Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Sweat - At What Expense?

As a new year begins, many look at ways to improve their health, from better eating habits to more exercise. I decided to look into a common item I use daily to see what effect this might have on my body.

For many individuals around the world, the routine of putting on deodorant or anti-perspirant after bathing is as common as getting dressed. Many people are now keen to reading ingredients on food packaging to see what they are ingesting, but how many read the ingredients on items they coat their body in. I first considered reading my antiperspirant bottle after being bombarded with hand sanitizer everywhere with the supposed end of the world and H1N1. I don't use this sanitizer as I don't like the thought of chemicals being abosored into my body. So naturally this made me wonder about other body parts.

A quick search came up with several informative websites, including which provided the information that I was looking for, and made me change my habits immediately. I now share these with you, and offer an alternative to potentially damaging and deadly chemicals.

Here are 7 ingredients to avoid when choosing your deodorant:

Aluminium chlorohydrate, aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly or any aluminium compounds. Aluminium is absorbed through the skin and accumulates in the body. It has been suggested that there is an association between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease.

Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl), are all derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical derivative. Toluene is toxic if swallowed or inhaled. It is also harmful in contact with the skin. There is some evidence that repeated exposure to toluene may cause reproductive harm. Since 2000, 13 research studies have shown that various types of parabens act like estrogen in animals and in tissue culture. Estrogen is known to drive the growth of cancerous cells.

Triclosan is a skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis. It may kill healthy bacteria as well as harmful bacteria. It may contain carcinogenic contaminants. It is stored in body fat and is classified as a pesticide by the FDA.

Talc is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibres. The quantity of asbestiform fibers in cosmetic grade talc is unregulated. If talc is listed on the label, there is no way of knowing whether or not it contains asbestiform fibres.

Propylene glycol absorbs quickly through the skin and is a penetration enhancer. It may cause delayed allergic reactions. NIOSH says propylene glycol is a neurotoxin and may cause kidney or liver damage. The EPA says it’s not fully investigated for carcinogenic potential.

Silica is a skin irritant. It may be contaminated with crystalline quartz, which is a carcinogen.

Steareth-n (n may be any number like say 100), may be vegetable derived but is reacted with ethylene oxide (ethoxylated), a known human carcinogen.

Instead choose deodorants with ingredients like vegetable glycerin, natural preservatives like bioflavanoids and lichen, herbs or herbal extracts, de-ionized water or distilled water, green tea, aloe vera, baking soda and essential oils.

Go natural with this easy to make deodorant alternative -

You can use baking soda and cornstarch in a 50/50 mixture.
Basic Deodorant Powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
A few drops essential oils such as lavender or cinnamon
Place the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Sprinkle a light covering of the powder on a damp wash cloth. Pat on. Don’t rinse.

Basic Liquid Deodorant
1/4 cup each witch hazel extract, aloe vera gel, and mineral water
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
A few drops antibacterial essential oils such as lavender (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.

I also found these counter facts on and that will help ensure you have the necessary information to make an informed decision on what you believe to be ture.

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