Chances are your morning ritual includes the application of deodorant to keep you smelling and feeling fresh all day. While there’s a lot to be said for freshness, many of the commercial deodorants on the market contain harmful chemicals that have been linked to Alzheimer’s, cancer, allergies and kidney disease.
Every day, we are bombarded by advertisements promoting a vast array of products guaranteed to eliminate underarm odors and reduce the amount of sweat our body produces. What the advertisements fail to mention is that many of the ingredients in deodorant and antiperspirants contain harmful chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems.
Truth about Deodorant Ingredients
Some of the harmful ingredients include:
Aluminum: This metal is often used in antiperspirants to block the sweat glands, stopping sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Long-term use of products containing aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancers. There is some concern that completely blocking the sweat glands prevents the body from releasing the toxins carried in sweat.
Triclosan: This is an antimicrobial chemical that is used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces. It is a skin irritant and some recent studies have linked it to hormone disruptions.
Talc: Scientifically known as hydrous magnesium sulfate, talc is a soft mineral used in personal care products as an absorbent. Talc contains asbestiform fibers which have been linked to cancer.
Synthetic Fragrance: Most deodorants incorporate synthetic fragrances which are derived from petrochemicals. These harmful toxins can be absorbed through the skin and collect in tissues and organs. They have been linked to a host of serious health problems.
Parabens: These chemicals are “endocrine disruptors” and can interfere with the production or activity of hormones. They have been linked to fertility problems, birth defects, endometriosis and an increased risk for certain cancers.
In recent years, consumers have become better informed and are insisting that their deodorants and other personal care products be derived from all-natural ingredients. As the demand for natural products has increased, many companies have stepped up to provide chemical-free alternatives and natural deodorants are becoming easier to find. Many are made from ingredients such as hops, baking soda, witch hazel and mineral salts. Most are available in earth-friendly pump spray bottles, as roll-ons or in stick form.
Don’t believe a deodorant is “all-natural” just because it says so on the packaging. In many countries the laws governing “all-natural” claims are not stringent enough to ensure a safe product. Education is your best defense against harmful ingredients. The World Health Organization, Skin Deep Cosmetics, The European Union and other watchdog groups provide links on their websites so that consumers will know which dangerous chemicals to avoid.
Seek out safe alternatives to chemical-laden deodorants. You can feel fresh all day without putting your health at risk.
For more information:
Skin Deep Cosmetics (www.skindeepcosmetics.com)
Chemical Safe Skincare (www.chemicalsafeskincare.com)
Guide To Less Toxic Products (www.lesstoxicguide.ca)
Written by Judy Hood