Sybil's 16-year-old son, Talon, wants to smell nice for the ladies. He prefers spray deodorant because it's easy to use.
But Sybil is worried that the spray could cause skin irritation, breathing problems and even heart problems, and wants to help Talon find an alternative.
Forgoing deodorant isn't an option: "Chicks don't dig stink," she says.
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains the risks of using spray deodorants and other aerosols, which use butane gas as a propellant. "Some gets where you want it, in your armpit, but a lot of the other remnants end up in your airways, and it can irritate any part of your airway, from your mouth to your nose, in through your trachea into your lungs," he says.
In rare cases, the gas can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can lead to heart problems.
Dr. Travis says spray deodorants are safe to use in well-ventilated areas. But he says sticks or roll-on deodorants could offer a safer alternative.
"With roll-ons, though, people will say, 'We've heard about the aluminum in them, which helps with the perspiration, but could that cause cancer?'" Dr. Travis says. "Well, there have been no definitive studies to link aluminum to cancer."
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears suggests alternating between your favorite deodorant and a natural version or going without for a day or two.
Another option? Try the recipe below to make your own deodorant at home:
• ¼ cup baking soda
• ¼ cup arrowroot
• 1 to 2 drops essential oil, such as tea tree oil
• 6 to 8 tablespoons coconut oil. Add more, if needed, until desired texture is reached
1. Mix equal parts baking soda and arrowroot in bowl.
2. Add coconut oil and blend together until it starts to form a deodorant-like consistency.
3. If it is too powdery, add a couple more tablespoons of coconut oil.
4. Once it has reached desired consistency, add essential oil and mix it together.
5. Keep at room temperature and use daily as needed. If your home tends to be warm, you may want to keep it in your fridge to prevent melting.
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