Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Health concerns are on everyone's minds these days and more and more people are turning to a holistic approach to living. One small step you can take is choosing a natural deodorant.
Today's deodorants contain a couple of negative factors. First, they make use of aluminum which is a well known cancer causing agent and second, chemically-laced deodorants use ingredients that block the pores in the underarm area. These pores are there for a reason. Sweating is a normal bodily function and it effectively releases toxins and prevents their buildup.
So, what you want to look for is a deodorant containing no chemicals, but one that is highly effective. Following is a list of a few ingredients to look for when you're deciding on an effective, safe and holistic product. All are natural and effective and will work with your body rather than against it.
Potassium alum - Classified as a natural mineral salt, it effectively prevents bacteria from growing that causes the unpleasant odor associated with sweating.
This ingredient is also contained in cheese, mouthwash and flour. So, if it's safe to use on the inside of your body, it's safe for the outside. But, it does have a small percentage of aluminum, so if you want a 100 percent aluminum free product, look for one that does not contain potassium alum.
Zinc - This is also a bacteria prevention agent and is used in combination with plant-based compounds. A combination of citric acid and zinc oxide creates zinc citrate and castor seed oil is used to create zinc rincoleate. Both zinc citrate and rincoleate are considered antibacterial agents that effectively perform.
Hops Flowers - Obtained from a hop plant, the flowers have been utilized through the ages to prevent bacterial growth. Hops are most often associated with beer making and used during the preservation process. But, put your fears aside, using a deodorant containing hop flowers doesn't leave you smelling like beer, but does leave you smelling fresh and clean. Underarm odor is created by an excess of underarm bacteria and Hops are an effective bacterial growth prohibitory agent.
Lichen - This organism can be found growing practically anywhere including the most barren locations. They often make their home on the trunks of trees, fence posts and bare rocks. Also considered an antimicrobial agent, Lichen is often a key ingredient in organic deodorants. However, if you happen to have delicate skin or a mold allergy you might want to consider eliminating this from your list of ingredients.
There is also growing concern, by environmentalists, regarding the possibility of over harvesting lichen. So, if the preservation of the eco-system is a priority you might consider a product with a different ingredient.
The hazards of aluminum
Aluminum, also referred to as aluminum chlorohydrate or alum, has been a primary compound used in deodorants around the world for decades. This ingredient not only blocks the perspiration but the odor as well.
Initially, aluminum was well received and people were happy with the results since they were no longer bothered by sweat stained clothing. But, further research has linked this ingredient to a variety of medical conditions such as Alzheimer's, kidney or brain diseases.
Is using this product worth the risk? You decide.