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Toxic Thursdays: Finding an Acceptable, Non-Toxic Deodorant

Should you be concerned about the aluminum in your deodorant? There have been numerous deodorant scares over the years as researchers find connections between chemicals in deodorants and cancer; however, most scientists will tell you that deodorant and antiperspirant are safe.

If you are still concerned about chemicals and want to make sure you are putting the safest product possible on your pits, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

This list includes many, many products that are common in our homes—shampoo, makeup, deodorant, paper products, soap, baby wipes, and much more. It gives each product a rating based on its toxicity and its effect on the human body and the environment. You want products that come back with a green rating, which is 0-2; 3-7 is a moderate risk for toxicity; 8 and higher is high risk (i.e. products you want to avoid).

I highly recommend going to Skin Deep and looking up the products you currently use to learn about the risks. Then, search around for similar products with better ratings.

I understand that these less toxic products may not be household names; they may even be hard to find at your regular store. But, trust me, your family and the environment will thank you in the long run because you will be protecting your health and the natural world around us. In addition, online shopping can be just as easy as running to the store—you can save a lot of money by using Amazon Prime and either signing up for Pantry boxes or for Subscribe and Save. And, two-day shipping makes it nearly as fast as just running to the store.

The Deodorant Short List

As you already know, there are tons of products out there. There are deodorants and antiperspirants; some are roll-on, some are stick, and some are in cute little jars. Finding the best product for you is going to be a matter of your preference.

My husband has used Speed Stick for years. It has a high toxicity rating and according to EWG an increased risk for bioaccumulation, which means it can build up in your body.

For this project, we tried about eight low-toxin deodorants. I will note that we only tried the stick or roll-on varieties because I do not like the idea of applying deodorant from a jar with my fingers or a separate pad. There are plenty of jar options out there if you want to give that a try. Here is the rundown of what we have tried out and our opinions:

Several of the non-toxic brands that I found are liquid roll-ons. I am used to a powder-based deodorant so I wasn’t in love with the wet feeling of the roll-ons. My husband is used to a gel deodorant, so he didn’t mind the wet feeling. I felt like I had to keep my arms raised until it dried, which can be hard when you are wrangling a 2-year-old in the mornings.

My husband’s favorite roll-on was the Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Sport Roll-On. We also liked a gel variety by Kiss My Face - the Kiss My Face Green Tea Cucumber Gel stick. Both had light scents and both worked well to keep us smelling good all day.

Neither of us liked the Miessence Tahitian Roll-On. He didn’t like the vanilla smell (neither did I) and I didn’t feel like it worked all day. We were both indifferent to the Crystal Essence Lavender Roll-On. It smelled OK and worked OK, but wasn’t great. And, again, I didn’t like the wet feel of the roll-on.

I absolutely did not like the Ava Anderson Deodorant. The main ingredient is a form of cocoa and I thought it just smelled awful. It was also hard to apply because it was pasty and didn’t rub on well.

My husband settled on the Arrid XX Antiperspirant & Deodorant Solid, Unscented, which is formulated for men. He liked it because it is also an antiperspirant and it is dry. I liked it because it was easy to find and not terribly expensive! You can find it in many grocery stores or drug stores (and of course, on Amazon—a pack of six is less than $12).

After bouncing around to multiple non-toxic deodorants, I have decided to stay with the Kiss My Face Green Tea Cucumber gel stick because it works well, the scent doesn’t bother me, and I bought three on Amazon for a great price!

In the end, I would recommend trying some non-toxic brands to see which you prefer. The EWG Skin Deep database has plenty of recommendations and most can be purchased via Amazon at reasonable costs:

Rachel Mavity

Rachel Mavity

Rachel Mavity is the Digital Communications Coordinator with Beebe Healthcare's Marketing and Communications Department. On Toxic Thursdays, she writes about saving the earth and ways to reduce our footprint. She also now blogs over at Be Real on this site.