I could write an endless list of ways to know you’re no longer a teenager. Which admittedly seems strange coming from someone who spent an entire island vacation binge-watching Austin and Ally. Despite my youthful heart (or horrific taste in television), the signs of unavoidable adult responsibility are really starting to pile up. Researching every single item and candidate on the ballot and getting ridiculously excited about a super capacity washing machine certainly don’t correlate with the teen years. But even more concerning: low cost of ownership takes the number 1 spot on my list of must-haves in a car. And also, I get super excited about an aluminum free deodorant that really works. #TimeMarchesOn
But really everyone should get excited about an effective, aluminum free deodorant. It allows you to maintain friendships *and* avoid accelerating certain forms of mental decline. Don’t believe me? I wrote an insanely long post about the link between aluminum exposure and cognitive decline a while back, but let’s review quickly for new readers.
Aluminum Is Everywhere, Including Antiperspirant / Deodorant
We encounter aluminum in a variety of ways daily, because apparently it serves a myriad of purposes. Like duct tape, but way worse for your brain. Cereal, pots, pans, aluminum foil, and aluminum cans expose us to a small amount of aluminum daily. But the most aggressive aluminum exposures come from antacids, allergy shots, dialysis, and industrial air.
Aluminum salts are the active ingredient in any antiperspirant, though many people don’t count them as an exposure risk. Why? Because, and please hold your laughter, everyone knows your skin acts as a barrier. That’s its whole purpose in life. So clearly nothing gets through, because everything in this world does what it’s supposed to. Public school provides a dependable education to all. The DARE program kept kids from doing drugs. Standardized testing elevated educational standards nationwide. And nothing gets through the impenetrable barrier of your skin.
Except drugs delivered through skin patches. Anti-histamine creams. Poison ivy. Icy Hot. And every topical skincare product on the market. In fact, this scientific publication spends an entire paragraph listing the ways skin fails as a barrier and allows topical skincare products to exert effects. So when you apply stuff to your skin, it *can* get through to your body.
Aluminum Is Linked to Brain Malfunction
Studies have repeatedly shown links between aluminum exposure and various brain issues. People exposed to high levels of aluminum experienced memory problems and trouble concentrating. And exposure to aluminum correlates with a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. For a deep dive on this topic, you can find the big, detailed list of scary reasons we should all avoid aluminum in my other post.
Deodorant Is The Way To Go
You can limit your exposure to aluminum in a variety of ways, including avoiding the points of exposure I listed earlier. But today we’re focusing on antiperspirant/deodorant. Because most of us wear it every day and often slather it on multiple times a day. And no, I can’t tell you that metric tons of antiperspirant-derived aluminum pass through your skin and run rampant in your body. But for me anyway, I’d rather be cautious when it comes to things that might make my brain turn to mush faster than binge-ing Netflix. And we know that things hundreds of times bigger than the aluminum in antiperspirant routinely make it past your skin.
So I only use aluminum free deodorant, and it has been a struggle, y’all. I’ve definitely thrown out a few workout shirts since making the switch, because the washing machine was no match for their… history of cardio abuse. But, I’d rather throw away a few t-shirts than mistake my brother for Jesus and start confessing all my sins. He doesn’t need to know how often I broke curfew to stay out late working on Calculus homework. Or about that time in 5th grade when I had to take a Spanish quiz on the first day at a new school and cheated off of my neighbor. Who did. NOT. know. Spanish, y’all. #RookieMistake #IFailedThatQuiz
It Doesn’t Have To Be A Natural Deodorant
But most of the good ones are. The most important thing is to make sure whatever you use to control your neandrathal perfume has zero aluminum in it so you can avoid increasing your risk of brain malfunction. Now, I gave some suggestions in my previous post, but I’ve since discovered some new deodorants that basically changed my life. In a tiny tiny way, but still. And they saved a bunch of my favorite workout shirts by being wildly effective. So, check out this list of my favorite aluminum free deodorants with scores for efficacy, skin friendliness, and scent:
- MagSol Magnesium Deodorant | Rose
Skin Friendliness: 9.5
Y’all, I first tested this with a two hour cardio session, and I literally came out smelling like roses. This stuff is amazing. The only way antiperspirant outperforms it is in actually preventing sweat. Otherwise, this stuff performs identically to antiperspirant, so much so that I quadruple checked to make sure it was aluminum free. Plus, it doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Probably because it uses magnesium for its base instead of baking soda, which also provides the added benefit of helping you get to sleep every night. This is now the only deodorant I use, and it comes in a bunch of different scents. If you haven’t tried it, do.
- Kopari | Regular Scent
Skin Friendliness: 9
I haven’t personally tried this one, but my best friend has. She said it’s the easiest natural deodorant to put on, doesn’t irritate her skin, and maintains a pleasant scent all day long.
- Primal Pit Paste | Jasmine
Skin Friendliness: 4
- Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick | Rose + Vanilla
Skin Friendliness: 6
Formerly my favorite deodorant but has been displaced by MagSol.
- Tom’s of Maine | Unscented
Skin Friendliness: 10
Use Aluminum Free Deodorant To Keep Your Brain Working
as long as possible anyway. And just as a reminder, no research has yet shown a direct cause and effect relationship between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s. But I personally see a crap ton (yes, that’s the scientific term) of correlation, and that’s enough to keep me on the aluminum minimizing bandwagon for the foreseeable future.
Have you tried aluminum free deodorants? Want to rant about them? Do that in the comments – that’s why they’re there! Or drop a line directly in my inbox!
Photo by morgan sarkissian on Unsplash