I was recently sent Crystal Essence deodorants to review. They are roll-on mineral deodorants that are hypoallergenic and paraben-free, and they do not contain aluminum chlorohydrate.
So what the heck does that all mean, anyways? Here is some of what I learned from doing a bit of research:
Aluminum chlorohydrate: One source states that this ingredient is linked to neurotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity in humans. Animal studies have shown that the ingredient irritates the skin, and it is suspected that this ingredient is also toxic to the environment.
Parabens: May be linked to breast cancer. The jury is still out on this one, but more cosmetic products seem to be adopting the paraben-free approach to be on the safe side.
Okay, so now we know what is not in Crystal Essence deodorant. But what is in there?
The ingredient list: purified water (aqua), natural mineral salts (potassium alum), cellulose.
Simple. I like it.
The deodorants that the company sent me came in Lavender & White Tea, Pomegranate, and Fragrance-free. I am not a fan of roll-on deodorant. It doesn’t feel nice to slick it on. But I must admit that this deodorant worked really well. They smell good and they keep you smelling good, too, even after you go to the gym. Seriously. I was impressed.
I typically use Dove anti-perspirant. When I peered at the back label to squint at the ingredients list (written in miniscule letters), I saw that it is loaded with all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients. Now, that’s not always a bad sign (as it may just be a complicated scientific name), but it can be a bad sign. Sure enough, my beloved Dove Ultimate Beauty Care Original* contains, among a couple of other ingredients reported to be safe, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine (toxic), cyclopentasiloxane (toxic and possibly cancerous), stearyl alcohol (an irritant, possibly cancerous, possibly toxic to the environment), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (possibly toxic to the environment), PPG-14 Butyl Ether (possibly toxic but likely safe in low doses), hydrogenated castor oil (possibly toxic to the environment), PEG-8 (not safe to use on damaged or irritated skin; otherwise fairly safe in low doses), dimethicone (suspected to be toxic to both humans and the environment), and BHT (toxic, suspected to be cancerous).
I don’t like fear mongering. I don’t believe that moral panic does anyone any good. I am not listing the ingredients here with their corresponding potential dangers to frighten anyone. Rather, I think it important for us to realize what we are putting on our bodies, so that we can make an educated decision of whether or not we want to continue using these products that we take for granted.
Learning about this makes me think twice about going to the drug store for ordinary deodorant. It seems like a much simpler process to get accustomed to the way that Crystal Essence roll-on deodorant feels than to continue buying a product which may or may not have a potentially very wide range of concerns for my body and for the environment.
I’m going to try using Crystal Essence more regularly to see if I can get used to the feeling of the roll-on (the website also shows that this line has other kinds of deodorants, such as stick deodorant, which I think I would much prefer). I would like to be rid of commercial deodorants and instead use something more natural which I can feel entirely comfortable about putting on my body.
Ultimately, I think that nearly anything can be “linked” to cancer, or to being harmful to the body or to the environment. Research is often funded by companies so that a specific result is proven, thus skewing the science. Even so, is it worth taking the chance? Yes, the tiny amount of ingredient that is used in these products probably isn’t that harmful, but I’d rather do the best thing I can for my body. And over the course of a lifetime, using the same product every day, that miniscule amount of toxic ingredient can really add up.
What about you? What product do you normally use? Would you consider making the switch if it means that the ingredients are better for you and the environment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
How safe is your deodorant? from Trying To Be Greener
The Cancer – Antiperspirant “Myth” from CBS Evening News
Deodorants, Antiperspirants and Your Health from Control Your Impact (check out parts 2, 3, and 4 of their series as well)
*Who comes up with the names for these products, anyways?
Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge for the purposes of blog review and did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.