The Ultimate Guide to Non-Toxic Deodorant: Steer Clear of These 5 Ingredients


tim schley green theory founder

I started Green Theory natural deodorant as a solution to my own problem, really. The problem was that I was sick of the thought of slathering my pits with chemicals every single day. I felt like controlling body odor didn’t have to involve so much risk. Honestly, most days I just wasn’t using it - now, I don’t sweat that much but still, there were moments that I knew I smelled. If I could smell myself, surely others could, right? There had to be a better option. There that there are plenty of natural deodorant companies out there but none of them really spoke to me as a male. They seemed to be all geared towards the female demographic and even the neutral ones had too much of a hippie feel to them. I wanted something better.

Health isn’t just about what we put in our bodies - it’s about what we put on our bodies too. Ingredients matter and the truth is that those commercially processed deodorant brands aren’t going to tell you their products may be toxic, carcinogenic or dangerous in any way. I’d prefer to take the safe road with the products I use, particularly my deodorant.

Did you know that the Environmental Working Group claims that on average, seven industrial chemicals are approved each day? Many of those chemicals are used in our products, in the process to make the products we use or are in some way involving human exposure. What’s worse, many of the chemicals only go through a few weeks of testing. How could it possibly be determined that they’re safe for humans and have no long term side effects? I’ll pass.

With that information in mind, here’s a list of the top five ingredients (chemicals) to avoid in your deodorant.

1) Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are petroleum-based compounds used in cosmetics as thickeners, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies as a known human carcinogen - meaning it can cause cancer. They also are used to enhance ingredient penetration, which is fine for safe ingredients but definitely not for toxic ingredients. PEG's have also been associated with skin irritation and allergic reactions. Definitely best to avoid. All of the uses for PEG's can be accomplished with ingredients suck as arrowroot powder, bentonite clay and coconut oil, all of which are found in Green Theory Naturals' probiotic aluminum free deodorants.

2)  Aluminum

I think the most profound fact I can give you regarding aluminum is that it’s the most prevalent mineral in the Earth’s crust and yet not a single living organism uses it for any biological process whatsoever, why? It’s a neurotoxin. Aluminum is used in all antiperspirants because it has the ability to clog up your sweat pores and reduce the amount you sweat. There is some evidence suggesting that it can contribute to the development of breast cancer. It does this because it mimics estrogen in the body. A study conducted in 2004 on 20 breast cancer tumors found aluminum present in measurable amounts in 18 of the samples. It’s probably not something to play around with. Aluminum comes in three forms typically in deodorant, aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate and potassium alum. You’ll find the first two in commercial antiperspirants. The latter, potassium alum is found in “natural” antiperspirants. It’s still a form of aluminum and just as much of a neurotoxin as the commercial chemicals. It’s always a good idea to just read the labels on the products you use rather than buying into the marketing of a company that has something to sell you and claims to be natural. If you can’t understand what the ingredients are that are listed on a product such as your deodorant, don’t buy it.

image comparing toxic conventional deodorant to all-natural deodorant. On the left, you'll see imagery associated with health risks, while the right side features vibrant and healthy elements typical of natural products.

3) Parabens

Parabens are preservatives that prevent bacterial growth. It makes sense to use them in deodorant where killing off those pesky odor producing bacteria is the goal. The problem with parabens is that they too mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer tumor samples as well.

There are better ways to control bacteria than toxic, potentially cancer causing chemicals. In every Green Theory natural deodorant stick we put 50 billion culture probiotics that compete for the same living space as those body odor producing bacteria. They’re strong enough to stand up to stomach acid so, the bacteria that already exists in your pits is no match for our probiotics.

Parabens have received a lot of scrutiny in recent times and have been removed from some products but again, check your labels.

4) Phthalates

Phthalates are sticky little buggers that help product bond to your skin better. Again, sounds like a great thing for a deodorant except for the fact that several studies have shown that they can impact fetal development in pregnant women. Sometimes they're disguised with acronyms, such as DBP, DEHP, DMP, DEP. If you’re pregnant, absolutely avoid anything with phthalates but it’s probably best to just steer clear of them regardless.

5) Fragrances

Fragrances can cause irritation to populations sensitive to them. They’re associated with things such as migraines, dermatitis, asthma and many other irritations. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or irritations, check the products you’re exposing yourself to daily. Fragrances may be causing them. Green Theory scents both our men’s and women’s Daily Wear scents with pure essential oils only.

There’s plenty you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy. Choosing products that don’t contain chemicals is a great place to start. It’s never too late to begin taking those little steps to protect your body. If making the switch to a natural deodorant from a commercially processed deodorant or antiperspirant, Green Theory natural deodorant has you covered! In every stick we put in bentonite clay which has the incredible ability to reverse its electrical charge when it contacts sweat, attracting toxins and pulling them out of the body! You get healthier by using Green Theory everyday! Today, you can get 20% off your first order with code GTBLOG1

What do you do to keep yourself healthy? Let us know in the comments below!

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