When my children were approaching the age when they would need to wear deodorant, I started doing some research. I was not pleased with what I discovered about the chemicals in traditional deodorants and the possible links to cancer. Anti-perspirants and traditional deodorants use many of the same chemicals that I avoid using in our goat milk soaps.
I don't think they're safe in soap and I definitely don't think they're safe in a product (such as deodorant) that you leave on your skin without washing off. Some of these ingredients include the following:
- Aluminum– used to actually block your pores in your armpits so you can't sweat. This prevents your body from getting rid of toxins. It is also linked to Alzheimer's.
- Parabens and Phthalates - We don't use these in our soaps and I don't want them on my armpits. They also have been linked to cancer and hormone trouble.
- Propylene glycol - a petroleum-derived compound that I don't want to rub all over my body. Remember the blog post I wrote on avoiding petroleum jelly? That's why I don't want to use propylene glycol.
- Formaldehyde - killing germs is not worth putting this carcinogen on my skin.
- Triclosan (Antibacterial Ingredient) - I also wrote a blog post on why I won't use antibacterial compounds in my soap, and all of those reasons apply to deodorant as well.
So after many months of testing, we created a natural deodorant with ingredients that I didn't worry about putting on my family's skin. It worked great for us and for all the people who helped us test the deodorant.
When we started selling it, I was a bit surprised to hear that a few people without allergies were having difficulty with rashes. So I started doing some extra research and discovered that for some people, the rashes were actually a sign of detoxification and not a direct allergic response to the deodorant.
It turns out that if you've been using a commercial deodorant for years, you may need to detox your armpits before switching to a natural deodorant. Otherwise the switch may cause a rash.
There are many different recipes on the internet for detoxing your armpits. Here is the one I tried:
- 1 Tbsp bentonite clay
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp water
- Mix ingredients together (use glass or wood, not metal)
- Spread evenly over armpits
- Allow to sit for 5-20 minutes
- Wash off if it starts to hurt
- Repeat as needed until natural deodorant doesn't cause irritation
So if you've either experienced a rash when trying our natural deodorant, or are concerned that you will, an armpit detox may be helpful not just with improving your adjustment to a natural deodorant, but also with detoxing some chemicals from your body.
This has not been evaluated by the FDA.