Ask Tess: Why are store-bought deodorants so bad?

Hi Tess,

I was wondering if you could enlighten me on why you think store bought deodorants are bad to use? 


K. Jenkins


Hi K.,

Great question! The reason why I have placed such an emphasis on using natural products is because of the overwhelming toxicity that many store-bought products cause to our bodies. Over time, these toxic chemicals can cause cancers, tumors, bronchial issues and other health related problems. In regards to store-bought deodorant, many of the ingredients have cancer causing properties.

According to the National Cancer Society, “Reports have suggested that these products contain harmful substances, which can be absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks caused by shaving. Some scientists have also proposed that certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants may be related to breast cancer because they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast.”

Some toxic chemicals to look out for in deodorant are:

  1. Aluminum Compounds
  2. Parabens
  3. Propylene glycol
  4. Triclosan
  5.  Steareths

You can read more about these toxic chemicals, here. Since our skin is our largest organ, we need to take measures to ensure that what we put on it is as natural as possible. Here is a recipe for homemade deodorant that works really well.

Quick Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (If you have especially sensitive skin, increase the amount of cornstarch to 6 tablespoons and decrease the baking soda to 2 tablespoons)
  • 10 drops of scented oil (tea tree oil, lavender, rose, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Put 1/4 cup each of baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl and add 10+ drops of scented oil (you can add more if you would like).
  2. Stir 2+ tbsp of coconut oil until it is the consistency you like.
  3. Smash the mixture into an empty deodorant container.
  4. Let it set a few days and enjoy.

Note: This deodorant should be applied lightly. It is invisible, but works. Read about other recipes for everyday products.

It’s important to begin looking at all the ingredients on the back of our products. You would be surprised at how many toxic chemicals are in our everyday products.

Hope this helps,


The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 4th, 2014
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2 Responses to Ask Tess: Why are store-bought deodorants so bad?

  1. Snake Plisken says:

    Hi Tess, I’ve heard that store bought deoderant has a lot of chemicals but reading about it up close with the research you’ve done is very good information to me.

    I use very little deoderant because I most often work a desk and throw on just a little cologne in the morning. Last summer, while helping a friend with a small construction project, I noticed that the guy had an overwhelming amount of deoderant under his armpits. I mean dime sized pieces caked on! I told him that wasn’t healthy due to the aluminium content. He claims that he might meet a girl after work and doesn’t want to smell bad. I just kinda rolled my eyes and said ” you are one of the most clean people I know and you are putting a lot of chemicals on you body that are unhealthy.”

    Everybody has a unique signature smell and as long as you don’t waft BO like a Sasquatch then you don’t need a lot of deodorant.

    I am definetly going to try your recipe Tess!


    Snake Plisken

  2. IdahoGrandpa says:

    Make up some oil of Magnesium, put it in a spray bottle and give 2-3 squirts per armpit. Kills odor and your skin absorbs it to give you 2-300mg of magnesium for your daily needs. Most people are short on daily magnesium. Start w/one spray, underarms are sensitive and it can sting until you get used to it.

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