Thank you Tom’s of Maine for sponsoring this post. Read on to learn why I starting using natural deodorant, not antiperspirant…
A few years ago, I didn’t know what was in my deodorant either… and I actually used antiperspirant. I switched to Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant after I started reading the labels on my personal care products – because the products you put on your skin matter just as much as the food you put in your body. And what I found listed on the back of many of my and my family’s personal care products was not just disappointing – it was scary.
Why I Now Use Natural Deodorant, Not Antiperspirant
When my oldest daughter was 3, she had the worst flare up of eczema she had ever experienced. She had struggled with eczema since birth, and her pediatrician kept telling me most kids grow out of it. Every appointment, he’d make more recommendations: don’t use any products with fragrance, use only sensitive body wash, try diet elimination. The list kept growing, as did the pile of steroid creams and antihistamines we were putting into her tiny body.
One night, in the bath tub with her little sister, she burst into tears. “I just want pretty clear skin like her.” My heart broke into a million pieces. I booked an appointment with a dermatologist the next day, and, at his urging, a follow-up with an allergist for testing. I also started carefully reading the ingredient lists on all our personal care products, the same way the mother of a child with a nut allergy would do with food.
My first alarming discovery: some of our products didn’t disclose ANY ingredients on them. Then, after using the same sensitive, unscented body wash on all my kids since birth, the very one recommended by my pediatrician, for the first time I noticed a little asterisk next to the UNSCENTED on the front of the bottle. I turned it over to discover it actually contained neutralizing FRAGRANCE, basically the F-word for families like ours battling sensitive skin issues. I was furious, and vowed to know better and do better for myself and my kids going forward.
How Many Products Do You Use Before Breakfast?
On average, most women use 12 personal care products daily, while teenage girls average 17! Sit down and think through your morning routine: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer, make-up, perfume. This can add up to exposure to hundreds of unknown ingredients before you even sit down for breakfast. And if you are worried about what’s in the food you eat for breakfast, you should be just as worried about what is in those products you are using beforehand.
As you start paying more attention, you may quickly find it’s not all that easy to figure out what is IN your personal care products. There are no laws requiring personal care companies to disclose all ingredients. And they can use the word FRAGRANCE to represent thousands of different ingredients and claim they are ‘trade secret.’ I began gravitating towards brands that were more transparent and used fewer, safer ingredients.
Tom’s of Maine became a fast favorite. Tom’s of Maine is a leading natural personal care brand that makes high quality natural toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, bar soap, body wash and baby care products.
A Quick and Easy Switch: Use Natural Deodorant, Not Antiperspirant
While you probably refer to anything you put on under your arms as deodorant, many people actually use antiperspirant. The primary active ingredient in antiperspirant is aluminum salts. It prevents you from sweating by plugging your pores, effectively blocking you from sweating.
Your body sweats to help regulate your body temperature and to eliminate toxins from your body. Using antiperspirant prevents both these natural body functions from properly occurring. There have also been a number of studies into links between aluminum and antiperspirant use with breast cancer, and even Alzheimer’s, though opinions still vary on any direct links.
The potential risks and other unknown ingredients, especially fragrances, in my antiperspirant was enough to convince me to switch. Tom’s of Maine is the the #1 natural deodorant brand, with a number of award-winning deodorant products to choose from. I personally love Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant in Lemongrass. All the ingredients are listed on the back, AND you can also go to their website to see the purpose of each and every one. Tom’s of Maine odor-fighting deodorants feature hops and natural fragrances, along with a blend of vegetable oils, organic aloe leaf juice, and other plant-based ingredients to provide 24-hour odor protection. As an added bonus – natural deodorant won’t leave those nasty yellow stains on your shirts either!
A Few Tips for Switching to Natural Deodorant
One of the biggest adjustments when switching from antiperspirant to deodorant is feeling wetness. It may actually not happen immediately, as your pores may be blocked for several days even after you switch. But after that, you may sweat… A LOT. Your body actually tries to sweat more when you use antiperspirant because you are blocking pores from sweating. This will naturally adjust, and you will find you sweat less after a few days.
Exfoliating under your arms, giving your new natural deodorant a try for at least 7 days, and trying different scents (or unscented) can help you find the best fit for your personal body chemistry. I would also recommend making the switch now, during the cooler Fall and Winter months when you sweat less anyway.
I was inspired to make better choices about my personal care products because of my kids. I ultimately switched because I learned that I HAD to do better for my daughter… and the more I learned, the more I realized I had to do better for myself too. Know what is in the personal care products you put on your body because what you put ON your body matters as much as what you put inside of it! I’m grateful for Tom’s of Maine’s transparency and safer products, that make switching to safer products easier.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.