Minding my business and living lockdown life, I needed something hard hitting to get me back into blogging. It’s been a tough year for us all and I was really struggling to find the motivation. Recently though, I’ve really been trying to take my health seriously, I’m not a teenager anymore and adult Lon wishes for a long healthy life. That’s why I’ve decided to start this Help Yourself and Help the Planet series as they are both things I am very passionate about, I really hope you enjoy!
I will start of this post by saying that I am NOT an expert, I just have a keen interest in learning how we can help our bodies thrive in a world where the odds are stacked against us. Our bodies are the vessels that allow us to travel through our life journey (sounds cheesy but it’s true!), so if we want to be here for the long haul, we have got to take care of ourselves!
I was inspired to write about this for a few reasons:
- I’ve been using a natural deodorant for a while now and wanted to share the results
- The nasty chemicals in mainstream deodorants have honestly scared me since I learned about them and I wish more people knew everything they contain
- There’s a lot of information about mainstream shampoo and its nasty chemicals on social media (mainly tiktok) at the moment, which is great, but I don’t think deodorant brands get the shame they deserve
So, lets get into it. It’s not your fault for not knowing about the nasties in deodorant and anti-persperants, the information is purposedly hidden from consumers by big companies that want to make money. One of the main ingredients of is aliminium…yep, the same thing that tin foil is made out of. It’s in there to block your sweat glands from doing what they were made to do…SWEAT. Sweating is a natural body process that is done to cool us down and release toxins. Obviously, we don’t all want to go bare armpit and be sweaty and smelly all day, but do we really want to stop a natural body process by clogging up the glands with metal and forcing toxins to stay put?
Many people worry that the aliminum we spray on our armpits everyday may lead to breast cancer and the truth is that scientists don’t have a conclusive answer for us. Many studies disagree whether or not there is a link to aliminum found in antiperspirants and an increased risk of breast cancer. Now, some articles take that and try to say therefore it is a complete myth… like this one. But, personally, that’s enough for me to say “you know what, the best people in the field can’t agree that this is a safe thing to be putting on my body everyday, so I don’t want to do it”. Science is constantly being updated and so just because there is no conclusive evdience now, doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future. Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything put on it, which then goes into the bloodstream. That’s why I don’t like to put unatural nasty chemicals on my skin wherever I can help it and always try to find a more natural alternative.
If you decide from research that you do think it’s safe for you, then you do you, there’s no shaming coming from here. What I get upset about, is big companies knowing that most people lead busy lives and don’t have the time to be researching what ingredients all their day-to-day products include. As I said, there are studies that suggest there is no link between aliminum in antiperspirants and cancer and that may make some people feel happy to use it.
Cancer is not the only health concern around mainstream deodorants and antiperspirants, but for the sake of keeping this post a sensible length, it is the only one I touched on. If you are interested, do have a further look into this area.
Help the Planet
Deodorants and antiperspirants are harmful to the environment as they release chemicals and organic compounds into the air that create ground-level ozone. They are a key element in creating air pollution and smog. When you spray it into the air, you also breathe in all these chemicals such as Formaldehyde, a chemical which has a known link to cancer after high exposure and is in many beauty products. Many also contain an anti-fungal ingredient called Triclosan which, when washed off your body, enters local waterways and remains at surface water level. In 2016, a US study found Triclosan in nearly 58% of freshwater streams. Meaning, any areas of soil irrigation using this freshwater will have been affected by it. It degrades in soil but does not completely disappear, instead when it breaks down, it can produce even more effective hormone disruptors and it is believed to aid the formation of known carcinogens dioxin and chloroform. Trace elements of Triclosan were then found in tomatoes and onions when tested in the study.
Lastly, packaging. If completely empty, deodorant cans are recyclable in the UK. Roll on deodorants are much harder to recycle and the ball and cap are usually thrown away due to the type of plastic used to make them. Throwing away tin or plastic deodorant cans or tubes contributes to the mass amounts of waste our planet is dealing with. These materials leach chemicals into the ground over the many years it takes them to breakdown. A metal can takes around 200 years to break down and plastics can take anywhere between 70-450 years. So yeah, every deodorant you’ve ever thrown out in your life is still in the ground somewhere.
So, what are the alternatives? I’m glad you asked. There are SO many natural deodorants on the market right now and I have tried and tested quite a few of them! My top 2 are:
I used the Rose and Vanilla scent which I thought smelled amazing! This is a good, affordable natural deodorant. The formula wasn’t greasy and it went on very easily. I did find that on really hot days I needed to reapply an extra time and sometimes a few clumps might bunch up on my armpits, but that could have been my fault for putting too much on
Wild is the deodorant I am currently using and have been for over 6 months now. Wild is a subscription service that gives you 2 cases and 3 refills when you first sign up and you can control how often you wish to recieve new refills. I find that it lasts AGES so the price is totally worth it. There are also some fab scents and I absolutely love the fact you get a reusable case so there is no waste!
Swicthing to natural: my top tips!
- If you go from using a mainstream antiperspirant everyday straight to using a natural deodorant, you may think it doesn’t work for you. This is because the body needs about a 2 weeek period to sweat out all those toxins the aliminum was shutting inside that you’re now no longer blocking. If this happens to you, stick it out for a couple of weeks. I’ve heard a lot of people say natural deodorants didn’t work for them and seen a lot of negative reviews online and I believed it until I found this out. When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense!
- Sometimes your body may not like this new mix of coconut oil and baking soda (common ingredients in natural deodorant) and you may have some sort of a reaction. I actually had this a couple of months ago and experience painful breakouts in my armpit area (it wasn’t pretty people). There are natural deodrants out there without these ingredients, but I had already stocked up on Wild refills and was at a loss with what to do. Through some trial and error, I realised the problem was due to shaving my armpits, applying deodorant and then going for a run. Basically, I was opening up the pores and then clogging them up and then sweating and making my armpits unhappy with all that action. So now, I just shave the day inbetween runs, problem solved no more spots!
I hope this post has provoked some thought into what deodorant you are using and sparked an interest in natural alternatives which are better for your health and for the planet. This is just a basic summary of all the information out there about the products we use on our bodies. I hope you enjoyed, do let me know if you know of any other natural deodorant brands that you love 🙂