Restricted Substance: Aluminum


In our stores we spend a LOT of time talking about armpits. That’s because what we put (and don’t put) under our arms is one of the most essential choices we make when it comes to personal care products. Safe pit protection is the gateway to healthy personal care and that’s where we suggest most people start when making the shift. In fact, a huge percentage of our customers find their way to Follain by hearing about our amazingly effective deodorants, it’s no wonder they are among our best sellers. They smell great, they feel great, and unlike the last dozen “natural” deodorants you’ve tried, they work like a charm. But before we get into our A+ underarm solutions, let’s talk about sweat for a second.  

First thing’s first, sweating is super important. It’s an essential function of the body designed to eliminate toxins. We sweat out of every pore in our body and for the most part, it’s harmless salty water that has a benign smell - but our pits are a different story. The sweat produced from our underarms also contains fats and proteins that interact with the bacteria on our skin causing a stink that most of us try to avoid. We’ve all been conditioned to think that a dry and stink-free armpit is the only socially acceptable route, and with the help of some seriously sketchy ingredients, antiperspirants have been made available to us on just about every corner of America. If you’ve been tuned in, you’ve most likely heard about the antiperspirant vs. deodorant controversy. If not, we’ll break it down real quick...

What’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant anyway?

It’s pretty simple - Antiperspirants are designed to prevent sweat from occurring by blocking up our pores, leaving us dry on the the outside, but more toxic on the inside. Deodorants on the other hand don’t stop us from sweating - remember, sweat is important! - Instead they work to kill the odor causing bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin and in some cases, help to absorb a little excess moisture. The distinction here is important because of one undeniable fact - there’s no such thing as a safe antiperspirant.


Because aluminum. The active sweat gland plugging ingredient in pretty much every antiperspirant is aluminum (aka aluminum zirconium) and this is one of the big ingredients on our Restricted Substance List. It’s on our list for a number of reasons. One (as we already covered) - it inhibits our essential detoxification function, which traps both bodily toxins and other product based toxins in our bodies, in our lymph nodes, near breasts and other sensitive areas. It also triggers our bodies to sweat MORE because our systems go into overdrive to try to push sweat and toxins past blocked up sweat glands. Two - some studies suggest a link between aluminum and breast cancer, endocrine disruption and even Alzheimer's disease. While this link has not been proven, it raises a concern about where these metals go after they’re applied to the body. And when they’re applied sometimes multiple times a day over a lifetime, the exposure is massive, and that exposure is significant for us to say "heck no" to antiperspirants.

The safe solution here is deodorants. We know that many safe deodorants just don't work, and in some unfortunate cases, they can even make us smell worse! We’ve been in this biz long enough to know that deodorant is one of the personal care products that people are most sensitive about. That’s why we knew the deodorants on our shelves HAD to be insanely effective. We tested over 35 different formulas before settling on our rock-star lineup. There’s something for everyone and we promise once you make the switch, you won’t look back.  


How our deodorants work

The first element is all about absorption - without the sketchy ingredients. Baking soda and arrowroot (which we love for more sensitive skin) are totally safe ingredients that work to absorb excess sweat. We’re not talking antiperspirant style dryness, but it’s significant. Secondly, powerful essential oils work to kill the surface bacteria so that if there is still some moisture present, there’s no bacteria left behind to react with it.

As far as safe deodorants go, these products are pretty spectacular. There are a couple of things to remember though: While we strongly believe they are the most effective in the biz, they're not miracle workers, and yes, you’ll probably have to reapply before your post-work spin class for optimal results. Also, if you’re just making a switch from conventional antiperspirant, there’s definitely an adjustment period. We think it takes a couple of weeks but the detoxing process is worth the price of you overall health. One of the greatest perks about switching to clean deodorant is that our bodies adjusts the volume of sweat they produce over time because we aren’t blocking pores with aluminum. If we actually allow our bodies to eliminate toxins at a natural rate, we’ll end up sweating less than we have in years!

Aluminum is the pits. Hooray for the shift!

 Follain Restricted Substance Aluminum

Environmental Working Group
Campaign For Safe Cosmetics

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