by ANEEKA WARD
Deodorant is one thing most of us in the Western World use every single day. Personal hygiene is of top priority and I think we all shudder at the thought of be labeled as the stinky person in the room with B.O. If you’re like me, you probably never gave much thought to your deodorant. You just want it to smell good, you want it to keep you from smelling bad, and you probably want the one that’s on sale. Sound familiar?
Considering deodorant is something we apply on our bodies daily (and occasionally multiple times a day) I decided it was time to give a bit more consideration to what exactly it was that I was putting on my skin and allowing my body to absorb. Plus, a product everyone uses every day under their arms, sometimes under their breasts and even below their belt (just do a quick Google search for “ass-sweat” and see what comes up) couldn’t possibly be bad for you, right?
Lets go over a few definitions before I share the list of major ingredients in deodorant:
- Endocrine disruptors: Chemicals that interfere with the function of hormones, like estrogen and testosterone. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behavior. (Frontline)
- Development toxicants: Chemicals that interfere with the normal development of a fetus or child.
- Reproductive toxicants: Chemicals that harm the reproductive system.
- Carcinogen: A substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.
- Antimicrobial: Something that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth, like the bacteria that can cause stinky underarms.
With that ominous list prefacing the list of ingredients in deodorant, here they are:
- Pthalates (Fragrance): Probable carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, development toxicant, and reproductive toxicant.
- Triclosan (Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent): Endocrine disruptor, bio accumulates in your fat over time.
- Parabens (Antimicrobial): Endocrine disruptor. Found in almost all samples of post mastectomy breast tissue in 2004 study (Study).
- Propylene Glycol, PG, PEG (Moisture sealer, penetration enhancer): Neurotoxin.
- Aluminum Chlorohydrate (Anti-Perspirant): An endocrine disruptor that is readily absorbed through the skin.