Trying natural deodorant is like getting a haircut with bangs: It’s best done once summer is over.
As a sweaty person, I’m not totally sold on natural deodorants or the reasons for using them, but I understand why people do. Namely, I get why people are wary of aluminum, which found in most traditional antiperspirants and blocks sweat. Deodorant, on the other hand, typically only deals with underarm odor by attacking bacteria in the armpit.
Dermatologists like Charisse Dolitsky, of Schweiger Dermatology in New York, told HuffPost in May that there isn’t enough evidence to support a link between aluminum and dangers like Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.
“Everybody has some aluminum in their bodies,” Dolitsky said. “There’s aluminum in water, there’s aluminum in food, in pots and pans and utensils, and cosmetics. But the amount you would need [to be harmful] … the evidence does not show you’re going to absorb that from deodorant and antiperspirants.”
Still, as we become more conscious of the things we’re putting onto and in our bodies, many people are flocking to natural products. Marie Jhin, a board certified dermatologist, told HuffPost that while deodorant choice boils down to preference, there are other things to watch out for.
“Many people are afraid [of traditional products], with the possible link of aluminum-based antiperspirants and breast cancer, so if you feel [natural] is better, then it’s better,” Jhin told HuffPost over email. “Remember, these are not antiperspirants, so you may still sweat and they can be more drying, irritating or cause allergic reactions.”
The jury is still out on whether natural deodorant is really safer, as well as what “natural” actually means. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the term, and it’s often thrown around to mean many different things. Typically a nontoxic or natural deodorant contains ingredients like essential oils and clay powders as opposed to aluminum and other chemicals ― so it’s important to look at labels before purchasing. Baking soda, for example, is used in many natural deodorants, but could cause a rash for some people with sensitive skin.
The good news is if you are trying to move toward a more natural beauty routine, there are plenty of highly rated, editor-approved options. And now that the temperatures and humidity have dropped, this is a good time to give one a swipe.
Check out our picks for best natural deodorants below.
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