Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately

When I made the switch to organic living years ago, my (mostly toxic) personal care products were the last thing to go. Once I figured out what toxic industrial chemicals in food were doing to my body – I knew I had to get rid of them from every part of my life. I think this progression is how most people figure out how to detox their life too. First I cleaned out my fridge and pantry, then it was figuring out a natural way to clean my house, and then I went on to look at what I was putting on my body. The very first personal care product I switched out was what I rubbed under my underarms every day – right where some of my lymph nodes are, glands that plays a huge roll in the immune system.


The reason I started there was because as soon as I flipped my “Secret” anti-perspirant over to read the ingredients I noticed it had contained “Aluminum zirconium.” Right then, a memory I had when I was a child smacked me in the face. There was this neighbor of mine growing up who always had sweaty armpits. I mean her pits were so wet, that you could see it through her clothes ALL THE TIME. I didn’t quite understand why she had such sweaty armpits and others I knew did not. Because I was young and crazy inquisitive, while playing in the yard one day, I just straight up asked her- why do you sweat so much? She told me that she didn’t like using aluminum under her armpits. This information at the time totally didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t know what aluminum was or why I should care but I realized right then, she wasn’t wearing the anti-perspirants my brother or my parents were wearing for an obviously good reason. A good enough reason that she wasn’t concerned about the public embarrassment of sweaty pits.

Well, after my memory flashback, I researched the ingredient Aluminum, and found out it is linked to all sorts of diseases, including 2 that I sadly personally have witnessed in close friends and family members – Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. The link of aluminum to these diseases is hotly debated, some studies find a low risk factor (probably those funded by the chemical companies) and some find horrible results, like those studies that find aluminum accumulating in breast tissue or breaking the blood brain barrier leading to Alzheimer’s.

The reason chemical companies put aluminum in anti-perspirants is to “dry out sweat by injecting aluminum ions in the cells that line the sweat ducts. When the aluminum ions are drawn into the cells, water flows in; the cells begin to swell, squeezing the ducts closed so sweat cannot get out,” according to the Julie Gabriel, The Green Beauty Guide. I don’t know about you but this reaction is really unnatural. Preventing sweat from exiting my body doesn’t seem like a good idea, considering humans sweat for a reason. Sweating actually has a lot of benefits – clearer skin, lowers body temperature and fights off sickness – so why would I want to prevent my body doing what it needs to do to stay healthy?

Just to give you a sense of how much aluminum is used in typical products – the FDA requires that all anti-perspirants decrease the average person’s sweat by 20 percent – so manufacturers usually use anywhere between a 10-25 percent concentration of aluminum in products. That is just crazy, isn’t it? Especially for an ingredient that is a potent neurotoxin.

So this is the ingredient that caused me to make the switch and should hopefully get you too (if you already haven’t) to run out and buy deodorant without Aluminum. (FYI – Some of the most toxic brands according to the Environmental Working Group include English Leather, Mitchum, Suave, Secret, Gillette, Right Guard, Soft & Dry, Tussy)

Let’s be honest though, knowing which personal care products to choose without toxins is tough and getting access can be even tougher. You can’t exactly just pop into an everyday drug store and always find a safe brand without aluminum and other harmful chemicals.

Here are some posts for more information about which chemicals to avoid in beauty products, how to find safe ones and some swap out products that I use…

A lot of companies reach out to me wanting me to write about them and only a few make the cut – I am happy to share one of those companies (I recently discovered myself) with you here today and host a giveaway for their product.

Primal Pit Paste has developed a deodorant without aluminum or parabens. They recently sent me some of their products to test out. After leaving them on the bathroom counter for a couple of weeks, I noticed that one of the containers had been opened, but I didn’t do the opening… it was my husband who dug in first and starting using the pit paste stick (He thought I put it on the counter for him! Giving him a hint, ha!). Long story short, he went from wearing nothing to wearing Primal. Knowing he is so picky about personal care products (especially deodorant), I knew this stuff had to be good. Looking at the list of ingredients in the paste totally puts me at ease too…I mean, can it be any cleaner?

Ingredients in Primal Pit Paste: organic coconut oil, organic raw shea butter, non-aluminum baking soda, organic arrowroot powder, organic essential oils.



Primal Pit Paste Giveaway (4 readers will win):

4 products of their choice of flavor for 1 regular, 1 strong, 1 stick and 1 kids


To Enter The Giveaway, Follow These Simple Steps:

  1. Sign up for Food Babe updates - you get a personal letter from me each time I post with insights about my life only subscribers see and hear…
  2. AND leave a comment below by Noon on Monday, April 15, 2013
  3. Get a second entry if you “Like” my Facebook page - I share daily pictures and important news on a regular basis you don’t want to miss!

Oh and if you can’t wait to win and need this paste asap - Primal Pit Paste is giving 10% off all their products for a limited time.

Use this link - and enter code FOODBABE10 at check out (expires 6/30/2013).

If you know someone who needs to clean out their bathroom drawer or perhaps swap out the antiperspirant they’ve been using for a better one (especially men!) – share this giveaway and discount with them. I’m sure they would be very appreciative. Maybe if they win, they’ll give you some of their winnings! 


Good Luck!

Food Babe

Congrats to the winners of the Primal Pit Paste giveaway! You have been notified via email:

1. Kylie K on April 11, 2013 at 11:52 am said:

I follow you on FB!

2. Mollie on April 11, 2013 at 11:15 am said:

This is one thing that I am very nervous to change. I know the benefits but I am very self conscience about my smell and how much I sweat.

P.S. I already receive your email updates and Like your page on Facebook

3. Alysia on April 10, 2013 at 9:41 pm said:

I’m currently replacing all of my beauty products with more natural ones and would love to win this!

4. Katie P on April 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm said: Love to try! I just subscribed and already like your facebook page.



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2,364 Responses to “Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”

  1. Bhumi

    Dear Vani,
    First of all, let me tell you how fortunate I feel to have found your website (thanks to the subway petition). It rocks!!!
    As I started to read this post, I literally began to get goose bumps! Beginning of this year, I changed my life completely in every way possible. My first change was also changing my deodorant to paraben free, aluminum free etc, deodorant!! Now I am slowly changing all my make up to all organic make up. Just like yourself, I do not use much make up on day to day basis. Since past one month I have switched to organic foods. I just could not let my family eat the poison that we had been eating for years, especially my 10 year old. And what a great change it has been. Fruits and vegetables tastes delicious. I have managed to remove most processed foods from our diets and I cannot tell you how proud I am of having done that and sticking to it! Growing up in India, we had virtually no processed foods in our diets and fresh fruits and vegetables, with lentils was our main diet. Believe me, that has paid off! And I want the same for my child. I do have to admit that buying organic can be expensive, but if bought wisely and in right proportions, it can actually lead to lot less wastage which results in savings. What I mean is that we end up buying just as much as we need and not buy 5 different snacks and 5 different processed foods. And did I say how much of the doctor’s bills would be saving in the future?
    Thankfully, being a resident of Greenville, SC, I have access to whole foods and earthfare within 3 miles of my house and I am there every single day picking fresh vegetables to cook for the day. I am never looking back!!
    I look forward to meeting you someday in person!

    Bhumika Chhabra
    Greenville, SC

  2. Coryn

    Vani – I am curious on the usage of this type of product and breastfeeding. I have searched for other similar products and they warn about the usage during bfing. Your response is appreciated!

    Thanks – Coryn

    • Mona (to Coryn)

      Hi Coryn,
      I would think the only ingredient of concern for breastfeeding with this product would be the essential oils. Some essential oils are not considered safe for babies or for pregnancy, while others are fine. If you are unsure (for example the label doesn’t say which essential oils are in the product) you can always try making your own deodorant with similar ingredients to these (there are recipes on the web). Citrus oils should be fine. I made a lime-coconut scented deodorant once and it was very nice.
      I think the breastfeeding-safe oils would probably be similar to these (which I got from I would not recommend tea tree oil because I remember reading somewhere that using it on babies affects/causes breast tissue growth in boys:

      As long as your pregnancy is going well, it’s fine for you to use:
      * citrus oils, such as tangerine and neroli
      * German chamomile
      * common lavender
      * frankincense
      * black pepper
      * peppermint
      * ylang ylang
      * eucalyptus
      * bergamot
      * cypress
      * tea tree oil (not in labour)
      * geranium
      * spearmint

  3. Judy

    Hi Vani -
    A deodorant I love is ‘So Essential’ (for men, even tho I am a woman). I had tried everything & I still had body odor. Not with this though. It is the only one that has worked for me. I found it at Whole Foods.

  4. terie

    I use just coconut oil and it seems to work just fine!


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