Deodorants act on bacteria which, by nourishing themselves from sweat, release the odor that one allots to perspiration.
Deodorants act in various ways:
◦ by attacking bad smells: for example, scented ingredients 
Anti-perspirants stop, or strongly control, the quantity of sweat emitted on the surface treated. The reduction in perspiration is often due to aluminum salts (such as aluminum chloride) which tighten the pores of the skin through which perspiration is evacuated. 
They are based on the principle stressing that if one does not sweat, one does not smell bad, and they are conceived to stop the sudoriferous glands and cutaneous pores. Aluminum hydro-chlorate or zirconium and aluminum complexes are the principal ingredients that fulfill this function. In fact, those are toxic ingredients targetting the lungs, the bones and the central nervous system, and in the long term, they can cause serious health problems, in particular breast cancer, renal insufficiency, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Experimental studies on animals show that aluminum present in the nervous system modifies the form of cytoskeletal genes and damages structure proteins in the cells of the brain by, in particular, forming protein filaments rich in phosphate which are present in certain serious neurological affections, such as insanity, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, many people insist nevertheless to use anti-sudorifics, incurring the risk to have serious health problems later-on. Why do our social apprehensions continue to overshadow our primary instinct of survival? What measures can we take to maintain an acceptable hygiene and an optimal health? 
Deodorant : Deodoroche or the natural alum stone, does not close the pores, does not irritate the skin, does not leave any visible trace on the skin, does not stain, is without perfume and on sale in almost every pharmacies like Pharmaprix or Jean Coutu, for approximately 7 $. It is very, very effective and lasts 24 hours and it is very economical because only one stick can be used by the whole family and can last 1 year.
INCI ingredients: 100% Potassium Alum .
Since 2009 the company put on the markets slightly scented camomile, green tea, lavender, etc… versions. As soon as it concerns odoriferous substances the question of allergenic sensitivities arises. So, it is up to you to choose.
Alum stone is used humidified with cold water while slowly passing it on the armpits and can be marketed under various names and versions for men and women, but it is always the same thing.
This stone is a double sulphate mineral salt of aluminum and potassium which, because of its large molecular structure  , cannot be absorbed by the skin (see the controversy below) which leaves, after being humidified slightly, a fine saline layer on the skin and which fights bacteria that cause odors and it would wash off with water or perspiration. Natural alum does not prevent the process of perspiration at all and it does not block the pores. The alum stone being odorless, some humidify the stone with an essential oil or with floral water.
Although most of the information you can find on the safety of natural alum agree that this stone is the big winner in the debate on deodorants, controversy exists! The only study in 1989 which proves that mineral alum does not penetrate the skin (see this article in French) is highly contested today.
The alum stone has also been used for a long time by men (my father also made use of it) as an after-shave to alleviate the fire of the razor: its astringent action makes it possible to avoid the effects of incarnated hairs and its coagulating action avoids bleedings after the small cuts of shaving. The healing, disinfectant, deodorant or rot-resistant properties of the alum stone are due to the bacteriostatic qualities of alum.
Caution! Henri Bernard, Deo Spray natural Crystal , 7.99 $, 240 ml, without aerosol with a long list of “withouts” but no INCI list. One can read that this liquid version is manufactured “with the same crystallized natural rock salt found in our format in stick” without indicating the list of ingredients clearly however.
Here are the differences according to a good article found on Paper Blog (in French):
“There are on the market two kinds of alum stones :
- The so-called “natural” Alum stone, containing natural Potassium salt extracted from mines.
- The so-called “synthetic” Alum stone, manufactured with ammonium salt obtained by synthesis.
How to differentiate them? Which one to choose?
The law on cosmetics requires that manufacturers post the ingredients on their labels. Natural Alum stone is identified as POTASSIUM ALUM . The natural alum stone is recognized from its composition, not its appearance. Being of mineral origin, this product cannot be certified “organic”.
Concerning the Synthetic Alum stone , it must be mentioned as AMMONIUM ALUM .
This last-mentioned component ( ammonium alum ) is manufactured from residues of “heavy” industry, mainly in Asia. For example, Thai ammonium salt comes from the nylon industries and is a by-product of caprolactam. It is hard to say today what will be the long-term consequences of the use of this kind of product whose quality can seem to be doubtful.
Some Crystal deodorants do not have INCI list, they are sold with the words ” made from natural mineral salts”, this is illegal!
On this pink / purple Crystal deodorant blessed by the Pink Ribbon, two partial and tendentious inscriptions misinform the consumer:
1. ” Safe for the Environment ”
Although rated 1, Skin Deep still mentions this on ammonium alum: ” Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative”; given these statements and the fact that synthetic product always consume more energy, that means that environmentally speaking, this ingredient is not so friendly … The Crystal Website company does not give this reference, but an old link to Skin Deep, which no longer exists and were this statement is not present.
2. “Endorset by Cancer Treatment Centers”
My emails and my phone calls have remained unanswered and the company website provides only partial information about this grave inscription supported by the Pink Ribbon.
Let me explain:
The official website of Crystal deodorants makes no distinction between Potassium Alum and Ammonium Alum and the composition of their deodorants. “At the foundation of Crystal deodorant is natural mineral salt called Alum,” they say, but which one?!? No mention!
8 PDF documents attest some recommendations from medical personnel for Crystal deodorant, however some of the documents mention Potassium Alum not Ammonium Alum which is actually the current component of Crystal !
In a document from St Mary’s Medical Center signed by MD Daniel Keleti we can read: ” It is reassuring to know that we can offer a product to them which does not contain any aluminum. ” No, but am I dreaming or what? Both stones alum, natural and synthetic contain aluminum, doc!
And another PDF signed by Capps Race Director of Oncology: ” When we educate our breast cancer patients they are told to refrain from using deodorants containing Aluminums and/ or Fragrance during radiation treatments due to the potential skin reactions .” Back to school benches strongly suggested …
What these “experts” refer to is the absence of Aluminum hydrochloride, Aluminum chloride, Aluminum zirconium and Aluminum hydroxybromide because there have been some studies showing their toxicity. But what we want to know is the safety of Ammonium Alum which is the ingredient of Crystal deodorant and which contains aluminum ! We want to know how much of it is present in the Crystal and if we absorb it or not! But on that, total silence!
Researchers of the University of Geneva interviewed as part of a program broadcasted on RTS on February 2012 clearly show that aluminum salts present in most deodorants sold on the markets have specific toxic effects on the mammary gland, they break the DNA of the mammary cell and they induce some changes in biomarkers and all this with doses 1500-100000 times lower than those found in deodorants containing aluminum salts sold in the pharmacies. This conclusion includes the Alum stone, because it also contains aluminum salts ! If the myth of the safety of natural Alum stone has collapsed, so imagine that synthetic Crystal whose origin and manufacturing are more than questionable!
One can clearly read on the Website of the Crystal company that aluminum is part of our environment and that there is no clear link between this one and the breast cancer and between parabens and breast cancer and blah, blah, blah, but in reality, as the Potassium Alum, there is no sort of any character study proving its harmlessness! Cosmetology begins to realize that the safety of this synthetic stone mostly used as a deodorant is rather based on a reputation than on a scientific facts, a myth well maintained by the industry that trade deodorants!
“However, regarding the natural alum stone and the reconstituted alum the agency considers necessary to evaluate them in a timely manner in order to know the physico-chemical and / or skin absorption”.
- Deodorants made from Natural Alum stone called POTASSIUM ALUM and synthetic AMMONIUM ALUM called Crystal, both contain aluminum and there are no studies proving that it is not absorbed through the skin, on the contrary, according to the latest update above, regardless of the source, aluminum penetrates through the skin, into the body:
- According to the World Health Organization with a 100% theoretical absorption by the body of the Alum stone applied to the skin with daily use, we apply up to 140 milligrams of Alum on the skin which gives a amount of aluminum ions to less than 8 milligrams per day. This amount absorbed amount remains below the tolerable weekly intake of aluminum by feeding of 17 mg / day (for a person weighing 60kg). The question is: do I need to absorb eight milligrams of aluminum per day (which goes directly into my brain) from my deodorant in addition to our food consumption ( spinach for example contain 20 mg per kilogram) from cooking, acidity, dyes, cans, salt, packaging, etc., from domestic consumption (treatment of tap water) from medication, from professional and industrial aluminum we can not avoid?
- There are two scientific positions on the relationship between aluminum and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, I have not counted the studies but I would say there are more plaintiffs than defenders but its neurotoxicity is almost established. Even Wikipedia is not neutral about it! I can suggest the best source for you to document or confuse you: PubMed (which contains more than 22 million biomedical literature studies), but if you do not have the courage to read the three best known studies on this website, if you can read French, I suggest this article which makes a good summary or watch the documentary broadcasted on RTS which is the most current study. The immutable argument in the defenders camp of aluminum (and indeed all other risk ingredients in cosmetics): there is no IN VIVO experience !
I do not know about you, but personally I am exhausted of listening to that song …
- Most “pro” synthetic or natural Alum stone Websites on Internet belong to manufacturers and retailers of deodorants or the respective sites are funded by the cosmetics industry of conventional deodorants like Tout sur les deodorants (All you need to know about deodorants) Website which belongs to Unilever company.
- Using Alum stone you avoid at least other ingredients proven carcinogenic, toxic and unsustainable present actually in conventional deodorants such as: aluminum hydrochloride, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide, aluminum zirconium, fragrance, parabens, triclosan, talc, alcohol, silicone, PEG, etc.
- Never use antiperspirant, the body needs to eliminate toxins if not other organs like the kidneys and the liver have to work harder to eliminate creating health problems;
As form myself, pending further clarification on this, I still use the natural Alum stone but only when I do sports, because I found that this is the best option for efficiency issue.
But as there is controversy and until the science will decid, here are some choices that do not contain any aluminum salts or natural or synthetic Alum stone. They exist!
One of the best deodorants, tried by the great heat of July! Lightly scented with essential oil (several alternatives available, one with hemp seed oil and one unscented), Penny Line Organics has a simple, effective, clean formula. It can be used dry, but personally I prefer it slightly wet. Manufactured in Guelph, Ontario, is sold on line, 120 gr for $ 9, best value ! Also rated 4 stars by Aria Vasil !
Ingredients: Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), Corn Starch (Zea Mays), Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), Pink Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi ) Essential Oil.
Infallible, the PurelyGreat deodorant starred this year! A smooth paste (flavored or not, according to taste) that spreads with a small stick and whose ingredients are simple, clean, pure and most effective: baking soda (bio), corn starch (non-GMO), vegetable glycerin (bio) and Essential Oils. 45gr, $ 12.99, good for 2-3 months of use.
This deodorant made in Toronto and customized for women, men and teenagers has recently been recommended by Ecoholic, Eco Parent, Goodness Me and I consider it, myself, definitely a winning choice! For those sympathetic to the cause, know that 10% of the unscented deodorant sales are donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Made for low to medium persperation, this natural deodorant aluminium free is an healthy choice. Not toxic and very soft for the skin. Comes in two natural scent : floral and tee tree.
INCI : Cera Alba 0, Calendula officinalis oil* 0, Matricaria recutita oil 0, Lavandula officinalis oil 0, Cocos nucifera* 0, HE Lavandula officinalis* 1, Pelargonium graveolens* 0, Salvia Officinalis* 0, Sodium bicarbonate 0, Iris germanica florentina 0, Alpha tocopherol 0
*Certified Organic Ingredients by Ecocert or International Quality Assurance
New Product : Senteurs du Sud Deodorant, 50 ml, 15 $, certified organic by ECOCERT, available on BeKaBio.
INCI: Aqua (water), mentha piperita (peppermint) flower water 0, argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil 0, citrus aurantium amara (orange) flower distillate 0, glycerin 2, caprylic/capric triglyceride 1, undecylenoyl glycine 1, arachidyl alcohol 1, citrus sinensi (orange) oil 1, behenyl alcohol 0, arachidyl glucoside 1, xanthan gum 0, tocopherol 1, limonene 6*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) flower oil 0, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil 1, benzyl alcohol 5 **, sodium benzoate 3, potassium sorbate 3, linalool 0.
|* Perfuming ingredient
** Conservative accepted by organic certification
Natural Deodorant with black spruce made by Savonnerie des diligences, 9.99 $
|The best find is this very, very effective deodorant made in Québec, also recommended by Adria Vasil in her book Ecoholicbody.
Ingredients: Baking soda, Theobroma Cacao seed butter, Cera alba, Water (Aqua), Vodka*, Cornstach, Canabis sativa, Commiphore abyssinica, Picea Mariana essential oil
* no need to tell you that this is alcohol…
|Tom’s of Maine Original Care Deodorant Stick-Unscented|
|Ingredients: Propylene Glycol ( see comments on Skin Deep ), Water, Sodium Stearate, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Laurate, Humulus Lupulus (Hops), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Organic Cymbopogon Flexuosus Oil|
Tom’s of Maine deodorants are sold between 9 and 10 $ in the shops of natural products. There are many and they do not all have the same technical charts, if your choices differ from those selected, it is necessary to check the ingredients.
|Melvita purifying roll-on deodorant, rated first by the Observatoire des cosmétiques 2011-2012, certified organic by ECOCERT.|
|Ingredients : INCI EU[US] : Aqua [Water], Aloe Barbadensis Extract [Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract]*, Dicaprylyl Ether, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Behenyl Alcohol, Capryloyl Glycine, Benzyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Sodium Hydroxide, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil*, Triticum Vulgare Starch [Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch]*, Limonene**, Dehydroacetic Acid, Santalum Austrocaledonicum [Santalum Austrocaledonicum Oil],Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Tocopherol, Parfum [Fragrance], Maltodextrin, Citral**, Linalool**, Potassium Sorbate, Camellia Sinensis Extract [Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract].
*Ingrédients issus de l’Agriculture Biologique / Ingredients proceeding from Organic Farming.
**Constituants naturels du concentré aromatique / Natural components of fragrance.
|Burt’s Bees Herbal Deodorant, 10/10 note for health on Good Guide, rated 1 on Skin Deep.|
|Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., Water, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavendin) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil.|
|Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men Deodorant, classified 1 on Skin Deep is sold at Sears, very beautiful technical formula!|
|Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir) Needle Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Sodium Usnate*, Canola Oil.|
|Aubrey Organics E Plus High C Roll-On Deodorant, rated 2 on Skin Deep.|
|Ingredients: Rose Water, Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Natural Grain Alcohol, Calendula Oil, Vitamin E, Calamine Powder, Oils of Arnica Flower, Camomile, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Jasmine, Fir, Vanilla, Cedarwood and Rose.|
| Dr. Mist Roll-On o spray
Ingredients: Calcium, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium, treated Water ( with floatation technology)
It seems that this deodorant (which I have not tried), whose formula is amazingly simple is very, very effective. $ 8.59
Among other deodorants without aluminum salts and without Alum, here’s what you’ll possibly find in the shops.
I have already tested two deodorants in sticks from Kiss My Face (Enzyme active lavender stick and Enzymes active not scented, graded 1 on Skin Deep) and I can you tell that, as far as I am concerned at least, they were not effective, on the contrary the odor was stronger!
Ingredients: Propylene glycol ( see comments on Skin Deep ), de-ionized water, witch hazel distillate, sodium stearate, baking soda, aloe vera, grapefruit seed extract.
Attitude deodorants, like all other products of this brand contain Fragrance. Lavilin contain Frangrance and phenoxyethanol.
Adria Vasil classifies Green Beaver, Tom of Maine and Hugo Naturals deodorants among those who have an average efficiency.
Lafes contain Potassium Alum.
Finally Weleda with sage or citrus have correct formulas (perfume from essential oils) as well as Dr. Hauschka Deodorant Fresh Roll-on 50 ml whose price is discouraging … $ 27!
Most important is to check the ingredients and to make sure that the product bought bears the same name exactly as the one listed in this Guide of non-toxic hygiene, beauty and cosmetics products , because as soon as a word changes on the label (which arrives rather often in this industry) the composition changes too. Tom’s of Maine, Kiss My Face, Jason or Dessert Essence are the brands of the most popular deodorants in the shops of natural products but they do not have the same ingredients, so the harmlessness (l’innocuité) of the product is variable from one deodorant to another even if it is made by the same manufacturer. This brands can be graded from 2 to 6 on Skin Deep.
A show about the effectiveness of deodorants without aluminum salt and without alum sold broadcasted by RTS on February 21, 2012 tested 12 deodorants sold in Europe and made recommendations. Alas, the best performing products contain toxic gases, masking agents, perfume, alcohol and many synthetic chemistry. Safer deodorants are certified organic, but they have an average performance …
As for all other health and beauty products, the choices are very personal and the efficiency criterion can be different from one person to another, so my comments remain very personal.
Medical doctor David Servan-Schreiber  advised to avoid the “deodorants with anti-perspirants containing aluminum (especially women who shave their armpits and thus facilitate the penetration of aluminum in their organism)”, through microscopic cracks.
Another research ( Dr. Mercola’s web site ), which is also reviewed in an editorial published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology , looked at where breast tumors were appearing, and determined that higher concentrations of parabens were found in the upper quadrants of the breast and axillary area, where antiperspirants are usually applied
Natural solution : one can use as natural deodorant bicarbonate of soda without aluminum which is available in the shops of natural products, it is not toxic, does not cause allergy and neutralizes very effectively the body odors. It can also be used as a deodorant for the other parts of the body (in feet baths for example).
Small trick for men who suffer from excessive perspiration : one salvia herb tea per day could reduce sudation by 90% … Try it!
The bad smell of perspiration is not due to perspiration in itself. The substances and the liquids eliminated through the pores of the skin are not malodorous. The odor is caused by the interaction between the bacteria which normally coexist on our skin and salts of sweat. If these bacteria did not exist, perspiration would not smell bad either.
Consequently, the accent should not be put on the prevention of perspiration, but on the more effective elimination of the bacteria on our skin. The optimal solution? Water and soap. Washing greatly eliminates the bacteria which are on our skin. Between washings, however, they multiply. The more time which passes between washings, the more bacteria we have on the skin and the more we run the risk to smell bad. 
Spicy food, a lack of magnesium and zinc, menopause and a hormonal imbalance are factors which can increase sudation.
As a teacher, I apprehended the French courses following the gymnastics courses because the windows of my classroom did not open… polyester clothing being in fashion and the plastic espadrilles belonging to the identity of the teenagers, our classroom was full with overwhelming emanations, not very favourable for an atmosphere of study. I thus began my class, rather irritated in front of a public whose softness and indifference were obvious because the bodies (and the spirits) enjoyed in silence the response of relaxation which follows after a good physical effort, with the lesson on the deodorant. I did not have however at the time the detailed knowledge which I do have now, so I’ll take advantage of it to repeat my class on the deodorant for the teenagers:
- never use a spray for a deodorant, they are made with very irritating gases resulting from the petrochemical industry (butane and propane) which you are likely to inhale;
- never use an anti-perspirant or an anti-sudorific, the body needs to eliminate toxins, if not so, the other organs like the kidneys and the liver, must work more to eliminate them thus creating problems to your health;
- never use a deodorant containing aluminum which penetrates in the skin and blocks sudation, a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease confirmed that the use of deodorants containing aluminum can increase the risks to develop this disease by 60%; 
- never use a deodorant containing the ingredient “perfume” or “fragrance”: here’s an extract of the report published by the David Suzuki Foundation on this subject: “One counts as many as three thousand chemical ingredients in the composition of perfumes; among these ingredients, one finds phthalates, of which some are suspected of being hormonal disturbers. Only one product can cumulate dozens or even hundreds of chemical ingredients of perfumery. A great number of these non-identified ingredients are irritating products and they can cause allergies, migraines or symptoms of asthma. The synthetic musks are particularly worrisome”.
- washing oneself with water and soap several times per day, avoiding polyester clothing and putting your espadrilles in the washing machine from time to time are the best gestures than you can make to improve the scents of the volatile emanations in your classroom. Consult the “Dirty List” in the chapter “ Are cosmetics toxic? ” and also read the chapter on “ Reading the labels ” to know how to protect yourself from advertising slogans and how to choose products with a good harmlessness.
Guide of products of hygiene, beauty and the non-toxic cosmetics
 ↑ http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parfum
 ↑ Source of definitions : Wikipedia
 ↑ This is because the largest molecule that can penetrate the skin has a molecular mass of less than 500 Da, whereas Alunite has a molecular mass of 670 Da – much too large to be able to pass through the skin. Therefore, this ingredient will not block pores nor cause skin irritation in the same way that the aluminium salts mentioned in connection with antiperspirants can. http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/info_features_deodorants.aspx
 ↑ http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Servan-Schreiber, MD, researcher in neuroscience and science writer, died himself from a brain cancer in 2011 and best known for his books: Healing and Anti-cancer . ( Guérir et Anticancer ).
 ↑ Paul Altmann, John Cunningham, Usha Dhanesha, Margaret Ballard, James Thompson and Frank Marsh « Disturbance of cerebral function in people exposed to drinking water contaminated with aluminium sulphate ” 1999 British Medical Journal 319: 807-811