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  • Writer's pictureJulia

Deodorant Dilemma



Do you know what’s in your products??


Our skin is the biggest organ of the body that readily absorbs the chemicals in our products. Our face and underarms are 2- 6x more absorbent than other areas of our body, so it’s important to consider what products you’re using on a daily basis.


Did you know? In the USA, roughly 84, 000 chemicals have been registered for use, but only about 200 have actually been tested and have available safety data. Despite this, ALL of these chemicals are still able to be used in consumer products.


The average person uses about 10 products to get ready in the morning, which can mean exposure to roughly 200 chemicals… all before breakfast. So...it’s time to clean up your personal care products!


Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Let’s start with deodorant and antiperspirant: we swipe it on everyday. If you think about it, we use it 365 days/year for decades: that’s over 25, 000 + days of using it in an average lifetime. That’s a LOT.


Deodorant controls odour, and antiperspirant controls sweat. To control sweat, many brands of antiperspirants typically contain aluminum or zinc salts, which blog our sweat glands and reduce wetness. In Canada, antiperspirants are classified as cosmetics, many of which contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. One way you can begin to reduce your exposure to these chemicals in your everyday life is to choose a natural deodorant.


Read your labels! Avoid products containing Triclosan or Phthalates- these are endocrine disrupting chemicals that can disrupt our hormones and many of our body systems.


Triclosan

This chemical is used as an antibacterial in many personal care products to reduce odour, and may be associated with thyroid disruption.


It was banned by the FDA in 2016 in consumer products, which includes household hand soaps and body washes. However, it’s still present in toothpaste, deodorant, make up, shaving gel, as well as in commercial antibacterial products.


In Canada, it’s deemed ‘safe’ at certain levels in various personal care products including mouthwash and cosmetics. However, from what we’ve learned about endocrine disrupting chemicals, low levels of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is often more harmful than high levels of exposure.


Phthalates

These are widely used in virtually every personal care product, and act as a fixative and solvent for fragrances. Most personal care products in your bathroom likely contain fragrance: think deodorants, soaps, shampoos, and hairspray...just to name a few.


Phthalates have been linked to many negative health effects, including altered cholesterol metabolism, possible weight gain and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Further, they can also impact our reproductive systems.


Parabens

These are the most widely used chemical in personal care products- they prevent bacteria from growing in our products. Although these have also been deemed ‘safe’ to use, the current literature suggests otherwise. Parabens have been associated with many adverse health effects and regulatory processes often fail to consider the cumulative effects of our exposure to many products at the same time.


Where to start!?

You need to give your body a chance to adjust to a natural deodorant. Give yourself time to test it out- now is a great opportunity, since many of us are continuing to work from home.


I’ve tried quite a few brands, but my favourite so far is NATIVE. It’s made with coconut oil, baking soda, tapioca starch, shea butter and probiotics. It keeps you feeling fresh, isn’t irritating, and doesn’t feel “wet” like many other brands I’ve tried. I also really like BRIOGEO and SCHMIDT’s. I feel great knowing that I’m putting safer, natural products on my skin every day.


It’s important to recognize that we can’t completely eliminate all exposure to toxicants in our environment- but we can still make some easy swaps in our daily lives to work on reducing how many chemicals we’re exposed to daily.


A great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP website- explore it and see how your products stack up: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.


Have you tried a natural deodorant yet??


Stay tuned on my Instagram page for more information to come!


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