By Centehua Deneken:
We are the only creatures on earth that I know of that mask their scent. We have created an entire industry of perfumes, lotions, oils, deodorants, etc. We love smelling good. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, like all things modern, mass produced and industrialized, our favorite scented products are loaded with toxic chemicals.
Antiperspirants work because, as the word suggests, they block sweat from escaping from your pores. How does this happen? With the help of aluminum, a toxic heavy metal which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. But, in spite of the rising cancer rates in both men and women since the introduction of this chemical element, still the FDA has not committed to classifying aluminum as a carcinogen.
My sixteen-year-old son wants to use a popular brand because the image surrounding this product is that you’ll be popular and be surrounded by beautiful women. The scent names like “Swagger,” “Score,” “Dark Temptation” suggest this, too. I point out the obvious, but he simply laughs and says it does not manipulate him that way. He still wants to wear the stinking spray even after I explain the harmful effects of the chemicals in them.
So I bought him a natural deodorant instead. He said it did not work very well and smelled funny, so we tried a different one; and, while he liked the smell, he complained that it did not work the same way. This is true. Natural deodorants won’t block your pores, which means you will sweat at some point and run the risk of body odor. So if you are having an active day, the best thing to do is wash under your arms and reapply. It’s not as practical as the conventional products, but who wants a chemical cocktail under the arms — right where your lymph glands are located? This makes no sense at all.
Other chemicals in deodorants include
- Parabens — These are synthetic preservatives commonly known to disrupt hormonal balance.
- Propylene Glycol, common in deodorants, is petroleum based material, and another ingredient you want to avoid. This is what gives deodorants a smooth consistency. Studies have shown that propylene glycol harms the liver, central nervous system and heart. This one is found in many processed foods, too.
- Phthalates are a chemicals used to blend and achieve desired consistency; the problem is that they have been linked to cell mutation because they disrupt hormone receptors.
- Triclosan is a chemical that contains antibacterial properties and is responsible for the odor killing element in commercial deodorants. This chemical is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a carcinogen, and many companies have removed it from their products.
Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. Everything we rub on is absorbed into the blood stream. So it makes sense to apply only those substances that would be safe to eat. I personally love high quality essential oils and salves. There are many companies making wonderfully natural perfumes, lotions, deodorants, etc. I’d much prefer to reapply and even deal with some body odor than to pollute my system with toxic substances and synthetic scents. However, I will say that my homemade natural deodorant works quite well. It is a blend of coconut oil, baking soda, Shea butter and essential oils.
Here are some of my favorite companies for great natural deodorants and more:
Living Earth Beauty–http://store.livingearthbeauty.com/natural_fragrances_s/7442.htm–
The Crystal-– http://www.thecrystal.com/
DYI Deodorants from Wellness mama http://wellnessmama.com/1523/