Day Nine of 33 Day Challenge (6 Minute Video)

Personal Care Products 

Natural Skin Moisturizer 

Native Natural Deodorant (Paraben & Aluminum Free)

5 Controversial Toxins in Antiperspirants

The most common chemical ingredients found in deodorant and antiperspirants are parabens, triclosan, phthalates, propylene glycol and aluminum. Research has linked these ingredients to several medical conditions including types of cancer and reproductive development issues. However, while toxins in antiperspirants have been the subject of many research studies, results have been inconsistent. There is no conclusive decision on whether toxins in antiperspirants are harmful to our health.

Here’s what the research says on some of the top toxins in antiperspirants:


Parabens are used in many deodorants in personal care products. This preservative has been shown to mimic estrogen in the body’s cells, interfering with the way your body produces hormones. While one 2004 study found parabens in 18 of 20 breast cancer patients, the study did not prove parabens caused the cancer. However, most major U.S. brands of deodorants and antiperspirants have phased out parabens.


As a pesticide, triclosan is used to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. Many consumer brands add the substance to deodorants to kill bacteria. Combined with water, triclosan can create the carcinogenic gas chloroform.

In studies on animals, triclosan has been shown to alter hormone regulation. Studies on bacteria also suggest that triclosan could contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, but no conclusive data exists.


Phthalates are plasticizers found in children’s toys, fragrances, deodorants and lotions. They’ve been linked asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development, male fertility issues and many more problems. The link to altered reproductive development and male fertility issues seems to be the most widely studied. But the findings have still been inconsistent.

For example, when leading phthalate researcher Dr. Richard Sharpe exposed pregnant rats to phthalates, it created abnormalities in their male offspring. Hundreds of studies on rats all led to the same conclusions. However, when tested on pregnant marmoset monkeys, their offspring emerged completely normal. Of the new human studies that link phthalates to masculinity problems, all label the effect as “small and preliminary.”

While the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration say the levels we’re exposed to every day are safe, Congress overruled these findings and banned some phthalates in children’s toys. Harmful phthalates have also been banned in California and the EU.


Used in foods and consumer products, propylene has developed a bad rap for its use in antifreeze and the EPA’s stringent safety disclosure instructions requiring gloves when handling it and disposal via burying.

But no research has pegged propylene glycol as a harmful ingredient, and the FDA and World Health Organization recognizes the ingredient as generally safe for use in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Companies like Tom’s of Maine use vegetable-based propylene glycol, which is an environmentally safer alternative.


Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. But according to Dr. Ted S. Gansler, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society, “There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant use increases cancer risk.”

Like parabens, some studies have detected aluminum in breast tissue of patients with cancer, but they didn’t prove those chemicals had any bearing on breast cancer risk.

One study comparing hundreds of breast cancer survivors with healthy women and another review of all available studies found no evidence that antiperspirants increase the risk of breast cancer.

What to Do About Toxins in Your Antiperspirants

Ultimately, deodorant and antiperspirant aren’t bad for you, but be cautious and thoughtful in your purchase intentions. The best approach is to be conscious about what’s in your antiperspirant, considering your underarms absorb all the chemicals in the product.

Labels also don’t always disclose every ingredient in your antiperspirant or deodorant, but tools like the Think Dirty App or Household Products Database can provide more insight.

….. now let’s talk lotions….

6 Most Harmful Ingredients in Most Body Lotions

There are dozens of ingredients currently being used in top-brand body lotions that range from questionable to potentially hazardous. Watch out for these 6 toxic ingredients when scanning body lotion labels. 

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
BHA is a food preservative and stabilizer that routinely shows up in body lotions, as well as everything from lipstick to yeast infection treatments. But beware—it’s an endocrine disruptor and “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” according to the National Toxicology Program.

DMDM Hydantoin
This mysterious-sounding ingredient is a type of formaldehyde-releasing preservative used in a host of personal care items, including body lotion. (Formaldehyde releasers are used in 20% of all cosmetics and personal care products, according to the Environmental Working Group). It’s an irritant for eyes and skin, and while there’s no evidence that DMDM hydantoin itself is a carcinogen, formaldehyde definitely is. And if there’s an impurity in the DMDM Hydantoin used in your moisturizer, there’s a chance that formaldehyde is present.

Fragrance + Parfum
You may think it’s nice that your lotion smells like strawberries and cream, but there’s no way that scent is natural. When you see “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label, read “a toxic mix of chemicals the manufacturer doesn’t want to tell you about.” Most notably, this includes diethyl phthalate, according to the Environmental Working Group. You may have already heard of phthalates since they’re used in just about everything from cosmetics to insecticides to wood finishes—and they’re known to be endocrine disruptors and toxic to organ systems. Synthetic fragrances like the ones used in lotions also emit harmful VOCs, which pollute indoor air quality and cause reparatory allergies and asthma.

You’ll find parabens in practically all popular commercial body lotions (just look for butylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, or ethylparaben on the label). They prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in your favorite bottle of moisturizer, which would be great if they weren’t linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer. Luckily, manufacturers of organic lotions have found safer ways to keep their products fungus-free, like using vitamin E and citric acid, though these products tend to have a shorter shelf life than those that contain parabens. A safe one to try: Wildcraft Organic Lemongrass Body Cream.

Retinyl palmitate, the most controversial form of vitamin A, is a vitamin A derivative that you’ll see in some sunscreens, as well as lotions and creams advertised to have anti-aging properties. A study published by the National Toxicology Program found that mice exposed to retinyl palmitate developed a frightening number of tumors after exposure to sunlight. If you’re going to use lotions that contain retinyl palmitate, do so at night.

This mouthful of an ingredient is a highly alkaline substance that’s used to balance the pH in various body lotions and cosmetics (especially mascara). Despite its widespread use, it’s considered moderately dangerous and should never be used long-term, according to the Dermatology Review, since it’s a skin and respiratory irritant and toxicant to the immune system. It’s also been linked to cancer in animal studies. Though triethanolamine is considered biodegradable and nontoxic to animals and organisms, wastewater released from manufacturing plants containing large amounts of triethanolamine can significantly alter the pH of rivers and streams, resulting in toxic shock to marine life.


This stuff matters… make the change!



Dr. Steven Baker

Dr. Ben Lerner

Derek Peterson