Adventures in Homemade Deodorant Making Part 1
This is a label from your average, traditional stick of deodorant. Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex is used in many conventional deodorant/antiperspirants. It works because it blocks pores in your underarm area, thereby preventing sweating. Additionally, it supposedly binds with sweat and inhibit odors. There is great debate raging at the moment about whether or not this stuff is significantly harmful if used in any appreciable quantity. The problem for me is that you basically apply this material directly to your lymph nodes. More on this later.
This is a list of the inactive ingredients in that same stick of conventional deodorant. Petrolatum, aka petroleum jelly (think Vaseline), is a semi-solid white/yellow substance that is created from the fractional distillation of petroleum. Petrolatum use in cosmetics has been banned in the UK (unless the source can be proven free of toxins) because it has been found in breast tumors. Now, Vaseline has been around for a loooonnnggg time, and I’m not going to sit here and even try to pretend that I will never use Vaseline again. The problem for me is that I’m applying this stuff mere centimeters from my breast tissue. Basically everything in this list is a suspected carcinogen (but isn’t everything?), especially cyclopentasiloxane and fragrances.
Now back to the lymph node issue. Your lymph nodes belong to a vitally important component of your body called the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system’s job is to clean and detoxify, heal and aide in tissue regeneration, circulate hormones and antibodies, build and maintain a healthy, functioning immune system, and filter inorganic waste. It accomplishes this via a large network of vessels in your body.
At various points in your body, called lymph nodes, the lymph (the yellow fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system) gets filtered and bacteria, foreign objects, etc. get trapped there and antibodies against foreign invaders are manufactured and sent out to the circulatory system. There are lymph nodes in your neck, under your arms, and lots of other places. The white blood cells located there then clean up and dispose of these wastes that are delivered. Lymph node swelling is an indication of physical health because when your lymph nodes swell, your body is fighting a foreign invader. Even though the American Cancer Society says deodorants don’t cause breast cancer, I decided that if I could minimize the chemicals that might be absorbed into an area containing such important lymph nodes, I would try it. In my opinion, the research is incomplete at best as to whether or not the chemicals are being absorbed into our bodies and causing these cancers.
Wishing to try to reduce the amount of chemicals I applied directly the lymph node area of my body, I set out to make my own deodorant. Stay tuned for part two!