Natural Deodorant vs Anti-perspirant

Stuck with Conventional Deodorant

by Alicia Voorhies, RN

After unveiling some of my un-green habits, the response I heard the most – by far – is that you just can't stop using regular deodorant.    And boy, do I hear you!  I do fairly well with natural alternatives in the cooler months.  But it's a different story in the Summer…

It's just not okay to stink in our culture, you know?  And dang it, my B.O. can be unbearable for me, so I can imagine how much it's bothering the poor guy sitting next to me at the pool.  I've tried every non-toxic brand and homemade concoction I can locate and haven't found a winner yet.

Is conventional deodorant really THAT bad?

It's important to understand the difference between deodorant and anti-perspirant.  Deodorants are usually fine as long as they're free of the basic skincare no-no's like parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, Triclosan, and synthetic “fragrance” (often used to legally hide over 3,000 chemicals).  Antiperspirants, on the other hand, are meant to actually stop you from sweating.  That alone is troublesome, but so is the aluminum they use to make it happen.

Remember – most anything you put on your skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream – so using safe skincare and cosmetics is a top priority.  Aluminum is harmful to the nervous and reproductive systems, and has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease.   And we're already exposed to a lot of aluminum every day in canned food and drinks, cookware, toothpaste, some foods (tea, baked products, drinking water) and over the counter medications (antacids, aspirin).

So what's the best solution here?  For now, I'm sticking with  the safest anti-perspirant I can find that still gets the job done where natural deodorant just won't cut it.  On cooler/lower exertion days, I'll use my favorite deodorant cream by Soapwalla, taking a break to wash my underarms during the day and to reapply.

How about you?  Do you have a trick or a homemade recipe that actually works on hot, sweaty days?  Tell us about it on Facebook!

P.S.  In case you're wondering, Dove's Sensitive Skin formula works best for me and rates a 3 in the Skin Deep Database.