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Is Natural Deodorant Actually Healthier for You?

Is Natural Deodorant Actually Healthier for You?

You may have heard that traditional antiperspirants and deodorants are related to conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s. What the study actually indicates is as follows.

What ingredients does your antiperspirant contain?

There is nothing novel about natural deodorants. There’s a good possibility that you’ll find full shelves of it in the grocery shop, along with natural forms of many other personal care, home, and cosmetic goods. They frequently cost more than their more traditional equivalents.

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The inference is that the so-called “unnatural” products, which have been in use for decades, are fundamentally less secure and pure than the natural alternatives. However, are natural deodorants actually healthier for you than Speed Stick? Here is what authorities and empirical data indicate.

The Difference Between Natural Deodorant and Conventional Deodorant

It’s important to note that deodorants and antiperspirants are two distinct product categories within the deodorant category before comparing natural and traditional deodorants. According to a 2020 piece in Annales de Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie, aluminum salts are the main component in antiperspirants, which are designed to stop sweating.

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Contrarily, deodorants don’t truly stop perspiration. Instead, they try to cover up perspiration odor with scent and an active antimicrobial component to slow down the spread of bacteria that causes odors. According to a report in the International Journal of Dermatology, triclosan, which has been shown in studies to be a manufactured antimicrobial agent, is frequently the active component in traditional deodorants. On the other hand, natural deodorants frequently use plant extracts and essential oils, which not only serve as a scent but also have some antimicrobial qualities.

Contrarily, deodorants don’t truly stop perspiration. Instead, they try to cover up perspiration odor with scent and an active antimicrobial component to slow down the spread of bacteria that causes odors. According to a report in the International Journal of Dermatology, triclosan, which has been shown in studies to be a manufactured antimicrobial agent, is frequently the active component in traditional deodorants. On the other hand, natural deodorants frequently use plant extracts and essential oils, which not only serve as a scent but also have some antimicrobial qualities.

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Are Conventional Deodorants and Antiperspirants Harmful?

“The noise around conventional deodorants dates back to the early 1990s, with an email chain letter that circulated claiming deodorants block sweating and toxin purging, and could swell lymph nodes and cause cancer,” says Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD, board-certified dermatologist and the medical director of Dermatology of Boca in Boca Raton, Florida. These dangers haven’t been demonstrated as of yet. The email exchange was referred to as a hoax in a 2004 story in Nature Medicine, which also mentioned a study that showed no link between deodorant use and breast cancer after analyzing data from 1,600 women and publishing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2002. The Nature Medicine article also questioned the validity of two studies — one published in 2003 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention that linked antiperspirant use and frequent underarm shaving to breast cancer, and one published in 2004 in the Journal of Applied Toxicology that showed parabens (preservatives used in cosmetic products, including deodorants, that mimic estrogen) were found in breast tumors.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the initial study was tiny and badly executed, and its conclusions haven’t been corroborated by subsequent studies. The second research, according to the ACS, discovered parabens in breast cancer tumors, but it did not demonstrate that these parabens contributed to the growth of the tumors or that using items that contain parabens was associated with breast cancer.

According to Dr. Fromowitz, there was also worry about aluminum toxicity and Alzheimer’s. But as medical research has progressed, specialists have discarded this notion. In other words, he claims that using traditional deodorants and antiperspirants is harmless.

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Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are completely safe for human use on a daily basis, according to the FDA. If you’re still worried about using conventional antiperspirants, you can also take comfort in the fact that, because of the way they work, these products are classified by the FDA as both cosmetics and drugs, and thus are subject to stricter regulations than conventional and natural deodorants, which are just classified as cosmetics.

Natural deodorants don’t appear to have any detrimental impacts on health as of yet either. But they might contain chemicals to which some people are allergic or delicate, just like traditional deodorants. Deodorant ingredients that contribute scent are most frequently to blame for dermatitis, a common skin irritant that typically manifests as a rash or an area of dry, itchy skin. Fromowitz advises consulting a physician if you notice itchiness or other skin issues under your armpits after using deodorant or antiperspirant.

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What to Look for in a Natural Deodorant

Some people prefer to use natural deodorants and antiperspirants manufactured without artificial components, despite the fact that the data does not support this claim. People who have tried a lot of standard antiperspirants and deodorants and discovered that their skin is sensitive to them may find that natural deodorants are a good option. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that aluminum-free natural deodorants merely cover up the smell of perspiration, not stop it.

Jenelle Kim, a San Diego-based doctor of Chinese medicine and the creator of JBK Wellness Labs, advises perusing the components list when searching for a natural deodorant rather than just relying on front-of-label promises like “natural” or “clean beauty.” Instead of just labeling words like “natural fragrance” without being precise about what components that fragrance is drawn from, she believes that companies should be open about what’s in their products. Additionally, Fromowitz advises giving close attention to the essential oils and other fragrances present in the goods you select because they are most likely to irritate your skin.

Beyond that, there isn’t enough proof or general agreement to conclude that one component in natural deodorant is superior to another. If you want to use natural deodorant, experiment with a few with various components to see which, if any, suits you the best.

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