Posted: March 24th, 2023

Perfume and Deodorant

Each and every day, individuals are exposed to a wide range of toxic compounds and elements. In fact, there are over a thousand chemical elements in the body lotions that people apply on their skin, in shampoos, and soaps as well as in other personal care goods and cosmetic products. Deodorants and perfumes are some of the most common personal care products that are used by both men and women, which are known to have chemical ingredients that are harmful to the body of the users. The topic of the safety of deodorants and perfumes has raised heated debates not only on the internet but also in the media industry, which has led to consumer confusion and misinformation. Therefore, this research paper attempts to shed light on the chemicals that are used in the production of perfumes and deodorants and their effects, while providing solutions to the problems that arise as a result of using these products.

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Chemicals used in Deodorants

The chemicals in these products include the following elements (Gist, 2006; Hoffmann, 2013).


This is among the chemical compounds that are used in the production of deodorants. The main reason the aluminum is used is to stop the sweat ducts from producing and releasing sweat to the skin surface. As such, a person using a deodorant that contains aluminum does not produce much sweat. The most used aluminum compounds include aluminum hydroxybromid, aluminum zirconium tricholorohydrex glycine, and aluminum cholorohydrate.

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Propylene Glycol

The main use of this chemical is to stop substances in the deodorant from drying up and thus, enhance their ease when applying them under the armpits. Originally, this chemical compound was developed as a substance that stopped freezing.

Triethanolamine and Diethanolamine

These chemical substances are used in the adjustment of the pH. They are used alongside other fatty acids during the processes of making deodorants. They help in the conversion of acids to salts, also known as stearate, which is the base for a cleaning product.


This is a chemical compound that is mostly used for deodorants. It works by clearing all bacteria that play a role in the development of body odor. It is important to note that some of these bacteria are important for the protection of diseases from infections. These bacteria’s are eliminated by the chemical substance killing them, which means that they stop the production of the body odor.

Hydrous Magnesium Silicate

This refers to a soft chemical compound that is used in the production and manufacturing of deodorants. It is also known as talc and is used to produce coloration as well as an absorbent agent. In fact, this explains the reason as to why deodorants come in a variety of colors.

FD& C colors

These refer to the synthetic colors that have the same properties as talc. They are used in the cosmetic and drug industries as well as in the food and beverage production. Important to note is that they are approved by the food and drugs authority.


Parabens include chemical compounds such as methyl, butyl, propyl, and ethyl as well as benzyl. In fact, they are the most common chemical elements used in beauty products, including deodorants. They are used as preservatives in the deodorant production processes.

Chemicals used in Perfumes

There are various chemicals used in the production of perfumes. As such, this part of the discussion will group them according to their chemical properties (Moritz et al., 2007). Esters is one of these classifications and includes chemical compounds such as allyl hexanoate, pentyl hexanoate, methyl butyrate, and ethyl as well as butyl butyrate. They are used to give perfumes the pineapple fruit-like scent. Another combination of esters includes the acetic acid, hexanoic acid, and butyric acid. While acetic acid gives perfumes the sharp aroma of vinegar, hexanoic acid and butyric acid make perfume smell like rancid butter. Therefore, this occurs when these chemical compounds are mixed with alcohols such as ethanol and methanol.


This is another classification of acids that is used to make perfumes. They include cinnamaldehyde that makes perfumes to smell like cinnamon, furfural, and benzaldehyde, which give perfumes an almond scent.

Alcohols and Ketones (musk oil)

Other classifications include alcohols and ketones that give perfumes the rose flower scent, it is important to note that there might be more than one chemical substances in one perfume. An excellent example of a perfume that contains more than one chemical property is jasmine.

Non-Toxic Compounds

Various studies have shown that the different chemical substances that make perfumes and deodorants can result in adverse side effects to the health and wellbeing of people who get exposed to them. The problems range from mild dermatitis to heart and kidney diseases as well as lung problems and cancers. In fact, no chemical compound that is used in the manufacturing of perfume has been shown to be impact free. The only non-toxic compounds are those that have been derived from natural products such as flowers and roots to name but a few.

Problems Caused by Chemicals in Perfumes and Deodorants

Aluminum is one of the chemicals that have raised heated debates on its usage in the manufacturing of perfumes and deodorants. While some people indicate that it plays a significant role in preventing people from sweating, studies have shown that it has some carcinogen properties that can lead to breast cancer. In fact, this is attributable to the alterations it creates in estrogen hormone once it is absorbed in the skin. It has also been linked to seizures, Alzheimer’s disease, and disorders that involve bone formation.

Parabens that are used in the production of deodorants, which have similar properties to esters, ketones, and aldehydes that are used in perfumes, are also known to mimic the role played by estrogen hormone, which could also result in breast cancer (Hoffmann, 2013). In addition, propylene glycol and triethanolamine as well as diethanolamine are neurotoxins that are known to cause kidney problems, dermatitis, and damage of the liver and can also lead to a wide range of allergies. Moreover, talc and FD&C colors are known to have carcinogen properties that increase the risks of developing a wide range of cancers.


Synthetic perfumes and deodorants have been shown to contain chemical products that make them to be harmful to the health and wellbeing of the users. While some of them initiate allergies and dermatitis as well as liver infection and kidney problems, others have been shown to have carcinogenic properties. The only way to prevent the development of these problems is by switching away from any deodorant and perfume that has chemical properties to those made from natural substances. Indeed, naturally scented deodorants and perfumes have been shown to be safe and effective as compared to the artificial ones. Therefore, any person with the intentions of exploring the heights of personal hygiene while observing their health should go for natural deodorants and perfumes.

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