Is deodorant worth it?
It's a question more and more men are asking.
I know the feeling. I decided to go without deodorant for a whole year just to see if I could…
Is this a valid approach?
Is men's deodorant better, or should you ditch it altogether?
That's what we're delving into with today's article. We're going over why you might want to second-guess deodorants, and what you should try instead.
Today's article is sponsored by VITAMAN's natural deodorant – Ocean Spearmint. This award-winning aluminum-free body spray doesn't block your pores like antiperspirant and that means no more painful, stinging underarm rashes.
Unlike other natural men's deodorants which can be ineffective, Ocean Spearmint kills bad odor with unique, powerful natural ingredients like Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Chitosan, and Lactic Acid.
Finally – a long-lasting natural deodorant that actually does what it's meant to! And on top of all that, each deodorant lasts 3+ months!
- Deodorants vs. antiperspirants
- Chemicals in deodorants and antiperspirants
- Avoiding allergies and intolerance
- The natural alternatives
1. Know Deodorants Vs. Antiperspirants
There is a BIG difference between men's deodorants and antiperspirants. You might not have considered it when reading the labels, but it's more important than you think.
Deodorants use a variety of chemicals to subjugate and mask the odor produced by your armpits.
We'll get into those in more detail below, but they use substances such as artificial fragrances to make you feel cleaner.
Antiperspirants are used to stop you from sweating in the first place.
Once applied to the skin, underarm sweat dissolves the antiperspirant particles and draws them inside the pores, forming a plug on the pore.
They're available in various strengths depending on your body type and rely heavily on aluminum. This chemical plays a direct role in the product's effectiveness.
2. The Chemicals In Deodorants And Antiperspirants
The main reason for leaving men's deodorants behind comes down to the ingredients.
While most ingredients won't do you serious harm in such small quantities, different men react differently to various chemicals.
Let's go over them in more detail.
Aluminum is common across antiperspirants marketed to both men and women. It's the same metal used to make soda cans, foils, kitchen utensils, and airplane parts.
It is the main ingredient behind sweat blockage. They also help reduce odor by killing the bacteria in your armpits that feed on the sweat.
… It's also linked to Alzheimer's disease. The aluminum in antiperspirants alone can't hurt you. It's the cumulative exposure to multiple sources of aluminum that raise the issue.
Parabens are used to prevent bacteria, fungi, and yeast from festering on the deodorant itself.
The concern comes from its absorption through the skin. Once parabens enter your body, they function as estrogen.
To be fair, the estrogen produced by deodorant is too weak to charge a hormonal imbalance in a man, but it's good to know in case you want to avoid such chemicals altogether.
Triclosan kills the odor-producing bacteria in your armpits.
Unfortunately, it has also been linked to hormonal imbalances. Triclosan functions as an endocrine disruptor which means it can imitate your hormones and miss with the body's hormonal signaling.
This is the same chemical present in hand-sanitizers, which wipe out both good and bad bacteria.
The FDA even banned them on handsoap.
Phthalates work to strengthen fragrance and allow it to last longer.
In terms of men's deodorant ingredients, this one is particularly heinous. It's associated with asthma, ADD, neurodevelopment issues, and impairing male fertility.
It's pervasive – and companies aren't required to list them on product labels. This makes Phthalates particularly difficult to avoid.
If you needed the motivation to switch to natural products, this should be it.
Many active ingredients in both deodorants and antiperspirants are dissolved in alcohol.
It allows the product to dry quickly against the skin, and it sometimes produces a soothing effect when applied.
Beware: It can dry skin out fast and irritate it.
3. Avoiding Allergies And Intolerance
Another reason to be wary of men's deodorant ingredients is the effects of those chemicals.
Regardless of the weak doses in hygiene products, there's no guarantee they won't harm the skin.
Let's take deodorant allergies, for instance. This is the skin's reaction to fragrance-related ingredients like essential or synthetic oils.
Deodorant intolerance, however, is the result of harsh chemicals such as alcohol.
The results are generally the same. The skin gets irritated and flakey.
Since both deodorants and antiperspirants contain combinations of these ingredients, it's safer to ditch them altogether.
4. The Natural Alternatives
If you go online, you'll see a myriad of articles encouraging you to abandon deodorants entirely – to let your natural odor waft and assail your friends and co-workers.
That's a bit extreme.
The chemicals are a legitimate concern, but it's not a reason to abandon the routine entirely.
There are plenty of ingredients out there that perform just as well (if not better) than the harmful ones we discussed above.
Let's go into them.
White Tea Leaf Extract
Uses antioxidants to relieve stress to the skin, reinvigorating it to look younger and shield it from damage.
Aloe Vera Leaf Juice
A hydrating substance that helps to heal the skin and combat irritation. It also serves as an antioxidant source that helps protect the skin.
Chitosan Lactic Acid
A healing accelerant that can reverse the damage on skin tissues.
Blue Cypress Oil
Antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-depressive. This potent oil makes an excellent skin treatment that can go so far as to prevent warts.
A natural antiseptic that cleanses the skin. It produces the same cooling sensation that alcohol does without the defects.
Spearmint Leaf Oil
It soothes skin problems, reduces headaches, and prevents nausea.
It also alleviates respiratory issues and cold symptoms.
Lavender kills bacteria, reduces irritation, and unclogs pores. You can't beat it!
Eucalyptus Leaf Oil
An effective solution for men with overly-dry skin by increasing its ceramide intake.
Ceramides are a fatty acid responsible for keeping your skin moisturized. Dry skin is most likely due to a mild ceramide deficiency.
It also holds an ingredient known as macrocarpal A. This is the source of ceramide stimulation.
The bottom line is this: You can spend years wandering lavender meadows or scouring stores for these ingredients, or you can get a product that has everything you need in one convenient bottle.
Summary – Men's Deodorant Ingredient
Should you stop using deodorant?
The answer is up to you. When I went a year without it, I barely noticed a difference – I showered regularly and used fragrances.
However, not every guy is the same. If you can't stand the chemicals in cheap deodorants, then consider opting for natural alternatives that not only make you smell great but help your skin too.