My son is 8 and he has started his pre-puberty transition which means the hair on his legs is starting to grow, he is growing taller, he is tired a lot of the time and he is starting to get pretty bad body odor. (recipe at the end of this blog)
We decided it was time for him to start wearing deodorant but there is no way that I would be allowing him to wear toxic antiperspirants from the supermarket. There are a few reasons for this, first of all he is 8 years old and doesn’t need to be adding additional toxicity for his system to deal with when it is already going through drastic bodily changes. Additionally there are a few ingredients that I avoid in all products:
Triclosan: this is a chemical ingredient used in many antibacterial personal care products. Studies have shown that it can have detrimental effects on our health including hormone and endocrine disruption. It can cause problems with the thyroid and create a reduction in bacterial resistance and an increase in allergies. (ABC News). It has been found in breast milk, human tissue and is one of the most common chemicals found in our waterways. It is banned in many countries and is even being phased out in the US due to health concerns. Not something I want on myself let alone my developing 8 year old.
Fragrance: artificial fragrances have been shown to cause headaches, asthma, allergies dizziness, migraines, hay fever, rashes, congestion and they are only the immediate effects. Long term effects are only now starting to be discovered. Companies use chemical make-ups to create an artificial scent as it is cheaper than using high quality essential oils. It is also easier to create a consistent product with artificial scents but the health issues caused from that are immense and many not yet discovered.
Aluminium: If you do some research on aluminium in deodorant you will find so much conflicting information and actually you will find that the cancer council, Alzheimer association and many other health groups advocate for it’s safety. I do however find it interesting that the first thing that breast cancer patients are told is to get rid of their aluminium filled deodorant. I am thankful for the work that these associations do for public heath however I also know they get a lot of their money from big companies so some of the research they do can be biased to those who have a vested interest. I am not willing for myself or my child to be the guinea pig and until they can prove that it is safe when used daily for over 50 years I am not willing to use it. The research in rats with prolonged aluminium use is clear and although we are not injecting it to our systems I do know that my skin is not a fool proof barrier for chemicals and I will not put anything on the skin that I am not willing to have in my blood stream.
Antiperspirant deodorants clog your pores and prevent sweating. Sweating is the bodies natural method of detoxification and in today’s world, when our bodies are constantly dealing with toxins I want to give it the best chance of getting rid of it. My 8 year old does not need to learn that sweating, a natural bodily function, is something to be ashamed of. Absolutely as he gets older he may make different choices but at 8 is is completely unnecessary.
It is up to you and your family to make decisions about what you choose to put on your bodies. I want to urge you to do your research and not just from large companies and corporations. Have a look at what they have banned in European countries and ask yourself why they would do that if it was safe? Question things and be curious – we don’t have to believe everything we are told. I promise you these big companies won’t be there with you and your family when they are sick and suffering. You are the only person who can be an advocate for your own health. So do the research and don’t be their testing bunny!
DIY Kids Deodorant
A spray bottle of any kid (I use an empty Verage toner bottle)
2-10 drops Lavender
2-10 drops Tea Tree
2 tbs witch hazel
1. Add witch hazel and essential oils into the spray bottle and top with distilled water
2. Give a good shake before use
**You can start with a lower amount of essential oils and up it if it is not effective. I find currently for my very active 8 year old I use 6 drops of each, also ensure you are using correct dilution for the age of the child.
I hope you choose to make some natural choices for you and your children.