The Potential Dangers of Mainstream Deodorants/Antiperspirants for Children (page 2)

By — Member Contribution
Updated on Mar 15, 2011

Propylene Glycol

 Propylene Glycol (sometimes referred to as Propanediol) is another commonly used ingredient in antiperspirants (and some natural deodorants, too!). Propylene Glycol is commonly used as an ingredient in antifreeze. Propylene Glycol enters the skin so quickly that the Environmental Protection Agency has warned factory workers to avoid skin contact in order to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. Because of these warnings, some experts have raised additional concerns about antiperspirant use.

Antiperspirant Alternatives

Given the health concerns described above, a number of experts recommend that antiperspirants not be used, especially with children. See below for a number of recommendations and alternatives to traditional antiperspirants:
  1. Alternative Mixture: In a small spray bottle, mix together baking soda and water. If odor still exists, you can add a small amount of vinegar.
  2.  Wash Well: When washing underarms, make sure to wash well. It takes approximately 20 seconds of rubbing with soap and water to really clean the skin.
  3.  Simpler Soap: Anti-bacterial and antiseptic soaps destroy the natural balance of the skin and typically contain unwanted chemicals. Try to find a soap (sometimes an older brand) with fewer ingredients (fewer than seven would be ideal).
  4.  Deodorant for Kids Alternative: Junior Varsity Naturals™ is the only maker of an all-natural gender specific deodorant for kids. The short list of ingredients includes: Glycerin (Derived from vegetable oil), Aqua (water), Sodium Stearate (Derived form stearic acid from vegetable oil) Ethylhexelglycerin (Derived from vegetable glycerin from vegetable oil), Polysorbate 20 (Derived from Lauric Acid from coconut oil), and Fragrance (Derived from Essence oils). The company was founded in order to provide parents with an all natural deodorant solution for their children. For more information, please see   
  1. Lipworth L. (1995) Epidermiology of breast cancer. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 4: 7-30
  2. Darbre. Concentrations of Parabens in Human Breast Tumors. Journal of Applied Toxicology
  4. Flarend, R., Bin, T.,  Elmore, D., & Hemb, S.L. (2008) A Preliminary Study of the Dermal Absorption of Aluminium From Antiperspirants Using Aluminium-26.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 39, 163-168.
  5.  Jansson, E.T. (2001). “Aluminum Exposure and Alzheimer’s Disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 3, 541-549. Also available at:
  6. Kids Deodorant 
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