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Why Switch to Natural Deodorant?

Why Switch to Natural Deodorant?

Switching to clean deodorant is one of the trickiest ‘clean switches’ to make, but it is also often people’s entrypoint into the world of clean personal care products. The reason? There is already pretty wide spread information available about the negative effects traditional deodorant can have on our bodies. So, let’s discuss why you should switch and also how it can be the most seamless transition possible. I’ll even list some of the best clean deodorants we’ve found after trialing many brands and varieties. 


The main concern you have probably heard about traditional deodorants is that they use aluminum to create the antiperspirant factor. Some studies have found links between the use of aluminum on our bodies and health concerns like breast cancer, Alzheimer's and kidney damage. While some studies refute this connection, at a minimum they acknowledge that aluminum is often found in breast cancer tissue and that breast cancer tumors are often in the area of the breast closest to the armpit. There also seems to be a correlation of an increased amount of aluminum in the brain tissue of those with Alzheimer's, although again, studies have differing opinions on causation. The placement of deodorant makes it a larger problem because of the sweat glands in our armpits, as well as more than 20 lymph nodes. The probability of aluminum getting past the barrier of your skin is much higher if you shave your armpits, and especially if you shave just prior to applying the antiperspirant. 

Some of the more indisputably negative effects of aluminum in deodorant are that it can cause skin irritation and itching, as well as preventing your body from performing the task it was built to perform, which is sweating to


Interestingly, even though aluminum in deodorant has received the most attention, some of the other ingredients in traditional deodorant are more undeniably harmful.

Parabens - Because Parabens are hormone impersonators (meaning they mimic estrogen in the body) there are known links to breast cancer.

Phthalates - As endocrine disruptors, Phthalates create several disturbing health concerns. Interestingly, they are especially disruptive of the endocrine system in males, with effects like fertility issues, but they also can cause early onset puberty in females, which can lead to breast cancer later in life. They are also linked to asthma, ADHD, obesity, autism spectrum disorders, and altered reproductive development.

Triclosan - Since we now know that it is bacteria that causes body odor, not sweat itself, it makes sense that deodorants include ingredients that are antibacterial. However, Triclosan is a dangerous option for fighting odor-causing bacteria because it is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can mimic hormones which can interfere with hormonal signaling. This ingredient has even been banned by the FDA in hand soaps (and not many ingredients are banned by the FDA in comparison to many other countries). because they acknowledge that it has a plethora of associated health concerns, including increased risk of breast cancer. (Not to mention the harm it causes aquatic life)

Fragrance - The largest concern with Fragrance is that it is basically like a secret code word, only each brand’s code is different. Fragrance details are considered proprietary information so that no brand steals another brand’s exact scent. However, this has created a loophole where many unsafe ingredients can hide in plain sight under the term ‘Fragrance.’ It is common for ingredients in fragrances to be known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, allergens, airway irritants, neurological-toxins and ingredients linked to infertility and you don’t have the ability to make your own informed decision because those exact ingredients are hidden behind the word ‘Fragrance.’


While removing harmful ingredients is the catalyst for many of us to change over to clean personal products, there are also independently beneficial aspects to clean products. One clear benefit of natural deodorant is that it does not clog pores, which allows good bacteria to do its job. The amazing long term advantage of this is that over time you will have less odor-producing bacteria (and therefore less BO) even on days when you don’t wear deodorant. Your underarms will also have less irritation once aluminum is out of the picture and one of our favorite benefits: say goodbye to yellow pit stains on your shirts. Depending on the natural deodorant you choose, there can also be ingredients that increase the health of your skin, like coconut oil and tea tree oil, that have antibacterial properties or witch hazel that can shrink the size of your pores.


There are currently so many clean deodorant options on the market. This is exciting, but also easily leads to overwhelm once you try to choose. Here are our three favorite brands, after over a year of trialing many, many different natural deodorants.

Iyoba - This deodorant is not only free from any harmful ingredients, but has added in beneficial probiotics, which helps keep good bacteria thriving and bad bacteria away. (This means you can say goodbye to body odor!) We also love how easily it glides on and the unique scents. We carry their Sage + Lavender, Unscented, and Ylang Ylang + Jasmine (current fave).

Ursa Major - Sometimes when you’re going natural, you really want your products to smell like nature. If so, Hoppin’ Fresh or Forest Fix by Ursa Major are the ones for you. These also have a very smooth glide factor, leaving no clumps on your skin nor your clothes. The round tube, rather than the traditional oval shape, makes it easier to apply to underarms of all shapes and sizes.

Pretty Frank. - If you are someone who wants to really know your deodorant is there and prefer a slightly thicker, creamier experience, these varieties will float your boat. And I do mean varieties! One of the best things about Pretty Frank. is that they have many options when it comes not only to scents, but also to the main active ingredients. If you notice that your skin isn’t reacting well to their original Baking Soda based deodorant, for example, move on and try their Zinc or Charcoal based deodorants. Or, for those with extremely sensitive skin, try Unscented Magnesium. They even created deodorants made especially for kids and teens and we love the Cherry and Orange Creamsicle scents. (Their Pit Primer is also a helpful product during the switch over process.)


If you now feel ready to give clean deodorant a try, we’ve got you. Check out this blog post on HOW to switch to natural deodorant to learn all of the tips and tricks to make the process as simple and successful as possible. Also, shop our favorite clean deodorants and other products that help the switch go smoothly, below. Let us know how you’re doing with the change or how you feel about your new natural deodorant life!

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