Toxic Ingredients in Deodorants

In our previous posts, we have discussed the dangerous substances found in personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, lotions, sunscreens as well as cosmetic products. But we have not touched on the subject of deodorant.

If there is one grooming practice that many make sure that they do everyday, that would be swiping our under arms with a deodorant stick or squirting antiperspirant on them. This is especially when you are involved in physical activities that make you sweat a lot, and if you take the subway and other public transportation. We all want to avoid stinking up a room. But are deodorants also laden with toxic chemicals? Sadly, the answer is yes. Most deodorants sold in the market contain toxins that can have ill effects on our health.

We should be equally as concerned about avoiding these harmful toxins in deodorants as we are about busting body odor. Compared to soaps, deodorants are not rinsed off. After every application, we let the toxic chemicals in deodorants build up in the under arm area and upper breast area. These areas have sensitive skin and overtime the skin will eventually absorb these chemicals from deodorants and the bad news is some of these chemicals are toxic. Once these toxic chemicals get through to the underlying tissue, they can start wreaking havoc in the body.

Avoid These Ingredients in Deodorants

  • Aluminum Compounds – Aluminum compounds are found solely in antiperspirants. Aluminum zirconium and aluminum chlorohydrate block our pores that release sweat. Aluminum is a heavy metal and just like most heavy metals, it may disrupt estrogen receptors’ ability to process estrogen correctly.
  • Propylene glycol – Propylene glycol is an ingredient used in deodorants to increase penetration. This ingredient is very dangerous especially when mixed with other chemicals. As very little as 2% concentration can trigger skin irritation in some cases. What’s alarming is manufacturers are allowed to use as much as 50% of this ingredient in a product. Even deodorants that have a “natural” label in them actually have this in its ingredients.
  • Triclosan
    You probably have been seeing the word triclosan in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. Triclosan is used as an antibacterial agent and preservative. You might think that since triclosan has antibacterial properties, there is nothing to worry about. But there is more to triclosan that you should know. Triclosan, when mixed with tap water, reacts and forms a chloroform gas which can potentially cause cancer. Another disturbing fact about triclosan is that it has shown to have endocrine-disrupting properties in marine animals and even more disturbing is that it has been found in human breastmilk and blood.
  • Steareths
    You will commonly find this ingredient listed with a number. You’ll probably see deodorants having it listed as stereath-15. Steareths are additives that come from a process that turn harsh ingredients milder. This process is called ethoxylation. The problem is this process produces carcinogenic 1,4-dioxanes.

In one of our future posts, we’ll discuss safer alternatives.

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