One of the most important (but also intimidating!) clean personal care swaps you can make is to give up your antiperspirant. on the fence? here’s why you should *finally* take the plunge— because toxins are the pits.
the truth about conventional deodorants
antiperspirants rely on chemical ingredients, frequently aluminum, to prevent the body from sweating — by plugging the sweat ducts— to eliminate odor.
but why the stink about sweat? sweat is the body’s natural cooling process (think of it like AC) and flushes toxins, too. In fact, sweat has no odor. underarm odor is caused when perspiration comes into contact with bacteria that can thrive in a warm, moist environment— like your pits!
in addition to aluminum, antiperspirants are commonly formulated with parabens, triclosan, phthalates and propylene glycol. exposure to these toxic compounds has been linked to Alzheimer’s, certain cancers and reproductive/developmental issues. and because the skin is highly porous, anything that’s applied topically can be absorbed into the bloodstream and even potentially stored in the cells and tissue.
while scents like ‘baby powder’ and ‘shower fresh’ sound appealing, they can be potentially harmful as chemical fragrances are largely unregulated due to an FDA loophole that classifies them as ‘trade secrets.’ according to the Environmental Working Group, “The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.” take note, this goes for any personal care products and cosmetics. whether applied to the skin or sprayed these pollutants have been tied to numerous health conditions, including allergies and asthma, and can have an effect on endocrine and reproductive systems. this is especially worrisome during pregnancy, when the fetus is developing.
the natural alternative
chemical-free deodorants utilize plant-based essential oils to effectively fight underarm bacteria to minimize body odor. no bacteria? no odor. and by allowing the body to perspire— you keep cool, naturally. plus, your pits are less likely to be irritated.
want to keep toxins out? the safest ingredients for topical use are (in most cases) closest to their natural form, so that they can be “integrated” into the body, absorbed and filtered without any health impact. so, read your labels and avoid the ingredients mentioned above!
those same essential oils and natural ingredients that balance perspiration (and your underarm flora) also have a pleasant scent. erbaviva’s Lemon & Sage and Jasmine & Grapefruit deodorants rely on USDA certified organic essential oils, including lemon, tea tree and grapefruit, that possess powerful antibacterial properties.