Something Doesn’t Smell Right

A few days ago I wrote about Funk Butter, the natural deodorant I’ve been using and loving for the past six months.  However, after looking a little bit deeper into the product’s ingredients, I was surprised to find that one of them – Kaolin Clay – contains aluminum. According to trusted source Mountain Rose Herbs, Kaolin Clay has sizeable traces of the mineral aluminum oxide, also known as alumina.  The EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database gives alumina a moderate toxicity rating, which, though not terrible, is a category I try to avoid.

This is a reminder that many natural and synthetic ingredients are in a grey zone – not the best, but also not the worst.  For example, Mountain Rose Herbs notes that Kaolin Clay’s “high mineral content rejuvenates the skin while the clay exfoliates and stimulates blood circulation to the skin…removing debris from the pores and bringing about a smooth healthy glow.”  That sounds pretty appealing to me!

It’s important to note that it’s not just aluminum that makes mainstream deodorants and antiperspirants unhealthy – it’s the mix of other chemicals including parabens, fragrance, petroleum, palm oil and additional synthetics and derivatives that mimic hormones and keep your underarm skin from being able to breathe.

Funk Butter is still a phenomenal option over mainstream personal care products, as is Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, which, I discovered, also contains Kaolin Clay.  So unless I try my hand at making my own homemade deodorant, these two are currently the best natural options out there.

In the end, what’s critical is keeping ourselves educated and acknowledging that we can’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good – within reason, of course.

I have sent emails to the companies asking if their Kaolin Clay is aluminum-free.  I don’t know if this is possible, but am keeping my fingers crossed!  I’ll publish responses if I get them to offer more perspective on the different types of aluminum.

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