Deodorant Ingredients to Avoid


photo ~John Foxx/Getty DCL

by Megan Winkler

With ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, I think it’s time we start looking a little more closely at what’s going into our deodorant. I’m pretty horrified at the information I dredged up on the topic. I know this isn’t a glamorous topic, but it’s an important one. So important, in fact, that I’m going to try a natural deodorant recipe out this week. But before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about what we’re applying to our armpits on a daily basis.

THE ALUMINUM-ALZHEIMER’S CONNECTION

Yeah, we’ll start off with a big one. Aluminum—as in the metal—is used to block pores from releasing sweat. The problem is, aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and an increased chance of Alzheimer’s. Now to be fair, the Food and Drug Administration has never said it’s a carcinogen, but there is definitely a case for drawing a correlation between the two. It might be something to look out for.

POTENT PARABENS

Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are sometimes present in health and beauty products. There are two interesting bits of information that I’d like for us to consider with regards to this ingredient. The first is that the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study to see how many of us have parabens in our system. Of 100 subjects tested, 100 percent—each and every one of them—showed paraben presence in their urine. This research told scientists a lot about how easily chemicals enter our body via the skin. The other bit of information is that parabens have been linked to hormonal imbalance in early puberty. Food for thought.

OH GEEZ, PROPYLENE GLYCOL

The petroleum-based ingredient propylene glycol is present in many antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s the ingredient that gives deodorant a slick consistency so we can slather it on our skin. Bad news is that in large quantities it can do damage to the central nervous system, the heart and the liver. To be fair, this is like saying that broccoli in large doses is lethal, but no one would ever eat that much anyway, so it’s a moot point. The amount of propylene glycol used in the average stick of deodorant is probably completely safe, but it’s worth mentioning.

FUNKY PHTHALATES

Phthalates help ingredients to dissolve, and because of this they are sometimes found in deodorant. Unfortunately, phthalates are also linked to birth defects and the disruption of hormone receptors in the body. Yuck!

TRICKY TRICLOSAN

After finding out that triclosan was classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, most companies that produce deodorants and antiperspirants have removed this ingredient from their formulas. It’s still a good idea to read the product label just to make sure triclosan isn’t hiding inside.

A DIY NATURAL ALTERNATIVE

I did some research to see if I could talk about some great mainstream companies that have eliminated these ingredients from their products, but with the exception of Old Spice, none of the companies I investigated even go so far as to display the ingredients for their deodorants online.

There are a few all-natural deodorants on the market, but I found a couple of homemade recipes via Wellness Mama that are supposed to be amazing, assuming the above information doesn’t sit well with you either. Using coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter, and some optional arrowroot and essential oils, you can make your own quite easily. Simply melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler and add the other ingredients to create an all-natural alternative that really works. Another option is to combine coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch in a small glass jar. Neither recipe requires refrigeration, which is nice.

Clean Bandit – Show Me Love feat. Elisabeth Troy


History, Rebellion and Reconciliation : NMAAHC


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum
of African American History and Culture
presents a national conversation by hosting a daylong symposium,
 

HRR Logo.jpg

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:45am to 8:30pm EDT
National Museum of the American Indian
Rasmuson Theater
Independence and 4th St SW
Washington, D.C.

 Metro: Orange and Blue lines, L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Center SW
The symposium will be live streamed via Ustream


Admission is free and open to the public; however, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are recommended. Reserve your free tickets by visiting Eventbrite. Please note if you wish to attend all panels, be sure to reserve a ticket for each panel.

A police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., this summer, along with other shootings by police officers around the county, led to weeks of protests in communities around the country. “We need to explore what this moment in our nation’s history means, especially in terms of leadership,” said Lonnie Bunch III, NMAAHC director. “What impact does generational change have on leadership and faith communities? What are the lessons to be learned from Ferguson, particularly within the context of community mobilization?”
Symposium Schedule

9:45am, director Lonnie Bunch opens the symposium and welcomes guests, followed by a discussion with Rev. Willis H. Johnson, pastor of Ferguson’s Wellspring Church. Willis will describe the conditions that led to the distrust between law enforcement and the city’s African American community.

10:30am-12:30pm, panel #1, “Ferguson: Impact, Importance & Long-Range Hopes.” This panel explores the evolution of the media, community leadership and activism as they relate to communities organized against excessive police force and economic inequality. Panel moderated by Juan Williams, journalist and Fox News political analyst. Panelists include: Lisa Crooms, Howard University law professor; Opal Tometi, founder of Black Lives Matter; Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr., pastor Wellspring Church, Ferguson.

1:30pm to 2:30 pm, “On Art and History: A Conversation with Ava DuVernay.” Selma director, DuVernay, will discuss filmmaking and the creative responses to historic events such as the Selma to Montgomery march.

3:00pm – 5pm, panel #2, “Ferguson & Faith in the 21st Century.” This panel addresses the past, present and future roles of faith organizations as advocates for social change. It also examines changing roles of faith leaders. Moderated by Rex Ellis, NMAAHC associate director of curatorial affairs, the panel includes: Jeff Johnson, journalist and motivational speaker; Renee Harrison, Howard University School of Divinity professor and former Los Angeles police officer; Lerone A. Martin, assistant professor of Religion and Politics, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis; Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, pastor, theologian, author, and community organizer; Stephanie Wolfe, dissertation fellow, John C. Danforth Center.

6:30pm – 8:30pm, panel #3, “#Words Matter: Making Revolution Irresistible.” This panel features the response of the creative community to excessive police violence, racism and communal demands for equality. Moderated by Jared Ball, associate professor of Communications, Morgan State University. The panel includes: Mark Bolden, psychologist and co-moderator; Jasiri X, Spoken Word artist; Jamilah Lemieux, senior digital editor, Ebony magazine; Jef Tate: DJ, Words, Beats and Life.
 

Other Presentations during the Symposium

12:30pm – 1:30pm, “Citizen” works by award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, interpreted on film by director John Lucas. The film shorts, titled Situation #1through 5, are based on Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric.

5:00pm – 6 pm, view a slide presentation of social justice related objects from the museum’s collection and select artists, accompanied by a mix from DJ Jef Tate of “Words, Beats and Life.”

For questions about the symposium, email NMAAHCpubpgms@si.edu.

View the daylong symposium at Ustream. A dialogue on social media will be held throughout the symposium. The public may follow the museum on Twitter @NMAAHC to participate in the discussion using #HRRlive or #WordsMatter.

For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu or call (202) 633-1000(202) 633-1000.

Recap: The President’s Town Hall with Working Women


President Obama traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday for a special conversation with working women, co-hosted with leading women’s sites BlogHer and SheKnows.

The President made clear that more hardworking and middle-class Americans deserve the chance to get ahead. To do this, we need to expand access to child care, make higher education more affordable, cut taxes for middle-class families, and ensure women and men receive equal pay for doing the same job.

See what else President Obama said at yesterday’s town hall, and hear what people from across the country told the President.

Watch: President Obama speaks at the BlogHer and SheKnows town hall.

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