If you're still using traditional deodorant, this is the most important thing you'll read today.
I have been using natural deodorant for about 2 years now, and without a doubt am a life-long convert. There are so many misconceptions surrounding natural deodorant, and I'm still astounded and saddened by how many women don't consider it an important switch to make (including the majority of women in my life).
I think what stalls many from beginning down this path is the seemingly daunting trial-and-error task of finding a brand that works for you. In all honesty, I have tried several brands and all of them worked for me, just with varying levels of strength (some can last until nighttime, while others would be best reapplied throughout the day). I promise you, this is not a time-consuming journey, and even if you do need to test out several brands to find your favorite, the cost is microscopic compared to the significant health concerns you will avoid.
Furthermore, I have encountered many women that aren't comfortable with switching over to a natural deodorant due to the loss of "antiperspirant" qualities they received from their conventional deodorant brand. Nature designed us to sweat. Underarms are a main component of our lymphatic system and sweating is one of the key processes our body depends on to release toxins. Perspiration is also key in regulating body temperature. This is where the allure of conventional deodorant comes in: they contain tiny aluminum compounds that quite literally plug up sweat glands and thereby prevent perspiration, meaning all of those toxins that your body was trying to dispel will remain trapped inside your system.
Of course, the biggest hesitation is that women are worried about not smelling so fresh. Perspiration is not what produces bad body odor. Sweat consists of water and salt – it has no smell. The uncomfortable scent is produced when sweat comes into contact with the bacteria that live on our skin, or more specifically, when the bacteria on our skin begin to break down the toxins that our body expels through sweat.
There are many fundamental components of your health that can affect this, and one of the biggest factors is diet. If you generally eat clean, unprocessed foods, you have nothing to worry about – further proof that perspiration is a necessary, integral part of your bodies' health responsiveness system. (Notes from a firsthand user: I have gone hiking, to the desert in the middle of summer, and to hot yoga classes using only natural deodorant beforehand, and have never had any complaints from my too truthful friends and family.)
The real danger that lies in these misconceptions, though, is the range of ever-growing scientific evidence for a correlation between aluminum-based deodorants (i.e. all traditional, well-known deodorant brands) and serious health implementations, in particular Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. Aluminum has a genotoxic profile, which means that it can destruct a cell’s genetic integrity and cause mutations. Scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint exactly how that process begins or in what quantities aluminum has to enter the body, but an increasing amount of studies record that many breast cancer cases start in the outer quadrants of the breast, i.e. precisely the areas onto which deodorant is applied.
These facts should be extremely alarming to you; I strongly encourage every women to educate herself and the women in her life on this issue. It only takes a small, simple change to avoid this harmful cellular interaction, and contrary to many popular beliefs it is not a decision that has to afford any loss of luxury.
Like I said, there are a number of natural deodorant brands I have found to be effective, but my favorite by-far has been the discovery of Agent Nateur. Dubbed the best natural deodorant on the market by Vogue, it is the longest lasting, best-smelling, and chicest natural deodorant brand that I'm aware of, with a powerful backstory to boot.
The brand's creator, Jena Covello, studied natural cosmetics and fragrances in the South of France when she was diagnosed with several chronic illnesses. Jena's struggle with endometriosis, hypothyroidism and adenomyosis led her down a holistic path with the help of holistic doctors and healers. She works both by herself and with a French chemist in France to formulate all of her products and sources most of her ingredients in Paris. Each product that she releases is something she originally made for herself out of necessity. She began healing the effects of her illnesses with the beauty products that she creates.
The brand has a simple philosophy: to create chic & effective natural beauty products that are anti-aging with healthy, organic ingredients that are even safe enough to eat.
Handcrafted exclusively in France and Los Angeles, holi(stick) No 3 Unisex Deodorant is free of GMO’s, parabens, sulfates, aluminum, and petroleum. Instead it is made from nourishing coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, sunflower and avocado butter, with a beautiful smell that stems from traces of honey, lavender, and eucalyptus.
Disclaimer: This is not merely product placement for a brand that we sell – Les Femmes only carries products that we personally love, use, and stand behind 110%. If you're looking for a less expensive option, Schmidt's natural deodorant is another favorite of mine (they have so many beautiful scents, Rose & Vanilla is heavenly!) Please share this article with someone you love to help spread awareness on the importance of natural beauty + skincare products!
By Taylor Markel & Finja Enciso
Photo from The Local Rose