A couple of years back, I discovered a lump in one of my armpits. I still remember the fear that took over immediately after that discovery. Did I have breast cancer? I promptly scheduled an appointment with my General Physician.
Since the appointment wasn’t until a few days later, I started my own research online. WebMD can oversimplify, so I headed to Google Scholar, which finds you scientific studies. I was startled to find various studies (here, here, and here) claiming links between breast cancer and deodorant use–there still isn’t sufficient evidence to form a conclusive opinion, but I was still scared.
After ultrasounds, surgery to remove the lump, and biopsy of the lump, I was relieved to find that it was only a swollen lymph node. Nonetheless, the experience made me curious about the ingredients in my deodorant.
Common harmful chemicals in our deodorants include aluminum compounds, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, steareths, Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA). You can read here and here how these ingredients can be harmful for health. If you are concerned about the toxicity of the ingredients in your deodorant, the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group is a great place to check your deodorant’s toxicity levels.
Right after my surgeries (I had to have two because the lump returned a couple of months later), I was terrified of using deodorant. My first natural deodorant, hence, was apple cider vinegar. It was effective, but left my skin very dry (especially in the wintertime) and was a pain to travel with.
Consequently, I started exploring natural deodorants that would be less harsh but still effective. I have tried three natural ones (roll on, stick, and spray) and happy to report on each of them.
Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick Rose + Vanilla
Pros: this stick is a beautiful blend of arrowroot powder, coconut & vitamin E oils, baking soda, and shea butter–no nasties. It smells heavenly and keeps me odor-free all day. Bonus points for the variety of scents offered in the stick collection!
Cons: hard to spread on the skin and causes hyper-pigmentation after continued use on my olive skin. I had to stop using it for the second reason.
Lavera Spray Deodorant With Organic Rose
Pros: this spray is lightweight, smells divine and is effective at eliminating odor.
Cons: alcohol is the first ingredient, that’s why whenever you spray on freshly shaved armpits, it burns. The lack of a moisturizing ingredient in the formula leaves pits dry. Lastly, in the summer months you need to spray it a few times a day to stay odor-less.
Dr Hauschka Sage Mint Deodorant
Pros: this roll-on applies like a dream. It’s lightweight and effective even in hot summers. The combination of witch hazel and sage offer natural astringent components for odor control and the essential oils create a lasting scent.
Cons: none for me. This is the deodorant I use everyday now.
I hope this post is useful for everyone reading! Good weekend, you all. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know. x