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What’s In Your Deodorant?

Posted By: Dr. Isaac Jones |  

At one point in your life, I’m sure you’ve been in close proximity with someone that has bad body odor. It’s can be pretty offensive to say the least and it may have even made you check yourself a few times to be sure that you’re smelling fresh, too. 🙂

What many people don’t realize is that certain ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants are not exactly ideal for applying to your skin (the largest organ of the body). Here’s some food for thought on 3 commonly found ingredients in deodorant and their potential effects on you and your long term health:

1.      Aluminum

Most deodorants and antiperspirants contain some form of aluminum. The thing is that aluminum is a heavy metal that is not naturally produced by the body. In fact, at Designer Health Centers, aluminum is one of the metals that we look for on our toxic metals panel. The issue with aluminum is that it has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease as well as breast cancer. We highly recommend avoiding exposure to it as well as all other toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury whenever possible.

2.      Parabens

Parabens are preservatives that help to extend the shelf life of cosmetic and personal care products. Parabens can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions (Schamberg 1967; Nagel 1977; Soni 2001, 2002; CIR 2006). Parabens can be estrogen mimicking which leads to hormone disruption. Hormone disruption is a primary factor in weight loss resistance and even breast cancer. At least one study found 5 different parabens in the tumors of woman that had breast cancer (Darbre 2004).

3.      Fragrance

Most deodorant is scented, but that “Mountain Fresh” smell may not be so fresh for the body. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health, the fragrance industry uses thousands of ingredients (most of which are synthetic) and up to 900 have been determined to be toxic. Use deodorants that are unscented or those that are scented with essential oils to avoid unnecessary exposure to these ingredients.

What’s the Solution?

We want you to wear deodorant, really we do—but we have some ideas on how you can do it in a healthier way. You can check out the homemade deodorant recipes below, courtesy of

Healthy Homemade Deodorant

(courtesy of

Recipe #1: If You Have a Double Broiler and Want to Use Shea Butter to Get a Smooth Texture

  • 3 T Coconut Oil
  • 3 T Baking Soda
  • 2 T Shea Butter
  • 2 T Arrowroot Powder (optional)
  • Essential Oils (optional)


1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. Wellness Mama Note: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out.

2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (If you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda)

3. Mix well

4. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.

If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use, though it may melt in the summer!

Recipe #2: If You Just Want Something that You Can Make Quickly

  • 6 T coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) arrowroot
  • Essential oils (optional)


  • Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
  • Add oils if desired.
  • Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use

In Love and Health,

Dr. Lori