Is your deodorant helping or harming you?
Today’s guest expert blog post is brought to you by the fabulous and talented Dawn Leonard, RMT of Nartana Massage and co-owner of Vancouver-based “Luv Your Boobs,” a breast education and health empowerment company, dedicated to helping women love their boobs!
In the wake of the recent “Angelina Jolie double mastectomy” news story, Dawn and her team have doubled their efforts to help women learn more about how they can keep their options open and breasts healthy. Dawn and I had a long discussion about the media controversy and she introduced me to a product that she was working on, a natural deodorant. If you know me, you’ll know that I don’t consider the word “natural” a selling feature (poison ivy and snake venom are also “natural”) but seeing how much research and time has been put into Luv Your Boobs education, I asked Dawn to share more information on this product.
I believe everyone has the right to make educated choices, so check out what Dawn has to say and then we’ll let you take it from there. In the meantime, love your boobs! (wait until we get to the blog on breast massage…coming soon).
The deodorant dilemma
There is always 2 sides to every story so thankfully we in live in a world with choice. This choice over what to put under my arms comes down to: “I only put on my skin what I would feel safe putting in my mouth.”
Are you like me? Conscious of what you eat, read labels on cosmetics and household cleaners; I try to live as chemical free as I can but when it came to my deodorant I would slap on anything that worked regardless of what the label said. I will not risk smelling bad even though I know how harmful drugstore deodorants and antiperspirants are.
In the past I had tried many brands of natural deodorants but always wound up using some version of Secret. The natural brands could not hold up to my life style! I work closely with clients all day and just cannot risk smelling bad. For a brief time I rotated the natural deodorants to try to keep them working. I would use the crystal for about 2 weeks until it stopped working, then for the next few days start adding lavender essential oils to it before I applied, then use something totally different for the next week. As you can see this is very time consuming and frustrating.
While researching natural deodorants for the The new Luv Your Boobs website myself and my business partner Jenny Beech learned 2 things:
Firstly -read labels.
There certain chemicals in deodorants that you may want to avoid (they are listed below). I am suspect as to whether or not there is full disclosure on product labelling. Most commercial deodorants are full of “fillers” which are added to make the deodorant easier to pour into a container, therefore easier to use and cheaper and quicker to make. I was also disappointed to learn that 2 of my favourite companies Burt’s Bees and Tom’s of Maine (that have a very strong reputation for producing products for health-conscious people) where actually owned by Clorox Bleach and Colgate. This is when my faith in labelling was shaken and my desire to find a natural (and effective) deodorant began.
Secondly- it has to work.
Natural does not mean effective. We failed in finding a natural deodorant that we thought was effective and could stand up to a regular day at work. After much frustration we googled “recipe for natural deodorant,” took the first recipe that popped up, adapted it and magically made our first deodorant. After using it for several weeks, it kept working I started to tell everyone. I gave the recipe away over and over, gave away samples and really encouraged my clients to make it at home. No one would bite, Jenny and I made several batches and gave them out to all our friends, especially those who we knew where as picky as us and worked closely with people. They all loved it but said “I won’t make it myself, can you just make it and I’ll buy it from you?”
Silk deodorant comes to life!
So we did! Luv Your Boobs never intended to make deodorant, we started purely to educate women on breast health and make bras. It was a little like falling down the rabbit hole and now I suddenly have 200 pounds of baking soda and corn starch in my dining room and we have a “cooking” session once a month.
The bad news about commercially produced deodorant
Listed below are the top controversial ingredients in your commercial deodorant:
Aluminum -active ingredient in antipersperants to stop sweat glands from producing sweat. Many studies have shown a relationship between aluminum absorption and Alzheimer’s.
Parabens -a common preservative that mimics estrogen in the body. Elevated estrogen levels are linked to increased risk for breast cnacer.
Propyolene glycol – used to stop products from drying out, was originally created as an anti-freeze.
TEA and DEA (triethanolamine and diethanolamine). Once absorbed into our body causes allergic reactions and can lead to liver and kidney damage. Both known carcinogens.
For more information on what each of the ingredients in your current deodorant are and how they affect to body visit Skin Deep or Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Why worry about putting these chemicals on our skin?
Let’s start with where we apply deodorant. Under the arm!
The axilla (armpit area) has many lymph nodes that are directly linked to breast tissue. Our skin is permeable so what we put on our skin can absorb into our body tissue. Taxing the axillary lymph nodes with external toxins causes a congestion of lymphatic drainage and a stagnation of toxins in the breast tissue.
50% of breast cancer is found in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, closest to where you place deodorant. So why risk it?
The benefits of SILK deodorant.
We can proudly say our natural deodorant was never tested on any animals, unless you count all our friends who offered up their armpits to help bring it to life.
How to use our deodorant.
To be honest our deodorant like other natural deodorants can be a little finicky until you get used to it. The key to ours is use very little – LIGHTLY rub on, only a few swipes is needed. If you press too hard or use too much you will risk getting it on your clothing (it will brush off easily leaving no trace) or crumble. If it crumbles just gently push back into the container, the heat of your hand will re-mould the product. If applied properly our deodorant can last up to six months. Beware due to virgin coconut oil being one of the main ingredients it will melt at temperatures above 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees fahrenheit). If this happens just sit upright in cool place and the deodorant will reset and work just as well. It does acclimatize to hot temperature climates (ex Mexico) if you end up with no air conditioning and constant hot weather.
We are still in search of the perfect packaging for Silk. What is on the market is geared towards products filled with additives to make them easy to pour therefore quick, cheap packaging. Since we have removed these unnecessary fillers our product does not melt down completely and behaves more like a pastry dough.
Finicky-ness is a small price to pay for peace of mind! Know what goes on your skin, goes into your body and feel better knowing.
I hope you enjoy our “Silk” deodorant. I would love to hear your feedback.
Dare to live, Dawn
Full disclosure: I (Nicole) HAVE tried this product, I really do love using it and think it smells great. I’ve been using it for over 4 months and my team has not politely told me to take a shower or that I smell (and I work with clients all day so it’s in my best interest to be informed if my hygiene routine needs a do-over). We decided to help Dawn and Luv your Boobs spread the word by carrying SILK natural deodorant at Le Physique, and it’s been a hit with the clients. I thought it was only fair to have Dawn explain the logic and story behind it.