Your armpits are incredibly sensitive areas. If you’re applying something to them, you should be able to understand each of the ingredients and what they do; but reading the list of ingredients for common deodorants, you’re often left with more questions than answers. What is aluminum doing in this product, and what is it doing to my body? What’s triclosan made of? What gives my antiperspirant this unnatural smell of an island breeze?
You should be able to understand the ingredients, know what they do to your body, and identify where they came from. So, here are some of the chemicals and toxins commonly found in deodorants, and why you should avoid them:
Propylene Glycol: This is the main ingredient in many common deodorants. It is usually petroleum-based, coming from non-renewable natural gas. Its ability to lower the freezing point of water makes it a key ingredient in many antifreezes and aircraft de-icing fluid. This isn’t exactly comforting!
Propylene glycol is known to cause rashes and allergic reactions, so keeping it away from your porous areas is a good idea. It is also an ingredient in a lot of other body care products, and could cause kidney and liver damage in large doses, so be on the lookout.
Aluminum: This is the key ingredient in antiperspirants, as aluminum compounds are used to dam the sweat glands. Aluminum is the thing that makes antiperspirants different from deodorants. Antiperspirants minimize odor by preventing the sweat that causes it; while deodorants reduce body odor with ingredients that absorb and neutralize the sweat. As sweating helps remove toxins from the body, it is generally a bad idea to stop this natural process from occurring; at the same time this use of heavy metals can aggravate the skin and cause swollen lymph nodes. Some connection has even been made between aluminum and neurodegenerative diseases.
Penny Lane deodorants uses only natural ingredients to reduce this body odor, like baking soda, corn starch, and essential oils – ingredients that won’t harm your skin or interrupt your internal processes.
Triclosan: This ingredient is an effective anti-microbial, so effective it’s included in pesticides. While it’s still undergoing review by the Food and Drug Administration, it can be found in a lot of different products: not just in common deodorants, but toothpastes, soaps, and shampoos, too! So while we’re waiting for the final word, you’re getting a lot of this chemical in your daily routine.
Triclosan is also extremely absorbable, and is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor. It’s a proven skin and eye irritant, and is toxic to aquatic environments.
Parabens: These preservatives are very common in many cosmetics, and are used to keep the deodorant free of bacteria. They’re usually listed under the following names: methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben and butylparaben. Parabens are found in many, many products, and the sheer amount you might be getting in your daily routine could tip the scales towards harmful diseases.
This is because parabens are known to “mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors in cells” according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The toxic overload could affect reproductive function, and has been linked to breast cancer. Try to cut parabens out of your life as much as possible!
Artificial Fragrances: The synthetics and petrochemicals used to create that “fresh” scent usually aren’t naturally sourced, so they often cause breakouts on underarm skin and can irritate those around you with sensitivities. These fragrances are the second-most common cause of allergic skin reactions in Canada.
What We Use
If this list of common ingredients is giving you second thoughts before applying deodorant in the morning, don’t worry: there are natural alternatives to the chemicals regularly used.
Penny Lane deodorants are not antiperspirants, and we know finding non-antiperspirants can be difficult for women! Instead of preventing sweat that can remove toxins from the body, it’s important to use ingredients that neutralize the odors that come with sweat. We also feel it is important that these ingredients are natural, and easy for consumers to understand.
All Penny Lane deodorants start with just three simple, natural ingredients:
1. Baking soda kills bacteria, absorbs underarm moisture without plugging up your sweat glands, and naturally deodorizes.
2. Cornstarch also absorbs sweat, and doesn’t have a scent, making it a great addition that doesn’t irritate.
3. Coconut oil provides a medium for the other ingredients, while also moisturizing the skin. Because of the fat content, it also doesn’t go bad quickly, and has some mild anti-bacterial properties.
And that’s it! – Simple, natural and gentle.
While the ingredients list of Penny Lane’s “unscented” deodorant stops there, there are also a variety of naturally scented options. To keep you smelling fresh, essential oils bring natural scents without the need for artificial ingredients. The essential oils can bring secondary benefits, too; some, like lavender, can bring calmative properties, while others, like tea tree oil, are effective antimicrobials. With so many amazing natural scents to choose from, it’s hard to understand why some companies still utilize harmful chemicals to create unnatural fragrances.