Is Your Deodorant Dangerous? Probably Not.

A lot of people worry about cosmetics ingredients. Some, maybe too much. I was recently asked to write a guest post about deodorant by Evolving Beauty and was happy to oblige.

Editor Christina Caicedo added some great info and links and Evolving Beauty's article 'The Truth About Deodorants' is no longer online, but here's how that article started out.

Is Your Deodorant Dangerous? Probably Not.

Misinformation about deodorant ingredients has caused many to risk their health with DIY solutions in an effort to avoid the supposed 'toxins' in commercial deodorants, but let's look at the facts.


If you use a deodorant with aluminum every day of your life, you would be getting less aluminum from your deodorant than you are otherwise getting naturally from your food and water. Aluminium chlorohydrate and Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrate gly - commonly found in deodorants – do not cause cancer, alzheimers, or anything else that has been measured or documented.

Aluminium salts work by reacting with the electrolytes in sweat and forming a gel-like substance that plugs the duct of the sweat gland. The natural sloughing off of skin cells removes the plug again.

Potassium Alum

Safe and effective, potassium alum crystals are sometimes shaped and sold as deodorant 'crystal' or 'stone'. Potassium alum forms naturally on rocks that contain sulfide and potassium. When these minerals come into contact with oxygen molecules, the crystals are formed. Potassium alum is also used for stopping bleeding shaving 'nicks'.

Parabens: The Facts

- Paraben preservatives have been around for over 80 years.
- There are several parabens - 2 of which are undergoing study at this time.
- Only approved parabens are on the market.
- Paraben preservatives are approved for use in food and cosmetics.
- Parabens do not cause allergies.
- Parabens are not carcenogenic.
- Parabens don't even come close to being a health risk.

DIY Deodorant Can Be Risky

Switching from commercial deodorant to a DIY solution with baking soda may be more dangerous than you think. Many believe they must go through a 'detox period' when switching to a DIY deodorant. This 'detox period' is described as having the following symptoms:
- rash
- redness and/or discoloration
- leathery skin

The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) warns of the following symptoms with prolonged exposure of baking soda to the skin:
- rash
- redness
- dry, cracked skin

Sound familiar?

There's a reason the industry uses professionals to formulate personal care products – one being your health and safety.

More Fun and Info

Find an FAQ about deodorants here
Find a DIY deodorant without baking soda here
Find more about aluminum and deodorant here
Find more about parabens here


goodgirl said…
Hi Lise, did you look into scientific publications about effects of aluminium levels in patients with Alzheimer's disease and publications with state otherweise? How legitimate do you consider those in respect of cuts after shaving and blood-brain barrier?

I totally agrre with you on scaremongers. Still, if you strongle oppose them and their claims, I'd appreciate at least some references to appropriate publications :).
LisaLise said…
Hi there goodgirl. Thanks for your input! Yes, I did look into the scientific publications on aluminium and Alzheiemers as well as claims of almuinum and breast cancer. There are several links to findings in this previous post about aluminium and deodorant.

I'm not quite sure I understand your final question about cuts after shaving and brain blood barrier.. Could you rephrase?