Type A deodorant Review - Do natural deodorants really work?

Is conventional deodorant safe to use? Does aluminum cause Alzheimer's disease? Do natural deodorants work? These are all questions I have asked. Lucky for you, I have also done a lot of testing on these theories. I once went almost a whole year without wearing conventional deodorant - you can read about the first 7 months here.

Around a year of "no deodorant" my husband frankly told me to start using it again. So do natural deodorants work? Yes and no. They can help a lot with odor, but they almost always do nothing for sweating. And they are not always the best at odor control either. I found that over time, my body almost became "resistant" to the natural products and would hold a certain level of smell. I would use clay masks under my arms (dead sea mud to be exact) to detox and remove the ingrained scent so I could start again with my natural deodorant regimen.

To be fair, when I was using conventional deodorant, I would often have times that it just wasn't enough and I'd have to switch to a "clinical" deodorant for a while. Might just be my body chemistry. Using the dead sea mud masks really did provide a reboot - a clean slate, if you will.

The other irritating part of natural deodorants is the delivery. When I made my own deodorants - or even when I bought them - they tended to be messier, less shelf stable, and/or less convenient.

So I went back to using regular deodorant. Secret is the brand I use most often. I've tried other brands, and for me they either smell too flowery or they just didn't' work.

Then I had the chance to review Type A deodorant. It claims to be "powered by natural ingredients" and be "aluminum free."

So why does any of that matter anyway? Well... there is good evidence that chemicals we put onto our skin can/does make it's way into our bloodstream.

There is also evidence that aluminum is associated with Alzheimer's disease. Before I get a bunch of comments telling me that recent news has suggested no clear link between aluminum and Alzheimer's - the actual data suggests a link. The news does not always sell the truth...

This does not mean aluminum causes the disease. It does mean that it is somehow involved. Like all human diseases, they are multifactorial and complex. But having metals in your body - and consequently in your blood vessels and organs is generally not a good thing.

So - most of us would like to limit our exposure to aluminum because why not try to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's any way we can? Personally, my father has Alzheimer's disease. It is a life robber. Plain and simple. It is horrible and there is no way to sugar coat it. Do I think aluminum caused his Alzheimer's? I think it's part of the story - but probably not because he used deodorant. He has Alzheimer's for a host of complex reasons.

My dad did have a high aluminum exposure but it was because he used a lot of over the counter heart burn medicines (antacids.) They are loaded with aluminum, and they lower your stomach acid which is actually a very bad idea. But I am getting off topic. I have a chart full of all the things that may/did contribute if anyone is interested...

Bottom line - we want more natural ingredients that are not going to cause us harm. And we want a deodorant that actually works. How does Type A stack up?

First the Good

  • Type A is probably the easiest/least messy natural deodorant I have ever used. It is super easy to apply and does not leave stains or crumble.  
  • It smells nice. I used the "minimalist" scent and was so happy to be free of the "lavender" scents that most natural deodorants use. 
  • It reduces odor. I wore it for a few days during my regular life. I went out in the sun, I went for a run, I did my usual stuff. I didn't have an odor at all. I even felt fresh in the morning before my daily shower. 
  • It may have better ingredients than traditional deodorants. (see the Bad section for more info)


Now the Bad

  • The tube shape might make it difficult to get the last bit of deodorant out. I am not near the end yet so I am uncertain how much will be wasted. 
  • I did not notice a reduction in "sweating." After picking grapes outdoors (76F) for about 1/2 hour, my shirt was soaked under my armpits. 
  • This deodorant contains a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients. I don't know that we should actually care that an ingredient is synthetic vs natural, but it can not be lumped in with "all natural" deodorants when it has both. 
  • It says it doesn't contain aluminum but that is untrue. It contains zeolite which is a natural aluminosilicate mineral (basically aluminum sand!) that is traditionally used as a desiccant/odor absorber in horse barns and chicken coops. Is it natural? Yes. Is it aluminum free, no. Does the aluminum separate from the silica and absorb into our skin? I don't know - possibly not. Is it less toxic than aluminum zirconium trichorohydrex used in conventional deodorants? Maybe? I don't know.
  • It contains a lot of "grain starches" like corn starch, arrowroot powder, and tapioca starch. These are often used in other natural deodorants, but with the use of so many other fats and synthetic ingredients, I would be concerned about these starches absorbing into the blood stream rather than sitting on the surface to absorb wetness. 
  • It contains titanium dioxide which was recently implicated in diabetes and damage to the pancreas.

I would really love to see studies done to see how much of this deodorant (and all deodorants!) actually cross the skin barrier. Clearly - if you have recently taken a hot bath/shower (opening pores and possible soap residue breaking the skin barrier) or shaved under your arms (broken skin) then the absorption rate is increased. I wonder how different ingredients within the deodorants effect  the skin barrier and increase/decrease absorption.

I currently use a deodorant that contains aluminum, so the aluminum containing zeolite in the type A deodorant is my lowest concern - though I do question the labeling that clearly says "aluminum free."  I have enjoyed the odor control and the easy applicator. I did not see a reduction in wetness - though my usual antiperspirant is not perfect here either.

If you wonder why I am concerned about the grain starches - then I suggest you search "persorption" of raw starch to see what happens when raw grains cross the intestinal barrier (aka "leaky gut") and how that can lead to autoimmune diseases - like IBS, multiple sclerosis, food allergies, and more. If there is a chance that any of the other ingredients make the skin barrier more permeable (as soap does....) then it would be a risk that these molecules could cross into the bloodstream (where they do not belong!) and could cause an immune reaction leading to long term problems. At first glance, I do not see anything that I know to increase skin permeability - but this is the stuff I think the FDA should be testing.

In the meantime, Type A does list and discuss every ingredient used at typeadeodorant.com  None of my thoughts are meant to dissuade you from using or trying this new deodorant. I am using it. It works pretty well, smells nice, and is easy to use. I am just not convinced that it is better or worse than what is currently available though I do appreciate the convenience/smoothness of application. I also appreciate people trying to make something better.

Please join the discussion and leave a comment below. I would love to benefit from your knowledge/experience.





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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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