I was totally ignorant on this topic until my Aunt Lourdes brought it to my attention one night over dinner. She told me to choose my deodorant wisely because many popular brands pose health risks, especially to women. My aunt is no stranger to disease as a survivor of Melanoma tumors and having recently lost her beloved husband to Esophageal cancer, so I decided to take heed and do a little research of my own. Here's what I found...
For the sake of being accurate, let's call these dangerous deodorants what they really are, which is antiperspirants. Don't worry, I will explain and you'll soon know the difference.
Most antiperspirants are made with ALUMINUM. Why? Because aluminum prevents our underarms from stinking by blocking sweat from escaping through our pores onto the surface of the skin. The plus side is less sweat and stink but the downside is that antiperspirants prevent the human body from doing it's job, which is to rid itself of toxins. Many of you fitness lovers might think 'BIG DEAL, I'd rather sweat less and smell better.' That's exactly what I thought until I found the following:
- To start off, aluminum is poisonous to the human body.
- The type of aluminum in popular anti-perspirants sold at drugstores is a processed chemical that enters our bodies, and does so the most easily when applied to shaved armpits (i.e. most women)
- These processed aluminums have very small molecules, which are known to clog pores and get trapped in the lymph nodes. They also end up in our bloodstream.
- If aluminum gets into our bloodstream, it could then go to our brain and accumulate.
- Aluminum is thought to cause kidney problems, seizures and bone formation disorders.
- The more serious health risks of aluminum caused by daily antiperspirant use are thought to be Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.
It's no secret that antiperspirants pose some kind of risk to our health. Just do a Google search online about it. Mostly what you'll find is that aluminum is NOT GOOD. Somehow the FDA hasn't acted on this information yet, or perhaps they're just slow to do anything about it until more research comes out. The FDA currently claims that aluminum in small amounts is OK in body care products. Hmmmm. This just doesn't seem right. Especially if the stuff gets trapped in our bodies and goes to our brains! I'm one of MANY people who are becoming increasingly skeptical about antiperspirants and beginning to change their shopping habits. Take a minute to look at the label on your antiperspirant. If it has any of the following ingredients, there's hazardous aluminum inside:
- Aluminum chlorohydrate
- Aluminum zirconium
- Aluminum chloride
- Aluminum hydroxybromide
- Ammonium aluminum sulfate
- Potassium aluminum sulfate
- Tricholorohydrex glycine
It didn't happen overnight for me though. The information I learned slowly took a toll on me every time I applied my favorite antiperspirant and stared into the bathroom mirror. Am I killing myself? I work so hard to be healthy, why on earth would I do anything so mindlessly that detracts from all of that? And then finally one day, I put the Hawaiian Breeze scented antiperspirant (that shall go nameless) down. NO MORE! I had just watched the movie Still Alice starring Julianne Moore about Alzheimer’s Disease, and that's not how I want to go out. I also have friends with breast cancer whose lives are forever changed and constantly in limbo. I decided to start testing natural deodorants and write something about it here on Mizzfit.com.
Deodorants are NOT the same as antiperspirants. Deodorants allow for perspiration to happen. Instead of blocking the release of sweat, they neutralize the smell of it and kill the bacteria insde. Our bodies get to work the way they were intended with deodorants.
I have 3 options for you that are SAFE and ACTUALLY WORK. I've always made judgments about natural deodorants thinking that only hippies used them. I'm a tough critic when it comes to cleanliness and smelling good, so I promise you that these 3 deodorants are LEGIT. I tested these myself through gruesome workouts and I was incredibly surprised by their effectiveness.*
1. Arm & Hammer Essentials with Natural Deodorizers (Fresh) - Available at Walgreens and major drugstores.
2. PiperWai Natural Deodorant - Only available on their website.
3. Naturally Fresh’s NEW Deodorant Crystal Roll-On (Papaya Fusion) - Available at Whole Foods stores.
*I recommend all 3 of the above brands for both Men and Women. However, if you're a dude, Naturally Fresh's Papaya Fusion scent might not appeal for you. The good news is that they have other scents and an unscented option. Also, Naturally Fresh's new roll-on should not be mistaken for their older crystal solid style that I wouldn't recommend for fitness activity...or even at all.
What's inside of these natural deodorants that combats sweat and bacteria SAFELY?
- Alum - a 100% natural mineral salt that is pure and fragrance free (not yet processed to be aluminum chemicals)
- Baking Soda
- Natural plant extracts (coriander, rosemary, lavender and allantoin)
These ingredients are safer because they're natural and contain larger molecules, which do not easily penetrate the skin or bloodstream. My intention is not to freak you out about yet another product that may cause cancer but rather to warn you about something that you may have thought was innocuous. The FDA says a little bit of aluminum won't hurt you but over the course of many years, "a little bit" could add up and take a lot off your life. I don't want that to happen to you, especially if you're already at risk for the diseases I've mentioned. See if looking in the mirror at yourself when you apply it to your underarms changes the way you feel about it.
To be clear, research studies so far have only hinted at a link between antiperspirants and the 2 diseases of Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. Studies on the long-term effects of antiperspirant use are still ongoing. It's up to you how you want to deal with this issue but after making the change myself to Arm & Hammer Essentials, I've gotta say it was pretty easy to do and I love the Fresh scent (it also comes in unscented).
Give one of the 3 deodorants I shared a try. It's important to give your body 2 weeks to acclimate to your new natural deodorant. Detoxing from longterm anti-perspirant use might be tough at first but just remember that sweating comes natural and you can always wear stylish apparel with high-performance moisture wicking to help out.
Leave your comments on this topic below. I'd love as much input as possible. Are there natural deodorants you swear by that I and other Mizzfit readers should try? Thanks for adding to the conversation!