This is something I've been thinking about doing for a while, so this morning I grabbed the first product that came to hand and decided to take a look at exactly what's in it.
It happened it was a bottle of roll-on antiperspirant deodorant from a long-established international brand.
The ingredients in the order listed are:
Easy to identify - it's water.
I had a pretty good idea what this one was, but decided to try google. This is an active ingredient in many antiperspirants as it acts to slow down sweat reaching the surface of the skin. Some studies have been linked aluminium chlorohydrate to breast cancer, while others say the risk is minimal. I found a good overview here.
This is used as an emulsifier and surfactant in many cosmetic products.
Liquid paraffin is a mineral oil that occurs as a by product of petroleum distillation. I came across this article which provides a clear explanation of the uses, advantages and disadvantages of liquid paraffin in cosmetics.
This is another ingredient derived from petroleum. It's used in cosmetics (not just deodorant) as a solvent and conditioning agent. It can also be found in some foods. Some of the research I've read stated that it may cause skin irritation, but is not thought to be an environmental toxin.
This is a product of stearic acid. Stearic acid is a fatty acid found in both plants and animals. Glycol isostearate is used in skin and hair care products for its smoothing and softening properties. Glycol isostearate is not known to have any toxic properties. (ref: Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel).
This is a blanket term which can cover a mixture of many ingredients to create scent in a product.
A synthetic compound used as an emulsifier and surfactant.
A salt derived from citric acid.
Is derived from palm oil this is often used in shampoos and body washes for its conditioning properties. Also used as an emulsifier. According to the Good Guide it has not found to have any adverse health effects.
Propylene glycol is a mineral oil used in both food and cosmetics. It comes in a number of different formulations with different properties and effects. It is thought that it may cause skin irritation in some people.
If you've read all the way to the end of this thank you. The products you use are a matter of personal choice. Please make an informed choice - read the label!
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Background photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/70757891@N00/7369675914">Delicate</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>