Sometimes it feels like the more we educate ourselves on health, the less we know. One day you’ll read an article that tells you to eat massive quantities of kale, the next day you find one that warns you never to touch the stuff.
Trying to choose the right skincare products can feel as confusing as picking the right vitamins. There’s so much information on labels that deciphering what’s relevant to you can be tough. Your shampoo label might say things like “no aluminum” or “added fragrance.” Understanding what this lingo means and why you should value them is essential to body care.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all these terms or don’t know where to start, we’re here to give you a brief overview. We aim to provide a brief, easy rundown of what some of these terms mean, why you might want to avoid them and recommended some products that are helpful.
Why Is There Alcohol in Deodorant?
Your skin contains naturally occurring bacteria. This bacteria feeds on sweat which, in turn, produces the body odor smell we know all too well. Alcohol is put in many deodorants, antiperspirants, and other body care products to kill off this bacteria. While it is efficient at this task, it has unintentional side effects. Depending on the product’s concentration, alcohol’s presence can dry out the skin. It can also strip skin of natural oils, leaving behind a dry, flaky, or aggravated epidermis. For those with sensitive skin, alcohol can cause irritated skin and even a rash.
What Are Parabens?
Parabens refer to a grouping of chemicals used as preservatives. Common usage began in the 1950s and 1960s when pharmaceutical companies sought to extend the shelf life of products. Parabens serve in antifungal and antibacterial roles in shampoo, toothpaste, skin lotion, makeup, etc.
The links between parabens and health concerns remain under-researched, and while there is no definitive connection between parabens and health concerns, there are many single studies which give reason to be cautious. Studies have drawn connections between breast cancer, allergic reactions, estrogenic activity, and environmental damage.
What to Look For in Your Skincare Products
Parabens represent an entire category of chemicals, which means that finding them on labels can be tough since they won’t always be called “parabens.” When on the hunt for shampoo, deodorant, moisturizer, etc., be sure you check for parabens, but also names like Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben. If you’re unsure or sick of squinting, a safe bet is to find something that says “paraben free.”
Why Is there Aluminum in Deodorant?
This is a topic that is near and dear to our heart (and pits), and we’ve spoken extensively about it in other articles. Despite our past cover, we felt a brief overview aluminum in the deodorant category is essential.
Here’s the abridged version! As we mentioned before, your skin naturally produces bacteria, this bacteria feeds on sweat, and a bad odor is created as the byproduct. The aluminum in these products is used to plug up your pores, thus preventing the sweat from reaching the bacteria. More simply put; aluminum prevents you from sweating which stops the odor producing process.
Why Do We Sweat?
You might be thinking, “Great! No sweat, no problem!” In actuality though, sweat is used to detoxify and cool the body. Preventing sweat can trap unwanted bodily fluids inside your system, and will also reduce your body’s ability to shed heat.
Choosing The Right Skincare Products
So you’ve educated yourself on what aluminum, alcohol, and parabens are, and their potential drawbacks. How do you go about selecting products?
Reading labels is important. The great news is that there are more and more companies that are producing high-quality products. These companies are proud of their clean, all-natural ingredients and will often boast about it on the label. Look for brands who let you know their paraben-free, alcohol-free, and aluminum-free. There’s plenty of information on the best shampoo, toothpaste, and sunscreen out there, but we hold our expertise in the real of deodorants.