Why Swapping Your Deodorant Still Matters

Why Swapping Your Deodorant Still Matters

I was still a preteen when I first heard by word-of-mouth from friends and female family members about the dangers of using antiperspirants and deodorant.

“I heard it’s linked to [insert some horrid disease here]!” they’d say. But nobody really seemed to talk about a resolution. There weren’t many deodorant alternatives on the market back then. At least, not in the mainstream pharmacies or grocery stores my mother was willing to shop at. Expensive deodorant? In my dreams!

I was paranoid about the toxicity of these products from the moment I started using them, but I was also a preteen and had the unfortunate trait of being…stinky. Natural deodorant? Not then. At twelve years old, the only option was to use whatever worked - chemicals included - to keep from becoming dubbed “the smelly kid”.

Is harmful deodorant all just a rumor?  

Were our mothers and sisters right? The verdict is still out…

A quick online search about the link between cancer and antiperspirant and deodorant seems to discredit everything our grandmas, moms, and best girlfriends have been saying over the past two decades. Some sites, including the American Cancer Society, even write it off as nothing more than “internet rumors.”

While many sites state that there’s no conclusive evidence on the link to hormone disruption and cancer, it’s worth being diligent in our research. 

It has become more widely acceptable these days to forego antiperspirant in favor of deodorant; people seem to be aligned on one thing at least: preventing our bodies’ natural functions and tendencies seems like a risky choice. 

Where does that leave us when it comes to deodorant? Some organizations, including the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic, have been careful with their language around the dangers of deodorant ingredients, citing the research between deodorant and cancer as being “limited”, “not strong”, or “most studies have not found”.

The lack of research and the current phrasing healthy organizations use may just be the largely acceptable way to say “we don’t know”, which to me translates as “not worth the risk.”

Swapping for All Natural Deodorant is a Win-Win

As with many natural skincare products, there’s so much to gain and nothing to lose by swapping out your mainstream products (as long as you go with a reliable company and personally investigate their ingredients.) 

Besides the risk of cancer, which is a big enough risk on its own, many over-the-counter beauty and skincare products can be harsh on skin, especially in the sensitive underarm area.

Some of the biggest complaints we hear from the crunchy toxic-free community are about natural deodorant alternatives.  

Forums are filled with questions and complaints like 

  • Natural deodorant just doesn’t work or
  • This natural deodorant irritates my skin or 
  • My natural deodorant gave me cysts
  • It’s so expensive

These have all been drawbacks of natural products in the past. Luckily for us, we’re living in the best (and least foul smelling) time to be alive, where natural body products ACTUALLY do what they’re supposed to. 

You just have to know what to look for.  

Tips for finding natural deodorant that works for your skin

1. To baking soda or not to baking soda? 

One reason some natural deodorant options may not seem to work (and have been reported to increase body odor) is that they don’t contain baking soda, the ingredient that neutralizes the scent of sweat.

On the other hand, some people with extra sensitive skin may successfully beat the smell of body odor with a natural baking soda-based deodorant but have a negative skin reaction. The abrasive nature of baking soda may affect skin types differently. 

So which one wins? As with all natural products, we recommend comparing products with varying ingredients to see how your skin and body react to them. If you’re someone who struggles with the baking soda ingredient for your underarm skin, add formulas with other ingredients such as a magnesium base. And stay tuned! We value our customers’ feedback so much that we’re actively seeking and experimenting with different formulas to be able to offer an alternative to baking soda-based deodorizers. 

2. Fight odor with stronger scents that make sense

To combat body odor, a natural deodorant needs to utilize ingredients that 

have strong enough properties to conquer foul-smelling bacteria that are present in places like the underarms or feet. 

Look for a natural deodorant product that boasts higher natural fragrances like potent essential oils, waxes, florals, or herbs. 

3. Don’t break the bank

There are natural deodorant brands on the market that will run you 14 dollars or more just for one stick. We’d rather splurge on…anything else. 

As with any consumer product, price doesn’t always equate to quality. It’s entirely possible to find more affordable alternatives, like our all-natural deodorant line  that costs the same as a cup of coffee. It usually just takes some digging. 

There’s nothing glamorous about our armpits (or feet), but it doesn’t mean they have to be gross. If you’ve just started on your journey to find an all natural deodorant and are running into the typical smelly roadblocks, don’t give up yet - there’s a product out there for you, and we encourage you to check these out in the meantime.  


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