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’s my opinion on deodorants I’ve personally tried - 

1. Vermont Soap Organics ($13) - This “sage lime” scented stuff is awesome. One of my personal favorites and the scent is neutral enough for all genders.

2. Naturally Fresh ($6) - This one works the best to keep me actually dry out of all the ones I tried, and other family members agree!

3. Primal Pit Paste  ($11) - It works great for some people like my husband, but didn’t work for me because it made my underarms red – which wasn’t pretty! Many people love it, but it’s hit or miss. 

4. Nourish ($5- $8) – They have the best scents, but you need to re-apply! The Almond Vanilla and Lavender Mint smell so good!


Hope this post was help for you – please share with your friends and family, so they can know the truth!



P.S. 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…



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2,702 Responses to “Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”

  1. Jim Russell

    I have believed this to be true for many years and ditched my antiperspirant for just a deodorant. It also made sense to me that any product or packaging that utilizes aluminum like cans for food and drinks as well as aluminum cookware could cause similar health problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

  2. Joanne

    I use the deodorants from NYR Organic. They are an organic health and beauty company out of the UK that have won multiple awards based for their ethical business practices. The follow the precautionary principal – if an ingredient isn’t safe for you or the environment then they will not use it – even if they are unsure about it. No GMO’s, pesticides, chemicals, synthetics, etc. They hand-make their products with scientific formulas in England using the highest quality certified organic herbs, oils, and extracts. If you would like to see their amazing products please check out their catalog at the website provided and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    • Betty (to Joanne)

      Yes, their products are amazing, but quiet pricy. They used to be more reasonably priced back in 2007 when I first found them and my favourite was the yarrow face cream. If someone doesn`t mind the price, then it is a fantastic natural alternative. Now they are very popular in Britain, you can find few products at Boots or John Lewis, but they have their own shop in almost every big city.
      If someone cannot afford these popular natural brands, there are ways to prepare your own products from edible ingredients, lots of info out there on the internet.

  3. Ashley

    Hickory Ridge Organics makes amazing personal care products, including aluminum free deodorant! They come in various scents, but I use the “pure” which is scent free. The scented ones irritate my skin. They’re Shea butter based and use 100% organic essential oils for fragrance/other benefits. ALL of their products are 100% certified organic. I visit the store in St.Augustine, FL but you can order online as well. Happy Shopping!

  4. Jenna

    Sorry if this has already been written but I cannot even express how thrilled i was to learn that the acidity from the juice of a lemon prevents the bacteria In your body to be eliminated that mixes with your sweat which causes odor. I tried it a few weeks ago not expecting it to work( I normally need a clinical strength deodorant ). Well let me tell you that after 3 weeks of consistently using the lemon juice it actually WORKS BETTER! Try It!!!

    • Meghan (to Jenna)

      Do you use fresh lemons, or the bottled juice they sell at places like Whole Foods?

      • Jenna (to Meghan)

        I use a real lemon cut the tiniest piece off of it at a time ( you can actually use the same one for a couple of days because you use so little of the juice) make sure you underarms are clean and dry and gently rub the juice on. It worked right from the very first time i used it. Through work, my workouts, out at the pool all day. Really unbelievable! I save my lemon and the piece i cut off in a small tupperware that i label and put back in the fridge! Good luck

    • Jillian (to Jenna)

      It really does work wonders!! I’ve been using just lemon juice for almost a year now and I was sold from the first day. I put it in a little spray bottle and spray a couple times in the am. The only time I have trouble is when I put some on right after I shave! It stings a bit but I put a teeny bit of coconut oil on and it is very soothing. :)

      • Nina (to Jillian)

        But if you have lime or lemon on your skin and go outside the sun can cause stains and they look pretty bad. Haven’t you experienced that?

    • Robin (to Jenna)

      Do you use fresh lemon or juice from bottle? Do you use with deodorant or alone.

    • kirsty (to Jenna)

      Am interested in the lemon juice for deodrent. How is it prepared and used please thajk you

    • Gabriella (to Jenna)

      You know, lemon also works to fade away the unsightly dark skin in the underarms, which commonly happens to darker skinned women.

  5. Meghan

    I had trouble finding a natural one that worked really well, but I did. Crystal Essence roll ons. They smell great too. Another thing that works is a mixture of coconut oil, and tea tree essential oil.

  6. Katie

    I use alvera almond deodorant. Is that ok to use or is that bad too? Thanks for the info

  7. stacey

    I saw the naturally fresh crystal on here…as ive researched the crystal they have alum…which is short for a natural aluminum. Whichever way you search it on google it some says its ok and some says its bad, something about the molecule size and when it gets wet they are easily absorbed and its just as bad as anti persperants, have you reasearched this? Can you give me a better idea?

  8. Arlene

    Just today my daughter was wanting a product that smelled so good to her, but had 20% aluminum. I told her no and bought one with less aluminum, but think I will let her read this and rethink…look for just deodorants. Thank Food Babe!

  9. Jen

    Couldn’t get this video to work right. About ha

  10. Jen

    Couldn’t get the video to work right. About halfway through it messes up screen goes purple and I can’t watch the rest :( please help in desperate need of a hair care change!

  11. Julie

    A slice of lime rubbed under the arms has worked pretty well for me! Can’t get more natural than that!

  12. alan

    A friend of mine is one of the top Alzheimer’s researchers in Canada. Aluminum is no longer linked to Alzheimer’s, it was a contaminant in the brain samples from trays and tool used. Having said that, as a friend of mine points out. Your skin is your largest organ, don’t put anything on it that you wouldn’t mind putting in your mouth.

  13. Edmund Jaja

    Edmund would NOT suggest the Naturally Fresh Crystal Roll-On as Edmund would not use anything with Alum. Potassium or not. Just use baking soda.

  14. Nancy

    About a year ago I read some stuff on the internet about aluminum and since I care for an Alzheimer family member, I immediately stopped using store bought anti-perspirants and began reading and experimenting on my own. Coconut oil reportedly leaves a darker skin color over time and baking soda mixes can burn or irritate if not done right. The two homemade replacements I found best are….. (You won’t believe this)….. Milk of Magnesia or Lavendar essential oil. Magnesium turns out to be a natural deodorant that offers the additional benefits of added magnesium. I bought the cheap, plain blue bottle and it has lasted a year with more than half left. Just be sure to shake the bottle, dab a little underneath, then let it dry before dressing. I shaved a little close and when I didn’t let it dry first, I felt a sting and chapping that made me wash it off. Otherwise, no problems and no smell (until the next morning). The 2nd alternative is just a few drops of Lavendar essential oil under each arm. It leaves a decent smell and has numerous medicinal uses as well. Both are far better alternatives than Tom’s or water activated salt crystals…. I tried those and they failed miserably.

  15. Vicki

    Curious about how you feel about the Potassium Alum in Naturally Fresh ? I would think we want to avoid any aluminum, in any form.
    I also saw a product called NYR Organic – Lavender & Aloe Vera Deodorant, and was wondering if you have ever tried it or heard anything about it.

  16. Mary

    I use to use deodorant that contained aluminum, after developing breast cancer my Oncologist ask that I avoid deodorants that has aluminum in it. I am cancer free since 2007. I now use Toms which is aluminum free. I’m so glad this information is posted.

  17. Lucretia

    It’s funny you mention the adult friend of yours when you were a child. I was born in 72, WAY before internet, blogs, or electronic communications. Once had to visit the library for info, or actually talk to your neighbors. My parents were the “crazy” ones of the neighborhood, because they were against antiperspirant, clorinated water, floride, pesticides, additives, sugar, etc ……. I thought it was child abuse via parental paranoia. I wasnt allowed the wonderful goodies my friends ate amd drank so freely. Now we have this wonderful information in our fingertips, and educated professionals and bloggers exposing these harmful substances, and I am here wondering how my crazy Papa knew, and how your sweaty neighbor knew?!?!? God bless the crazy ones. Lol!

    • Betty (to Lucretia)

      You are so lucky to have parents like that! Now in my community I count as the crazy one, and people like you and the other bloggers give me strength to carry on! They call me someone with “special needs”, while the only things I have demand for is healthy food and environment, including air quality which can be so polluted even within the house with all these synthetic personal care products. I am very sensitive to these scents and I am treated like if I was not human. Just looking for a separate flat because of irrespectful flatmates.
      I honestly think that I do not have any special needs, rather I would say others have too toxic bodies to notice anything that is bad for them.

  18. Doug

    What about Potassium alum?

  19. Fab

    Try the Unscented Cotton Deodorant from Trader Joes.
    Been using it for years now and it really works!

  20. Suz

    Thanks for the great article! I find that what I eat plays a big role in how I smell. Take the meat and dairy out, there is almost no odor! Stress stinks too. Lots of lemon water and “clean” foods = no need for deodorant.

  21. Tanya

    What about a mineral rock?

  22. Kimi

    Ava Anderson non toxic is my deodorant of choice! Works great, light minty scent! No fragrance, aluminum, or other toxic chemicals!!! All organic! So easy when you have one brand you can trust across the board for everything you need :)

  23. Yasmin

    I am part middle eastern so already struggle with odor. I heard of the aluminum thing years back so tried to make the switch. I found not a single deodorant that kept me fresh an entire day.
    This info is super helpful but it’s hard for people that are naturally more ‘smelly’.

    • Robin (to Yasmin)

      Yasmin you may want to try a product called “Body Mint,” or something similar. It’s chlorophyll–a natural substance that makes your whole body smell better.

    • Jesse (to Yasmin)

      My pH balance changes often. Sometime certain natural deodorants work, and then just stop. A year ago I started putting a little tea tree and lavender oil on before using a Tom’s brand scent that I like. (I too tried many natural brands) I smell great for as long as 2 or 3 days! If I’m out and start to smell a light refreshing spray of the oil mixture fixes me right up. I spray it’s al over, it’s great on a hot day. Cools you right down!

      I switched to natural brands because of the aluminum being harmful to me and my t-shirts. It would turn my white shirts yellow and my black shirts white. That alone is a good enough reason! I’ve been pit-stain free for years!

  24. Audrey

    I’ve experienced DeodoMom as consistently effective for me. No odor & dry 95% of the time. When I do sweat, I have always been odor-free.

  25. Elizabeth

    Interestingly, you have sweat glands in many places besides your armpits. Unless you’re putting your anti-perspirant all over your body, you will be able to sweat. Not saying I disagree with the premise that this chemical is bad for you, I have no doubt it is. But, you’re not keeping your whole body from sweating and releasing chemicals and toxins by applying it to your armpits only.

  26. virginia

    I have used Real Purity for years and it’s one of the beast deodorants ever!

  27. Karenk

    Coconut Snow… Hands down BEST natural deoderant on the planet….tried them all, this is the only one that truly works and no sensitivity issues as it is coconut oil based with only the purest ingredients! ~$8.00

  28. Sandy

    I make my own with a recipe I found online. It’s a mixture of arrowroot, baking soda, and coconut oil. Works great!

    • another Sandy (to Sandy)

      Can you please send me the recipe? I need something to work. I try many non alum deodorants, and after 2 hours of sweating, I smell. I am living in a climate with humidity and it really make a difference, and not a good one.

      Thank you, Sandy

  29. Jill

    I use Herbal Choice Mari’s Natural Herbal Deodorant. It has potassium alum, which is a natural earth mineral—the molecules are larger and do NOT get absorbed like aluminum.

    This deodorant is a spray and smells delicious. If I miss a shower one day, it STILL works.

    I have been very pleased with this brand of natural and organic products, including, finally, safe and EXCELLENT quality makeup and haircare.

    Vani, I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of this brand and what your opinion would be.

    • Deborah (to Jill)

      Where do you find this product?

      • Jill (to Deborah)

        They make a version for men and a version for women.

        I’ve tried so many products. I used the crystal rock for about 15 years, then tried crystal roll-ons and Tom’s. The Herbal Choice product is by far the most effective. I hope you like it!

  30. Kristen

    I use Young Living’s Mountain Mint deoderant which has therapeutic grade essential oils and NO aluminum ! It smells amazing and you get the benefit of the essential oils! My pits smell amazing! It’s the best deoderant I’ve ever used!

  31. Ruth

    I have made my own deoderant for years and it works great.
    1 tablespoon each of coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot ( or cornstarch).

  32. Anita

    I never use anything under my arms and have not done that for over 30 years… Yes I know some people will wrinkle their nose, but many years ago we in our family just know it was unsafe under the arms and stopped using it. Today uyou can find organic ones but then , not at all!

  33. Melissa Johnson

    Thank you so much for posting this information! I know conventional deodorants are not the best choice, but I always felt that natural alternatives left me with “smelly pits” by the end of the day. I recently tried the Naturally Fresh roll on deodorant and I’m amazed by how well it works! Living in the South, we have hot, humid summers and this product really does the trick, and I don’t have to reapply it.

  34. michelle

    There is also this crystal deodorant that I have started using. There is no smell whatsoever to the deodorant. Here is an example of it

  35. Rose

    I stopped using deodorant a few months ago. I saw on Dr. Oz show that you can use Milk of Magnesium as a deodorant so I tried it. It works.

  36. kristen

    I love Natures Gate deodorant available at Whole Foods. The primal paste didnt work for me. I also didnt like Toms.

  37. Tiffany

    What do you suggest for people who cannot use “roll on” deoderant? I get cysts in my armpits and therefore, have been instructed, by my doctor, to use only spray on deoderant.

  38. Lindsay

    I’ve been spraying rubbing alcohol from a spray bottle on my armpits for a while now and it works great. It gets rid of odor and clears up razor burn over night. Is it safe though?

  39. Anja

    That’s the article I’ve been waiting to find / read! I’m exactly at that point that you describe – I’ve figured out what and what not to put in my body to keep it healthy, now I’m looking at the next step. All of my beauty products that I am sure are toxic in some ways! Then cleaners for the house will come next. Definitely need to read through all the beauty stuff infos! Thanks so much, Vani!

  40. SWord

    I’ve got 2 more for you to try: Marina Soap Cottage and Rinse Soap both make natural deodorants so amazing, I won’t go back to chemicals under my armpits no matter what I’m wearing or where I’m headed – and I live in Georgia where we sweat 95% of the year!! Nothing of those bigger brands on the Whole Foods shelf helped me, but these two cottage companies have struck gold – with ne er a need to reapply diring the day! Worth a try. :)

  41. barb
    this place has birthday cake scented deodorant that is AMAZING

  42. Sarah

    Had anyone tried Lush Cosmetics deodorants? I Ann a HUGE fan of all of their products, they are also all organic, and hand make all of their products. You can find them online, and they have stayed opening stores all over the place recently the past few years. Any input on their deodorant?

  43. Dak Kol

    Alum is also another form of Aluminium.

    Furthermore, anything with any of the forms of Laureth or laurel sulfates or other derivatives.

  44. Cindy

    Try Arbonne.. Pure Mint ….you can get it online at

  45. Sunny

    Try Lavilin, It’s all-natural (meaning it’s safe) and does wonders for people with sensitive skin.

  46. Tots Tater

    Hello Food Babe,

    I have been buying deodorant without aluminum for a long time now.
    Unfortunately, my arm pits stink after a few hours and that is without even doing any type of exercise. Furthermore, I have not had this issue with the regular products that have all the harmful ingredients in them. I have very sensitive skin and have been watching what I put on my body for years. Do you have any recommendations for any product that may help me keep me stinky free without all the adverse constituents. By the way, I have tried pretty much all the deodorants for men that Whole Foods has to offer!

  47. coop (to coop)

    And if you think I’m being silly, ask yourself how many things you would be willing to spend $104.00 per pound on at your local grocer.

  48. bizgirl (to coop)

    Hi coop,

    I completely agree – I don’t know what the author would think of this but my parents’ way around the expense when I was growing up was simply to read labels and only buy us deodorant not antiperspirant products. I grew up on Old Spice deodorant (yeah it’s for guys – standard red label) but it works for girls as well and doesn’t contain aluminum as far as I can read. It’s still my go to – $3.97 for a 2 pack at Walmart and comes in fresh, original and pure sport scents.

    Hope that helps!

  49. Liz (to R.w.Foster)

    Well this puts things in perspective.


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