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Which is more effective at blocking odor?
Are all chemical deodorants harmful?
We get asked these questions a lot. There's a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there, and it's time to put the record straight.
In today's article, we're giving you the ins and outs of both options so you can make your mind up - because, after all, you're the only person who knows what's right for you.
Let's start at the top.
A chemical deodorant is often alcohol-based and targets bad odor with sodium stearate, stearyl alcohol, and sodium chloride.
A natural deodorant for men targets bad odor with ingredients like Blue Cypress Oil, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Leaf Oil, and Lavender Oil.
Are chemicals in deodorants bad for you?
First up, the aluminum in chemical deodorants causes those crispy yellow stains you get on your white shirts.
For years, we all thought that those were sweat stains. It's your sweat reacting with the aluminum. (And it's almost impossible to wash out!)
Chemical deodorants can also make your sweat worse due to the bacteria build up in clogged pores.
Some chemicals used in chemical deodorants can also cause allergic reactions. Many of us go through life not knowing we are allergic to something until it causes a response.
This irritation can cause bumpy underarms, redness, swelling, itching, and intense soreness.
What is wrong with aluminum in deodorant?
Believe it or not, aluminum is used extensively in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Antiperspirants use aluminum salts to prevent sweating. These salts dissolve into the pores of your skin, blocking the sweat from escaping.
Another worry of using antiperspirant with aluminum is understanding where all of that aluminum goes. Studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggest that antiperspirants' frequent use can cause aluminum to accumulate in your body tissue.
It can cause kidney problems and also lead to cause bone diseases or dementia. Suppose you look on the back of any antiperspirant in the US. In that case, it should contain a warning from the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for people with kidney disease.
Parabens in men's deodorant
Another harmful chemical in deodorants and antiperspirants are parabens. Think of them as preservatives in prepackaged lunch meat and canned food.
Parabens prevent fungi, bacteria, and yeast from growing on various products to create a longer shelf life.
Along with deodorants, you can find parabens in toothpaste and shampoos. The skin absorbs them and can often mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Estrogen can affect your endocrine system and lead to feminine-like characteristics such as — "chest enhancements."
For this change to happen, it would take years and years of prolonged usage. But — why take the risk?
Triclosan in men's deodorant
Triclosan is another artificial ingredient found in deodorants. Used as an antibacterial ingredient, you can find Triclosan in many deodorants, cosmetics, and hand washes.
Some studies show that Triclosan disrupts the hormonal pattern in animals. The FDA states that Triclosan is a pesticide and banned it in many consumer skincare products.
Silica in men's deodorant
Silica is another artificial ingredient used to absorb sweat. It causes skin irritation, including bright red spots and itchiness.
Crystalline quartz, which contaminates silica, is a carcinogen. In case you didn't know, carcinogens promote carcinogenesis, which leads to the formation of cancer.
Propylene Glycol in Deodorant
Propylene Glycol is a synthetic compound that is found in a lot of foods and also cosmetic products. It also de-ices aircraft in cold conditions.
Something that thaws aircraft doesn't seem like something that should be against your skin seven days a week.
Is deodorant harmful to your health?
Like many of these other artificial compounds and ingredients, it would take a whole lot of ingestion to be harmful. However, the question is whether this combination of substances could cause health issues.
For instance, Propylene Glycol is a penetration enhancer (that helps to de-ice aircraft). Combined with the harmful ingredients I previously mentioned, it could cause more of them to invade your body.
Chemical deodorants: the positives
The biggest positive of chemical deodorants is how easy they are to find. You can go to any drug store or grocery store, or market and find a vast selection of chemical deodorants.
They have tons of options in different scents and strengths - at a wide range of low prices. This brings us to our second positive: they are cheap.
Another positive is that chemical deodorants will do an excellent job of blocking your sweat and bad odor.
Alternative to chemicals? Use natural deodorants
There are tons of "freethinking" articles and blogs about how you should abandon deodorants entirely.
Even if you can handle doing that to yourself, we wouldn't recommend subjecting your family, friends, and co-workers to your natural odors.
That's just impolite. Instead, why not opt for a natural deodorant for men?
Now, I know what you're thinking — "Natural deodorants don't work." We get it, and to be fair, some of the natural options are weak. It is crucial to find one that does work and is long-lasting.
It needs ingredients that fight bad odor for a natural deodorant to work - not mask it.
Is natural deodorant actually better for you?
First of all, they don't clog your pores.
Leaving your pores unclogged allows your body to detoxify, releasing bacteria and chemicals like BPA through sweating. It helps decrease your body's internal temperature - keeping you cooler.
Another advantage of using a good men's natural deodorant is the ingredients are, well, natural. You know what you're getting - nothing comes from a laboratory.
The following are some natural ingredients that you should look for in your choice of natural deodorant.
- White Tea Leaf Extract - Uses antioxidants to relieve stress to the skin, reinvigorating it to look younger and shield it from damage.
- Aloe Vera Leaf Juice - Hydrating substance that helps to heal the skin and combat irritation. It also serves as an antioxidant source that helps protect the skin.
- Chitosan Lactic Acid - Healing accelerant that can reverse the damage on skin tissues.
- Blue Cypress Oil - Antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-depressive. This potent oil makes an excellent skin treatment that can go so far as to prevent warts.
- Peppermint Oil - A natural antiseptic that cleanses the skin. It produces the same cooling sensation that alcohol does without the defects.
- Spearmint Leaf Oil - It soothes skin problems, reduces headaches, and prevents nausea. It also alleviates respiratory issues and cold symptoms.
- Lavender Oil - Kills bacteria, reduces irritation, and unclogs pores. You can't beat it!
- Eucalyptus Leaf Oil - An effective solution for men with overly-dry skin by increasing its Ceramide intake. Ceramides are a fatty acid responsible for keeping your skin moisturized.
Another advantage is natural deodorants are a "greener" product - aka better for the environment. After all, we only have one Earth. We can all do our part to make it better.
Natural deodorants also don't leave those pesky yellow stains on your shirts. That will save you money and prevent you from having to wear an undershirt as much.
A final advantage of natural deodorants is that they use high-quality ingredients. Sure - the product might cost a little more but is saving a few bucks worth risking your health?
Cons of natural deodorant
Now, there are negatives to natural deodorants. While they aren't as severe as the negatives with chemical deodorants, they are worth understanding and knowing. Natural deodorants don't control sweating like chemical deodorants do since the ingredients don't block your pores.
Don't stress! Once your body adjusts to the natural deodorant, your sweat levels will normalize.
Another negative of natural deodorants is that they may not have the same powerful odor-stopping strength as chemical formulations - this due to using natural ingredients. Artificial ingredients can increase the scent of your deodorant.
Men's natural deodorants do have a bit of an adjustment time to them as well. Your body will take some time to adjust to the natural ingredients and release the buildup from standard deodorant.
It usually only takes around a week for this adjustment to occur. During this time, it may seem like the natural deodorant is not working. Don't worry though, it will.
The price of natural deodorants is often higher than standard deodorants. It is mainly because the ingredients are more costly to source as they are better.
The money you will invest in a higher quality deodorant will be worth it unless you like risking your health to save a buck.
Natural deodorants are not mass-produced. That also increases the price. The extra you pay is worth it in our opinion. Not only are you getting better ingredients, but you are getting a better-made product as well.
The last issue is that natural deodorants can be messy because of their eco-friendly packaging and plant-based ingredients.
The choice is ultimately yours. When it comes to natural vs chemical deodorant, I always go for natural.
This natural men's deodorant kills bad odor with unique, powerful natural ingredients like Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Chitosan, and Lactic Acid.
It won't give you painfully stinging underarm rashes, it doesn't block your pores like antiperspirant, and it won't leave your shirts stained and crispy at the end of the day.
And the best part, each deodorant lasts up to 3 months if used as instructed!