Truth Bomb: Just Because It's Natural Doesn't Mean It's Non-Toxic Deodorant
While toxic ingredients in skincare are everywhere, there’s another category of self-care products often overlooked. Lots of deodorants contain toxins too – even many of the “natural” deodorants.
As brands become more clever with marketing, we want to make sure our readers are aware, know which questions to ask, and feel empowered to demand quality, non-toxic products.
Toxins in deodorant rank as one of the most-overlooked daily exposures to harmful chemicals. Some people may think they've got a non-toxic deodorant, only to find harsh chemicals within the "natural" product.
Unfortunately, not all “natural” deodorant brands can be trusted. And simply choosing “natural” deodorant without aluminum doesn’t cut it – there could still be hidden chemicals within the ingredient label if you don’t know what to look for.
So here’s everything you’ll need to know about natural deodorants, the one ingredient you should always avoid, and how to choose a natural deodorant that you can feel confident is a non-toxic deodorant.
Why Use Natural Deodorant?
Natural deodorants enable us to lessen our toxic load in one easy swap. Natural deodorants protect our bodies from the unwanted side effects and health scares that toxins in deodorant can sometimes cause.
Natural deodorant benefits are pretty motivating once you dive in. Here’s why it's an essential and proactive choice for whole-body health to reset your mindset around toxins in deodorant.
A Natural, Non-toxic Deodorant Supports Hormonal Health
Many ingredients found in traditional deodorants are proven to be endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors affect your reproductive system and hormones.
As women, we know the importance of maintaining balanced hormones for a stable mood and resilient energy, but it goes deeper!
Hormone imbalances often lead to a variety of more significant health issues like:1
- Hair loss
- Excessive hair growth
- Thyroid problems
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
A hormonal imbalance affects every aspect of your daily life. Maybe it’s why you still feel exhausted after 8 hours of sleep. Or why you're gaining weight even while eating right. Or maybe you've noticed you're more prone to burnout. These symptoms could be a result of a hormonal imbalance, caused by toxins in your products.
Swapping your toxic products for non-toxic products can help balance your hormones tremendously!
Natural Deodorants Support Breast Health
It might sound weird, but your deodorant choice has an impact on your breast health.
The breast tissue extends into the underarm area, meaning the armpit and the breast are directly connected.2
Because these are directly connected, it’s crucial to consider the products you’re exposing to your underarm tissues. These products being absorbed could easily transfer to the breast tissue.
That’s why choosing a non-toxic deodorant is a proactive move for breast cancer risks.
Plus, picking clean products is an excellent cancer-preventative in general – small choices go a long way!
Natural Deodorants Allow Your Body to Sweat and Detox Normally
Our bodies are designed to sweat for many reasons:3
- To keep us from overheating when internal temperatures rise (crucial in hot weather, right?)
- To increase circulation (with glowing skin as the byproduct – you’re welcome)
- To sweat out toxins (though there’s heavy debate on this subject, studies4 have proven it!)
Natural Deodorants Help Overall Health by Preventing Toxic Build-up
Traditional deodorants are packed with toxic ingredients known to cause:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Reproductive issues
- Skin irritation
- Allergic reactions
- Autoimmune illnesses
Deodorant may seem harmless since you only use a little, but like all the products we use and regularly consume (especially those we use daily), it adds up!
One of the Most Prevalent Toxins in Deodorant to Look For: Fragrance (Even Natural Deodorants!)
We want to inform our loyal community by shedding some light on all the toxic ingredients in deodorant. But first, let’s talk about one of the most common yet least-talked-about ingredients in deodorant – fragrance.
Yes, even in “natural” deodorant brands, a toxic fragrance blend could exist.
Why are natural deodorant brands doing this?
Simply put, it’s just easier and cheaper to create fragrances synthetically.
(P.S. At Primally Pure, we never take shortcuts, even if it costs us time and money. Because you deserve only the purest, cleanest products.)
The “Fragrance/Parfum” Loophole
So if these fragrances are potentially toxic, why are they allowed in our products?
Because of the ingredient loophole left by the FDA for the term fragrance.
The FDA considers a brand’s fragrance a proprietary ingredient – meaning it’s a trade secret. So to protect the brand’s unique scent (eye-roll), they don’t have to disclose any information on what’s actually inside their “fragrance”.5
The issue is that there are almost no restrictions on what’s allowed inside a “fragrance” blend. The ingredient “fragrance/parfum” on a label can mask over 3,000 harmful chemicals – without your knowledge or consent.5
Unfortunately, fragrance isn’t exclusive to personal products – it’s in many home products too.
Greenwashing 101: “Natural” Is Not a Regulated Term
There are no regulations around marketing (or even labeling) a product as “natural”, in any industry.
And while some natural products are truly natural, this has sadly become a confusing and misleading term used by greenwashed brands. These brands are falsely advertising products as clean, eco-friendly, or chemical-free.
Because there are no regulations, these brands can disregard whether their product is truly natural, healthy, or clean because of yet another loophole in the system. They can just slap the term natural on the label anyways to sell more.
This is unfortunately pretty common with natural deodorants. Many “natural” deodorants with chemicals masked as “fragrance” are hardly clean, natural, or healthy. Maybe someday, the FDA will create stricter guidelines to protect consumers, but until then, we must stay sharp and educate ourselves on how to spot greenwashing.
→ Beware of lines like “made with essential oils” – this can be misleading if there is also a “fragrance” listed on the label. Just be sure to read the full ingredient list and ensure it's made with ONLY essential oils.
Rule of thumb: if it has the word fragrance on the label, say no.
Stay Strong, Even With Exclusive Seasonal Scents
We all have that one scent that we looove around the holidays…
→ Apple spice
→ Prickly Pear
→ Pumpkin Latte
→ Beachy Coconut Lime
We know it’s hard, but try not to get caught up in the hype of seasonal and exclusive fragrances! Sure it’s fun, but as you know by now, deodorant toxicity can be easily concealed behind the term “fragrance/parfum.”
We love and support aromatherapy, especially in deodorant!
But it has to be done with clean ingredients.
Toxic Fragrance Could Be Exposing You to Formaldehyde
Wearing deodorant every day provides constant and persistent exposure – good or bad. So if you unknowingly have formaldehyde releasors in your “natural” deodorant, you could be exposing yourself to known carcinogens daily.6
Here’s an added fun fact: Formaldehyde (and more) could be the source of your underarm rash since many of the ingredients labeled as “fragrance” are proven skin irritants.
Other Toxic Ingredients in Deodorant to Avoid
While fragrance is the number one sneaky ingredient, there are still some other toxic ingredients in deodorant you should be aware of to protect your pits.
This one is pretty much avoided by the masses, especially now that large corporate brands have jumped on the bandwagon. But regardless, it’s good to know how to read it on a label to be sure you avoid it!
→ Listed as: chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY.
Talc is used as an anti-caking agent. Remember that lawsuit with J&J over their use of talc in baby powder? They may have sidestepped that one, but there’s still trouble in paradise brewing for the products using talc. Many claim that the talc is contaminated with asbestos, causing deaths, ovarian cancer, and serious illnesses.7
Yeah… we’ll avoid this ingredient when it comes to our pits.
→ Listed as: talc, talcum or talcum powder, cosmetic talc or magnesium silicate.
Any kind of spray deodorant is going to have toxic chemicals sprayed along with your deodorant application. Even if the formula is clean, you still expose yourself to toxins.
→ Listed as: trichloromonofluoromethane, dichlorodifluoromethane, propane, butane, isobutane, nitrogen, NO2, CO2.
Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, often used as preservatives. There are so many natural alternatives and ingredients that are far more stable.
→ Listed as: “paraben” anywhere in the name of the ingredient (ex. methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben).
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) ingredients are pretty much what they sound like – altered from their organic format. Farming regulations make it impossible to ensure you’re avoiding pesticide chemicals unless your products are sourced from organic farming.
That’s why we only use organic ingredients in our products – or those that come from a trusted source with verified clean farming practices.
Triclosan is often used in deodorants as an antibacterial and antifungal agent because it prevents the growth of the bacteria responsible for body odor.8 This ingredient was banned by the FDA in 2016… but with a giant loophole.9
Yep, you guessed it. Fragrance.
Triclosan can still be used as a preservative in fragrances, well-hidden within the label.
→ Listed as: triclosan, Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum or triclocarban.
The best way to avoid these toxic ingredients in deodorant? Choose a non-toxic deodorant that has total transparency with its ingredient list. If it’s truly a non-toxic deodorant, the company should be willing and able to explain the purpose and sourcing of each ingredient.
Why Primally Pure’s Natural Deodorant Is Actually a Non-Toxic Deodorant
So we’ve spent a lot of time explaining how all these natural deodorants are actually still toxic. You may be wondering, “Why is your deodorant different? Is it truly non-toxic?”
Curiosity is the only way we learn and create change, so we welcome your questions – we’re glad to know you care!
We live by the standards we set with sourcing and producing, so you never have to worry about exposing yourself to dangerous toxins in our deodorant (or any of our products!). We’ve taken the time to create a truly non-toxic deodorant, fit for any skin type and any preference.
You Get Ingredient Transparency
Our labels never use the term fragrance or parfum.
Our clean, non-toxic fragrances are formulated with ONLY organic essential oils – just check out our awesome non-toxic deodorant lineup of heavenly scents. Reading our labels is meant to be a breeze, so you can waste time picking your scent, not deciphering ingredients. ;)
Your Deodorant Is Created With Clean Sourcing + Production
All our carrier oils are cold-pressed to preserve their stable nature, and organic whenever possible.
We know and work directly with our trusted suppliers who work to be regenerative, world-changing farmers. We never use products grown with pesticides or exposure to harmful chemicals.
Only Organic, Nature-Derived Ingredients
Just like your face needs clean nature-derived ingredients, so does the skin on other parts of your body!
That’s why we prioritize using organic ingredients – 90% of our ingredients are organic, and when they can’t be, we closely monitor and vet our supplying options.
You Can Trust Us – We’re Science-BackedYears of testing and rigorous research mean we have science to prove why our formula works and why it’s genuinely a non-toxic deodorant.
Ready to Swap? Here Are Some Resources for Your Non-toxic Deodorant Transition
If you haven’t made the switch yet or want to eliminate toxins in deodorant for a truly natural, non-toxic deodorant, we’ve got you covered. Just check out these resources:
- Here’s how to detox your armpits as you transition to a non-toxic deodorant.
- Don’t let these myths about natural deodorants stress you out.
- Learn how to prevent natural deodorant rash.
- Hear our founder’s story about how she got started making non-toxic deodorant.
- Read reviews and stories of our customer’s experiences with our non-toxic deodorant.
- We’ll even show you how to make your own non-toxic deodorant at home.
Let’s Keep Those Pits Fresh + Toxin-Free
Whether you’re new to natural deodorants or looking to eliminate toxins from your everyday life, natural, non-toxic deodorant is an excellent way to start building habits that support whole-body health.
The more we can eliminate toxins from entering our body in the first place, the happier and healthier we’ll be in the long run.
If you have questions or want to learn more about our deodorant, check out our product pages, where we break down all the ingredients and crucial deets.
Let’s lessen our toxic load, one choice at a time, and see how our lives change for the better.
Reach out to our team if you have any questions or want to learn more!
- Cleveland Clinic | Hormonal Imbalance
- John Hopkins Pathology | Overview of the Breast
- Piedmont Health | There Are Some Health Benefits of Sweating
- National Library of Medicine | Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat
- Environmental Working Group | 3,163 Ingredients Hide Behind the Word “Fragrance”
- National Library of Medicine | Formaldehyde May Be Found in Cosmetic Products Even When Unlabelled
- Aesbestos.com | Johnson & Johnson Bankruptcy Plan Won't Halt Industrial Talc Lawsuit
- Everyday Health | The Deodorant Ingredient Glossary
- FDA | FDA Issues Final Rule on Safety and Effectiveness of Antibacterial Soaps
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