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Originally I reviewed the ingredients of the Old Spice Denali Fresh Collection Antiperspirant & Deodorant because this is what my husband used at the time, so I got curious. I hated the smell of it. Old Spice changed the formulation and this review is dedicated to Old Spice Denali Fresher Collection Antiperspirant Invisible Gold.
Old Spice Denali Fresher Collection Antiperspirant Invisible Solid Ingredients
Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly 18% (Anhydrous), Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Petrolatum, Talc, Phenyl Trimethicone, Fragrance, Cyclodextrin, Mineral Oil, Behenyl Alcohol
Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly 18% (Anhydrous)
Some form of aluminum (e.g. aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly) is necessary to make any antiperspirant. After spending a great deal of time reading the US National library of Medicine, I concluded the following. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer in some studies. There is no conclusive evidence that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s or breast cancer. It is also not known whether a sufficient amount of aluminum can be absorbed through the skin to make a difference.
However, there is enough information for me to err on the side of caution and recommend less controversial personal care products, especially if you are pregnant or might become pregnant. In addition, what seems to be more certain is that some people are allergic to aluminum compounds and seek better alternatives. To make you feel better about giving up antiperspirant, you might be glad to learn that sweating is not always bad. Among other things, it helps with detoxification. Also, now my husband (who sweats a lot (because he is a manly man and works out A LOT – editor’s note) tried a deodorant made with baking soda and organic ingredients and now he does not miss his controversial Old Spice.
Besides aluminum, the Old Spice antiperspirant and deodorant contains many ingredients; some do not raise concerns, others do.
Cyclopentasiloxane: (its full chemical name is decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) is commonly known as D5, rated 3 out 10 (10 being most toxic) in the Skin Deep database; may contain trace amounts of cyclotetrasiloxane (D4); is classified as an endocrine disruptor based on evidence that it interferes with human hormone function and human fertility by the European Union; its impact on the environment is controversial; read more about it here.
Stearyl Alcohol: an emulsifier and a viscosity agent; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with limited data. This ingredient is often used in the organic and natural skincare lotion and creams. To make a lotion or cream, an emulsifier needs to be used to bind oil and water. To avoid any emulsifiers and other fillers, I recommend considering switching to facial and body oils.
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: an ester of benzoic acid; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with limited data.
PPG-14 Butyl Ether: a polypropylene glycol ester of butyl alcohol; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with limited data.
Hydrogenated Castor Oil: rated 1 in the Skin Deep database.
Petrolatum: a semisolid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum; may be contaminated with carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons); rated 4 out 10 in the Skin Deep database.
Talc: a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry. Sometimes it contains a small portion of aluminum silicate. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer. It is not clear if consumer products containing talc powder increase cancer risk. Studies of personal use of talcum powder have had mixed results, although there is some suggestion of a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk with the genital use of talc-based products. (source) Talc is rated 3 out 10 in the Skin Deep database.
Phenyl Trimethicone: another silicon-based ingredient; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with insufficient data regarding its impact on the environment.
Fragrance: an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants. Phthalates are likely to be present in the mixture because they are often used in creating a fragrance so it is statistically likely, although this is my opinion and I simply don’t know if they are. There are a number of different phthalates and some of them are possible carcinogens and hormone disruptors (for detailed information on phthalates, read my phthalate primer here).
I highly recommend that families with babies and small children stay away from fragrances as well women who are planning to conceive or who are pregnant.
Old Spice discloses a long list of chemicals that might be present in their products, which is a step in the right direction, although there are probably at least 1,000 chemicals on that list. It would probably take a MONTH to investigate each of them. For now, I can tell you two things. There is only one type of phthalate on the list called diethyl phthalate, which is not on the Federal government’s banned list but may be associated with endocrine disruption. It is rated 3 in the Skin Deep database.
Cyclodextrin: rated 1 in the Skin Deep database; used as a food additive.
Behenyl Alcohol: used as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with limited data.
To be fair, there seem to be no ingredients that we can say with certainty that increase the risk of cancer, endocrine disruption, or allergy. However, there are a number of ingredients that do not have sufficient health or environmental data about them. There are also ingredients that may be contaminated with carcinogenic PAHs. I recommend practicing precautionary principles especially when there are safe alternatives.
My husband made the switch easily and he loves his deodorant made with baking soda and organic ingredients. There are baking soda-free alternatives, too. To see the list of deodorant we like, visit here.
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