Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Green Miles Tries Green Deodorant

Let me state something at the outset: This post will not get into the details of The Green Miles' bouquet, before or after this test. I'll stay vague. Promise.

I've always heard talk that modern antiperspirants and deodorants may not be good for you long-term. There's ongoing research into the potential effects of aluminum chloride, the main ingredient commonly used in antiperspirants. There are also questions about the effect of parabens, which are preservatives used in deodorants and antiperspirants.

I wondered if it would be possible to move away from aluminum-based antiperspirants without smelling like Kevin McHale at the end of the day. So I decided to compare three different offerings:
  • My usual Gillette, containing aluminum and various other scary-sounding stuff like "dimethicone"
  • A type of Degree deodorant, no aluminum but still chemical-based
  • Arm & Hammer's "Essentials," which contains no aluminum and no parabens, relying on baking soda and natural plant oils
The results? I definitely noticed neither the Degree nor the Arm & Hammer Essentials had the antiperspirant effect. And the Arm & Hammer deodorant effect only lasted about 10 hours before fading.

Would I get rid of the aluminum-based deodorant altogether? Without some better confirmation of its ill effects, no. I'm fine with the Degree and Arm & Hammer for my usual office setting, but I'd want to keep some of the aluminum-based stuff as needed. If I was going to be out and about on a muggy DC summer day with just the natural deodorant, things might get ugly.

For more recommendations on natural deodorants, check out

1 comment:

Brendan O'Connor said...

Yo Miles, good post, neat to hear some science on that. I know i struck out with two from Trader Joe's i tried (that i believe were alum. and paraben free; one was Tom's of Maine i think). Oddly both of those came off (ie, broke off) of the dispenser after a few weeks of using each, and i wasn't really scientific at judging the sniff test, but didn't notice anything shady. Nevertheless though, had to move on to something else, and this stuff called "herbal clear" has done me pretty well over the last month. It's alum. and paraben free, has a decent scent to it, and instead of being the sort of chalky white variety from T. Joe's that was breaking off, this is the clearer version, and i don't foresee it falling apart like those ones (although i vouch for just about everything else from T. Joe's, i love their stuff--food, beer, the culture there). I think you're right on keeping the stronger stuff there for when it's needed though, cause i think this Herbal Clear stuff's just office material as well. (i don't know what you're doin with gillette over old spice though i mean for real :C) ). Peace man, good post.