The Bad Smell of Deodorants

Nov, 27, 2013

 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.

Woman with deodorant stickAntiperspirants 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 Crystal-Body-Deodorant-Stick-086449300031carcinogen, 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 Beautyhttp://store.livingearthbeauty.com/natural_fragrances_s/7442.htm

The Crystal-– http://www.thecrystal.com/

DYI Deodorants from Wellness mama  http://wellnessmama.com/1523/


Centehua is a mother, wife, chef, blogger, forager, farmer, dancer earth momma. She is an urban homesteader, learning how to live better with less, discovering quality of life in sustainable practices. Her passion is in assisting the world in a possitive shift through the integrity of clean raw foods, superfoods and superhebs. She believes that a deeper connection to the earth and our sustenance is vital for a sense of self responsability and overall health. She is a lover of nature and music. Centehua is the founder of “Baktun foods” an online resource and catering company for organic living foods.


  1. Reply

    Stephanie Dolan

    December 8, 2013

    The crystal has another aluminum compound in and I would not recommend.

    I was on medicine for 10 years that basically stopped me from sweating and typically I did not need to wear deodorant.

    All that has changed now. I am on different medicine now and I SWEAT! Unfortunately with most natural deordorants that also means I STINK really bad when I am nervous or under stress….

    After buying and trying four different deodorants in a month I finally found one that works… JUNGLEMAN. Order it from Amazon as it is hard to find.

    This is the best brand because of the tea tree oil it kills bacteria and then you don’t stink. Plus it has the most natural ingredients of all the types I tried. I believe there are four ingredients.

    The one downfall with it is that if you shave….Your underarms can become inflamed, red, irritated, raw. Just give yourself a couple days on the weekend without the deodorant and your skin will calm down and then you can begin to use again.

    Five Stars. seriously get it.


    • Reply

      Green Mom

      December 10, 2013

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for sharing:)

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Press Kit
Book - Zero Waste for Families
Watch for Free in Oct
Zero Time To Waste Film Poster

Get weekly UPdateS

Let’s stay in touch so we can take this journey together!