When my children were approaching the age when they would need to wear deodorant, I started doing some research. I was not pleased with what I discovered about the chemicals in traditional deodorants and the possible links to cancer. Anti-perspirants and traditional deodorants use many of the same chemicals that I avoid using in our goat milk soaps.
I don't think those chemicals are safe in soap and I definitely don't think they're safe in a product (such as deodorant) that you leave on your skin without washing off. Some of these ingredients include the following:
- Aluminum– used to actually block your pores in your armpits so you can't sweat. This prevents your body from getting rid of toxins. It is also linked to Alzheimer's.
- Parabens and Phthalates - We don't use these in our soaps and I don't want them on my armpits. They also have been linked to cancer and hormone trouble.
- Propylene glycol - a petroleum-derived compound that I don't want to rub all over my body. Remember the blog post I wrote on avoiding petroleum jelly? That's why I don't want to use propylene glycol.
- Formaldehyde - killing germs is not worth putting this carcinogen on my skin.
- Triclosan (Antibacterial Ingredient) - I also wrote a blog post on why I won't use antibacterial compounds in my soap, and all of those reasons apply to deodorant as well.
So after many months of testing, we created a natural deodorant with ingredients that I didn't worry about putting on my family's skin. It worked great for us and for all the people who helped us test the deodorant.
(We actually have two deodorant formulas - one with and one without baking soda - since some people have sensitivities to baking soda. And in case you've ever wondered, there is absolutely no aluminum in baking soda. It can be in baking powder, but not baking soda. So no worries there!)
When we started selling the natural deodorants, I was a bit surprised to hear that a few people without allergies were having difficulty with rashes. So I started doing some extra research and discovered that for some people, the rashes were actually a sign of detoxification and not a direct allergic response to the deodorant.
It turns out that if you've been using a commercial deodorant for years, you may need to detox your armpits before switching to a natural deodorant. Otherwise the switch may cause a rash.
There are many different recipes on the internet for detoxing your armpits. Here is the one I tried:
- 1 Tbsp bentonite clay
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp water
- Mix ingredients together (use glass or wood, not metal)
- Spread evenly over armpits
- Allow to sit for 5-20 minutes
- Wash off if it starts to hurt
- Repeat as needed until natural deodorant doesn't cause irritation
So if you've either experienced a rash when trying our natural deodorant, or are concerned that you will, an armpit detox may be helpful not just with improving your adjustment to a natural deodorant, but also with detoxing some chemicals from your body.
This has not been evaluated by the FDA.