Oct 282016

Cutaneous granulomas caused by antiperspirants containing aluminum zirconium complex can explain some people’s rash like reaction to all or almost all antiperspirants.

Cutaneaous granulomas are compacted inflamed cells either grouped together or single bumps.

The term Granuloma covers a wide group of conditions and  can be  caused by an array of things including exposure to invading organisms or antigens, chemical irritants, viral infections etc. If you suffer from cutaneous granulomas under your arm or near there, you may want to consider discontinuing your antiperspirant to see if that clears up the issue.

Zirconium compounds have been associated with the development of hypersensitivity granulomas.

J Am Acad Dermatol

Just to be clear, it is my understanding that antiperspirants don’t always cause cutaneous granulomas in people, just to those who are sensitive to aluminum zirconium complexes or possibly by those whose body in undergoing another stressor and when this condition is combined with antiperspirant, a temporary reaction may be possible.

To read more, check out….



Aug 092014

My first customer Chris wrote me this review:

“The best antiperspirant and deodorant ever! I haven’t been able to find any natural deodorant that
works and doesn’t make me glands swell up, this is so much better than antiperspirant. My wife keeps smelling my pits and saying ‘Yup, still working!’ Thank you!!!

The truth is, my regular lotion deodorant is not an antiperspirant, at least not the kind sold in stores.  Chris and other customer have told me the noticed a marked decrease in sweating when using Ziryab’s Body Brew Deodorant. I too noticed this but it might be a factor of a changing body for me. How-Antiperspirants-work
As you may know, antiperspirant works by using a chemical that expands in your pores when it gets wet and blocks sweat glands so the sweat can’t come out.

I am not aware of any ability of the ingredients in my deodorant to do this.

There is a possibility that once allowed to sweat without blockage, our sweat decreases. But this sounds a little far fetched to me even though I’ve noticed the result.

There is only a few other ways to deal with sweating that I know about.

  1. Constrict the pores with an astringent like witch hazel which I include in my deodorant.
  2. Increase evaporation on skin to cool faster with alcohol
  3. Use something that will absorb sweat like clay, tapioca, baking soda (I use all three) and
  4. Maybe use menthol to cool (I use peppermint essential oil) but I’m not sure this is not just a sensation or it really would stop one from perspiring a bit.

So while my deo does have some wetness protection it isn’t nearly as strong as such things as aluminum chlorohydrate in commercial antiperspirants.


Oct 022013

When selling my natural deodorants, people often expect me to lecture them on how bad antiperspirant is for you. I can tell I disappoint them when I don’t launch into claims about how  commercially made antiperspirant causes breast cancer and the Aluminum Zirconium causes Alzheimer Disease. I don’t do this because whether antiperspirants definitely cause disease isn’t clear cut. Nevertheless, I argue against using antiperpirants because solutions that work better than antiperspirants against body odor exist.

Antiperspirants Can Cause Granuloma

There is one condition caused by commercially sold antiperspirants that is proven,   Granuloma, characterized by rashing and bumping under the arm.  According to Wikipedia, Granulomas form when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. This is consistent with the way antiperspirants work. Antiperspirants all contain some form of aluminium.  According to the website Discovery Fit and Health, aluminum ions  enter cells under your arm and swell when you sweat, blocking further sweat from escaping.

 When the aluminum ions are drawn into the cells, water passes in with them. As more water flows in, the cells begin to swell, squeezing the ducts closed so that sweat can’t get out.

So, it makes sense that some bodies see these aluminum ions as foreign entities and develop a permanent sensitivity to them.  A study at Walter Reed Institute of Research confirms that it is possible to develop an acute hypersensitivity reaction to an aluminum zirconium complex.


Why Use Antiperspirant?

Natural Deodorant Image

What I ask customers is why would they choose to use antiperspirant when there is something that is more effective, more natural and has simpler ingredients?

The answer for me is clear, I use my own deodorant.  It works better for me and I don’t rash from it. Furthermore, I personally:

  • don’t trust that big corporations are putting only healthy things into our products. (read more here)
  • think it is wise  to keep body care products as chemically free as possible, read my Safe and Simple article here.

Most Important, Don’t be too Afraid

Remember though that fear and stress is also unhealthy so I don’t agree with anyone who sells products based on fear because:

  • our fear about things  is already too great.
  • breeding fear is rarely in anyone’s best interest.
  • can be deadly and debilitating
  • already making good people do bad things.

I am not comfortable in selling anything to anyone by instilling fear or generating negative energy. I want people to come to healthy living easily and openly because it is a natural progression of their life. I know some people are convinced that antiperspirant deodorants filled with all their crap can cause some very specific serious illness and I suspect there is some truth to that.

More Reading

Here are some links to others opinions on the subject of how bad antiperspirant is;

The  Healthy Economist “10 Reasons Why Store Deodorants Stink

From Wisegeek  What are the Dangers of  Aluminium Zirconium

Apr 112013

Arm & Hammer’s “Essential Natural Deodorant, Fresh” contains the following, according to drugstore.com(I couldn’t find a list of ingredients easily on Arm & Hammer’s deodorant page):

  • Dipropylene Glycol: Very commonly used in personal products for skin and hair and in perfumes.  It is also a common ingredient in commercial fog fluid, used in entertainment industry smoke and haze machines
  • Water
  • Propylene Glycol: While it doesn’t seem to this non-scientist that it can be called “natural” it is called “an organic compound” and seems to be  non-corrosive, has low volatility and very low toxicity.  According to Wikipedia it would be “nearly impossible to reach toxic levels by consuming foods or supplements”. It helps skin maintain moisture and works to help bring water-based ingredients to skin.  It’s not all good though, it seems that it does take a lot of energy to make, there may be some small incidences of allergic reaction in humans and it may impact marine life.  For more information, visit Wikipedia’s page.
  • Sodium Stearate: This is the stuff used to make gels. It thickens, can make something creamy.  Tom’s of Maine’s site writes of the substance “This gel gives our stick deodorant its base structure, so it can be properly applied in the manner consumers expect.”
  • Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
  • Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil
  • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Essential Oil
  • Lavandula Hybrida (Lavender) Oil
  • Fragrance
  • Triclosan: Used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. However, recent news on the substance is very bad. Minnesota is considering whether to ban its use. It poses some health concerns, pollution concerns and overusing it may help develop more resistent strains of bacteria.
  • Tetrasodium EDTA: Is water-soluable and helps preserve personal formulas.
  • Allantoin (Comfrey Root)


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