Deodorant Ingredients 101

April 11, 2016 2 min read 1 Comment

Did you know that 85% of the more than 85,000 chemicals in use in today’s marketplace have not been tested for long-term human health impacts? It's true. Beyond skin creams and cosmetics, this also includes our favourite conquerer of body odour: deodorants. 

Conventional deodorants are often made with sweat-blocking and pore clogging aluminum, antibacterial agents such as triclosan, parabens, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances. Read on to learn more about why we choose not to use these ingredients in our 100% natural and aluminum free deodorants.


Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredient in anti-perspirants, working to block our sweat glands. These compounds may be absorbed by our skin, causing changes in the estrogen receptors of breast cells, and potentially increase our risk of developing breast cancer

Our natural deodorants are made using Potassium Alum, a naturally occurring salt. The molecules of Potassium Alum are too large to pass through pores and into the bloodstream, so they don’t actually go into your body. Instead, they adjust the pH of the skin’s surface, creating an environment where bacteria can no longer grow. 


Triclosan is an extremely powerful antibacterial agent and preservative that's used mainly in antiperspirants, deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers. It's so powerful, that Triclosan is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. This chemical not only accumulates in our environment, but persists, harming our aquatic wildlife. 


Parabens in their many forms (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben) are found in 75 to 90 per cent of cosmetic and body care products. Yikes. Parabens are a synthetic preservative that easily penetrate the skin and mimic the activity of estrogen in our bodies. As estrogen promotes the growth of breast cancer cells, and a woman is eight times more likely to develop breast cancer in the part of the breast closest to the underarm, scientists are studying the connection. That said, we feel that the link between parabens, breast cancer and hormone disruption is too dubious for us to use with 100% comfort in any of our products, including deodorants.

Propylene Glycol (and other petrochemicals)

Propylene glycol is a petroleum-based material that was originally developed for use as a non-toxic anti-freeze. Now it's just another common ingredient used in anti-perspirants and deodorants. Wait, what? Gross! Yep, due to its slick consistency, it's used to soften deodorants and anti-perspirants making them easier to apply to your skin. However, propylene glycol is a neurotoxin known to cause dermatitis (skin inflammation), kidney damage, and liver damage; it's number 9 on our Red List of ingredients we avoid at all costs.

Synthetic Fragrances

The average North American uses between 17 and 21 scented products per day, exposing themselves to a "chemical soup" with unknown health effects. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, fragrances used in deodorants and other cosmetic products cause 30% of all allergic reactions, and 70% of all asthmatics develop respiratory symptoms when exposed to perfumes.

At Rocky, our philosophy is that if we’re not sure that something is safe over the long-haul, then why use it? Especially when there are amazing natural ingredients offered by our planet that can keep us clean, moisturized and smelling delightful!

1 Response

Peter Gachucha
Peter Gachucha

September 14, 2020

I have never read a more informative read about antiperspirants and deodorants ,: they are not safe, one should stay away from them.

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