The Great Deodorant Deception (And How to Avoid It)

May 20, 2015
by Magda Rod for Thrive Market
The Great Deodorant Deception (And How to Avoid It)

There's a reason drugstore shelves are piled high with deodorants. We're all scared of smelling bad, and marketers know exactly how to push our (self-conscious) buttons.

Baby Powder Blast! Shower Fresh! Tropical Rain! Orchid Bloom! It doesn't really what the scent under the cap actually long as it's not our scent.

Whether that's a healthy mindset is a debate for another day. But what isn't in question is the terrible list of ingredients in most mainstream brands.

For one thing, most common antiperspirants use aluminum to plug up the pores in your armpits and stop you from sweating. The trouble with aluminum is that some studies have linked it to diseases including breast cancer, kidney failure, and Alzheimer's disease. Though experts have said some of these links are tenuous at best, the concerns still feel very real for many consumers.

The other super common ingredient in deodorant that's potentially problematic is "fragrance." This vague term can mean any combination of several different chemicals, and the Environmental Working Group has flagged it as a known allergen and toxin affecting the immune system.

Of course, these aren't the only suspicious ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants. Propylene glycol and triclosan, two other common additives in personal care products, can aggravate allergies and reactions and even disrupt the endocrine system.

Since the Food and Drug Administration isn't required to monitor or test personal care products, it's up to consumers to do their homework. Luckily, Thrive Market offers plenty of natural deodorant options without all these harmful chemicals and suspicious additives. Crystal deodorants are one of the most popular natural options. These deodorant stones are made from naturally occurring salts that stop the stink-causing bacteria from forming, rather than artificially clogging pores as antiperspirants do.

There are also plenty of gentle deodorants on the market that kill odor-causing bacteria and neutralize the smell of sweat, rather than trying to stop it altogether. Sweat gets a bad rap for making us stink, but don't forget that it's the body's way of cooling down and detoxing. Instead of opting for an antiperspirant, look for deodorants with natural antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil, hops, sage, or citrus.

You can even try making your own deodorant at home—it's surprisingly easy, cost efficient, and effective!

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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This article is related to: Natural Deodorant, Organic, Wellness Tips, Paraben-Free, Pthalate-free

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7 thoughts on “The Great Deodorant Deception (And How to Avoid It)”

  • Sharon Hoover Ward
    Sharon Hoover Ward May 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I wish I could find a natural deo that stops the sweat not just controls the smell.... I'm sorry I just can't do soggy pits! :-(

    • CJrMom

      Check out for suggestions about that!

    • laurie

      I stopped using anything 3 years ago. The first few weeks were a little rough but my body quickly adapted to the lack of use. If things got a little wet or smelly :) I just used an alcohol wipe. They work fabulous at killing bacteria. Now three years later on a very rare occasion do I feel a need to use a wipe. I am a 47 year old woman a in a high stressed job. If I can go without anyone can

  • 7LibertyForAll
    7LibertyForAll May 23, 2015 at 4:55 am

    I've been using my own homemade deodorant for the past 2 years made from baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot starch....I like to add the Young Living Oil, Joy, as well. I was in the hospital for a week last year from multiple bilateral pulmonary blood clots due to a previous injury and for 3 days I sweat my behind off and could not even get out of bed except for accompanied potty runs. I had no unpleasant odor and had not reapplied the deodorant during that time. I'd call that pretty darned effective. All of those ingredients are things I'm very comfortable using. I am grateful that we have the ability to make our own stuff instead of using the vast array of poisons that are peddled as necessities and even good for ya.

  • The Mood Factory
    The Mood Factory May 25, 2015 at 2:21 am

    We just launched a new brand at The Mood Factory - all with essential oils that are amazing! They are now available at Amazon as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them!

  • Lia

    Would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you guys started carrying Pit Paste! My go-to is the "unscented pit paste jars" and "lavender pit pump bottle"

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