As I mentioned in a previous post, when I was pregnant a couple of years ago, I switched away from better-living-through-science products to virtuous better-living-through-organic-stuff products. It was pretty easy to switch to shampoos, soaps, and lotions without nasty chemicals in them, but makeup and deodorant were harder to find organic substitutions for. They simply didn’t work as well as their toxic counterparts.
On the top of my list of things to ‘go natural’ on was deodorant. I didn’t want ANY of the toxins in pharmacy deodorants going into me OR my baby. The aluminum in deodorants is linked to all sorts of nasty diseases, particularly breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. I’ve read articles that show that there is little link between degenerative diseases and aluminum, and articles that show a strong link. This article from the Washington Post discusses both sides, and points out that like most things, you have to follow the money trail, because in whose interest would it be to fund a study showing aluminum is toxic? Not the companies that usually fund research! In a nutshell though, the aluminum zirconium in deodorants gets absorbed into the cells in the sweat glands under our arms. These cells (thanks to the aluminum ion coating) swell when we sweat, closing the ducts, so that we stay dry and the water stays inside the ducts and is eventually reabsorbed by our body (along with the aluminum, of course). I’m not a scientist, but I was gifted with a great deal of common sense, and it seems clear to me that with skin being our largest organ, anything we put on it obviously gets absorbed into our bodies and bloodstreams.
In my quest for a healthy deodorant, I pretty much tried the whole shelf at my local health food store. They were all rubbish. Especially the salt crystal things. I must be especially stinky, because those crystal deodorants don’t do a thing for my odour, and seem to make me sweat more. The only deodorant that worked on me was the Dr Hauschka Floral one (recently renamed ‘Rose’). It isn’t a strong floral scent when you put it on, but to my shnoz, it was more pleasant than the Dr Hauschka Fresh one (recently renamed ‘Sage’). The Deodorant Formerly Known As Floral really did the job. Sure, in the summer, there may be a teensy bit of sweat, but crucially there was no stink, even in a gym class. I still use the Dr Hauschka one (let’s call her Rose, now that we’re all on a first name basis) but I read excellent reviews about Soapwalla cream deodorant, and had to give it a try… although I didn’t want to hurt Rose’s feelings. After all, she’d been with me on vacations to hot climates, to zillions of gym classes, and all throughout my pregnancy and early motherhood. We had history. We had a bond.
Still, I had a yen to try Soapwalla. As the name says, it is a cream, which means you apply it with with your fingers, like any other cream you put on your body. Unlike normal deodorants though, it doesn’t leave a weird dry chalky feeling on your fingers (nor on your pits, obvs). And it works! Synthetic fabrics are always the toughest to stay dry and sweet smelling in, and Soapwalla works beautifully. From their website:
‘Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream is all natural and uniquely powerful, utilizing superfine vegetable powders and clays, as well as lavender, peppermint and tea tree essential oils to absorb moisture, inhibit bacteria, and ensure a long-lasting and highly effective experience. The frosting-like consistency allows for easy manual application and rapid absorption, and is ideal for all skin types. Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream is vegan and is made with the highest quality organic and food-grade ingredients. Our Deodorant Cream does not contain questionable additives such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh and harmful chemicals, petroleum, or aluminum compounds that are frequently found in commercial antiperspirants, and is NEVER tested on animals.’
Honestly? They had me when they mentioned “frosting” but sealed the deal when they stated “NEVER tested on animals.” It is a terrific product, and I’m keen to explore other items from Soapwalla Kitchen, given their ethics, and that the company is run by a woman (Rachel Winard), and especially their use of words like “frosting” to describe deodorant!
deodorant, intentionally photographed with a halo!