What’s in Your Deodorant?

Jan, 04, 2016

By Fredrica Syren:

For most of us, deodorant is part of our daily routine. We can’t imagine life without it. It’s considered a lifesaver and a reassurance. I have gone from using regular store bought deodorants to natural kinds, but lately I learned about the hidden dangers of the active ingredients in modern day deodorant. Unfortunately, lots of deodorants on the market today contain potentially hazardous chemicals that can cause all kinds of health problems.

There have been numerous articles written about potential harmful ingredients in conventional deodorant. Here is a list of some in question:

  1. Aluminum — A primary ingredient, this metal is used to help block the sweat from the pores. Itdeodrant has been linked to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and is a known hormone mimicker.
  2. Paraben — I have written about paraben before because it is an ingredient in many different body products. It’s a preservative that is added to prevent bacterial growth. Paraben easily penetrates the skin and is a well-known hormone disruptor for both men and women. Research has shown that paraben has been detected in human breast cancer tissues.
  3. Triclosan — This is another hormone mimicking ingredient found in many deodorants.
  4. Propylene — A petroleum-based substance, it has been linked to developmental abnormalities and is hormone mimicking as well.

The problem with all these ingredients is that we put them on our largest organ, the skin, where they are easily absorbed into our blood steam and internal organs, and may put our health at risk. When we wash off our deodorant, it goes down the drain and into our environment where it can pollute wildlife, soil and water. If you are like me, a person who sweats and has no interest in smelling bad but won’t put health at risk, there are options. First, you can buy a chemical-free deodorant. Here are some options:

I recently started making my own deodorant. I have to say that, at first, I was very skeptical. But to my surprise, I’m super happy with it. It does keep me dry and smelling good — without any plastic trash left behind. The recipe is from Wellness Mama, and I add a few drops of lavender oil to it for a nice smell.

Here is my youtube video of making your own deodorant.


Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

1 Comment

  1. Reply


    January 5, 2016

    I’m a guy and use Pachy deodorant that she mentioned in the article. I work out and run and I never stink. They seem to be an open and honest company too. I wouldn’t go with Toms cause some have propylene glycol.

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