Is Coconut Oil Tough Enough to Use as a Deodorant?

By on May 26, 2014

coconut oil deodorant

You wouldn’t ingest aluminum, propylene glycerol (originally used as anti-freeze) or carcinogens; so why put them on your skin? I’m sure the majority have heard of the relation between deodorants/antiperspirants and breast cancer. Although this is a concern, it’s not the only health issue which may arise.

Our skin protects us, but it is not 100% impermeable. What we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream, reaching our vital organs. Sure, you may not be ingesting the toxins or chemicals, but your body is still being exposed. Once these chemicals are in your body, it’s irrelevant how they got there.

Many of us have began our journey to a healthier lifestyle with a focus on the foods we consume but what about our beauty products? It’s important to look into alternative, natural products. You may think that other products are not as effective. This is simply not true. Let’s explore the option of using coconut oil as deodorant and why it’s actually better for you.

The Danger of Conventional Deodorants and Antiperspirants

The majority of woman you know most likely use conventional stick, spray or roll-on deodorants/antiperspirants. To be fair, it can be hard to find anything but these options at your local drugstore or supermarket. Just because they are the norm and they’re readily available, does not mean that they’re your best option.

Conventional deodorant can be a deodorant and/or an antiperspirant. Deodorants tend to mask the smell associated with sweat by targeting bacteria. Deodorants do not prevent you from sweating. Antiperspirants prevent you from sweating. They work by blocking your pores so that sweat can not be released. They not only contain toxins, but they’re inhibiting a natural bodily function. Here’s a look into some of the ingredients that can be found in your conventional deodorants/antiperspirants:

  • Aluminum: This metal has been linked not only to breast cancer, but Alzheimer’s disease. It is the key ingredient in most antiperspirants; blocking sweat from escaping your pores. Remember, our bodies ability to sweat is a natural function. Studies have shown links between cancer cell growth and the aluminum used within antiperspirants. DNA mutation and kidney damage are also concerns.
  • Parabens: These are preservatives found in both deodorant and antiperspirant (you may find them in many of your foods as well). Although some deodorant companies are not using parabens, many are. Look at the ingredient list, there are an assortment of parabens used. If you see anything that has paraben in the word, stay away; methylparaben, benzlyparaben, etc. These synthetic chemicals can play a role in hormonal imbalances, and have been seen to build up in breast tissue. If you are being conscious of eating organic foods, why would you absorb preservatives through your skin?
  • Propylene glycerol: This chemical is a byproduct of biodiesel, and is used as anti-freeze. It is added to deodorants and antiperspirants because it allows the product to be applied to the skin more easily (softening the product). It is said to be ‘safe’ in small amounts, but in large amounts it can damage your; heart, liver and nervous system. There is no reason to risk using a substance like this in any amount.
  • Triclosan: This ingredient found in both deodorants and antiperspirants targets bacteria growth. It is classified as a carcinogen and easily makes it’s way through your skin. It has been linked to; hormone alterations and immune function. They are not only bad for us, they’re extremely harmful to the environment.

A Better Option? Coconut Oil

Okay, enough talk about all these yucky chemicals and their harmful effects. Let’s focus on some positive information. Just as easily as your body absorbs chemicals and toxin it absorbs nutrients. Coconut oil is known as a superfood, meaning it actually benefits your body.

I saw a commercial the other day regarding hair dye containing coconut oil. The lady said, “coconut oil; it’s the hottest thing right now”. Within our Western society, many are unfamiliar with coconut oil. When it all boils down, coconut oil has been a staple food in many cultures for generations. It has been found that individuals within the South Pacific eat 60% of their calories from coconut; yielding no evidence of heart disease. Although there will be other factors within their lifestyle that make them so healthy; anything that is consumed in that quantity while reflecting healthy individuals, needs to be assessed. Let’s take a peek at some of the benefits that coconut oil brings.

  • Boosts Energy: Coconut oil has been shown to boost our thyroid function. This helps to increase our energy and endurance levels. When our thyroid functions are boosted, so is our metabolism. It’s important to have lot’s of energy in order to feel our best.
  • Improve Cholesterol: Coconut oil actually promotes good cholesterol. Good cholesterol helps to prevent heart attacks.
  • Reduce Aging: Antioxidants can be found within the oil of coconuts. Antioxidants are so important for aiding tissue damage. These effects also aid problems related to skin aging.
  • Skin and Hair Care: With high levels of vitamin E, it’s no wonder that coconut oil is great for skin and hair health. It’s moisturizes, while protecting your hair and skin.

These are just SOME of the benefits in which coconut oil provides. So how does all of this relate to deodorant?

Coconut Oil As Deodorant

Try to read the ingredients on your drugstore purchased deodorant. Now compare that to the ingredients in coconut oil deodorant: coconut oil. You know what it is and you know it will benefit you. There are many myths floating around so let’s sort through them.

TRUE OR FALSE: Coconut Oil Will Stain Your Clothes

FALSE: You may think that putting coconut oil on your skin would cause it to be greasy. I apply coconut oil everyday and have never had one stain on my clothes. We have all had white, chalky deodorant lines all over a dress before. With coconut oil, you rub it in and you’re good to go.

TRUE OR FALSE: It Will Only Mask The Smell

FALSE: Sure, coconut oil does not have a list of chemicals to counteract sweating. It does however contain high levels of lauric acid. This fatty-acid is highly beneficial and is actually missing in many people’s diets. Lauric acid is both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. This is what kills odor-causing bacteria under your arms. You are left with a light, fresh smell of coconut; while the oil works to fight odor.

Not only does it not stain or allow bacteria to grow, it is absorbing nutrients through your skin. You will be protecting your underarms from smelling, while promoting your overall health. Two birds, one stone.

Tips When Using Coconut Oil As Deodorant

1. Buy Organic: If you are going to go this route, take that extra step. Buy organic coconut oil in order to prevent any chemicals from reaching your bloodstream. You will pay a little extra, but a tub of coconut oil will last you a good while. Buying organic is worth it. You have already taken the necessary steps towards a healthier lifestyle, go all the way.

2. Wash Well Prior: It is important to keep your underarms clean prior to applying coconut oil. After you shower, make sure you’re completely dry. If you have not had a shower before applying, just give your underarms a quick wash. Once they’re dry, apply your coconut oil. Rub it in thoroughly and away you go.

3. Making Deodorant: If you like, you can make a stick deodorant using; coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder. Some prefer to have deodorant in a stick, or you can make one for when you travel to put in your purse. Coconut oil is effective on it’s own regardless of added ingredients. The baking soda will help further neutralize odor and the arrowroot powder helps your body absorb the moisture. As coconut oil already fights bacteria and has amazing moisturizing properties, this isn’t necessary to yield effective results.

4. A Little Goes A Long Way: You don’t need a giant glob, a small amount is all you need. Just dip your finger into your coconut oil; apply to one underarm and than repeat with the other. You’ll notice how nicely it rubs in and disperses across your skin.

If you’re trying to make positive changes to your health and overall well-being, switching to coconut oil for your deodorant is a great first step. It may seem a little strange at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along. Take control of your health today, one product at a time. We recommend Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil. It would work well as a deodorant but can also be used for oil pulling, skincare, and hair care.

References

1. Clark, J. (June, 2008). What’s the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant? HowStuffWorks. Retrieved on April 24th, 2014, from
http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/underarm-care/tips/deodorant-antiperspirant.htm
2. Field, M. (September, 2010). Dangerous Chemicals in Deodorant & Antiperspirant: A Detailed Review of the Chemicals, Research & Avoidance Tips. Natural Cosmetic News. Retrieved on April 24th, 2014, from http://www.naturalcosmeticnews.com/toxic-products/dangerous-chemicals-in-deodorant-antiperspirant
3. NCI. (April, 2008). Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved on April 24th, 2014, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo

About Krista Hillis

Krista is a natural living enthusiast. She loves making her own personal care products and is currently writing a book on sustainability to share her passion with others.

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