Friday, April 15, 2011

So Fresh and So Aluminum-free

There has been a lot of half-information floating around for years about possible links to aluminum in antiperspirants aiding in the development of Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer. For some reason no thorough research has been done to prove or disprove this theory. However, I did find this hint of admission on the National Cancer Institute website:
"Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer."
Either way, I take comfort in the ability to pronounce the majority of the ingredients in products I use on a daily basis. There are a lot of natural deodorant options out there, and since aluminum (the ingredient that actually restricts you from sweating) is absent in these products it can be a risky (stinky) process finding a good, working natural deodorant. To make your social life easier, I have tested a few of the top brands and asked some other dirty hippie friends for their input. Here are our top picks:

The Bathhouse Soapery in Hot Springs, Ark., makes this vegetable-based deodorant. The vegetable protein breaks down odor-causing bacteria into a simple salt keeping you smelling fresh. One application lasts approximately 10 hours for normal daily activity, so you may need to reapply. My favorite scent is Bathhouse Couture with fruits, florals and a hint of sweet creme brulee. $10 available at the store or online. — Amy's Pick
Lavanilla deodorants are gentle, smooth and come in a variety of great scents (our favorite is Vanilla Grapefruit). This product is a good choice if you have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by normal antiperspirants. While it is the most expensive of the ones we tried ($18 per stick) we agreed it was worth the splurge. Available at Sephora. — Kelsie's Pick
Most try to deny it, but men really love products too. This natural deodorant by leading organic health/beauty producer Burt's Bees got great reviews from our male product tester. $7 at Whole Foods. — Graham's Pick
Formulated with Certified Organic Tea Tree Oil, well known for its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, as well as Azulene, for its skin soothing properties. $4 at your local drug store. — Ashlee's Pick
Earth Science uses lichen plant extract in this gentle, effective and long-lasting formula to control odor all day long without aluminum or other harsh chemicals. Will not irritate sensitive skin. $4 at your local drugstore. — Ashlee's Pick