Why You Should Brush Your Teeth With Your Deodorant

by Dr. Christopher on September 6, 2010

We’ve already discussed why it’s best to avoid chemicals and toxins in and on our food… 

Molecules that are unknown to our body are invaders.  The body, as amazing as it is, does not tolerate invaders.  The immune system attacks them.  The constant barrage of chemicals and toxins causes the immune system to be in a constant state of red alert, a pro-inflammatory state where necessary health-promoting processes (digestion, building muscle and bone, etc.)  are thrown by the wayside.  Bad for (the life longevity) business.

What about products we use for self-maintenance?

Soap?  Shampoo?  Cologne?  Perfume?  Deodorant?  Toothpaste?  Shaving cream?  Aftershave? 

What about household cleaning products?

All purpose-cleaner?  Window cleaner?  Dish soap?  Laundry detergent?  Pet deodorizer?

If it’s unnatural and known to cause damage, do you want it in your body?

I don’t. 

Most people don’t either.  But healthcare practictioners and the government ignore these issues for people.  So we become ignorant too.

Well, let me be the one to tell you.  They’re killing you… slowly.  Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health.

Old Spice: Those Creative Marketing Bastards

While I really want to tell you that I use Old Spice Deodorant and want to endorse their product because of the best marketing I’ve ever seen, I don’t. 

Here’s a brief rundown of the ingredients in “Old Spice Deodorant Original”:

  • Dipropylene Glycol
  • Water
  • Propylene Glycol (a petrochemical which can be made from oil … The Environmental Work Group (EWG) has made a database of chemicals with their risk of health effects)
  • Sodium Stearate
  • Fragrance (in any form is harmful … often masks phthalates, which disrupt the endocrine system and your hormones [From the Dirty Dozen in Chemicals in Cosmetics].  The only fragrances that are safe are essential oils, which are oils extracted from plants)
  • PPG-3 Myristyl Ether
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Violet 2 (According to this article, FD&C colors are made from coal and are known carcinogens in animals.  Apparently, 5% of people get asthma-like symptoms from food coloring)
  • Green 6

You can go to the cosmetics database made by the EWG and read up on any chemical in any product.  For some of these ingredients, there are minimal studies on the risk of use.  I see this as “not enough research … yet” to validate how dangerous some of these substances are. 

An ingredient with a name that is not familiar is good enough reason to avoid it (ie. coconut oil is familiar, because it is tangible.  It is oil from a fruit I’ve tasted before).

And don’t get me started on antiperspirants,the greater of two evils (Darbre 2009).

With an Old Spice product that has known nervous system, endocrine system, pro-inflammatory, cancer-causing agents in it … doesn’t it make sense to stay away from conventional products?

Use Your Toothpaste As Deodorant

What’s the answer then?  There are health advocates that help consumers determine how to choose a natural deodorant.  But if I don’t research it myself, I don’t trust it.  There is often evidence that refute the claims made by these supposedly “organic” companies. 

The answer is often the simple one when we can see clearly enough not to complicate it.  Nature always holds the answers.  When a culture can survive many generations with healthy older populations, let’s copy what they do.

Coconut oil! Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years for multiple purposes.  Antimicrobial.  Antiviral.  Antifungal.  Plenty of healthy saturated fats and medium chain triglycerides which speed up metabolism.  Some exotic cultures use the stuff for every purpose imaginable.  They live long lives and don’t have obesity issues.  Good enough for me!

  1. Cook with it.  It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and won’t burn.  Because “smoke” implies burnt oil.  When oil is burned, it becomes carcinogenic. 
  2. Brush your teeth with it.  When combined with a little baking soda, it is an effective toothpaste.  Your teeth will feel clean and refreshed.  You can add an essential oil for some flavor.
  3. Use it as deodorant.  Again, combined with baking soda, it very effectively keeps odor at bay.  Although the better your diet, the less you have to worry about odor.  The more your body has to detoxify the food you eat, the worse your B.O. and the worse your breath.
  4. Rub it all over your body.  Instead of sunscreen, eat your antioxidants and put some coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil on your body, and stop worrying about skin cancer.  Skin cancer is associated with burns and the Standard American Diet (S.A.D. diet, very sad!).  Use as moisturizer as well!

Some Other Natural Substances for Everyday Use

  • Baking soda as shampoo.  One tablespoon in a cup of warm water rinsed through the hair does the trick.
  • Apple cider vinegar as conditioner. I was skeptical about this one … I now love the way my fingers slice through my hair after using a little A.C.V.  Same deal … one tablespoon in a cup of water.  No, there is no lingering smell! 

Going Natural is a Process

I can only speak about things I’ve tried.  There are apparently natural, one-ingredient things to use for every imaginable household task.  Making lifestyle changes such as eating more paleolithic foods or using natural substances takes time.  You make small changes, see the results of those changes, and adapt.  If it works for you, continue to use it.  If it doesn’t, let it go.  In this way, we can start to build the type of lives that we imagine for ourselves around things we appreciate. 

People may give me funny looks when I say I brush my teeth with the same thing I put under my arms.  But when you value health and happiness (H&H), and the natural lifestyle that brings you H&H, you’ll do what it takes. 

What natural substitute do you use instead of a commercial product?  Please comment below. 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

meghan September 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

good post. I’m recently using coconut oil in my cooking….I will try these new suggestions.
I’m 31 now..and when I was 29 I declared to be chemical/man-made product free when I turned 35, and Yes it’s one change at a time.

Christopher September 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Meghan, that’s awesome that you made that goal for yourself!! How’s the process going? Doesn’t coconut oil make food taste delicious? I particularly like it with scrambled eggs and sauteed veggies. Keep up the good work!

Meghan September 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

process is going well….the caffeine/sugar/alcohol connection is most difficult. They all play on one another. Coconut oil is great, taste so much better then olive oil on the eggs and now finally my boyfriend is agreeing it taste better. The greatest thing about this change….is my boyfriend on his own accord is starting to follow what I’m doing…he’s even asking me to make him salads and he’s a hot dog, pizza, hamburger guy.
p.s. on your last post the pic of the baby was so cute and goofy I would click on your blog just to look at her face.

Christopher September 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

Haha, she is cute, isn’t she? Haha. I agree, although I don’t have much of a caffeine/alcohol issue (unless in social situations), sugar gets me. Especially when I don’t eat enough earlier in the day, I crave sugar in the evening. I believe it is because I’m making up for the calorie deficit I’ve created. That’s awesome that your boyfriend is starting to follow!! I’ve noticed that leading by example vs. preaching is an easier way to get people to make the necessary lifestyle changes. When people notice that you are looking leaner, have more energy, feeling better, they want to know what you are doing so they can have it too. Keep up the good work Meghan!

Jen M. September 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Awesome post and great tips. I too LOVE the Old Spice commercials and blogged about them here: http://thewellnessbitch.com/2010/03/08/smell-like-a-man/

Glad to discover your blog and look forward to more informative posts!
Jen M. recently posted..Committed

Christopher September 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

Thanks for contribution Jen! I’ll be in touch.

Katie Marsh September 24, 2010 at 2:01 am

Listen, I have been called nutty, eccentric, and a little “out there.” I wear tube socks. I love the earth. I pick up trash when I see it, and own rocks for energy purposes, when most people think it is just to make my room “look pretty.”
But, if I am going to start using toothpaste for deodorant, do you know what kind of hell I am going to catch for this, sir, Humble Observer?
Is this what evolve or die is all about?
I thought evolving was buying organic food, and occasionally even getting my neighbor’s fresh crops, and the benefits, but this, this is a whole new spectrum.
Katie Marsh recently posted..Traffic Signals &amp Gang A-holes

Christopher September 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

An amazing comment that definitely made me smile! I appreciate the things you do already and surely would love to wear tube socks if I wore socks at all. Of course, it’s not conventional toothpaste or deodorant, so it’s not like you’d be rubbing “Old Spice” or “Sure” onto your toothbrush! But going as simple and natural as possible is what simpler societies not only do, but thrive and last off of! If coconut oil + baking soda not only achieves your purposes for wearing deodorant (to not stink) or brushing your teeth (to clean and give fresh breath), but also keeps cancer-causing toxins out of our body … why wouldn’t we use it?

One step at a time Katie! I have not yet acquired my own energy rock, so you beat me there!

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