By Dr. Maura Henninger, Licensed and Board-Certified Naturopathic Physician
As a naturopathic doctor, natural products play a huge role in my treatment recommendations for my patients as well as in my own daily life. It’s no secret that I am a big believer in using and suggesting clean products as one of the key components to optimal health. Let’s talk about natural deodorant.
Natural vs. Traditional
Using natural deodorant has made a huge impact on my life. When I used to use traditional deodorants, I felt they were ineffective and oftentimes even made my underarm odor worse. Upon further research, I found that the active ingredient in traditional stick deodorants is aluminum. Aluminum can be very harmful to your skin and overall health. It plugs the sweat ducts under your arms, which sounds good in theory, however since sweating is the body’s way of naturally eliminating toxins, aluminum is essentially forcing your body to reabsorb these toxins.
In addition, traditional stick deodorants are formulated with propylene glycol to give the stick its firm texture. Propylene glycol is usually derived from natural gas or petroleum, which can cause serious skin irritation. Parabens are another preservative included in traditional stick deodorants, which prevent bacteria and mold from growing in your deodorant. However, they mimic estrogen in the body and disrupt natural hormone mechanisms, potentially even causing reproductive issues. Why take the risk?
Natural deodorants, on the other hand, are aluminum-free and safe from toxins. On top of that, they aim to save other things that are important, like animals and the earth, since the majority of non-toxic deodorants are cruelty-free and promote healthier environmental practices through their recyclable packaging. I choose Thayers products time and time again due to their commitment to creating pure, effective, cruelty-free products of the highest natural quality, and one of my favorite products is their natural deodorant.
Thayers spray deodorants are aluminum-free and non-aerosol. They’re comprised of their exclusive Witch Hazel Aloe Vera extract, a natural astringent that deeply cleans, cools, and refreshes skin, while the Aloe Vera works to soothe tender skin prone to irritation. These deodorants also contain Saccharomyces Ferment, a natural enzyme that breaks down odor-causing bacteria. Thayers deodorants include the simplest antibacterial properties including botanicals and essential oils to eliminate bacteria, keep you dry and leave you smelling fresh without the possible irritation of chemical exposure to both the body and environment.
Transitioning to a natural deodorant might require you to do a bit of “armpit detox”. Your armpits actually shouldn’t particularly smell if you balance the bacteria there. Your armpits have their own microbiomes, in fact. How do you bring balance? Avoid certain foods that uptick odor: caffeine and alcohol are two big offenders; leafy greens actually help combat body odor. Stay very hydrated to reduce your body burden of toxins. If you feel like you might need a detox, take some chlorophyll or milk thistle. Be consistent with taking probiotics and eating probiotic foods. After drying armpits completely after you shower, apply witch hazel or lemon juice as antibacterials.
With all the uncertainty surrounding ingredients in traditional deodorants, I highly recommend trying the variety of natural deodorants Thayers offers, including Cucumber, Rose, or Unscented. Trust me when I say you will be glad you made the switch.