Welcome to the 2017 Deodorant Challenge!
Choosing a safe and effective natural deodorant STINKS! Wouldn’t you agree?
In this three part video series, I’ll help you choose a safe deodorant, provide a full review of five of the most popular brands and finally, announce the winner of my deodorant challenge and take her for a test spin right on camera!
Get ready to watch me “WERKWERKWERKWERKWERK!”
Are you looking to ditch your chemical-laden antiperspirant, but don’t know where to start? I got you!
So many deodorants and anti-perspirants on the market contain a number of harmful ingredients that have been linked to a whole host of health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues and severe allergies. In addition, research published in 2014 found that using deodorant and/or antiperspirants can actually worsen your armpit odor by killing off the less offensive odor-causing bacteria under you arms and allowing for the stinkier smelling ones to flourish.
So how do you select a safe and effective natural deodorant? Here are my top three suggestions!
I. Read Ingredients:
Is your current deodorant safe? Flip that bottle over and read the ingredients! Now if some of the ingredients are clearly written in English, but look like a foreign language, I highly recommend that you toss that bad boy in the garbage.
Here is a list of the top five most common (and most harmful) ingredients found in many of the deodorants and anti-perspirants on the market, as well as a list of the icky things they do to your skin and body.
Aluminum is used to primarily block your sweat glands and reduce the amount of sweat you secrete. Although there have not been any conclusive studies that have identified aluminum as the primary cause of breast cancer, research has shown that those who use products containing aluminum are at an increased risk. Scary.
Phalates are that sticky substance that helps certain products stick to your skin and hair. Similar to parabens, it is found in everything from lotions and perfumes to dish soap. Phalates have been shown to disrupt androgen function in the body, which are essentially male hormones (found in females too!) that help the body maintain energy, as well as build muscle. In addition, phalates have been shown to have an adverse effect on fetal development.
Parabens are a type of preservative that it used to increase the shelf-life of products. They have been linked to hormone disruption; altering the body’s regulation of estrogen and other hormones. In my humble opinion, parabens are one of the most dangerous chemical additives on the market because they are in EVERYTHING. Shampoo, dishwashing soap, hand soap, hand wash, mascara and even freaking diaper rash cream. And if you use 10-15 products a day, all which most likely contain parabens, it could have a huge impact on your health. So, check all your household and beauty products for the poo-poo parabens and start replacing them with safer alternatives. Stop freaking out. You don’t have to go tossing your entire kitchen cabinet and makeup drawer all at once. Do it slowly methodically and as you use up products, then replace them with something safer.
Triclosan has been shown to adversely impact gut bacteria and may pose a cancer risk. Fun fact–it was recently banned by the FDA for use in anti-bacterial soap. Now for the FDA to actually admit that a chemical found in most products on the market is harmful and then ACTUALLY ban it? This is unheard of. So, it’s most likely super nasty.
When you think of the term “fragrance,” I bet wildflowers, lavender, honey and sweet smelling goodness come to mind. Not so fast. Companies throw a bunch a nasty chemicals into their products, label them “trade secrets” and then are legally permitted to conceal them from consumers by identifying them as “fragrance” on their packaging. Super Slim Shady. So the next time you see “fragrance” on a product, I want you to think of it as a mix of mystery ingredients. It may contain lemon, it may contain nail polish remover, it may even contain the lyrics to “We’re Not Going to Take It,” by Twisted Sister. Whatever it contains, it’s like playing Russian roulette with your health and frankly makes me extremely angry. FDA I don’t hate you, I’m just really disappointed in your behavior.
II. Identify any skin sensitivities
Ever get those itchy, sore little red bumps under your armpits after trying a new deodorant?
You are signing my song.
These little red bumps are most likely an adverse reaction to one or many of the ingredients in the deodorant itself. So before selecting a natural deodorant, it is important to first identify any potential allergens in the ingredients. Obviously, these allergens will be different for every person, but the most common offenders are:
- Essential Oils
For those of you who know me personally or have followed my blog since its inception, you know that I’m obsessed with essential oils! I eat and breathe them on a daily basis. However, I would say that most products on the market contain low quality essential oils and are laced with alcohol and other ingredients that can irritate your skin. And even with the highest quality oil, we all just have certain sensitivities that are important to identify at the outset. With essential oils in general, I highly recommend adding a drop of oil to a tester area on your body, like the bottom of your feet. If all goes well, then you can apply it to the rest of your body, add it to the bath or diffuser and/or make a vast array of beauty products!
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda (otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate), is added to many natural deodorant because it is a safe and effective way of keeping you dry and stank free! However, many people are allergic to it. In fact, my research found that baking soda may be single-handedly responsible for those little red bumps that crop up under your armpits! So, bottom line, if baking soda is not your jam, you need to look for a natural deodorant brand without it. And you are in luck, because these days are so many to choose from!
The dreaded “f” word. As I mentioned above, companies can pull some rather shady business practices and put a whole host of harmful ingredients into their products and label them as “fragrance.” These products can contain anything from synthetic fragrances, to any of the nasty ingredients I listed above, like parabens and phalates. All of these “mystery” ingredients have the potential to irritate not only your insides, but your skin as well.
III. Detox those Pitts!
So this one is the most difficult for most people to wrap their head around. But I am a firm believer in the Pitt Detox! So basically you go sans deodorant for one week, let all those chemicals and aluminum leave your body and then try a new natural deodorant. The theory being that if you release all of the harmful chemicals and aluminums from your body, it makes room for the good bacteria to flourish.
How to detox?
Use bentonite clay! I recently did an armpit detox (as well as a face mask) with the “AMAZE-CLAY” and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. It literally smelled like roses under there and my skin felt so soft and hydrated.
Try this bentonite clay mask to help detox those pitts:
1TB Bentonite clay
I use the brand Aztec Secret: https://www.amazon.com/Aztec-Secret-Indian-Healing-Cleansing/dp/B0014P8L9W?th=1
1tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl (preferably with a lid and that way you can save the rest for a rainy day.)
2. Apply to Pitts with facial brush and leave on for 10 minutes
3. Expect some redness and mild tingling, but if you feel as if there is a volcano erupting underneath your arms please remove promptly.
4. Enjoy those sweet smelling pitts of yours! 🙂
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And here, I’ll show you how to select a safer and effective deodorant! This is one of my first (and most amateur) videos. I’m pretty sure I make a total idiot out of myself. You won’t want to miss it.