This is Day 100 of the Green in 365 series! Woo-hoo!
By Kim from The Soulicious Life
Something stinks! As far as modern-day society has come with scientific developments, many bath and beauty products in the U.S. are still decades behind. This includes antiperspirants and deodorants.
They were developed to prevent stink, but the irony is that many common ingredients in these products – some of which you cannot pronounce – are just plain toxic. They can contribute to serious health consequences, especially when used over time.
Antiperspirants are especially dangerous. According to The National Cancer Institute,
“Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects (3). Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (3).”
Unfortunately deodorants, antiperspirants, and other bath and beauty products are just not well regulated. The Valley Advocate reports, “Contrary to commonly held assumptions, the FDA is not the principal agency in charge of reviewing cosmetic ingredients in the U.S. Rather, an industry-funded panel, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, regulates the safety of cosmetics.”
National Skincare Authority has compiled what they believe are the Top 10 most common toxins in deodorants:
|1.||ALCOHOL DENATURED||Known or suspected teratogen (Birth defects).|
|4.||TRIETHANOLAMINE||Possible human carcinogen.|
|5.||PARABENS||Reproductive system toxicity.|
|6.||ETHANOLAMINE||Known human carcinogen.|
|7.||PROPYLENE GLYCOL||Immune toxicant.|
|8.||LACTIC ACID||Immune toxicant.|
|10.||DISODIUM EDTA||Penetration enhancer.|
So what can can you do? For starters, avoid products with the above ingredients. The best non-biased source of information that I have found is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Safety Database, an online guide for over 69,000 cosmetics and personal care products.
This easy-to-navigate database provides each product a safety rating of 0-10; the lower the number, the safer the product. Spend just a few minutes and search for your current antiperspirant or deodorant to discover how safe it really is. If necessary, search out an alternative. Ultimately, opt for a product rated 0-2 (with color code green).
Traditional brands like Secret, Dove, and Degree range from 2-6. Natural name brands like Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees, range from 0-4. I was surprised that some so-called “natural” brands reach as high as 5 and 6, illustrating just how important it is to research before you buy (green-washing, anyone?).
You can also opt for brands that are pure mineral salts. These come in a hard stick form that you simply wet before running over your pits. They work just fine for me until I work up a serious sweat, but let’s face it, you’re supposed to stink a little after a good workout!
Lastly, considering mixing your own natural deodorant with simple ingredients like corn starch, baking soda, beeswax and coconut oil. (*Note from Emily: Here’s my favorite homemade deodorant recipe) Or try these recipes from Crunchy Betty, Delicious Obsessions or Frugally Sustainable.
Now, THAT smells good to me!
Denver-based Kim Daly, a.k.a SoulMomma, believes that an eco-friendly existence should be part of any healthy lifestyle. When not nurturing her compost bin or buying new-to-her items, she can be found discovering delicious vegetarian recipes, hiking with her family, and striking a yoga pose anywhere she can. Learn to nourish your body, your soul and the planet on her blog, The Soulicious Life.
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