The Ultimate Guide to Natural Deodorant: Toxic Ingredients To Avoid + Armpit Detox Recipes + Natural Alternatives
We all love to smell minty fresh! I haven't met a single person who genuinely enjoys being rancid by the end of the day and that could explain our societies obsession with deodorant. Major beauty and skin-care brands make it their top priority to mask the toxic ingredients in their deodorants with scents like old spice or forest fresh. But don't be fooled commercially sold deodorants are anything but clean!
I don't mean to freak you out but your favorite deodorant probably contains toxic and harmful ingredients that can seriously affect your health. I'm talking long term diseases that can easily be avoided by swapping chemically ridden deodorants with natural alternatives. I began using toxin-free deodorants in September 2016 and never looked back! I'm here to help you do the same.
I've compiled a list of the most harmful and toxic ingredients to look out for in your deodorant. You'll then find a step-by-step guide on how to detox your armpits with a BONUS- my top 2 favorite natural deodorants!
5 Ingredients to Avoid In Your Deodorant
- Aluminum compounds such as aluminum chloral hydrate and aluminum zirconium are the reason why you don't sweat when using deodorant. Sounds great in theory but after repeated use, these compounds plug into your skin via your sweat ducts. Why is this a huge no-no? Because aluminum compounds are known to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Parabens like propyl, methyl, butyl , ethyl, and benzyl are commonly used ingredients in a variety of skin-care products and are definitely present in your deodorant as well. Whenever you see the “paraben free” label on your deodorant, praise the heavens because it's a blessing! After being used for nearly 70 years, a 2004 study found that parabens have also been linked to breast cancer. Parabens screws with your body’s natural hormonal balance and mimic estrogen, which can cause breast cancer.
- Fragrance is those "wonderful" scents I mentioned earlier that beauty companies turn to in order to fool us into purchasing their deodorants. But did you know that fragrances are also a known skin irritant and is not only toxic for your body but for the environment? Oh, and it contributes to your pesky allergies!
- Triclosan is yet another in your deodorant that can wreck havoc on your skin and cause dermatitis. It's common knowledge that your body is made up of both good and bad bacteria and triclosan effectively kills both. As if that wasn't enough the FDA considers it pesticide and carcinogen.
- Propylene Glycol is a common ingredient that can negatively impact your health. CDC studies have shown that it can cause kidney and liver damage in addition to causing delayed allergic reactions.
The ingredients mentioned above are only five of the many toxic and harmful ingredients found in deodorant and were more than enough to sway me to try natural alternatives. But if you want more information the Environmental Working Group is am amazing resource.
After reading review after review from unhappy customers who'd purchased natural deodorants, I felt defeated. Then I noticed a review from a woman who claimed that an armpit detox was the key to making the switch. As the D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) queen that I am, my curiosity was immediately peaked and girl, did it pay off. Why detox your armpits? Because if you're anything like me you've been using deodorants with toxic ingredients since your first sign of puberty. That's a long time and a whole lot of back-up that your body needs a little help removing.
Below is my how-to-guide on how to successfully detox your armpits for the smoothest transition from harmful to natural deodorants of life!
Armpit Detox How-To-Guide
Recipe # 1: Clay Mask Detox
- 1 TBSP Bentonite Clay
- 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1-2 TSP of Water
- 1 drop of Tea Tree Essential Oil
All of the ingredients should be mixed in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon. Bentonite clay reacts with metal utensils and will not be as effective. When you've mixed your clay mask it should be the consistency sour cream. Apply your mask for 5-10 minutes slowly increasing the amount of time you use it with every application. I recommend testing the clay mask on your forearm before applying to your armpits, and immediately removing it if you experience any irritation. Wash with warm water and repeat daily to speed up the detoxification process.
Recipe #2: Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
- 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
- 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 1-2 oz. of Filtered Water
- 2 oz. Spray Bottle
Pour all of the ingredients into 2 oz. spray bottle and refrigerate. Spray onto your armpits every night after your shower and before bedtime.
- Increase your intake of water, berries, and leafy greens whenever you're detoxing your body in any way.
- Dry-brush your armpits daily to help remove dead skin and increase circulation- both which promote increased detoxification.
- Do not apply either recipe to freshly shaved armpits. It will sting like hell!
- It's useful to detox your armpits for 2-4 weeks prior to transitioning to natural deodorants. Detoxing your armpits will make the natural deodorant much more effective!
Now that you're all caught up on which toxic and harmful ingredients to avoid in your deodorant, and know how to detox your armpits with two simple recipes, let's talk natural alternatives!
Natural Deodorant Alternatives
When I tell you I've tried about 10 different natural deodorants, I am not exaggerating, girl! It was a major waste of time and money. I was so desperate I even made my own, which I quickly discovered is harder said than done. Let me help you avoid some pain and suffering by simply telling you my top 3 favorite natural deodorants.
- Folie Apothecary Natural Deodorant by wellness goddess Nikisha Brunson. If I'm being honest, the 2 oz jar lasts FOREVER! It smells divine and has the power of activated charcoal to help you pull out toxins while using it. Word to the wise: It sells out QUICKLY from her store! If you want to try it, I suggest keeping your eye out for it and buying it the moment you see it.
- Lone is my boyfriends absolute favorite natural deodorant and is quickly becoming my own. He loves it so much that he recently purchased three at a time! The mint deodorant smells absolutely delicious and is extremely effective. My boyfriend is an athlete, rides his bike every single day and he swears by it! The $2 shipping doesn't hurt either.
- PiperWai is my ALL TIME FAVORITE natural deodorant! It's great for sensitive skin because it doesn't irritate my armpits, provides great coverage and little goes a long way! It comes in a 2 oz jar that you can apply with your fingers and an easy to use 2.7 oz stick applicator.
- When applying natural deodorant less is more! Gently applying one light layer of deodorant is more than enough. Otherwise, you will be left with clammy armpits that uncomfortably stick together.
- Natural deodorant will never provide the exact amount of coverage as a traditional deodorant. Why? Because traditional deodorant works by clogging your pores with toxic chemicals so that your body doesn't sweat. When using a natural deodorant you will smell a mixture of your natural scent and the deodorant. THIS IS NORMAL and healthy!
Well, there you have it, ladies! I hope The Ultimate Guide to Natural Deodorant serves you well. This year has truly been liberating and I only wish the same for you! Have you tried natural deodorants and have tips I didn't mention? Leave a comment below and bless us all!