Natural deodorants, do they really work?

I have known about the risks of aluminium deodorants for years now. Searching for a natural option that worked was not  successful so I kept going back to aluminium deodorants. I have traveled extensively around the globe and lived on many continents, always trying new natural deodorants but I kept smelling..... not of roses.

When I lovely lady who makes her own natural skincare products, from a small town in Sweden suggested I try her deodorant, I was more than skeptical. I was convinced natural deodorants do not work. I am so happy she insisted I try her recipe.

 

This natural deodorant, now called Undercover agent, really works! The lady also tried it out on her grown up son and their mates during a sailing regatta. They all came back with thumbs up, not just from winning. 

There is no longer a need to compromise our health

An ingredient that allows deodorants to be both natural and effective is potassium alum, a naturally occurring mineral. Deodorant companies are replacing their harmful or toxic chemical ingredients used to prevent odor with this natural mineral. And if they aren’t, they should. Potassium alum is a natural deodorant ingredient that provides very effective odor protection, and best of all, it is an equally effective alternative to synthetic active ingredients.

Potassium alum deodorant can provide benefits that are unmatched by leading traditional deodorants. Potassium alum, when used in its pure state, will provide 24 hour odor protection by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Additionally, it is hypoallergenic, and does not include ingredients like alcohol, Parabens or aluminum chlorohydrate.

Alum vs. aluminium

Many people get confused about Alum because the press talk about Aluminium being bad for us. Aluminium is the third most abundant element on the planet and we ingest it in large proportions every day in water and food. In fact, in some parts, its presence in water is the only thing that allows it to be drunk without harm. It is not particularly good for living organisms in the body so over eons we have evolved a particularly efficient and effective system for allowing naturally occurring Aluminium and its salt derivatives to pass through the body without effect. However it is specific types of manmade synthetic Aluminium that have the health scares associated with them.

Aluminium Chlorohydrate is a synthetic ingredient of antiperspirants/deodorants, designed to be absorbed into and to block the pores under the arms, to prevent perspiration. There have been some claims that there may be a connection between Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer and Aluminium Chlorohydrate.

A safe and effective natural deodorant

With a long history of safe use as a deodorant ingredient Alum is a traditional alternative to many modern deodorants. Our deodorant Undercover agent is made from just a solid moulded lump of crystallised alum, which is a naturally mined mineral salt.

Other uses for potassium alum

Furthermore, potassium alum can act as a great aftershave. It provides astringent and antiseptic effects which allow it to stop the bleeding of shaving cuts and nicks while toning and firming the skin. And, a little known secret of potassium alum is that it can also prevent razor bumps or even help remove pimples. Potassium alum has a variety of uses in our world. It is used in the preparation of flour and cheese and is used in OTC oral health products as an astringent. It can also be used for water clarification, seafood preservation, and pickling.

The advantages of sweating

Sweating is a physiological effect, which is why antiperspirants are covered by the OTC monographs in the USA and are quasi-drugs in Japan. Unfortunately in UK legislation there is no difference made between deodorants and antiperspirant. We think that blocking the skins pores completely is not advisable and that the physiological action of the skin should be left intact as far as possible. Alums low degree of antiperspirant action means that your skins pores are not blocked completely, yet its high degree of antibacterial action mean that it acts as an effective deodorant and only partial antiperspirant.

Deodorant and antiperspirants - a very real difference

Aluminium Chlorohydrate is an active antiperspirant ingredient, which offers a high degree antiperspirancy and low degree of deodorant function. It is used in many over the counter and prescription antiperspirant products. Alum has low degree of antiperspirancy and functions more as a deodorant than an antiperspirant.

How aluminium chlorohydrate works

It is thought to work when aluminium ions are taken into the cells that line the eccrine-gland ducts at the opening of the epidermis in the top layer of the skin. As aluminium ions are drawn into the cells, there is water that passes in with them and causes the cells begin to swell and squeeze the ducts closed so that sweat cannot get out. There is a limit to the amount of water that each cell can accept and the cells reach a balance. Sweating stops until slowly the water escapes and the cellular swelling decreases and then the sweating process will resume. The process is dependent on the number of aluminium ions applied. The supposition that Aluminium Chlorhydrate blocks the pores is substantiated in the Merck Manual online “Aluminum chloride hexahydrate in a 6 to 20% solution in absolute ethyl alcohol is indicated for topical treatment of axillary, palmar, and plantar sweating; these preparations require a prescription. The solution blocks sweat ducts and is most effective when applied nightly and covered tightly with a thin polyvinylidene or polyethylene film; it should be washed off in the morning.” Reiber et al. 1995 also suggest that Aluminium chlorhydrate salt, is thought to form an obstructive plug of aluminium hydroxide within the sweat duct.
There possibility that Aluminium in antiperspirants can be absorbed through the skin has been suggested (Graves et al. 1990), but this hypothesis has not been clinically confirmed.
Studies on Breast cancer and Antiperspirants/deodorants - taken from the National Cancer Institute website at www.cancer.gov

At True organic of Sweden we recognize that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.

Tina