organic Consumers Association identifies 7 harmful ingredients in your deodorant:
- Aluminum compounds
- Propylene glycol
Aluminum has been an ingredient of concern in deodorants and antiperspirants for some time. Most noteworthy, a study conducted in 2009 reported in the Journal of Applied Toxicology reported:
On the basis that anti-perspirant formulations are designed to block apocrine sweat ducts of the axilla, and breast cysts result from blocked breast ducts, it has recently been hypothesized that breast cysts might also arise from antiperspirant use (Darbre, 2001, 2003, 2006a). Themost commonly used active antiperspirant agents are aluminium salts, which act to prevent sweat from escaping onto the skin surface through the formation in the sweat duct of a physical plug composed of a mixture of precipitated aluminium salts and damaged cells (Laden and Felger, 1988). Excessive application of antiperspirant agents beyond the underarm to adjacent breast areas could result in absorption of aluminium salts and deposition in underlying breast tissues, which might give rise to subsequent blockage of breast ducts if sufficient chemicals are absorbed or accumulated over long periods of useage.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.1384/pdf
The results from testing human breast cyst fluid (BCF) found:
Levels of aluminium were significantly higher in both types of BCF than in human serum (P <0.0001)…It remains to be identified why such high levels of aluminium were found in the apocrine type I BCF and from where the aluminium originated. However, if aluminium-based antiperspirants are found to be the source and to play any causal role in development of breast cysts, then it might become possible to prevent this common breast disorder.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.1384/abstract
Aluminum is only one of the ingredients of concern you can avoid by switching to natural deodorant. Some natural deodorant does contain aluminum, thus it’s always best to check the label.
Photo credit: plofiz via Flickr / CC BY
What causes body odor?
Perspiration is odorless until it comes into contact with normal bacteria present on your skin. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sweating-and-body-odor/basics/causes/con-20014438 This bacteria breaks down the sweat molecules producing an odor.http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-causes-body-odor-small-amount-thioalcohols-bacteria-species-armpits-makes-you-327918 Therefore, natural deodorant works by neutralizing the odor.
Medical Daily explains about research conducted by Dr. Dan Bawdon from the University of York:
Traditional deodorant and antipersperiants, Bawdon added, non-selectively kill bacteria or block out sweat glands entirely. A targeted product could provide better, long-lasting relief for those struggling with body odor.
That’s not to say those struggling are without any options in the time it takes for this magical product to appear on the market. There are existing, natural remedies (aside from a swipe of your Speed Stick) to reduce smell. For one, regularly shaving your underarms keeps bacteria from getting trapped in porous hair. Excess hair easily absorbs odors and even slows the evaporation of sweat.
Next, look at your diet. Foods, such as alcohol, asparagus, coffee, and too little greens, can be released through our sweat.http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-causes-body-odor-small-amount-thioalcohols-bacteria-species-armpits-makes-you-327918
All Natural Deodorant that lasts for days
First of all, for any deodorant to work, it must control the bacteria present near your sweat glands. We’ve recently discovered a company with a 30-year history of helping people avoid body odor naturally by doing just that. Lavilin makes natural deodorant products that last for days.
Originally formulated to combat body odor for soldiers in military barracks, Lavilin works by targeting the root cause of body odor – bacteria. While most aluminum-free deodorants temporarily mask odor, Lavilin is long-lasting and highly effective at eliminating odor all together. One application of Lavilin Deodorant will keep you odor-free for up to 7 days…
A leading international cosmeceuticals brand, Lavilin utilizes naturally-based, active ingredients combined with research and development to produce natural and reliable products with high therapeutic value. Equipped with two research laboratories and a team of qualified and dedicated researchers, Lavilin maintains a strong commitment to product development, formulation and production technologies to optimize the benefits of naturally-based, active ingredients. All Lavilin products utilize plant extracts and oils to help address odor, dryness, and cracked skin and never contain aluminum…Most commercial antiperspirant/deodorant products contain aluminum which clogs pores and eliminates sweating. Our bodies eliminate toxins when we sweat which is a necessary bodily function, so Lavilin focuses on attacking the bacteria that causes body odor without interfering with our ability to sweat. Lavilin’s formulation of ingredients neutralizes odor-causing bacteria with natural plant oils and is so effective that one application provides odor protection for days. Daily activities such as showering, swimming or strenuous activity do not reduce effectiveness.
We like the following Lavilin products:
Lavilin’s lightly fragranced Roll-On Deodorant doesn’t just mask odor, but eliminates it all together for up to 72 hours with just one application.
Through Lavilin’s proprietary combination of natural herbs and essential oils, perspiration odor is neutralized at the source and stinky underarm bacteria is eliminated—keeping you smelling fresh and clean (and feeling confident!) without the use of harsh chemicals. Notable features include:
- Aluminum-free, alcohol-free and paraben-free
- Does not clog pores
- Hypo-allergenic and suitable for delicate skin
- Bathing, showering, sports and strenuous physical activities do not interfere with Lavilin’s effectiveness
- Proven effective—tested extensively at at a leading international research center
Wow! 72 hours is a long time. I can’t wait to truly put it to the test when I go backpacking this summer. I don’t carry the extra weight of deodorant in my pack.
Winner of a 2014 Beauty With A Conscience Award, and staying in the green with an overall EWG score of 2, Lavilin’s Jojoba Gel Cream is the perfect solution for softening and hydrating skin, while restoring its natural luster and suppleness. Utilizing the powerful properties of organic jojoba seed oil, which out of all of nature’s compounds is the most similar to human skin oil, Lavilin’s Jojoba Gel Cream is able to be naturally (and efficiently) absorbed into skin—helping to alleviate dryness, redness and irritation on the spot, as well as prevent dry skin in the future.
Bonus: The perfectly balanced, naturally-derived ingredients and healing properties of Jojoba Gel Cream also make it excellent for use after over-exposure to the sun, and suitable for use in intimate areas and on the face.
Although not a natural deodorant, this cream is especially soothing on sun-exposed skin. From hanging laundry to working in the garden, my neck and shoulders always get too much sun. This jojoba gel cream is cooling and hydrating.
Designed for delicate areas, Lavilin Intimate Wash is perfectly balanced to cleanse and protect. Using a high concentration of recognized, beneficial extracts and ingredients for Bio Balanced skin—such as sage extract, chamomile extract, aloe vera, cotton bloom extract, panthenol, comfrey root extract and Vitamin D—this multi-functional working formula soothes skin, prevents unpleasant odor and relieves redness and irritation.
This product is designed for both men and women. It gentle and free of SLS/SLES. It’s not just our armpits that can benefit from natural deodorant.
Lavilin Shoe Deodorant eliminates unpleasant odor from deep inside shoes leaving them pleasant and fresh for the next use. Lavilin products are notoriously long-lasting and use natural ingredients to fight odor-causing bacteria…Notable features include:
- Suitable for new shoes
- Suitable for washed shoes
- Free of aluminum salts
- Does not clog pores
- No aluminum, alcohol, paraben, BHT or phthalates.
My son used to have really stinky shoes! Now I insist he wears socks, but some shoes look silly with socks. This product is great for naturally deodorizing shoes and thus avoiding anti-microbial products that use nanoparticles.
Not all of these products are vegan.
Antiperspirant vs. deodorant
As mentioned previously, antiperspirants possibly cause breast lumps. Antiperspirants, whether natural or not, stop you from sweating under your armpits. Sweating is a natural body process. As a result, it cools our body, and it releases toxins.
In fact, for some chemicals, sweat is the most effective way the body eliminates them. Lindsay Dahl explains:
As part of an experiment Rick Smith, one of the book authors tested his phthalate and bisphenol A levels from his sweat during a infared [sic] sauna experiment. What they found was that the chemical bisphenol A (used in canned foods, hard plastics, thermal paper receipts and other products) uses sweat as a detox pathway. The levels of BPA in his sweat (captured while in the sauna, then tested in a lab) were much higher than the levels in his urine, meaning he sweat out more BPA than he did via urine. The class of chemicals phthalates however, were still found in his sweat but preferred to be detoxed via urine (higher levels in his urine).http://www.lindsaydahl.com/sweat-helps-detox-chemicals-from-the-body/
Natural deodorants help to neutralize odor. They do not attempt to stop a natural, detoxing body process like antiperspirants.
I recently attended a wedding in Phoenix that was outside, and the temperature was 118 degrees! Thus, this is the only time in my life that I wish I used natural antiperspirant. I kept my arms down to hide the sweat pouring out of my armpits. Even though I felt a little embarrassed, I also recognized it was a sign my body was functioning properly in the extreme heat.
In conclusion, natural deodorants are very effective if you find the right brand. Lavilin has been in the business for three decades. I trust their products for safety and efficacy. All of the products receive relatively low hazard scores from the Environmental Working Group. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=lavilin