As consumers become more aware of the ingredients in commercial products, they’re more likely to seek out healthy alternatives. This is the case with today’s over-the-counter underarm products. More than a few people have considered switching to healthy deodorant products—but finding ones that work can be a challenge.
The good news is healthy deodorant products that work do exist. You just have to know what to look for. Here are a few tips on finding a product that gets the job done.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant—What’s the Difference?
With today’s heavy emphasis on appearance, most people seek out underarm products that eliminate odor and keep the underarms dry. Antiperspirants do both. Over-the-counter deodorants only eliminate odor; however, many healthy deodorants eliminate odor and keep you dry. While antiperspirants may keep the underarm areas from sweating, there’s a price to pay for this. Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which is what keeps underarms dry. Aluminum blocks the sweat glands so no moisture develops.
Since the immune system uses sweating as a way to detoxify the body, aluminum effects interfere with this important immune system function. Aluminum ingredients also seep through the skin and into the bloodstream, which can cause big problems. Aluminum has toxic effects on the skin and body as a whole, causing hormone level imbalances, as well as an increased risk for cancer. Considering the dangers involved, it’s no surprise that many people are switching to healthy deodorants for health reasons.
Tips on Buying Healthy Deodorant That Works
Many healthy deodorant products can be effective at eliminating odor and absorbing moisture. Problems with odor develop when sweat and bacteria combine inside the close confines of the armpits. Healthy deodorants kill off the bacteria, which takes care of the odor problem. Many of these products also soak up sweat, so underarms stay fresh and dry.
For these reasons, healthy deodorant products offer safer, effective ways to manage underarm hygiene compared to antiperspirants. Healthy deodorants come in different forms, including stick, spray, powder, cream, and wipes. Since not all deodorants are what they claim to be, it helps to know what to look for when shopping around.
Look for Natural Ingredients
A healthy deodorant that uses natural ingredients offers the safest way to keep harmful materials from entering the body. While not all synthetic and artificial ingredients may be harmful, there’s no sense in exposing your bloodstream to innocuous substances all the same. Each natural ingredient serves a purpose, depending on the product brand and what it claims to do. Ingredients to look for include the following:
- Those that have naturally absorbing properties, such as cornstarch and baking soda
- Disinfectant properties, such as tea tree oil and coconut oil
- Antibacterial properties, such as alcohol
- Skin conditioning properties, such as aloe
Beware of “Sneaky” Ingredients
Just because a product label says “natural” doesn’t mean there aren’t still some questionable ingredients contained inside. Other, lesser-known ingredients, may be natural but still harmful. A sneaky ingredient to watch for is propylene glycol. Typically used as a softening agent, propylene glycol has been linked to cancer and also infertility problems. Likewise, more than a few natural products may use questionable synthetic materials for fragrance or preservative purposes.
Magnesium Hydroxide Alternative
Magnesium hydroxide, more commonly known as Milk of Magnesia, does more than reduce stomach acid and relieve constipation. It also works really well as a natural deodorant. Milk of Magnesia contains two ingredients: magnesium hydroxide and water. While it won’t stop you from sweating, magnesium hydroxide does eliminate odor. On particularly stressful days, adding a pinch of baking soda should take care of any moisture problems.
Something Else to Consider
Healthy deodorants can do a good job at preventing odor and absorbing moisture, but there are those times when nothing but a “regular” antiperspirant will do. If this is a frequent problem, you can attack the problem from a different angle. The foods you eat affect how the body smells, so making some changes in your diet may make natural deodorants more effective during those more stressful times.
Meat consumption can have a negative effect on body odor, so meat-laden diets may give rise to unwanted odor. Also, a mostly plant-based diet will better regulate the body’s immune system, which helps eliminate bacteria-causing odors, as well as excessive sweating. If you find natural deodorants don’t quite produce the results you want, consider making some changes to your diet.