The Ugly Truth Behind Drugstore Deodorant And What You Should Use Instead

Maybe the drugstore was the only place to purchase deodorant while you were growing up, so it’s still your go-to. Maybe the popular magazines listed award-winning antiperspirants, so you continue to shop for their top pick. Maybe no one ever told you about the dangerous ingredients you’re applying to your pits, so you keep swiping the same chemical-laden, conventional deodorant day after day.

While deodorant may not seem like a big deal, it’s actually one of the biggest ways you can either contribute to your toxic buildup or bring nourishing, natural ingredients to your body.

When you consider all of the assaults your body experiences in terms of toxins you may be exposed to (pollution, processed food, drinking water, products, etc.), it’s vital to minimize your toxic load by making changes in the areas you do have control over.

You have the power to make decisions every single day that have the potential to lead to sickness + disease or to promote health + happiness. The deodorant you use daily is one of those decisions – which is why we’re sharing the ugly truth behind drugstore deodorant and what you should use instead.

We often don’t take into consideration how the simple swipe of a stick on our underarms can be so detrimental to our health. The truth is, our bodies have been designed to absorb a big part of the products we apply, day in and day out. And when these products are filled with ingredients that are linked to sickness + serious disease, we can’t stress enough how important it is to avoid these chemicals at all costs.

While individual ingredients may seem like a small or insignificant part of the product, each ingredient comes together to impact the entire product and each one serves a specific purpose. But along with this purpose comes potentially harmful side effects.

Let’s take a closer look at these chemicals that could be lurking in your drugstore deodorant.

  • Parabens are preservatives that allow the product to last longer by preventing mold or bacteria growth, BUT have been very closely linked to endocrine disruption + breast cancer.
  • Fragrance masks body odor + makes you smell slightly floral or shower fresh, BUT is a mixture of 3,000+ chemical ingredients and the cause of countless serious health issues.
  • Aluminum blocks your pores to prevent sweat and keep you dry all day long, BUT studies have revealed its connection to detrimental diseases like Alzheimer’s and even death.

Day after day, ingredient after ingredient, it makes an impact. For better or for worse.

We’ve been tricked (whether by our current culture, marketing messages or well-meaning family members) that chemicals + synthetic ingredients are necessary for effectiveness – and any potentially negative side effects are overlooked or even completely disregarded. We’ve believed the lies for too long that ingredients don’t matter, sweating is bad, and strong chemicals are a must stay dry and odor-free.

Times have changed and the truth is out – dangerous ingredients are not necessary for an effective deodorant. Thankfully, some people are becoming more aware of the harmful ingredients in anti-perspirants and drugstores are beginning to offer more “natural” options to replace traditional, toxic deodorants. But just because there’s a green leaf or the word “organic” on the front of the jar or tube, be wary of what’s actually inside.

This is where you have to do some digging and become your own private deodorant detective.

Marketing messages may claim “NO” this and “NO” that… But rather than focusing on what’s NOT in the product, do some digging + look at the ingredient label to see which ingredients are really being used instead. The natural beauty market has become highly saturated and product quality has become consistently compromised. Sadly, green washing is much more common in the skincare industry and is deceiving consumers that the products they’re purchasing are pure, natural, or organic – while in reality the ingredients list reveals otherwise.

Even if some of the “natural” brands lining the drugstore shelves claim to be aluminum-free, several are loaded with the following fillers and other harmful ingredients:

  • Propylene Glycol: Fragrance, skin conditioner + absorption enhancer. Linked to organ toxicity and skin irritations. And because it improves product penetration, it helps to carry other harmful ingredients in the product through the skin. Oh, it’s also found in anti-freeze.
  • Fragrance: As mentioned above, this is one of the most toxic ingredients you’ll find, even on “natural deodorant” labels.
  • Benzyl Salicylate: Fragrance, UV absorber. Linked to endocrine disruption, weakened immune system and skin allergies.
  • Phthalates: Makes products pliable + stick to skin. Linked to permanent birth defects and endocrine disruption.
  • Triclosan: Antibacterial agent + preservative. Linked to liver toxicity, skin allergies and thyroid dysfunction.

(EWG is our go-to for ingredient insight and ThinkDirty is the perfect app to have by your side when you shop!)

Whether you’ve discovered a “natural” deodorant or are still committed to your conventional antiperspirant, the ugly truth behind drugstore deodorant is that they are more detrimental to your health than you might realize. Ingredients DO matter and with a product you apply every single day (sometimes even multiple times a day) these toxic ingredients can build up in your body and begin to breakdown your overall health.

We can’t stress enough how essential is it to actually read and research and learn your product labels. And we want to help make this process even easier for you. Which is why our founder has been formulating natural deodorant for over 5 years with fewer ingredients – ingredients that are actually pronounceable, recognizable, and most importantly, real.

These are the kinds of ingredients you should be using instead.

Products made with pure ingredients that aren’t diluted with chemicals or buried under a long list of cheap fillers and stabilizers. Labels that don’t contain anything lab-made and ingredients that come directly from their source – nature. Nourishing ingredients that give you exactly what you need to strengthen your immune system, skin structure and sense of wellness – without any dangerous side effects.

Primally Pure deodorant is made with a short list of ingredients including organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic arrowroot powder, baking soda, organic tallow from grass-fed cows, and organic essential oils. Ingredients like these allow the skin to breathe and function as it should. Vitamins and essential fatty acids with anti-inflammatory + anti-microbial properties help to improve the health of skin, leaving pits smooth and protected.

You won’t ever have to google the ingredients we list on our deodorant labels (except for maybe tallow, if that’s a new term for you!). We are committed to providing truly non-toxic products that support healthy hormones, a strong sense of overall wellness and pits that are stink-free, of course.

At Primally Pure we’ve proven that it’s possible to do both – provide effective solutions for skincare (and unwanted body odor) and provide powerful health benefits for your body. We hope you’ll trust your pits to the experts and toss out your drugstore deodorant for good.

Have you made the switch from toxic, traditional deodorant? Let us know below! If not, what’s holding you back?


Deodorant may not seem like a big deal, but it could be detrimental to our health. Check out this post to find out why and what you should be using instead! | Primally Pure Skincare

Leave a Comment

Courtney O’Connor

Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.