Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Natural Deodorant Pits

I gave up using antiperspirants about 15 years ago when I began questioning the ingredients in them. Mainly it was the aluminum that made me give them up. Then I also had to question the necessity of shutting down pores to keep them from sweating. Isn't sweating one of the ways that the body detoxifies? I like to keep it natural and let my body do what it was designed to do.

Before I say anything else, I suppose I should give you the heads up on the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant. An antiperspirant actually prevents sweating. The aluminum salts in the formula are absorbed into the endocrine gland ducts (the ones that put out the sweat). Inside the ducts, these molecules basically swell and close off the ducts, not allowing the sweat to be released onto the surface of the skin. All antiperspirants have some form of aluminum in them.

A deodorant does what it says, it deodorizes your pits. The funk of body odor is caused by bacteria in your arm pits. Think about it; your pits are dark, warm and moist. The perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So many deodorants have additives that discourage bacterial growth. You see this in many natural deodorants at the health food store, they will boast of essential oils that naturally discourage the growth of bacteria.

So what is the big deal about aluminum? Well...the verdict is still out on any link between antiperspirant and Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Society has concluded that there is no evidence of a relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer's. However, many Alzheimer's patients have presented high amounts of aluminum in their brain tissue. Some people, like me, choose to live without using body care products that contain aluminum. My motto has always been, "When in doubt, leave it out!"

For years, I just picked up a crystal rock deodorant at the health food store and went on with my life. It was sold at the health food store and it worked, so it had to be good right? I mean these people know everything about healthy living so I should be safe buying products there, right? Wrong! Then I started using the Adidas cotton-tech deodorant. That worked well, then I realized it relied on tri-closan to prevent bacterial growth. I did not want my kid using that. The evidence against tri-closan being a hormone disruptor in the system is mounting. It is also partially responsible for antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment. (For more information click here read what the FDA says about tri-closan ). I do not want to take any chances. You, the consumer,  really need to do your own research, even if you are spending the big bucks at Whole Foods or your Mom and Pop health food store.

 I will admit that while I am certainly far from being an expert on cosmetic chemistry, I am not afraid to decode a list of ingredients on the back of the bottle well enough to discern if it is something I want to buy. This led me to notice that the rock crystal deodorants contained aluminum. I was so angry! On the bottles it is labeled potassium alum, ammonium alum (ammonium aluminium sulfate) or hydrated aluminium potassium sulfate. The molecular structure of these chemicals are a bit bigger than the aluminum used in conventional antiperspirants. The claim is that these molecules are too big to be absorbed by the skin, but I cannot find any clear scientific trials which prove this. Once again, the consumer is duped by clever wording and misleading packaging. So I gave up the rock.

This began a LONG journey of trial and error. There were many errors down the road of natural deodorants.I have purchased so many brands and thrown away almost as many.  I have a few funny stories of being far from home and realizing I smelled like I lived on the streets. I found a few brands that I liked but it was not until my daughter began wearing deodorant that I became determined to find one that works for her and for me. So...after hours and hours of research, I have finally found a deodorant formula that works, smells nice and does not leave white stains on my clothes.

So a deodorant that I love was born.What is in this deodorant? Well, it is a bit more complicated and chemical sounding than oils mixed with baking soda and corn starch, but it works and does not stain clothing. This is a list of the ingredients and why they are in this product. To purchase this awesome stuff click here.

Ingredients:Propylene Glycol- A humectant, and a carrier in fragrance oils

Purified Water

Sodium Stearate- sodium salt of fatty acids that works as an emulsifier and a surfactant.

Vegetable Protein-neutralizes the enzymes that cause odor to a simple salt.

PEG-200/Hydrogenated a Castor Oil- carrier oil used as an emulsifier and surfactant

Isosteareth-2- agent derived from fatty acids, and works as an emulsifier

Salicylic Acid- anti-microbial agent obtained from willow trees

Steareth-100,-A surfactant derived from fatty acids

Chamomile Flower Extract- anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve inflamed and irritated conditions.

Aloe Vera leaf juice- an emollient with soothing properties.

EDTA- amino acid, prevent deterioration and rancidity.

Essential Oils- steam distilled plant based oils for scent and to inhibit growth of bacteria

Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (0.3%)- Preservatives.

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