Why do I choose to use natural deodorant?
1. Conventional deodorant and antiperspirants contain parabens, which are used to extend shelf, life as well as prevent bacteria and mold growth. Long chain parabens (which can mimic estrogen) are particularly harmful, causing hormonal shifts, fertility problems and are now linked to cancer. Examples of long chain parabens are butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben and isopropylparaben.
2. Aluminum accumulation from antiperspirants can be concerning, because it does have the capability of damaging DNA and acting as a carcinogen. A recent animal study (Aluminium chloride promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells) investigated this further using aluminum chloride in doses comparable to deodorant in mice and scientists found it did encourage the formation of metastatic tumors. Human studies have shown mixed results and merit further investigation. Earlier reviews (in studies before 2014 such as Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts) found no evidence that aluminum-based antiperspirants caused breast cancer in humans. Another more recent study (Use of Underarm Cosmetic Products in Relation to Risk of Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study) found that not only did women with breast cancer have higher amounts of aluminum in their breast tissue than those without, but women who used antiperspirants were at higher risk of breast cancer. As with any heavy metal that accumulates in your body, aluminum accumulation causes other physiological issues as well. As far as I'm concerned, there are too many effective alternatives to these products than to risk the potential health concerns.
3. Deodorant and antiperspirants are also a source of triclosan (an antibacterial), which is often not listed on these products as an ingredient. Triclosan was originally developed as a pesticide, but is now purposely put in many personal care products (such as Colgate toothpaste). The CDC now found triclosan to be detectable in 75% of Americans, with one of the highest exposure groups being young women and teens. Triclosan has been shown to directly interfere with thyroid hormones and may also cause changes in reproductive hormones. There is also some evidence that higher triclosan levels may contribute to increased risk of allergies.
4. Most natural deodorants aim at providing safer ingredients and leave out aluminum, parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances/colors/flavors, propylene glycol and PEG and sulfates. They also aim at improving odor, but don't necessarily prevent sweat, which is a necessary function of the body for detoxing and important for temperature regulation. I feel it's important to facilitate the body's natural physiology and avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals.