In 2016, several leading publications published studies about the ingredients

contained in most commercial deodorant projects. The stories were a bit unnerving but still the information contained in the reports did little to affect peoples buying habits. Let’s start with a bit of background about sweat, bacteria, and deodorant.

Microbes in warm, moist areas of the body, such as armpits, produce body odors. A primary ingredient in most antiperspirants is aluminum based salts. These stop sweating by plugging apocrine or sweat glands. Antimicrobial agents or ethanol are often added to kill bacteria that produce the odors. One of the microbes killed is Corynebacterium, a bacteria that produces body odor as well as assist the body in defense of pathogens. 

Then there are the chemical compounds. In an interview with Time magazine, Heather Patisaul, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University noted, “When you eat something, it’s broken down by your liver and digestive system. But when you put something on your skin, there are times when it can enter your bloodstream without being metabolized.”

Parabens are another common compound in deodorants and related products. Though the research is not conclusive, there is evidence to suggest that parabens interfere with the way your body produces and regulates hormones including estrogen. Philipa Darbe, an oncologist at the university of Reading in Britain in her research that mixing different parabens can strengthen their ability to interfere with hormone regulation. This and aluminum have both linked to tumor development. In both men and woman a large percentage of breast cancer tumors are initially located in the upper quadrant closest to the armpit.

Triclosan is another common ingredient in commercial deodorants. It is used to kill skin bacteria and as a result is also commonly found in sanitizing hand soaps and acne treatment products. Indicative of the scope of its use, and its absorption into the skin, in a medical study from 2016, 75% of the people tested showed traces of the chemical in their urine. Fish and amphibians exposed to the chemical show obvious signs of thyroid impairment.

There is also an increasing body of evidence to suggest that some of these chemicals and metals are stored in fat cells. Of particular concern are aluminum salts that have been linked to early onset Alzheimer disease.

So, what are the alternatives? All natural deodorants such as those sold by Meli Lips.

What ingredients should you look for when selecting a natural deodorant? Start with witch hazel renowned for its skin-soothing properties. It works as an astringent and also can ease the pain of razor burn. Essential oils are also important, especially some that also have antibacterial properties such as rosemary, lichen, sage, lemongrass and tea tree oil. Good old fashioned baking soda is another ingredient to look for. Here is an ingredient that may surprise you – hops. A primary ingredient in the making of beer, hops slows and stops the growth of bacteria.

If you have more questions, or are looking to launch the new year with a more natural lifestyle stop by Mel Lips today.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America –