Did you know antiperspirant contains aluminum? It has been linked with cancer and generally speaking, you really don’t want metals in and on your body (your skin is your largest organ, after all). Aluminum has been linked with Alzheimer’s as well, although it’s debatable as to if use of antiperspirant with no other factors would cause this alone (I don’t think so, but metals accumulate so add other sources and you may be at higher risk). Either way, it is an endocrine disruptor and both men and women need to stay away from those.
Deodorant does not contain aluminum but it also doesn’t do a great job of keeping you fresh, plus you’re still putting chemicals all up under your arms.
My go-to is milk of magnesia (MoM for short). This is made from magnesium and water, and is meant for taking internally as a laxative. I am not sure exactly how it works as deodorant/antiperspirant (I do sweat less with it) but I suspect it’s similar to how the aluminum works in conventional antiperspirant. The X-factor that makes it so great is that magnesium is a mineral severely lacking in most people yet it is extremely important for hundreds of body processes.
You want to look for brands that contain only magnesium and water. GoodSense is one such brand and you can get it on Amazon as an add-on item for just a few bucks. One bottle lasts months. Simply shake and put a bit on your index finger to rub into the skin under your arms. Alternatively, you can buy an empty deodorant roll-on bottle and fill it up. Just always remember to shake first.
My honest experience with milk of magnesia as deodorant? It keeps me from getting stinky if I keep up with applying it daily. Sometimes I might need it a couple times a day due to hormonal fluctuations (such as the postpartum period). One thing I really like about it is that it works once you have already started to smell a little. If you don’t have time to shower or even wash your pits before you run out the door, MoM eliminates any stinkies you had going on. Yep, that’s personal info but you know I’m always open and honest with you!
Sometimes I want something a little more and I’ve found my next favorite option is a drop of essential oil. Tea tree oil neat on a wet cotton ball does a great job of cleaning and removing bacteria. But you can use a drop of your favorite essential oil for a long lasting smell of your choice. It’s not advisable to apply most oils neat, so I would suggest using coconut oil as a carrier, which also has properties to help keep you clean and smelling good.
A few things I’ve seen others recommend that I have not tried:
- Rubbing a lemon or lime under your arms, but do not do this immediately after shaving
- “Pit paste” of varying brands, which is usually made of clays and essential oils
- Arrowroot powder to keep you dry
- Doing an underarm detox mask with bentonite clay for ongoing smell issues
- Crystal deodorant but I’ve read it still contains aluminum, although naturally occurring.
I should add that it can take a bit of time for your body to adjust to not having your regular products. You might be wetter or have a stronger smell. But if you use the above products, you can effectively combat this. But I do need to warn you to be patient as this transition occurs.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like my post 5 Steps to a Natural Lifestyle, which is FILLED with tips like this.
What is your favorite alternative to deodorant and antiperspirant? Let me know in the comments.