While a focus on consuming natural and organic foods has been emphasized in the health industry for years, there’s a growing emphasis on the importance of using vegan and natural cosmetic products.
One cosmetic in particular that often contains harmful ingredients is deodorant, with the culprit being its main active ingredient: aluminum. According to Cancer.gov, aluminum compounds plug sweat ducts and can be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like effects. Other research has suggested that parabens, which are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants, have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells.
According to Mother Earth Living, aluminum is also a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In an article on their site, it says “high levels of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study from Saint Louis University found that aluminum may cause liver toxicity, a contributing factor to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
While a link to cancer hasn’t been confirmed, there has been conflicting results from studies around the topic — so why put yourself at risk by using a product that is known to contain harmful ingredients?
But for most of us, going sans-deodorant is a pretty stinky option. So what’s the alternative? Using a vegan, non-toxic deodorant or antiperspirant is safer, healthier and can be just as effective.
DIY recipes are an option, but for many of us, whipping up a batch of deodorant isn’t something we have time for. So what should you look for on your deodorant ingredient list?
Baking soda is a common, non-toxic ingredient used in natural, vegan deodorants. Combined with essential oils, it can be made with or without fragrances.
For some consumers, baking soda can be an irritant, so a baking soda-free option is also available, with main ingredients like coconut oil, arrowroot powder and activated charcoal. Choose from an unscented deodorant or a variety of fragrances.
Ingredients to watch for and avoid as you shop for deodorant include talc powder (a suspected carcinogen), butylated hydroxytoluene (can cause hyperactivity in children) and synthetic fragrances (some of which have been linked to hormonal changes).
Just as you pay close attention to what you eat on a daily basis, it’s important to monitor just as carefully the ingredients in the cosmetics that your body absorbs through its largest organ: your skin. Choose non-toxic, vegan cosmetic products in order to care for and protect your body.
Article written by: Alexis Crowe