What’s wrong with natural deodorants? You may be surprised to find aluminium.

Well, the real answer may be that many people find that natural deodorants just don’t work as well. But that isn’t what I was going to talk about in this post. Instead, I wanted to talk about what is in what many consider to be the most natural of all the natural deodorants – the crystal rock deodorant.

Now, some people switch to natural deodorants because they want to avoid aluminium. Aluminium is present in many conventional anti-perspirants, although it isn’t typically found in conventional deodorants. An increased amount of aluminium is found in the brains of many Alzheimer’s patients. Aluminium is a neurotoxin at high doses. However, aluminium in anti-perspirants has not been shown to cause Alzheimer’s, and the absorption of aluminium from anti-perspirants may be low although it does occur. While some animal studies have shown that high doses of the same aluminium salts used in anti-perspirants have detrimental impacts, The Alzheimer’s Society concludes that the evidence does not demonstrate a causal relationship between aluminium and Alzheimer’s.

So, even though the science does not confirm a link to Alzheimer’s, some people prefer products without aluminium. So they switch to natural deodorants. Other people want to avoid other ingredients commonly found in conventional anti-perspirants and deodorants, such as parabens, phthalates, and more. So they switch to natural deodorants. And some people just want to avoid the disposable plastic that comes with most conventional anti-perspirants and deodorants. So they switch to natural deodorants with less packaging.

All of those are valid reasons. But, if you are switching to a “natural” deodorant to avoid aluminium, then the natural deodorant better not have aluminium, right?

The thing is – those crystal deodorants contain aluminium.  Just check out the ingredients here, including the original Rock with ammonium alum. Ammonium alum is ammonium aluminium sulfate. Potassium alum, or hydrated aluminium potassium sulfate, may also be used. Now, it is true that the aluminium compounds are different in the rock crystal deodorants than in most conventional deodorants, and may be absorbed differently, but they still contain aluminium. And it is aluminium which is considered a neurotoxin that penetrates the blood-brain barrier. It is a bit misleading for The Original Crystal Rock to suggest that it is only aluminium chlorohydrate that is a neurotoxin.

In any event, it just seems to me that if you want to avoid aluminium, then you shouldn’t use the crystal deodorants. And keep in mind that those cystal rocks aren’t just mined naturally. They are as close to the aluminium compounds mined as sodium laureth sulfate is to coconuts. In other words, not much.

In any event, I find baking powder is the easiest and cheapest. Just put some in a small dish – I use a dish that used to have some fancy dusting powder and a pouf to put on the baking soda. It works wonders. Some people like a lit bit more to their deodorant, so you can make  your own. The best recipe is 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup corn startch and 1/4 cup coconut oil. Heat over low heat, until the coconut oil melts and the ingredients are combined. Pour liquid into container of your choice (re-use an old stick deodorant container). Let it cool. You can add some essential oil to the mixture if you want some more scent. Enviromom posts about her efforts with a slightly different recipe that doesn’t involve cooking.

If you don’t believe me and want a product, try Weleda. I like Weleda Citrus Deodorant. Now, the ingredients include the dreaded “fragrance” but the fragrance is from natural essential oils. And all those potentially yucky sounding chemicals – limonene, linalool, geraniol, citral, and farnesol – are the componds that make essential oils smell. Linalool is the top note in lavender essential oil. The information is included because the European Union’s rule requiring identification of certain potential allergens. And essential oils contain compounds which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

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