Why Your Deodorant Is Harming You

The problem with deodorant
It amazes me how arrogant the human race can sometimes be. Sweating? A thing of the past! Modern men don't need to bother themselves with such a concept.
Is it not a bit unsettling how we've made simply the act of sweating into an unnatural and unsightly thing? Where in reality, sweating is one of the body's most amazing natural detoxification processes! Sweat releases toxins from the body and regulates body temperature. It's important and crucial and not something we should be trying to inhibit.
But that's what most modern deodorants try and do. I've actually gone to the store and looked for a deodorant that's just a deodorant, with no antiperspirant (anti-sweating properties). Doesn't exist; couldn't find it. The two are one in the same now. Most deodorants have taken on the job of not just "deodorizing", but working as an antiperspirant as well.
And if that isn't bad enough, the deodorants in themselves aren't the greatest thing to be putting on our bodies. Here are just a couple of common ingredients that are in your deodorant:

  • Aluminum. One of the most problematic ingredients in deodorant. This is literally used just to clog your pores and keep you from sweating. Gross. And not cool. Not to mention that aluminum exposure may correlate with breast cancer and a million other health issues
  • Parabens. Many beauty products are now advertising as "paraben free", and for good reason. They're a common preservative that has been found to have links to breast cancer, being that they can mimic estrogen when absorbed into the body and thus wreaking hormonal havoc. 
  • Fragrances. We all wanna smell good, but do we really need artificially produced "summer breeze" to do so?
  • Any antibacterial chemicals. Used to kill of the "bad smelling" bacteria in your pits. But, surprise, it kills the good bacteria as well.

There's a lot of nasty stuff we're rubbing underneath our arms. And it may not be doing any good anyways. It seems we're running around in circles. From Dr. Mercola:

"The reason your sweat smells is because the bacteria living in your armpits break down lipids and amino acids found in your sweat into substances that have a distinct odor. Antiperspirants address this problem using antimicrobial agents to kill bacteria and other ingredients such as aluminum that block your sweat glands. However, separate research has revealed antiperspirants affect the bacterial balance in your armpits, leading to an even more foul-smelling sweat problem."
So we're really not doing ourselves any favors when we slather our armpits with Secret and Axe every morning. But we can do better! 
How to detox
The idea of detoxing the body has certainly become a bit off a buzzword lately, which has come with some criticism. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone condescendingly say "detox? please. that's what the liver is for." Which is true; the liver is a fantastic organ the detoxifies the body when it's doing its job right! But it was never meant to handle the insane amount of manmade chemicals and toxins we're exposed to on the daily. Our bodies are being overloaded. So yeah, sometimes a detox is needed.

Specifically, some people find that when they switch from years of using a conventional deodorant to a natural one, they have issues. Because they didn't give their body the time or tools to cleanses itself from years of chemical buildup.

Here's a great in-depth article on just how to detox your armpits. It's super easy! It involves some apple cider vinegar, some clay, and a fun homemade paste. The process is worth it.

Natural alternatives
Listen, I know what you're thinking. Are there natural, organic deodorants out there that actually work? No one wants to be that one guy walking around smelling of hippie-ness. But, cross my heart, there are quality products out there that will keep you smelling great without all the nasty chemicals.

A friend of mine who owns a small business that makes body care products, and they just started their own line of deodorant! I promise I'm not just saying this, but it's amazing. I'd HIGHLY recommend it. It applies smoothly, and so far has kept me smelling clean through sweaty workouts, gardening, and everything in between. It's made out of clean ingredients and is free of any aluminum or artificial fragrances. Hey, just for fun, here's a list of it's ingredients to contrast good 'ol Secret's up there.

  • Coconut oil
  • Arrowroot powder 
  • Shea butter
  • Beeswax
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oils

Isn't that a lovelier list? Look at it. You could probably eat that deodorant. (Not that I'm suggesting that. Please don't do that.)
So please check it out here! You'll be getting a high quality product and supporting a small business as well.

There's also another pretty popular brand of clean deodorants called Primal Pit Paste. I've tried it and loved it as well! Their spray bottle version has been my favorite.
Or if you're feeling pretty confident in your DIY skills, consider trying to make your own!

xo Mel


  1. Great post Melanie! Love your writing voice and I too am very passionate about the health field (I work in it actually! Health coach). I’ve found that baking soda is also a great natural deodorant.


    1. Thanks so much!! That's awesome; I'm working towards becoming a health coach :)
      (and yes! baking soda does wonders haha)


© melk and honey. Design by FCD.