Today, I am going to tell you about why deodorants and antiperspirants are harmful for the body. Deodorants are a chemical formulation, which when applied to the body, reduces the body odor by killing the bacteria responsible for causing odor. Antiperspirants are applied to the underarms, where as, deodorants can be applied to the whole body.
Why do we need Deodorants?
I do not want to give a science lecture, but, it is vital to understand how a body odor is caused.
Skin produces sweat which is, basically, odorless unless inhibited by bacteria. Bacteria is produced in hot and humid places and underarms is one of the warm parts of human body. Sweat glands produce moisture to lower the temperature of the body. But, when the armpits are washed by highly alkaline soaps, the pH of the skin increases and becomes alkaline, which is the right environment for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria feeds on the sweat, and dead hair and skin cells, and produces a chemical waste which is the main cause of body odor.
What are Deodorants made of?
Now, that, we have understood why we need deodorants, it is important to be aware of the ingredients or chemical composition of the Deodorants.
Deodorants are chiefly made up of alcohol as it kills bacteria. It is combined with other compounds like Tricolsan or metal compounds to slow down bacterial growth. It contains perfurm or fragrances which mask the body odor. It is also combined with antiperspirant compounds which reduce the perspiration like Aluminum Chloride or other Aluminum compounds. Parabens are used as preservatives.
Effects of the ingredients on the body
We have already discussed the harmful effects of Alcohol, Tricolsan, Toluene, Propylene Glycol and Parabens. Please read them here. They are all common ingredients used in an antiperspirant or deodorants. Here, I am mentioning about other ingredients not mentioned before.
Aluminum is highly toxic for the body in large doses, specially for the nervous system. There is supposed to be a link between Alzheimer's disease and toxicity of Aluminum. The ingredients of antiperspirants get absorbed into the blood stream and may get deposited in some part of your body, specially, the brain and breast tissue and may affect the respiratory system.
Talc is considered to be cancer causing agent.
Silica irritates the skin and may contain crystalline quartz which causes cancer.
Steareth-n (n may be any number like say 100) is reacted with cancer causing agents.
Word of Caution: Many people may be allergic to aluminum and its compounds. Herbs listed on the list does not mean that they are natural. They may contain Parabens.
What to do now?
You can formulate your own natural home-made deodorants.