We’ve officially reached the summer solstice, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight something hardly anyone talks about, the health of their armpits.
Switching to a natural deodorant can be one of the most frustrating parts of transitioning to a fully clean beauty product regime. After all, no one wants to compromise when it comes to body odor and we all need a good deodorant.
More and more people are learning the dangers of conventional, store-bought deodorant and they are wondering how to switch to natural deodorant (without stinking). The more we sweat, the more we stink. But lacking confidence in natural deodorant products and/or the overriding fear of showing up at an important occasion with sweaty armpits keeps many from taking the plunge to au natural deodorants.
What’s Wrong with Conventional Deodorants and Antiperspirants?
Every day many people spray or slather on deodorant products under their arms—in a sensitive spot where many lymph nodes lie just under the surface of the skin. These products may stop the sweat—but a more important consideration is what effect their ingredients have on our bodies.
Let’s start with what is different between deodorants and antiperspirants. Sweating is the way our bodies cool down. Sweat has no odor, it’s the bacteria that live on our skin that causes body odor. Deodorants neutralize the odor and kill the bacteria that produce it. Some deodorants contain harmful ingredients, but some have only safe natural ingredients. We will take a look at Essance’s natural deodorants in just a bit. Antiperspirants prevent sweating by blocking the pores using aluminum. No sweat—no body odor. It’s antiperspirants containing aluminum (among other harmful chemicals) that I want us to focus on in this article.
The dangers of aluminum
Aluminum salts—in the form of aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum hydroxybromide—prevent you from sweating when aluminum ions are drawn into the cells that line the sweat ducts, causing the cells to swell and squeeze the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out.
Other dangerous common chemical ingredients found in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants besides aluminum that are not found in Essance natural deodorants are:
- Parabens—these can interfere with the body’s hormone production and have been suspected in breast cancer
- Triclosan—this is a pesticide that reduces or prevents bacterial contamination. When combined with water, it can create the carcinogenic gas chloroform.
- Phthalates—these are plasticizers that have been linked to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, autism, altered reproductive development, and fertility issues.
- Baking Soda - Baking soda is high pH and alkaline. The alkalinity reacts to the salt in the sweat typically causing undesirable burning, rashes, pores blockages, and swelling. Therefore it's not an effective solution to control sweat or odor.
In addition to these common chemicals, many antiperspirants and some deodorants also contain toxins like stearates, triethanolamine, diethanolamine, and artificial colors. It makes good health sense to avoid these chemicals, especially under the arms where there are many sensitive lymph nodes.
What’s Right About Using Natural Deodorants?
Choosing to quit using toxin-heavy antiperspirants is a healthy first step. The transition to a natural deodorant is also a good choice, which I’ll highlight below, but first, let’s talk about how to make this transition in the best least stinky way.
First, start by not using any product under your arms for at least three days. That will give your body the time to get rid of the lingering chemicals. During this time, wash daily with pure soap and water, and exfoliate the skin under your arms with gentle scrubbing. After three days begin using your natural deodorant as you would have used your previous conventional deodorant. You may need to hold the natural deodorant to your skin to allow it to warm up for easier application.
There are many health benefits to using a genuine natural deodorant instead of a synthetic one. Perhaps the most important benefit is the fact that you will be reducing the probability of suffering from diseases caused by toxic chemicals. Your skin will also benefit and have less chance of being irritated and inflamed.
But remember that not all natural deodorants are created equal! Be sure you choose a natural deodorant free of dangerous toxins. The Essance Elements Organic Deodorant is non-irritating, aluminum-free, baking soda-free, and contains no artificial dyes or fragrances. Its clay-based and naturally antibacterial formula provides better wetness & odor protection for a full 24 hours.
Here is a sampling of the ingredients we use in the Essance Elements natural deodorants that are beneficial and safe:
Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Kaolin Clay, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Olive Oil, Olive Wax, Frankincense Powder, Zinc Oxide, Organic Arrowroot, Organic Maca Powder, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Meadowfoam Oil, Organic, & Essential Oils.