Our bodies excrete two types of sweat Eccrine and Apocrine. Eccrine sweat, which helps lower our body temperature (think exercise sweat) and is produced uniformly. Apocrine is produced in the armpits, groin, hands and feet. Both sweats are odorless. Apocrine sweat is the culprit of bad odor. It contains fat and protein that certain bacteria love to feed on. The bacteria consumes the sweat and then releases. You got it, bacteria are the cause of stinky pits, groins and feet.
The antimicrobial and bacterial reducing properties in zinc oxide help combat odor caused by sweat and bacteria. Zinc natural deodorants are a great alternative for natural baking soda deodorants and conventional deodorants (often contain toxins like aluminum chlorhydrate).
Zinc (Zn) is a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust found near the earth’s surface or deep underground. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is a compound of zinc and oxide ions and is a natural and effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent that helps combat bacterial and fungal strains along with numerous other benefits. It is most commonly known for its stellar ability to provide safe and effective protection against ultraviolet rays.
Zinc has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 2,000 years and today it is used on a much broader context, including applications to help heal burns, wounds and inflammation and prevent bacterial infections. Ancient Indians first used Zinc in a natural healing skin salve and to treat eyes. Physicians and botanists combed zinc with oxygen to form zinc oxide powder in the first Greek Century. Zinc is now commonly used as a key active ingredient in diaper rash creams, calamine lotions, mineral sun screens, skin care products, anti-aging products, cold sore medicines, salves to treat scrapes, abrasions and chemical irritations, cosmetic products and vitamin supplements.
Here are a few great reasons to consider zinc in a natural deodorant formulation:
Zinc Oxide is a remarkable mineral that offers an alternative to baking soda in natural deodorants.
Nanoparticles refer to the size of the Zinc Oxide particles and are commonly used to offer a clear appearance of zinc products. The tiny (nano) particles are considered safe, although some scientists believe further research is needed to make sure they are safe for long-term use in humans. There are currently no standards for their toxicity. So, the safety of long-term use on nanoparticles is unknown.
You should err on the side of safety and look for USP grade Zinc Oxide, which meets and exceed the requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and is safe for food, drug and medicinal use. See a beautiful white natural zinc deodorant stick or jar? Think safe and effective!
There is no certification for “non-Nano” products. The U.S. government has not enacted regulations, guidelines or even recommendations on zinc oxide particle size or other characteristics. Moreover, a product will likely never be “nanoparticle free,” as they are typically variable size particles. Again, look for USP Grade Zinc Oxide in your zinc natural deodorant at least until long term use is better understood.
Beware of sketchy marketing and advertising. Minerals and natural organic ingredients and chemicals ARE NOT mutually exclusive. All things in nature have chemical properties, including our bodies (hint: H20). Bypass the catchy marketing claims when shopping for products. Look at product ingredients and be familiar with which natural products are safe.
Look for fully transparent manufacturers and retailers and ensure you chose companies committed to providing products with the best quality ingredients with no toxins ever. Natural products should always be good for you, your pets and the planet.
Zinc and aluminum are both elemental metals. However, aluminum is a toxic heavy metal. The salts in aluminum are designed to block the pores of your skin to prevent perspiration, inhibiting your body’s natural ability to produce sweat.
Recent research indicates applying and absorbing aluminum into your skin can have very adverse effects, which may include promoting the growth of tumors, gene instability and hormone disruption. More recent research indicates the aluminum (typically used in anti-perspirants) has minimal impact on odor causing bacteria. Often, aluminum resolves sweat issues, albeit in an unhealth manner, only to increase pungent body odor.
Zinc on the other hand, has antibacterial properties to help eliminate odor causing bacteria. More importantly, zinc is remains on the skins surface (non-nanoparticle zinc) and does not block your pores to inhibit your body’s natural sweating process. Zinc is a great alternative to natural baking soda deodorant, as it allows the body to naturally cleanse itself while effectively combating body odor.
Kanda, E. Yagi, M. Fukuda, Nakajima K., T. Ohta, O. Nakata – Development of hybrid powder formulated to quench body odor. J. Soc. Chosmet. Chem. 40,335-346 (1989)
TA Sodeberg, B. Sunze, S. Holm, T. Elmaro, G. Hallmans, S. Sojoberg – Antibacterial effect of zinc oxide in vitro. J. Scand, Reconstru. Hand. Surg 24:193-7, 1990
C.J. Wysocki, X-N Zeng, and G. Preti (1994) Specific anosmia and olfactory sensitity to 3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid: A major component of human axillary odor. Chem. Senses, a993 18:652
ONLINE INFORMATION SOURCES: