Deodorant’s Dirty Secrets: 4 Dirty Ingredients to Avoid

You’re half way through that barre class and you start to become overwhelmed with the smell of baby powder. You aren’t thinking about how, it hurts so much to move just an inch anymore, because all you can think about is that damn, baby powder smell of deodorant. Who’s wearing that smelly deodorant? Is it the lady next to you? You slide your nose past your armpit to see how your deodorant is holding up. You’re doing ok. Deodorant is noticeable if its not working and sometimes when it is. What are the chemicals that keep us from getting stinky and are they toxic? There is toxic deodorant, and you want to find a good natural deodorant.

Conventional deodorant has some dirty secrets with lots of chemicals you can’t pronounce, and many have these 4 ingredients you want to avoid.

1) Aluminum

Antiperspirants and deodorants, along with several other types of personal care products, contain a significant amount of aluminum. (1) Why is it in there? It works by clogging the sweat glands, so the sweat never reaches the skin. (2) Aluminum is what Secret calls its “prized fighting ingredient that reduces how much you sweat.”  The secret is -you still sweat! It’s just not getting out of your body. Sweating is an important pathway for your body to detoxify.

The other secret is that metals, like aluminum, can lead to heavy metal toxicity. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar: chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, and headaches? Some people handle metal exposure with little to no side effects, but others are less able to detoxify these metals from their system and experience chronic health issues as a result. Learn more about heavy metal toxicity in this article.

Aluminum is also a metalloestrogen, a class of endocrine disruptors that is known to mimic estrogen and can accumulate in the blood and tissues. It has commonly been found in cancerous tissues of women. (3)(4) Concentrations of aluminum at 100,000 times lower than what is found in deodorants have been shown to cause cellular changes. (5) The secret no one wants to talk about is that cancer is on the rise and we are using chemicals that are not proven to be safe.

2) Parabens

Parabens are preservatives that are also endocrine disruptors. When these nasty chemicals get into your body they mimic the body’s natural estrogen. Well, what do you think combining multiple endocrine disruptors does to the body? Do you want them near your lymph nodes or breast tissue?

It’s not good for anyone and can lead to higher risk of breast cancer for women. A U.C. Berkeley study, found that parabens were associated with cancer and also found that when the parabens were in the tissue of women with breast cancer that it could lead to faster, more aggressive tumors. (6) Don’t think you are safe because you are a guy. There have been higher rates of breast cancer in men and just because there aren’t lots of studies looking into impacts on male tissues doesn’t prove they are safe.

3) Phthalates

Phthalates are a common endocrine disruptor found in many personal care products including deodorants. They mess with your androgen system and both sexes are impacted by these hormone-disrupting chemicals. So, don’t think hormones are important just for ladies. Recent research shows these terrible chemicals are capable of causing feminine characteristics in males in all species. (7)

Phthalates mess with your hormones and your metabolism.  Phthalates exposure has been linked to obesity, infertility, breast cancer, testicular cancer, developmental issues, and asthma. (8) Phthalates are a plasticizer and they are also used in personal care products to make fragrance stick. The thing about phthalates is you might not see them on your label even when they are in the product. We can explain more in number 4.

4) Fragrance

Fragrance doesn’t sound like a very harmful ingredient but it’s one you want to avoid because there is no way to know what it really is. The word fragrance can mean a whole host of nasty chemicals because fragrance ingredients don’t need to be identified.

Over 3,100 ingredients are used in personal care products. Many contain fragrance combinations of 14 ingredients out of the over 3100 possibilities. Some of those ingredients are allergens, carcinogens or endocrine disruptors like phthalates. The secret of that “baby powder smell” isn’t a good one.

Better Options: What’s in Pathway To Wellness Crew’s Cabinets

Here’s what you will find in our bathroom cabinets! These natural deodorants don’t contain parabens, aluminum, phthalates or un-natural fragrance. 


Heather Snedeker Bladel Office Manager, The Wellness Way Rockford, Rockford IL We love Native Coconut and Vanilla deodorant! It works great! Smells great! Even our stinky teens smell better!

Danielle Duquaine, Front Desk and Food Consultant, Pathway To Wellness- Green Bay, Native and Schmidt’s are the only two I have found that I like and have an array of smells I enjoy.

Christy Flynn, Original Wellness Way Mama- Pathway To Wellness, Green Bay, WI  We used to use Funk Butter which is great unless you react to the baking soda in it …now I’ve been using Native for the past few years and LOVE it!!! My athletic daughters are no longer stinky as long as they remember to put it on.


Dr. Jason Nobles, Clinic Director- Pathway To Wellness- Green Bay, Green Bay, WI  I like Schmidt’s unscented, ylang ylang or charcoal and magnesium. Schmidt’s is good stuff without the toxins.

Dr. Cody Senkyr, Cowan Chiropractic- A Wellness Way Affiliate, Clarkston, MI  I use Schmidts because it is aluminum free and uses essential oils for scents!

Dr. Ashlen Lincoln, Pathway To Wellness- Louisville, Louisville, CO  My personal favorite Schmidt’s Lavender and Sage… actually smells great compared to a lot of other natural ones


Dr. Ryan Davis, Pathway To Wellness- Largo, Largo, FL I use Alaffia brand mostly. It has activated charcoal. I just switched from Jason’s because the tea tree still has fragrance in it!

Primal Pit Paste

Danny Stoyanova, Client Training and Development, Wellness Way Enterprises, Green Bay, WI I use Primal Pit Paste! I Love it!! The jasmine one is my favorites!

Dr. Kelvie Culpepper, Poplarville Family Chiropractic- A Wellness Way Affiliate, Poplarville, MS       I like Native and Primal Pit Paste lavender. I chose to avoid the aluminum in the other commercially produced deodorants. I have read/watched a lot of Dr Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon in Mississippi, who has done extensive research on the toxicity of aluminum to the brain.

Every Man Jack

Krista Schabel, Nurse, Pathway To Wellness- Green Bay, Green Bay, WI For men…my husband uses Every Man Jack brand and it works great! He sweats a LOT due to his workouts and playing a lot of basketball, and he never stinks…unless he forgets to apply it before going to the gym!

Homemade is preferred

Dr. Stacey Willey, Complete Balance Chiropractic- A Wellness Way Affiliate, Rock Island, IL I loved my homemade one that a friend makes but I’m out. Right now, I am using Primal Pit Paste.

*The only way to know for sure what is in your deodorant is to make it yourself. Try Pathway To Wellness’s Natural Deodorant Recipe!*

Pro- Tips for Natural Deodorant Wins

  • Apply Results ACS RNA silver gel before deodorant. It will kill any bacteria which creates odor and helps the natural deodorants apply better. In fact, on minimal days, silver can be all you need to keep the smell away.
  • Give yourself time to detox after years of using antiperspirants and deodorants! You may notice an increase in smell the first few weeks but that will balance out. Give that natural deodorant a chance!
  • If you notice a rash, take a look at the ingredients on your natural deodorant. Some natural deodorants have baking soda which can be irritating for some people. Don’t worry there are lots that don’t have baking soda.
  • If you are worried about the staining, wait a few minutes after applying to let the deodorant soak in before putting on your clothes. A naked dance always helps the deodorant soak in faster.

Fresh Transparency with Natural Deodorant

You don’t need dangerous ingredients, and ones that you can’t say, to stay fresh. Find a company that you like that uses transparency and good organic ingredients for healthy freshness. The only secret you need to be worrying about is staying healthy and keeping up in barre. Share your new favorite natural deodorant with your friends in class and let us know what you like in the comments.










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