What’s so bad about my deodorant?

When I flipped over my stick I thought for sure there had been a printing error, none of these words were pronounceable or familiar. Cyclopentasiloxane? I might add that to my baby names list actually, but right now it is absorbed under my arms and washed down the drain during a shower every single day. Cyclopentasiloxane (we could call them Silo or Xane for short) and other products in our cosmetics are harming the environment and our overall health - but slowly enough that it’s legal.

Any deodorant on a drugstore shelf has been deemed safe for human use, but so is fast food, sugar and the pollution in the air. Just because it has been approved as “not going to kill you”, doesn’t mean we need to use these products. Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicon-based cyclic compound that acts like a lubricant in products such as deodorant or sunscreen. Our skin is our most absorbent organ and we willingly smear on a product that we know nothing about, giving our full trust in a giant corporation to take care of our bodies.

It can be very overwhelming to start becoming ingredient aware in our cosmetic and hygienic products. Suddenly everything you use is made from things that you can barely even google without an actual copy and paste. The number of natural products that aren’t just greenwashing you for your money is very few, but there are a few toxins you can keep an eye for and avoid potential harm to your body and the environment.

Many ingredients have an impact on our estrogen levels. The active ingredient in most deodorants is an aluminum compound, designed to clog your pores to prevent you from sweating. This can have a number of long term consequences as the aluminum is absorbed into your system interfering with estrogen levels. Parabens have also been known to act as an estrogen in your body, often added as a preservative to deodorant. When your body can’t process estrogen properly there is a higher risk for developing breast or prostate cancer.

Carcinogens such as Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA) are added to deodorants to help adjust the pH balance of your armpit. The independent ingredients are not recommended for long-term use and have actually been banned from use in products sold in Europe.

Triclosan is another ingredient that is banned in Europe but is in most of our armpits in North America. It is classified as a pesticide by the FDA and is used to kill bacteria in the manufacturing process and on your skin. It has been linked to hormonal disruption and immune-system damage, yikes.

Natural ingredients like arrowroot powder and Canadian glacial clay are used in Hippy Pits’ deodorant for moisture-absorbing qualities, and shea butter and coconut oil provide a natural lubricant for the product making it silky smooth when applied to and warmed by the skin. Woah. That sounds nice after all that toxin talk. 

Make a difference in your health and your environmental impact. Choose natural products made from what the earth gave us. Say no thank you to toxins in pretty packages and take care of your body the natural way.

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