Deodorant 101: Toxins to Avoid + Organic Options!

April 6, 2017

organic deodorant

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So changing out personal care products can be overwhelming. Where to start? What to buy? Do I throw out all my old stuff? What do I buy first? Okay, I am here to help. Listen, realizing that there are toxins in pretty much everything from your shampoo to your underwear is overwhelming enough but the key to keeping your head on straight through this transition is baby steps friends. Start with the products that you put on your skin everyday and don’t rinse off. I’m talking lotion, makeup and deodorant. I’m not saying forget about the rest of your products but focus on the ones that have the potential to do the most harm. These sit on you skin and enter your bloodstream – some say as fast as in 26 seconds – so let’s start there!

Today I want to talk about deodorant. There are several questionable ingredients in conventional deodorants that need some airing out.


Parabens are preservatives that prevent bacteria from growing. They are used in a ton of personal care products and keep them from going bad. You will see them looking like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, butylparaben and so on.

In 2015 Silent Spring Institute, who researches the environment and woman’s health with a focus on breast cancer, shed light on a study on parabens that was so interesting. The study showed that when scientists grew breast cancer cells in a lab and exposed them to heregulin (a growth-promoting substance that is normally found in breast tissue), the dose of parabens that was needed to stimulate cancer cell growth was 100x LOWER. Ruthann Rudel at Silent Spring says this shows the effects of parabens in low doses – doses that are most like ones found in personal care products. So when you see studies saying parabens don’t cause cancer, maybe they don’t but looks like they are causing cancer cell growth to happen a lot faster.

Synthetic Fragrances

This is a trade secret loop hole that can mask 100s to 1000s of toxic chemicals. explains: Under US regulations “fragrance can simply be labeled as fragrance” because under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act a company must disclose ingredients but can not be forced to reveal “trade secrets.” I mean, I get it because if you take a nontoxic perfume company for example, if they were required to list their combination of essential oils on the label their secret would be out – totally not fair and this is why this law was set in the first place. BUT mainstream companies are hiding ingredients under this umbrella term to avoid disclosure and it’s at the risk of my health and yours.

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The International Fragrance Association has posted a list of 2,094 fragrance ingredients in use in 2011. One look at this list and you will puke. MADE SAFE points out that this list includes ingredients like styrene (linked to cancer), resorcinol (linked to endocrine disruption), methylparaben, ethylparaben and not to mention phthalates (reproductive and developmental harm), or how about galaxolide or tonalide which are potential endocrine disruptors, don’t breakdown in the environment and are found in blood and breast milk. Sick.

If you see “fragrance” listed on any item, either email the company and ask them what that ingredient is specifically OR buy something else.

Alumimum Compounds

Alumimum is used as an antiperspirant in deodorants to plug sweat glands. Some studies show that aluminum applied to the underarm and left there can be absorbed and have estrogen-like hormonal effects. This is concerning because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells. The other concerning thing about aluminum is that because it plugs pores, it does not allow people to sweat. I mean, great if you are going to the Oscars but bad if you want to detox naturally. Sweating is a potential method of elimination for many toxic elements (including heavy metals) from the human body says the National Institute of Health.

Beware of any ingredients containing the word aluminum.

Additional offenders

Here are some other ingredients to stay clear of: silica, triclosan, talc, propylene glycol, steareth-n, TEA, DEA, artificial colors, PEGs…I mean the list just goes on and on. Check your deodorant to see if you can find any of these bad boys.

But lets wrap up our visit to negative town. Next stop? Solution city. On to talking about some healthy deodorant options.

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Bubble & Bee Organic

Bumble & Bee deodorant

I wanted to introduce you guys to Bubble & Bee Organic. They are an online shop that has been around for over 10 years and they make the largest selection of organic deodorants, made by one company, IN THE WORLD. I mean talk about love at first click!

Buying organic pretty much ensures you are avoiding all of the nasty aforementioned toxins as well as GMOs, pesticides and chemical fortifiers. But of course, say it with me; always read your labels. I actually have a handful of deodorants that I love that work for me that are NOT organic but still super clean. So a deodorant does not have to be organic to be clean but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Here is my experience with a couple of deodorants Bubble & Bee sent me to try:

Bubble & Bee Organic Deodorant Spray in Jasmint: This certified organic deodorant  is made with: organic witch hazel extract, organic jasmine scent extract, organic peppermint essential oil, organic rice enzymes, organic sunflower oil and organic potassium cocoate. Notice anything? No nasties! A couple things to note about performance. It goes on wet so if you are used to your pits feeling dry; consider yourself warned. And also because of the peppermint, I wouldn’t recommend spraying this on right after shaving unless you want your pits to feel like they are on fire. But on the flip, this formula kept odor at bay, smells super refreshing and there was absolutely no chance of getting deodorant marks on my black shirts which you ladies know is HUGE. $10.85

Bubble & Bee Wild Rose Pit Putty Cream: This certified organic deodorant was my fave out of the three I tried. Now let me just start by saying if you are skeeved out by the idea of applying deodorant with your fingers – get over it! Seriously, what’s the diff between applying cream to your arm v. your pit – I say nothing. Okay that being said, not all cream deodorants are created equal. The texture of this one is more of a balm/cream and is SO EASY to get out of the jar and then rub onto your skin. It’s actually a pleasure. It looks white in the jar but rubs in clear and leaves pits feeling dry thanks to the baking soda and arrowroot power. Plus it smells like a full bloom rose garden. I would totally buy this again. $10.85

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Oh and check out the ingredients: organic arrowroot powder, organic Shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic rose scent extract in organic sunflower oil and baking soda 

Bubble & Bee Pit Putty Deodorant Stick: And for all you stick lovers out there this one may be for you! Made with: organic arrowroot powder, organic extra virgin coconut oil, baking soda and organic lilac scent extract. This one smells great and goes on dry which I know a lot of people love. For me, I found I had to reapply half way through out the day and product transfer was uneven. But I gave it to my hubs to try and he loves it. He is a stick guy all the way and I think applying over hair makes a difference with how the product transfers. $10.85

Shop Bubble & Bee

Bubble & Bee expertly formulates their deodorants to be gentle on skin and they guarantee them to work. I love this policy. This means if you try one of their deos and it does not work to control odor for you they will send you a replacement until you find one that does. Everyones body chemistry is different so what may work for one may not work for another and they totally get that. Bubble & Bee also makes all of their deodorants in small batches to ensure ultimate freshness and potency. No aluminums, hidden ingredients or parabens. Their formulas are also all gluten-free.

I love Bubble & Bee’s commitment to not only making and selling a clean deodorant but a certified organic one at that! BEEutifuly done! Shop Bubble & Bee.


Disclosure: Thank you to Bubble & Bee for partnering together for today’s post. Knowing how, why and where to buy a clean deodorant is so important!


By Lisa

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    This is one switch I haven’t made yet – partly because I’ve never received a sample… Does that sound silly? Anyway, you mentioned that you have a few deodorants that aren’t organic but still really clean – can you share what those are?

    1. Reply


      I have also had great luck with Schmidt’s, Meow Meow Tweet, Ursa Major and Green Tidings! I totally get it, I am all about the samples!

  2. Reply


    This post was super helpful and very informative. Thanks for sharing Lisa 🙂

    xoxo Nicole

    1. Reply


      Thanks for reading Nicole!

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