Nowadays you hear a lot of talk about aluminum toxicity, and when you look into it a little bit, it appears that we are surrounded by aluminum every day in every part of this country. True, aluminum is the metal produced by the earth in the greatest amounts, but it can be absorbed by the human body through the skin, lungs and digestive system. Most people take in about 3 to 10 milligrams of aluminum daily, which isn’t hard to do because it is found naturally in soil, air and water, as well as used in our cooking pans and utensils, foil analgesics, NSAIDs, baking powder, toothpaste, antiperspirants and deodorants, bleached flour, packaged shredded cheese — indeed most processed food contains aluminum — table salt, beer and municipal water. Using a lot of antacids can also cause aluminum toxicity, if they’re the kind of antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide.
Ergo, with so much aluminum surrounding us and much of it unavoidable, people need to eliminate whatever sources they can, and one such source is our antiperspirants and deodorants. Some studies have shown aluminum to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders, respiratory disease, and may even be a possible risk factor for breast cancer. With all that possibly linked to using aluminum-based deodorant, many people are looking for alternatives. Luckily, there are many options of aluminum free deodorants for men.
One option for aluminum-free deodorant is a compound that contains hops and zinc ricinoleate, which comes from castor beans. It traps bad odors, while hops has anti-microbial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and eliminate odors that way. One product that contains these two ingredients is Long Lasting Care Deodorant from Tom’s of Maine. Their product is available apricot, lavender, lemongrass and unscented.
Another option is the use of essential oils. One product that makes use of these oils is called Dry By Nature from Desert Essence. It inhibits wetness and neutralizes odor by using the essential oils of chamomile, calendula and neem seeds. It also contains witch hazel, which has astringent properties.
Herbal Clear Natural Aluminum Free Deodorant contains the botanical Lichen which they claim inhibits odor causing bacteria. The other main ingredients in their deodorants are tea tree oil, which is has anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties; vitamins A and E, lavender, clary sage and aloe vera. It does seem like something in there ought to control odor!
Le Stick, a deodorant from France, uses mineral-rich green clay and baking soda to absorb wetness and odors all day. Their product is aluminum-free, so the minerals in the clay should be safe.
Another product that is well-advertised is crystal deodorants. These products are touted as being a safe alternative to aluminum-based deodorants for men because they are made from potassium alum, not aluminum-the-metal. The alum is mined from bauxite ore, so although it’s related to aluminum, it is not strictly the same.
The great thing about these products is that they tend to work better than the ones that contain only herbs and oils: they still work the same way regular antiperspirants do, by swelling the cells in the sweat glands shut so the sweat can’t escape.
The all natural deodorants in the L’Occitane line of products include several options for aluminum-free deodorant that smells good enough for a man to wear. The Eau des Baux Stick Deodorant gets particularly good reviews on the Internet, so it may be worth checking out.
Yet another all-natural aluminum-free deodorant for men is the Miessence Organic Ancient Spice Deodorant. It uses bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and aloe vera to control wetness and odor. As you may have guessed from the name, it does smell like a popular men’s cologne.
You may see some new products coming out that use cotton to absorb and evaporate wetness. Adidas, Rexona and Trader Joe’s are a few companies who have begun to distribute this type of deodorant that uses micro particles of cotton to coat the underarm. The cotton wicks the moisture away from your skin for quick evaporation. Other ingredients assist with odor.
If you are an excessively heavy sweater, such as someone with axillary hyperhidrosis, or overly sweaty armpits, you may find that these natural deodorants for men either work or don’t work for you. It seems like the majority of people for whom they work well don’t sweat a lot. However, every person is different and every body-chemistry combination is different. It’s entirely possible that what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa.
With the risks of aluminum toxicity being as high as they are, from impaired brain function to cancer, it would be worthwhile to investigate every alternative to aluminum based deodorants. If you have exhausted all the possibilities and still can’t find a way to stop body odor or wetness, then surely eliminating aluminum from your life in some other way — such as using only stainless steel cookware — would be an acceptable alternative.