The Lowdown on Deodorant: Why We Choose Natural Ingredients

by Eleanor Jahns-Roerick

Deodorant Misconceptions

When I broke my leg in eighth grade while downhill skiing I was perplexed. I had been wearing my deodorant the entire time, yet there I was with a spiral fracture in my right tibia.

24 hour protection. Pshhh, yeah right!

While it may have been my eighth grade error of misinterpreting exactly what type of protection my deodorant was offering, there is certainly a valid reason for the disillusionment caused by that bold, 24 hour protection claim. Many ingredients in household name deodorants have been under speculation for causing more damage to our bodies than protection. Chemicals such as phthalates and parabens are capable of disrupting hormone balances in the body and exposure to these chemicals has been linked to breast cancer. The worst part is, this isn’t the first time deodorant ads have been deceiving.

The Rise of Deodorant and Women’s Sports

Up until deodorant was invented in the late 1800s, natural, healthy body odor wasn’t considered a problem, but the deodorant company aided it in becoming one. Advertisements claimed that the reason behind a woman’s popularity with men was dependent on how she smelled.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the history of women’s participation in athletic activity, the late 1800’s also saw a rise in the formation of women's informal athletic clubs (The Sport Journal). So while false advertising was inappropriately preying on women's self esteem, the increased need for deodorant may have been completely relevant for our great-great-great-great-grandmothers who were movin’ and groovin’.

For a long time, women were discouraged from physical activity. In Aristotle’s time, it was believed that every human had a limited amount of energy and if women engaged in too much intellectual stimulation or physical exertion they wouldn’t have enough energy left for child-bearing (National Woman's History Museum). Obviously, Aristotle didn’t know that if you have enough strength to birth a child and then spend the next five years raising it you’ve probably got quite a bit of moxie.

Women Today

Women in the late 1800s and early 1900s enjoyed tennis, bowling, and archery. Women today still enjoy these sports, along with other sports like soccer, football, and hockey. According to an article in The Sport Journal, “College women’s athletic participation has increased from 15% in 1972 to 43% in 2001. High school girl’s athletic participation increased from 295,000 in 1971 to 2.8 million in 2002-2003, an increase of over 840%.”

I was a dancer up until I started college and I wore deodorant, not because I was afraid of being rejected at the school dance, but because I didn’t want sweat or stink getting in the way of my hard work. Sports aren’t the only activity that work up a sweat, many jobs require manual labor, as well as household chores (maneuvering a vacuum around takes muscle!). Regardless of the form, physical activity not only benefits the body, it benefits the mind.

Our Goal

We want you to embrace your right to move, which is why we’ve created a Natural Deodorant Creme that is safe and effective. I know it can sound a bit intimidating. I’m used to the idea that my armpits are a force that only a complex formula of hard-core chemicals can tame, but if you look at the chemicals in common deodorant versus the ingredients we use, you’ll see that nature has the upper-hand.

AVNS Takes the Field With an All-Star Team of Ingredients

On Offense:

Virgin Coconut Oil -- Contains lauric acid -- a fatty acid that makes up 50% of coconut oil and demolishes bacteria with its antimicrobial properties.

Aluminum-Free Baking Soda -- Sweat is odorless, but bacteria breaks it down into acidic waste causing it to take on an odor. Baking Soda’s Basic pH tampers with the acidity, eliminating the odor and being basically AWESOME.

On Defense:

Diatomaceous Earth -- The fossilized remains of very small aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made up of natural silica, which has absorption properties. This versatile player works to absorb sweat and also dries up bacteria.

Arrowroot Powder -- Another absorption agent, and totally gluten free!

Kaolin Clay -- A gentle clay that won’t dry out sensitive skin. Removes toxins and lets skin breathe.

Our natural Deodorant Creme comes scented (with essential oils picked especially for the additional boost of their antimicrobial properties) as well as unscented. Now, get out there and move!