Do you know what I do when I have a free minute? And by that I mean when my hands are occupied but my eyes and brain are not. Yes – you guessed it. I read labels. One day when I was brushing my teeth, I read the label on my husband’s deodorant (we’ll read it together in this post) and that started a long journey of looking for a safer alternative. In the span of about 6 months or so, he tried a number of deodorants. It was a challenge to find a deodorant that worked well enough to replace Old Spice antiperspirant. But before we talk about the deodorants he tried, let’s talk about Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant (the brand my husband gave up using! – sorry Old Spice).
Ingredients of Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant (Fresh Collection)
Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly 18% w/w in Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant
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 for the past two days, 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. The Old Spice contains many ingredients; some do not raise concerns, others do.
Other Ingredients in the Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant
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.
Phenyl Trimethicone: a silicon-based ingredient; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with insufficient data regarding its impact on the environment.
Cyclodextrin: are produced from starch by means of enzymatic conversion; studies in both humans and animals have shown that CDs can be used to improve drug delivery from almost any type of drug formulation; rated 1 in the Skin Deep Database.
Behenyl Alcohol: used as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener; rated 1 in the Skin Deep database with limited data.
Ingredients in Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant with Contamination Concerns
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.
Solvent in the Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant
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.
Big No-No in the Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant
The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on any product label represents 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 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.
Conclusion about the Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant
In conclusion, due to a number of ingredients with health and environmental concerns in the Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant, I am so glad that my husband does not use it anymore. My husband was pleasantly surprised that you do not have to use aluminum antiperspirant to get the job done.
To learn about deodorants my husband uses and likes now
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