Natural Deodorant

How Dangerous is Your Deodorant

Habitual use of deodorants and antiperspirants has a significant effect on armpit bacterial density and variation.  Aluminum in antiperspirants are known to accumulate in breast tissue and may be linked to an increased cancer risk.  Antiperspirants block sweat production in your underarms; sweating helps your body to eliminate toxins, which supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases related to toxic overload.

We all love to smell great and it is estimated that 90% of people use some sort of deodorant daily.  This seemingly safe daily ritual can have some serious consequences for your health, especially if you choose the wrong products.  This is quite easy to do, as the majority of deodorants / anti-perspirants contain harmful ingredients, that very few people have heard about or even understand.  Here is a list of the seven most harmful ingredients to avoid when selecting a deodorant:

1. Parabens

(methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl)
Parabens are a very common ingredient that is found in everyday cosmetic products and your deodorant as well. You may have seen “paraben free” labels, and it’s a good thing. So why is everyone so down on parabens after it has been used for nearly 70 years? During a study done in 2004, parabens have been linked to breast cancer.  They are said to disturb the body’s hormonal balance and to mimic estrogen, as estrogen is said to play a part in breast cancer formation.

Dangers for health: linked to breast cancer. 

2. Aluminium compounds

(Aluminum chloralhydrate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly)
Aluminum compounds within deodorants act as a plug within the sweat ducts and temporarily stop the flow of sweat. However, these compounds can be absorbed by your skin. Just as the parabens, these compounds can mimic estrogen, which promotes growth of breast cancer cells.

Dangers for health: linked to breast cancer. 

3. Silica

Silica is a known skin irritant, it may also be contaminated with crystalline quartz which is a carcinogen (capable of causing cancer).

Dangers for health: cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity

4. Triclosan

Triclosan is another ingredient that can irritate your skin and cause contact dermatitis. Your body contains good as well as bad bacteria, but triclosan kills both. The FDA classifies triclosan as a pesticide, while the IARC has it listed as a possible carcinogen.

Dangers for health: skin irritation, contact dermatitis, cancer. 

5. Talc

IARC, claims that if Talc contains asbestiform fibers, then it is considered a carcinogen. The quantity of asbestiform fibers in deodorants is unclear as it is not regulated in cosmetic products. 

Dangers for health: linked to cancer. 

6. Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is another common ingredient with health hazards. It may cause delayed allergic reactions, and is considered a neurotoxin, which may cause kidney and liver damage.

Dangers for health: delayed allergic reactions, possible kidney, and liver damage. 

7. Steareth-n

The “n” stands for a number. So the label may say, for example, steareth-1. It is actually derived from vegetables, but it is reacted with a known carcinogen, ethylene oxide. 

Dangers for health: linked to cancer. 

Other ingredients

Fragrance – skin irritation, harmful to the environment, allergies and organ system toxicity. 

Deodorants to Avoid

Most common deodorants on the shelves like Axe, Secret, Old Spice, Dove, Right Guard typically contain at least one of these ingredients.

To help you, Skin Deep has a database that contains over 69,000 products and examines them based on 50 toxicity databases and gives them a safety rating. You can find if your deodorant is on the safe side or if it’s a serious health concern. Otherwise, just use this list to avoid these harmful ingredients.

Beauty requires sacrifices, but none of them should be your health. There are plenty of deodorants out there that don’t contain harmful ingredients and get the job done naturally. You can even make your own deodorant at home.

DBM Protocol – Natural, preservative / Additive-free Coconut Oil Deodorant


  • 6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
  • 1/4 cup Baking soda / Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/4 cup Arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)


  1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder/cornstarch.
  2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture.
  3. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
  4. If you have an immersion blender, it works supprisingly well.  Takes about 10 seconds to cobine all the ingredients without a mess or heating/melting the ingredients too much.  if you melt the ingredients, it will be difficult to scoop into your dispenser.
  5. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use.
  6. If you have a small wooden spatula, it is better that you use this – remove a small scoop each time and smear on with your fingers.  Less bacteria goes into the jar that way.
  7. Makes about 1 cup.
  8. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

For a picture tutorial placing this recipe in an old deodorant container, visit here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  I am having issues with an itchy rash under my armpits. Any solutions?

Baking Soda / Bicarbonate of Soda can be an irritant for some people.  Often it is merely a detox as the bicarb removes impurities from previous applications of deodorant.  Continue for a few weeks and it should disappear altogether.  If it does not clear up within 2 weeks, mix your next batch with a little less bicarb (about 1 tablespoon – which you replace with arrowroot or cornstarch powder). 

Itchiness can also often be related to applying this too soon after shaving. Wait an hour or two after shaving to apply. Add 1/4 cup shea butter or cocoa butter to the recipe for its healing benefits is another alternative. You also can try using arrowroot powder as it is more natural on the skin or make sure to choose a talc-free cornstarch. The final option is to apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel/juice to your skin for its healing benefits before applying the deodorant. It will help cool, refresh, and prevent irritations to the skin.

2. Can you use any other oils for this recipe?

It is possible to use other oils on this recipe, such as sweet apricot oil, but we do not recommend other oils simply because they are not as effective as coconut oil with its anti-bacterial benefits. Apricot or olive oil also remain liquid in form, and thus make this messy to apply. Coconut oil remains solid under 76 degrees, so it is perfect for deodorant. You can use palm oil as it is another natural oil that is solid at room temperature, but again not as effective as coconut oil.

3. Will this deodorant stain my clothes?

Not likely or not any more than a standard deodorant or antiperspirant. I have only noticed slight staining on white garments, but this can be avoided by soaking with soap after wearing and before washing. Dishwashing soap and hot water are very effective stain removers.

4. What kind of coconut oil can I use? Is there a recommended brand?

It is recommended to use a high quality coconut oil purchased from a health food store, if possible. You can also use refined coconut oil, as that version is suitable for the skin but not recommended for consumption. Refined coconut oil will be cheaper in price.

5. Can I add essential oils to this recipe?

Yes, feel free to add various essential oils for the added scent, but beware that essential oils can cause irritations. Start with making a small batch to make sure you do not react. Tea tree oil is an excellent oil to add for its pleasant scent (men and women alike enjoy it), and it has great antibacterial qualities.

6. Is there any solution for preventing this from melting? (Note: coconut oil melts at 76 degrees).

If you live in a particularly warm climate, add a little melted candelilla wax or beeswax to the mixture. Store in your fridge, if necessary. For summer travel, I recommend storing in a cooler. Remove from cooler or refrigerator 10 minutes before use to allow it to soften slightly for application.

7. What’s the benefit of using arrowroot powder over cornstarch?

You are free to use cornstarch or arrowroot powder as desired. Arrowroot is a more natural thickening agent alternative. I use arrowroot powder as an alternative to cornstarch in all my cooking. Arrowroot powder is available through your local health food store, Whole Foods, Azure Standard, or Bob’s Red Mill.

8. I am allergic to coconut oil, is there any alternatives?

I have heard people experiencing success by replacing coconut oil with equal quantities of shea butter and cocoa butter.Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil for the antibacterial properties.

9. I am heavy sweater? Is this an antiperspirant?

No, this is not an antiperspirant, so you will sweat but it will definitely be decreased quantities. Sweating is a natural bodily process that is necessary for health in removing toxins from your body. I am definitely a heavy sweater myself, but this deodorant works to remove the smells like nothing else I have ever tried. I do recommend multiple applications if you are doing strenuous work or exercise for it to be effective.

Article Source: passionatehomemaking

For more information on how toxic our lives are, visit our You Should Know page.