Guys worry just as much as women do about B.O. Surprisingly, far less attention has been paid to “green” and healthy deodorants for the men in our lives than for ourselves. Safe deodorants are important regardless of gender. Parabens, a preservative used to keep some deodorants fresh, increasingly are showing up in breast tumor tissue. Synthetic fragrances, especially those in spray-on deodorants, can increase the incidence of acne, headaches, and respiratory problems. Aluminum, another ingredient common in conventional anti-perspirants, has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and painful swelling (per an interview with senior analyst Sean Gray at Environmental Working Group. Conventional deodorants may also contain phthalates, which are considered a reproductive toxin in the state of California.
Safer products for women have been around for years, primarily in response to their strong consumer demand. Guys can have a similar impact on manufacturers, by choosing the safest products available. These deodorant options, all of which are highly rated for health and safety by Environmental Working Group, are a good place to start:
Crystal deodorant: This clear, rock-like product uses mineral salts to reduce the bacteria that cause body odor. Just moisten the crystal and rub it under your arm; it dries immediately. The line has a product specifically for men. Added Benefit: the Crystal company is the top rated natural or conventional deodorant according to the analysis of Environmental Working Group. The company also supports "The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics" and pledges that any products it makes will "meet the standards and deadlines set by the European Union Directive 76/768/eeC to be free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects." Here’s some additional useful background on crystal deodorants.
Tom’s of Maine Unscented Deodorant stick: makes four different deodorants from ingredients like hops, chamomile, and lemongrass. You can purchase the deodorant fragrance-free, or scented with calendula, woodspice, or honeysuckle rose. Tom’s is available at most grocery and drug stores, including Rite Aid and Walgreens, but can also be purchased online.
Aubrey Organics uses herbal extracts and vitamin E in their Men’s Stock Natural Dry Herbal Pine deodorant. The deodorant comes in spray form (but not an aerosol can) and can be purchased directly from the company's website as well as in natural foods and Whole Foods stores.
Want more information on safe personal care products? Here you go.
(Research by Katie Kelleher)