Growing up in the ‘80s was a toxic nightmare for my poor little armpits. The marketing companies thrived on people like me who bought into those cheesy Teen Spirit deodorant commercials. The only thing I cared about was the cool packaging and lack of white flaky remnants on my black tank tops. It never crossed my mind that the ingredients in my colorful odor-fighter could actually harm my body. Worse yet, I used the chemical hair removal cream to eliminate unwanted armpit hair. What was I thinking! Obviously, all those chemicals must have gone straight to my brain, and stopped it from properly functioning.

The sad truth is most deodorants on the market today haven’t changed much from the deodorants of my teen life. Most of the antiperspirants still contain harmful chemicals, such as aluminum, parabens, triclosan, talc, propylene glycol and phthalates, all of which are harmful when absorbed through the skin. Humans are designed to perspire; sweating releases toxins from the body. Our lymphatic system is our drainage system. So, doesn’t it seem strange we prevent the body’s natural elimination processes with antiperspirant deoderants?

Recently, I was looking at a popular name brand deodorant in the supermarket, and the warning label said, “Do not use on broken skin. Warning—for external use only.” This is strange since women cut themselves all the time while shaving. Plus, the skin is an organ which absorbs whatever we put on it. So how can the company say it’s for external use only? There are tons of lymph nodes in your armpit, meaning anything you apply to this area will go straight to the lymphatic system. All of this explains the need to switch to an organic deodorant, ASAP. It can be difficult to switch. We’re creatures of habit, finding comfort in using one particular brand for years. But your body will reward you immeasurably for your decision in the long run.

Companies are starting to realize the public’s desire to have toxin-free deodorants. I’m amazed at all the new organic lines on the shelves today. You might have to test a few out before finding the one that works for you. A client of mine recently told me that her organic brand of deodorant didn’t seem to be working as well as her old aluminum-based antiperspirant. I suggested an organic brand with tea tree oil. Tea tree is a wonderful natural antiseptic which kills bacteria effectively. However, if you have sensitive skin, tea tree oil may be too strong. I have found that a teaspoon of organic coconut oil mixed with a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oil does the trick for me. It’s important to remember that the body might have to adjust once you switch to organic. Just give it time.

On the next page, learn why you should read the label carefully for harmful ingredients when choosing a deodorant.