If the record high temperatures across the western United States are any indication, summer has definitely arrived. These are the infamous “dog days” of summer, and it can be a challenge to stay cool and dry.
Conventional deodorants contain a lot of toxic chemicals that can harm your bones. And as you’ll read today, the concept behind “antiperspirants” is not healthy at all, even for your bones.
Unfortunately, non-toxic deodorants are hard to find. And many brands touted as “natural” contain many of the same toxic ingredients.
Today, you’ll read about the worst offenders and why they harm your bones. In addition, I give you an easy natural deodorant recipe that you can make at home in minutes, to keep you smelling fresh without damaging your bones.
What are These Chemicals and Why Are They Used in Deodorants?
Simply put, these chemicals are used because they achieve the results manufacturers are looking for (without regard to their effects on your health) – scent, texture, and prevention of wetness and odor. There is a long list of toxic ingredients, so let’s take a look at the ones that can hurt your bones most.
If you’ve visited the Save Our Bones site before, or if you subscribe to our regular e-mails and newsletters, you’ve read about the dangers of aluminum and how it damages your bones. This metal is one of the primary ingredients in antiperspirants, because it blocks your pores, preventing sweat from escaping. (More about antiperspirants later.)
Found in a shockingly large number of personal care products, these synthetic chemicals are used as a preservative. Parabens have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system, and they are easily absorbed through the skin. A 2006 illustrates this – after topical exposure, parabens showed up in the urine samples of every participant in the study.1
Another texture enhancer, phthalates are used to give deodorant a creamy consistency. Some classes of phthalates interrupt the vital communication between cells known as calcium signaling, as shown in a study.2 Other phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and impair the function of certain neurotransmitters. Consider this in light of the complex intercellular communication that occurs with bone remodeling.
This industrial chemical is used in car antifreeze and to de-ice airplane runways. It’s petroleum-based, giving it a slick texture that manufacturers use to give deodorant sticks that characteristic smooth feel and to enhance skin penetration. Propylene glycol is toxic to your kidneys and liver, key organs in keeping the body free of toxins. When these organs are damaged or taxed due to toxic overload, poisons accumulate, wreaking havoc on your body and your bones.
In addition, all of these chemicals are acidifying. As “Savers” already know, an acidic body weakens your bones, because calcium and other alkalizing minerals are pulled from the bones to neutralize the environment.
The Skin Under Your Arms Absorbs These Harmful Chemicals!
As I write in OsteoCleanse™, the 7-day osteoporosis drug cleanse, “The body’s largest organ is the skin…As the skin eliminates toxins, it also absorbs them, so you should consider the chemicals in your skin care regimen.” Of course, this also applies to the ingredients in your antiperspirant and deodorant.
Antiperspirants vs. Deodorants
An antiperspirant works to stop you from sweating under your arms. Deodorants simply fight odor, not wetness. Most of the time, you’ll see these two in combination. But antiperspirants are of particular concern, because, as I write in OsteoCleanse™, “Sweating is healthy because it detoxifies your body and clears your pores of acidic residue.”
This is especially true under your arms, where the apocrine glands are located. These glands produce a lot of sweat, which is why your armpits are so much wetter on a hot day than other areas of your body.
You don’t want to stop this important detoxification process, yet it’s just not socially acceptable to show sweat under your arms. To alleviate this dilemma, here are some…
Hot Weather Tips to Minimize Underarm Sweat
- Loose, lightweight clothing keeps air circulating, allowing sweat to evaporate before it shows.
- Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are very breathable – good choices for hot summer days.
- Underarm pads can help – you can purchase conventional ones, or use an adhesive ladies’ feminine liner on the inside underarms of your shirt.
- Thin layers can work even in the summer. A very thin cotton t-shirt worn under a nice blouse can absorb wetness before it shows.
- Light colors reflect the sun’s heat rather than absorb it, keeping you cooler.
Using a natural deodorant free from toxins is the best way to allow your body to produce the sweat it needs while eliminating odor. As I mentioned earlier, these can be hard to find. So why not make your own?
Do-It-Yourself Bone Healthy Deodorant
Here’s a simple recipe for homemade, bone healthy deodorant. This one is made with the fresh scent of lime, but you can use just about any essential oil. Among my favorites are lavender, lemon, sandalwood, and mint.
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1 tablespoon baking soda
– 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (this is a thickening agent you can usually find in your grocery or health food store. Unlike cornstarch, it doesn’t encourage yeast growth)
– 5 drops lime essential oil
– 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel (optional)
Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in a labeled airtight container. If it’s difficult to mix, you can melt the coconut oil first.
To use, scoop out about ¼ teaspoon and rub it gently under your arms, allowing the coconut oil to soften.
Till next time,
1 Xiaoyun, Ye, et al. “Parabens as Urinary Biomarkers of Exposure in Humans.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 2006 December; 114(12): 1843-1846. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764178/
2 Liu, P.S., Tseng, F.W., and Liu, J.H. The Journal of Toxicological Sciences. [2009, 34(3):255-263] Web. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/19483380/reload=0;jsessionid=rZdodFtvtcBr5cQMNAqD.12