The Case for Natural Deodorants and Antiperspirants

April 22, 2019

By Becca DiCenso

Many of us avoid leaving the house without applying deodorant or antiperspirant. From sprays to gels to roll-ons and seemingly endless scents, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when choosing one. Since it’s a product you’re likely to use every day, you might consider switching to a natural option. 

Typical deodorants and antiperspirants are often made with ingredients that can impact health and increase the risk for things like skin issues, clogged pores, and disrupted hormones; there is even concern that they may have a connection with cancer. Deodorant or antiperspirant is a must-have product for many, and it’s important to know which ingredients you may be exposed to and how they can affect health.

You may be wondering, “What’s the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?”

We often refer to both only as deodorant, but deodorants are made more purposely to curb odor, while antiperspirants are created to promote less sweat. Aluminum-based products specifically work by clogging sweat pores to reduce perspiration. Blocking sweat ducts alters natural perspiration – one of the body’s main methods for detoxification – and may lead to dermatological problems. 

Some other common ingredients to look out for include:

  • Parabens
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Fragrance
  • Preservatives
  • Triclosan
  • Triclocarban

The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a helpful resource to check beauty products’ ingredient labels. The database – which includes information about everything from makeup to toothpaste to baby products – allows you to explore questionable ingredients so you can feel informed about what’s going on your body. 

The good news is more people are starting to pay attention to labels, and there’s now a wide range of organic or natural products free from potentially harmful ingredients. Local markets, natural grocery stores, and the Internet make these products easier than ever to find.

 

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