Ditch Your Dangerous Deodorant

Kate Lickert, Staff Writer

Almost everybody sweats and relies on deodorant to get through hot yoga sessions, conversations with their crush or any other day-to-day tasks body-odor free. Unfortunately, according to recent studies, regular deodorants and antiperspirants can lead to possible health risks and sometimes make perspiration worse. But don’t sweat it—natural deodorants can combat the hazards of normal antiperspirants.

The main issue with drugstore antiperspirants is aluminum. According to Elle Magazine online, “aluminum plugs sweat glands from naturally secreting and, since it is applied near the breast, can possibly be absorbed by skin and have hormonal effects linked to developing cancer.” Aluminum can also make the skin on your underarms feel clogged, irritated and chapped.

Chemical-laden deodorants clog pores and don’t allow you to properly release the sweat necessary to cool down your body and release toxins. In turn, the sweat builds up beneath the skin, causing bumpy and painful skin irritations.

Well Insiders made a similar statement linking antiperspirant with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

“One study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants increased risks of developing Alzheimer’s later in life by 60 percent,” Well Insiders said. “Add that to a 2009 study from the University of Reading, U.K., that found a correlation between the increase in cancers of the outside upper quadrant of the breast with the increase in the use of chemical cosmetics, including antiperspirants.”

While nothing has been confirmed, and correlation doesn’t always equal causation, if you had the chance to potentially reduce your risk of health issues by changing your deodorant, why wouldn’t you?

Natural deodorants are free of aluminum salts, the active ingredient that stops your body from producing sweat. Instead, they use ingredients such as baking soda, clays or zinc salts to soak up the oils, bacteria and sweat that develop in your armpits and lead to odor.

Natural deodorants don’t block your pores, meaning they allow the good bacteria on your skin to keep working, helping reduce odor even when you’re not wearing an antiperspirant. Sweat itself doesn’t cause body odor. The foul odor occurs when sweat comes in contact with the bad bacteria on your skin.

Senior Connor Hinterser has been using natural deodorant for a month now is glad he made the switch.

“My sister had mentioned how bad average deodorant was for you and I figured I might as well try it,” Hinterser said. “It took a few days to get used to but definitely worth it.”

Although most dermatologists are recommending natural deodorants, it’s important to still pay attention to their ingredients as well. For example, baking soda, a main ingredient found in most natural deodorants, has caused irritations on sensitive skin.

“Baking soda can cause a rip-roaring dermatitis, which is why some people experience inflammation when using natural deodorants with it this ingredient,” Dr. Mona Gohara, a Connecticut-based dermatologist, said to InStyle Magazine.

To have the best results in finding a safe and effective deodorant, avoid aluminum and baking soda and find products that contain plant-based moisturizers such as shea butter, olive oil and mineral-rich clays. They’ll improve the condition of your underarms leaving them smoother, softer and less prone to irritations. Hazel is another great ingredient that can shrink pores and smooth razor burn.

According to Allure Magazine, Kopari Coconut Deodorant, Native Deodorant and Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant are the top recommended brands.

Kopari’s main ingredient is coconut oil, which is known for being anti-bacterial, and according to Sophia Panych, digital beauty director for Allure, the product keeps sweat and stickiness at bay. Ursa Major Hoppin’ freshness is formulated with peppermint and eucalyptus, causing a cooling affect when you wipe your pits. It also contains Kaolin clay which absorbs sweat and moisture. Native deodorant is popular due to their seasonal scents but also provides a good balance between effective and gentle.

The only pitfall of natural deodorant is the cost. A natural deodorant can cost three or four times more than your average drugstore antiperspirant, but the benefits are well worth the price.

“The price is high,” Hinterser said. “But you pay for quality.”