Are you concerned about potentially harmful and toxic ingredients in regular antiperspirants? These controversial and virtually essential products often contain fragrances which can cause skin irritation as well as aluminum, preservatives and parabens, which are known carcinogens. A carcinogen is any substance that is capable of causing or promoting cancer. Food Matters urges people to understand that antiperspirants are in fact over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, consumers should be made aware of potential long- and short-term side effects associated with the use of antiperspirants, just like any other OTC drug. Such awareness will allow consumers to take necessary precautions in protecting their own health.
Aluminum, the active ingredient in most antiperspirants, is a cumulative ingredient. This means that, the more a person is exposed to and the more his or her body absorbs, the greater the risk for potential harm. Research has shown that daily use of aluminum-based antiperspirants increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 60 percent. Aluminum, however, is not the only concerning ingredient in antiperspirant. As mentioned, parabens, fragrances and preservatives come with their own batch of potential side effects ranging from skin irritation and chronic headaches to fatigue and endocrine imbalances.
Below are a few variations of do-it-yourself antiperspirant recipes. These recipes provide an excellent natural alternative to regular antiperspirants and can be used daily or intermittently (i.e., days off, every-other-day or weekends) to reduce exposure to aluminum and other toxic ingredients.
Recipe #1: Homemade “Antiperspirant” Cream (For very active users)
6 Tablespoons Organic Cocoa or Mango Butter
2 Tablespoons Unrefined Coconut Oil
3/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder
4 Teaspoons Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Lemongrass Essential Oil
Recipe #2: Natural Deodorant
8 Tablespoons Raw/Organic Shea Butter
3/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder
4 Teaspoons Baking Soda
15 Drops Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil
Recipe #3: Hey Fran Hey’s Raw & Organic Deodorant
4 Tablespoons Cocoa Butter
4 Tablespoons Shea Butter
1/2 Cup Arrowroot Powder
3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Directions: Combine dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Melt butters and/or oils using a double boiler or non-porous pan on low heat. Do not boil. Pour melted butter/oil into dry ingredient bowl and blend well. Add essential oil and store in a sealed glass jar. Apply to underarms daily. Reapply prior to strenuous activity.