The word ‘natural’ is a very broad term that, in the general scope of things, can have many definitions. Natural could mean something created or caused by nature, something made entirely natural with no ‘unnatural’ ingredients, or something claiming to be natural but still made with preservatives and chemicals. So how do we know that what we’re putting in/on our bodies is ‘natural’ and good for us?
For me, it really boils down to research and knowing how to read ingredient labels. Once I discovered that the products I had been using all my life purchased from grocery stores and drugstores play a correlational role in the development of certain types of diseases, I began to take a closer look at what I should be putting on/in my skin.
I started with deodorant.
I grew up going through puberty at a very young age, so I started sweating and developing quicker than others thus needing deodorant sooner. I have always used generic store-bought brands until I came across research that deodorants contained many ingredients that are NOT good for us.
Ingredients to Avoid:
Aluminum stops us from sweating and causes the cells on our sweat ducts to swell, therefore stopping perspiration from occurring. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer due to changes in the estrogen receptors from the breast cells, which promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
Parabens are also found in many deodorants and easily penetrate the skin, therefore interfering with hormone production and function. Parabens are worse when absorbed through the skin because they enter the bloodstream and organs directly instead of being metabolized through digestion. They have been linked to breast cancer, as Parabens mimic the female sex hormone Estrogen.
Fragrance can be found in the vast majority of beauty and hygiene products that are used on a daily basis- which is unfortunate considering Fragrance is basically a band of chemicals. Phthalates, AKA another word for Fragrance, are chemicals that have been found to accumulate in the body and have been linked to hormone disruption, possible birth defects, infertility and some cancers.
My Experience using Natural Deodorant:
I’ve only actually tried one natural deodorant so I can’t make any comparisons or offer alternatives. I researched the ingredients for a while and found out that I was getting an all natural deodorant in my March Calla Life Box so I refrained from purchasing and decided to just try the one that was going to be sent to me. The ingredients in the ‘I Luv It’ homemade natural deodorant include:
- coconut oil
- cocoa butter
- sodium bicarbonate
- essential oils
- white kaolin clay
I used this deodorant for a week and I noticed that I was sweating a lot more, which is due to the lack of aluminum which typically blocks your sweat ducts from releasing perspiration. I smelled and felt very oily under my arms (likely due to the coconut and essential oils) but I felt like my armpits weren’t clogged and congested. When I did any sort of activity that might remotely cause me to sweat, I found my underarms were noticeably more ‘leaky’ than before, but I felt like for the first time that my skin was breathing.
There are a TON of natural deodorants on the market today, all with varying ingredients from many different companies. If you’re looking at trying natural deodorant, I would suggest obtaining a comprehensive list of ingredients first, just so you are aware exactly what you will be putting on your skin.
Should you make the switch?
I am a 100% believer in holistic health, and when I read study after study after study that indicates correlations between many major chemicals and ingredients found in everyday hygiene products, I listen. Regardless of what your beliefs are, my personal belief is that many of the products that we use on a daily basis contain ingredients that are linked to various diseases and conditions including cancer, and therefore I made the conscious decision to switch to ‘natural’ products. My beliefs are based on my own personal research and actually testing out products to see the difference myself.
At the end of the day, whether the ingredients and chemicals that are in everyday products causes certain diseases is still a question mark. The Natural Deodorant Co. claims that deodorant is associated with health risks, while the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health have no conclusive evidence linking deodorant and cancer.
I know what my opinion is, what’s yours?