If you use conventional antiperspirants, are you also aware of all the harmful chemicals used in those products, including heavy metals that can cause severe health issues?
If not, keep on reading! In this article, I am going to be sharing which harmful ingredients are commonly found in most conventional antiperspirants/deodorants, which heavy metal to look out for and which brands/options are my favorite nontoxic versions that will keep your pits protected without toxic ingredients.
First off, an antiperspirant is different from a deodorant, which helps reduce/alleviate armpit stink but doesn’t prevent sweating. Antiperspirants act as a nerve poison that essentially stop you from sweating, which is not good. We need to sweat to detoxify our bodies from nasty metals and chemicals so blocking this function is counterproductive. Our skin is one of our biggest detox organs and the armpits are one regular path for eliminating toxins from the body. We have two sweat glands (apocrine and eccrine) that produce sweat, and with it, toxins.
Most people tend to gravitate toward antiperspirants because they don’t like sweating through their clothes to reveal potentially embarrassing pit stains at work or at inappropriate times (like on a date!). But most conventional antiperspirants contain a slew of nasty chemicals, including parabens, phthalates, triclosan, Diethanolamine (DEA), synthetic fragrance, talc, propylene glycol, silicone-derived emollients like dimethicone and a heavy metal, aluminum.
Here’s a quick overview of why these ingredients are harmful:
Also, if you do suffer from intense body odor then this is likely an indicator of increased toxic load/bacteria in the body and can actually be dealt with naturally with some very simple detoxification tips and tricks.
OK, so now let’s dig into aluminum, a toxic heavy metal that can throw the body out of balance. It’s often referred to as the “soft in the head” mineral because it affects the brain the most, typically our memory and cognition, leaving us “foggy headed” and can even contribute to dementia.
It also affects our nervous system and inhibits certain enzymes and chemicals in the brain like dopamine and norepinephrine. It can also impair digestion by slowing down intestinal activity.
Some common symptoms include:
Beyond most antiperspirants, aluminum is found in many other places, including other beauty products like rouges and foundations, most nonstick cookware, conventional antacids (labeled as aluminum hydroxide), vaccines & flu shots, baking powder, aluminum foil, flour and other anti-caking agents, most food and drinks packaged in aluminum cans, tap water (ALWAYS FILTER!), cigarette smoke, color additives, silver or “amalgam” fillings, pesticides, toothpaste, and aspirin to name just a few.
A special word of caution with ‘natural’ deodorant stones and crystals, which many people perceive as “nontoxic” but do contain rather elevated levels of aluminum.
If you want a comprehensive list of all the common heavy metal symptoms and where to find them lurking, Wendy Myers and her team have compiled an impressive list. Check it out here.
If you are wondering how to rid your body of aluminum toxicity, it might be easier than you think. The most important thing to understand about a detox is that essential vitamins and minerals are absolutely crucial for the body to be able to carry toxins, including heavy metals, out of the body. Important nutrients for detox are vitamin C (usually buffered or liposomal), glutathione (liposomal would be preferred) and R-lipoic acid.
Minerals actually act as chelators for heavy metals and often have an antagonistic relationship. Chelation is a type of bonding of ions and molecules to metal ions and involves the formation or presence of two or more separate coordinate bonds between a polydentate ligand and a single central atom. The ligands are usually called “chelators” that bind to the toxins for removal. For aluminum detoxification, some natural chelators are zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. Turmeric has also been shown to be effective in preventing damage caused by aluminum toxicity, especially in the brain, by reducing inflammation and providing antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress. Turmeric has been shown to help reverse the effects of those with Alzheimer’s, and as we noted above, aluminum toxicity has been linked strongly to this disease.
By upping those nutrients, you can help safely aid in the detoxification process. That said, some people will require specific detoxification supplements and binders to help remove elevated aluminum from the body.
Certain binders like enterosgel, a silica-based gel, have an affinity toward aluminum detoxification. Silica is actually found in fairly high contents in mineral waters, specifically Fiji brand, so you can stock up on that as part of your detox, too!
Activated charcoal is another full spectrum binder that binds to everything, which unfortunately also means the good minerals and vitamins. That’s why you always want to take activated charcoal 1-2 hours away from all food/drink and other supplements/medications.
Chlorella, a type of algae, also has an affinity for heavy metals in addition to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides and mycotoxins (toxins released from mold). Chlorella only binds to toxins, so is safe to take with food,drink and other supplements.
My favorite full spectrum and gentle binder is GI Detox from Bio Botanical Research.
I always recommend working with a professional to help guide you through a detox protocol, however if you want to give it a try, you can purchase this supplement from me in my online dispensary and receive 15% off your order!
I will typically recommend diet and lifestyle changes as part of a holistic detoxification protocol. It’s really important to eat a whole food, nutrient dense diet that is high in essential vitamins and minerals in addition to supplementing with zinc, vitamin C and certain minerals like calcium and magnesium. I also recommend things like dry brushing, alternating hot/cold showers, regular sweating and infrared sauna use and epsom salt baths to help draw toxins out of the body much faster and more effectively.
I’ve tried quite a few nontoxic deodorants over the years: Primal Paste, Tom’s, Schmidt’s, and Native to name a few and none of them really worked for me. Also some of the ingredients were less than ideal with some of these brands and they usually caused burning and an adverse skin reaction with little red bumps on my pits.
Thankfully, I discovered Primally Pure’s Paleo deodorants and never looked back. They are smooth and creamy and not only do they smell amazing, but they have been the most effective at reducing body odor, especially in the hot desert summer here in Phoenix. Remember, a nontoxic deodorant won’t stop you from sweating though, so that’s something you’ll have to prepare for and get accustomed to.
I personally use their charcoal deodorant but they have other options like tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, blue tansy and unscented! I like the charcoal one because of the additional detoxification and binding benefits when I sweat! And they use essential oils for fragrance so it is 100 percent safe (as long as you don’t have an existing sensitivity to oils like lavender).
Here are the ingredients for the activated charcoal deodorant:
INGREDIENTS: Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil*, Tallow from Grass-Fed Cows, Organic Beeswax, Baking Soda, Non-nano Zinc Oxide, White Kaolin Clay, Activated Coconut Charcoal, Organic Essential Oils of Eucalyptus and Peppermint *FAIR TRADE
If you want to try this deodorant, and are new to Primally Pure, you can get 10% off your first order with my ambassador code: FITFOOD
You can shop their deodorant at this link or can browse other Primally Pure products here. The code is valid for your first order only so take advantage of it while you can! I do get a small kickback when you order through my link, but you save too, so win win!
If you are looking for a passionate, experienced and knowledgeable holistic practitioner to help guide you through a heavy metal detox protocol, I encourage you to schedule a free discovery call with me today, and check out my “work with me page” to see my services, access my pricing & packages and learn more about me.