As most of you have probably heard by now, there are certain ingredients in most deodorants that have been linked to breast cancer; particularly parabens and aluminum. Some studies have shown increased absorption of these substances through the axillary (armpit) skin. Why is that bad? Well, parabens have weak estrogen-like properties, which can be a concern to some because excess estrogen in the body can lead to breast cell replication. On the flip-side, the estrogen-like effects from parabens alone has not demonstrated any relationship to the development of breast cancer, and estrogen we make in our body is much stronger than those from any outside sources.
Aluminum, which is added to deodorants for its antiperspirant effects (i.e. they block the sweat glands), has been shown to cause changes in the estrogen receptors on breast cells. Though, like parabens, the absorption of aluminum through the skin is very minimal, and most of the aluminum found in our bodies is actually due to ingestion (from foods) or other sources as well. In addition, other studies have shown no difference in the amount of aluminum found in breast cancer tissue compared to normal breast tissue. So again, we can’t really confirm (or deny) the exact link between aluminum absorbed through the skin and its effects on breast cancer development.
All of this being said, there are many people out there, including myself, who would prefer to not take any chances. With breast cancer being as common as it is (1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in there lifetime), why add any extra potential risks. So, in light of breast cancer awareness month, I decided to do a little self guided research study to find out which (of 3) natural deodorants works the best. I chose my three based on amazon reviews, recommendations from friends, and price. I wore each of them for one week (this included work, gym days, painting my bedroom, football games, etc) to see how they held up. I’m going to give you the pros and cons of each, and let you know which one I will be using from now on.
Crystal Essence was created by Jerry Rosenblatt in 1984, when he went to France and discovered a mineral salt that worked to purify water and worked as a deodorant as well. He brought this idea to New York, where sales began at Henri Bendel. Now, with the success of his original products, the line expanded and today there are over 25 different Crystal Deodorant products. The one I decided to try was the roll on, which comes in several different scent.
I purchased “Vanilla Jasmine” because it seemed to have the most reviews, but to be honest I think it really just smells like some sort of lime concoction. I do tend to like the fact that it’s a roll on since it goes on super easy, but that also means it takes some time to dry, and my armpit area felt sticky for a few minutes afterwards. Lastly, I didn’t find that I stayed smelling fresh the whole day, especially not on days that I went to the gym (sorry to those who were working out near me). If you want to try it out, but you’re not sure which product to purchase, they do sell a trial pack to test out a few different items.
-Comes in 4 different scents
-Super cheap ($4.75 on their website, $3 on Amazon, for 2.25 oz.)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing
-The scents (to me) don’t really smell like what they’re supposed to
-Needs some time to dry, sticky underarm feeling for a few minutes
-Doesn’t really last the whole day (especially not with any physical activity)
-Re-application needed for better effect
Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant:
Bali Secrets is an all natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free deodorant line. They’re a small company from California, but the products are available on their website. I actually purchased this deodorant because of the seriously ridiculously amazing reviews on Amazon. So while it was a little bit pricier, I still decided to give it a go. I tried the Aloe Delight scent, which to me, kind of just smells like soap. I also read great reviews about Delicate Rose, and Sandalwood for men, so I got that one for my boyfriend (it kind of smells like baby powder?).
Like the other roll on, it went on smooth and easy, but did need a few minutes to dry completely. I found that it worked O.K. Definitely better than the crystal essence (which I would hope, since it’s 3 x the price), but I didn’t feel like I smelled super fresh the entire day. I think I might try another scent to give it another chance, since the reviews really are so so good.
-Comes in 5 different scents (some for men and women)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing
-Like the other roll on, needs time to dry
-Expensive ($13.99 for 2.4 oz.)
-I got a mild skin reaction to it on the last day
Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant:
Schmidt’s Naturals was started by Jamie Schmidt in Portland, Oregon in 2010, with the idea of making products that would benefit her family’s health. Via word of mouth about how great her product actually was, news spread and voila- Schmidt’s is sold practically everywhere. They are also known for their all natural ingredients, great customer service, and even a recycling program, so with the motto of “changing the way people think about deodorant,” Schmidt’s is doing just that.
When I was first told about Schmidt’s, I wasn’t sure which scent I wanted to try (there are SO many), but when my boyfriend’s mom bought one for me that issue was instantly solved. She got me the “Rose & Vanilla” scent, which is pretty true to it’s title, and while I occasionally feel like I smell like a grandmother, I’ve actually grown quite fond of the smell. The deodorant goes on somewhat easily (I usually run it back and forth about 3-4 times to make sure it’s on evenly) and I swear it works better than my regular deodorant. Side note- Schmidt’s sells body soaps as well!
-Smells amazing and they sell multiple scents
-Literally leaves you stink-free all day
-Average price, but bigger sizes ($8.99 for 3.25 oz)
-Comes in small travel sizes as well
-They also sell a “sensitive skin” line for those with easy irritation
-Will leave some residue on your clothes
-Thicker material, not as easy to put on
I want you guys to know that this post was in no way sponsored by any of these companies; I did it just to spread some knowledge and help you save money if you want to go the natural route without having to try several different brands like I did.
Overall I can say that I will be a loyal Schmidt customer from now on. Not only do I love the fact that I don’t smell AT ALL throughout the day, but the scent of the deodorant actually lasts as well. I reached out to Schmidt’s Naturals to let them know they won my sniff test, and they gave me a coupon code for you guys to use – NATURAL15 will give you 15% off their website. My next purchase is going to be the Schmidt’s Travel Size 5-Pack, so that I can test out some of the other scents (and I’ll be using that coupon code myself).
Let me know if you guys have tried any of these before, what your thoughts are, or if you know of any other brands that work. Good luck and good smells!!