We are right in the middle of a heat wave here in Chicago. Having lived in Germany 90 % of my life, that takes a toll on me. Especially in summer we love to rely on our deodorant to protect us from evil odor. Some deodorants also reduce the amount of sweat.

I find this topic a bit gross to talk about and do not enjoy discussing stinky sweat and such. But the problem needs more attention - and you are dear to me.

Did you know that some of the components of your deodorant are health scares? Some might even be responsible for cancer and Alzheimer. You probably have heard about it. But did it sink in? Did you make changes?

Did you ever wonder why some deodorants carry the warning: "Do not use on cracked or broken skin." Like why not? Is it that toxic? How could anyone who shaves or removes hair another way be sure that he does not have small wounds?

Is your deodorant bad for you?

Here are the five health scares that can be found in nearly every product in your supermarket/pharmacy.

1. Aluminium Chlorohydrate

Check your label for aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.

Aluminum compounds reduce the amount of sweat. They make sure that our sweat glands tighten. Less sweat, but the backlog of sweat can cause itching and inflammation. Animal tests (that I, by the way, do NOT condone) show that high doses of aluminum impact our nervous system as well as embryos in the wombs of pregnant women.

Patients with breast cancer have a higher concentration of aluminum in the affected areas than in the rest of the body.

It is not 100 % proven that aluminum causes cancer. The higher concentration in the cancer areas could also be a result of the disease. That said, I think both options indicate that it might be clever not to smear aluminum under your arms.

Aluminum compounds, just like parabens, can mimic ostrogene which is said to promote the growth of cancer cells.


Parabens and formaldehyde make sure your deodorant does not perish. But they are believed to cause diseases like cancer and allergies. Check your label for methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.


They are called PEG derivates or polyethyleneglycol and help to bind materials that usually would not mix. In deodorant, they make the pores more permeable. Harmful substances can penetrate the skin easier.

Especially in combination with the other toxins and carcinogens -  not a good thing.

Scents / fragrances

Their job is to cover up the odor. About 3,000 different substances are being used by the industry. Many people are allergic. Fragrance allergy is the most common contact allergy among men. Among women, it´s the second most common allergy (right after nickel allergy).

In that case, it would not make a difference is the fragrance is artificial or natural.

Any form of citric acid, for instance, makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight.


The smallest problem on this list. Alcohol disinfects and dries (out). It robs moisture from your skin that then is more prone to germs. If you have dry skin, you should use products without alcohol or cream up well.

Some products add jojoba oil or other moisturizing ingredients.

Wow, right? Why is that stuff legal when both, authorities and corporations know about the health scare?

Good question. I ask myself that all the time. And I wonder: Does a Monsanto manager have his wife spray round-up in their garden? Does the DOVE boss smear aluminum on his skin?

Probably not.

Let´s look at alternatives.

Healthy Deodorants

First of all, here is a thought: The body produces sweat for two reasons:

1. To detoxify
2. When it´s overheating to cool you off

I am not sure if I would want to hinder either of those processes. That said, it's easy for me to talk - I mainly sweat in the face. There is no deodorant on the market that could spare me the embarrassment of that.

A simple thing you can do to produce less sweat is drinking sage tea. It reduces the amount of sweat surprisingly well.

Nearly all of the deodorants in your supermarket are bad. Whether they´re called "Tom Natural"  or similar. The only healthy I found in a regular supermarket I would recommend is the Crystal deo stone.

Yes, it´s a bit more hassle to use it, and it does not have any nice smell. But it´s a natural, aluminum, PEG and paraben-free way of deodorizing. On top of that, it is also extremely inexpensive. One stone can last you a year. Most people dispose of it when it´s starting to get smelly (which only happens when used on unclean skin).

Make the change now.

Other inexpensive, less messy and healthy alternatives can be found HERE