Have you ever thought, what is halal deodorant? Is deodorant halal for women? Or Is deodorant halal or haram?
Today, we decided to share some answers to a few common questions Muslims have in regards to deodorant, in addition to providing a list of deodorants that are safe to use.
Please note that this is a source of guidance only and that all information, products & their ingredients are subject to change at any time. So please do verify any information again yourself for a more precise and updated conclusion.
What’s the difference between antiperspirants & deodorants?
An antiperspirant is a product that stops perspiration, and a deodorant is a product that eliminates odor caused by sweat. Some products function as both an antiperspirant and deodorant, but this isn’t always the case.
With the increase of toxic chemicals entering into our personal care products, it’s not surprising why so many people are now ready to adopt alternatives. We like to apply deodorants, antiperspirants & body fragrance to prevent ourselves from smelling of bad odour. No one wants the embarrassment of wet or smelly armpits. Moreover, smelling nice and clean is part of good personal hygiene as well as a Sunnah.
Halal Deodorants & Antiperspirants should not contain harmful ingredients
‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Do not cause harm or return harm.”Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 2340 Graded Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
I realise people tend to have different perceptions & understandings of certain things, alhamdulillah we are all different. But, in my understanding, the above hadith can also include self-harm. If we are aware of something that causes harm, even if it’s a harm that will develop in time or after a long process. It is still a harm that is being caused or afflicted, so, should we still insist on continuing with it?
Most deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminium, parabens and propylene glycol. There are growing links between the chemicals found in such products and chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer.
In addition, when using spray-based deodorants, antiperspirants, hair & body mists, you inevitably inhale these toxic elements that these products contain. So lets briefly go through these toxic ingredients.
The World Health Organization has linked exposure to aluminium to ALZHEIMER’S disease, with higher frequencies of deodorant use corresponding to higher risks of developing ALZHEIMER’S. Unusually high levels of ALUMINIUM accumulation have been found in the brains of people with ALZHEIMER’S disease. Further, when ALUMINIUM is injected into the brains of laboratory animals, the animals develop a neurological disease similar to ALZHEIMER’S.
ALUMINIUM is widely used in many different products in addition to antiperspirants & deodorants. Such as soft drink cans & tinned processed foods, tinned foil we use for roasting and covering food, it can also be found in MEDICINE such as buffered aspirins as well as many cooking utensils.
Dr Chris Exley from Keele University, a researcher into the toxicity of ALUMINIUM, and awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in the field “The Bioinorganic Chemistry of ALUMINIUM and Silicon” said:
Aluminium is a metal oestrogen, it is genotoxic, is bound by DNA and has been shown to be carcinogenic. The confirmed presence of aluminium in breast tissue biopsies highlights its potential as a possible factor in the aetiology of breast cancer
The aluminum chloride or aluminum sulphate in deodorants and antiperspirants prevents you from sweating. However, sweating is an extremely important function of the body that helps maintain the body temperature as well as eliminate toxins. So the idea of stopping perspiration is working against the body’s natural health maintaining system. It makes no sense to “stop” yourself from sweating as sweating is actually a vital function.
Parabens are used as preservatives. The problem with them is that they are similar to oestrogens in their activity and may disrupt the proper functioning of hormones in the body. There are studies showing that parabens have been found in the tumours from breast cancer sufferers. They are mostly found in the area nearest to the underarm in the outer parts of the breast.
c) Propylene Glycol
Then we have propylene glycol which is an agent that creates a barrier/lock layer on the skin. When applied on your face in a form of cosmetic cream, this can make your wudu validity questionable. Propylene glycol is also used to prevent substances from drying out, however, it has also been linked to causing contact dermatitis, kidney and liver damage. It is a neurotoxin that was originally developed as an anti-freeze & is actually still used as an anti-freeze today. I don’t know how it has found its way into deodorant.
The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for propylene glycol by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety warns workers to avoid skin contact with the toxic chemical. However, millions of people use it under their arms every single day. From the MSDS:
May cause eye irritation, skin irritation. Chronic exposure can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, headache, vomiting, and central nervous depression.
d) Mineral Oil
Another addition to these cosmetics is mineral oil which is used to block pores, thereby subduing perspiration and preventing the detoxification process. However, this has also been linked to causing rashes & acne. The dangers & side effects vary on whether it’s been refined or not and how much & how regularly used. Mineral Oil is also an over-the-counter laxative used to relieve occasional constipation. It generally produces bowel movement in 6 to 8 hours.
So If You Shouldn’t Prevent Perspiration, How Can You Control The Smell?
Well, it comes down largely to what you eat. Have you ever heard of the popular phrase, “You are what you eat?”
So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that if your stool smells differently depending on what type of foods you eat, it makes sense that the smell of your sweat will also be influenced in the same way. This potentially means that we shouldn’t take such drastic measures as sticking anti-freeze under our armpits to block our pores and prevent normal and essential bodily functions such as perspiration. This will just make your body retain the toxins that it is trying to excrete for your own protection and well-being.
In brief, keeping to a healthy diet which consists of mainly fruit & vegetables, limited meat and unhealthy fat intake & reduced amount of refined carbohydrate, will make your body odour not smell as bad. This in addition to the Sunnah of shaving our armpit hair on a monthly basis and regular washing, is usually enough for most. We tend to forget or really underestimate the power of good old soap and water.
As everybody is different, for some people even a change in diet may not be enough, so they may find that they need some “extra help” against those embarrassing social situations. The last thing you need, when raising your arm to take a selfie, is for everyone to take a wif of your BO 😉
If that is you, then you should search for an aluminium-free, anti-freeze free & paraben-free deodorant to suit you. There are many natural deodorant options available now and that’s the very purpose of this post!
What deodorant did the blessed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) use?
The blessed Prophet (PBUH) used to dislike bad smells. Many Hadith makes clear his love for beautiful fragrance and smelling nice. We know through some hadith that He (PBUH) used to use things like oud, attar, musk, ambergris & pure oils to smell good.
There’s a popular type of Aloeswood AKA Agarwood that is known in Arabia as Oud, and Ayesha (RAA) reports:
The Oud was the best type of perfume the Prophet loved.(Related by Abu Al-Shaykh and Ibn Saad.)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to apply fragrance whenever he went to pray especially on Friday prayer and advised his companions to do so.
Anyone who takes a bath on Friday and cleans himself as much as he can and puts oil (on his hair) or scents himself; and then proceeds for the prayer … all his sins in between the present and the last Friday will be forgiven.(Al-Bukhari)
Perfume was essential in the Prophet Muhammad’s daily life. He was always keen to keep clean and good scented.
I tried to research what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) & Sahaba (RAA) used as a deodorant back in those early days, but there weren’t many resources regarding deodorant as such. However, having said that, I seriously wouldn’t be surprised though, if they had used chunks of Alum Stone & Salts.
Alum Crystal Deodorants
Alum Stones are natural stones used as deodorants. They are safe both for the skin and environment. These non-toxic and hypoallergenic stones that are so safe, they can be applied anywhere on the body, proving to be quite multifunctional. Alum stones are free from chemicals, perfumes, colours & preservatives as well s alcohol. They are very effective and economical. A piece of Alum Stone can last up to several months and even years without spoiling.
– Composition Of Alum Stone
Alum Stone crystal deodorants are composed of potassium alum. The natural crystal, potassium alum is totally unprocessed and is free from synthetic ammonium, which other crystal deodorants overwhelmingly contain. These synthetic ingredients may contain chemical residues and cause allergic reactions that earth-grown Alum Stone is safe from.
– Where does Alum Stone come from?
Alum stones come from the western desert in abundance. They are simply collected from the desert surface, placed in sacks and then shipped to where they can be sold. Alum stone is one of the earth’s most common and useful minerals, used since civilization began. So there’s nothing to say that they didn’t use this amazing miracle & blessing from Allah during the era of our blessed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
– How does Alum Stone Work?
Alum Stone is rubbed onto wet skin or can be dampened with a wet cloth and then rubbed onto dry skin to form a thin layer. They work as a deodorant by leaving a fine, salty, slightly alkaline film on the skin, preventing the growth of microbes. No Bacteria = No Odour!
Alum Stone keeps the skin fresh and deodorized all day. It also, allows the skin to perspire, which is crucial to keep the pores clear as well as your clothes.
– Benefits of Alum Stones
- Alum Stone has no scent.
- It can be used as a tonic.
- Alum is astringent and mildly antiseptic.
- Alum Stone is slightly alkaline, which creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria.
- It gives instant relief from insect bites & reduces the swelling & redness causing quicker healing.
- It is hypo-allergenic and contains no harmful chemicals.
- It doesn’t block pores, so the body is able to breathe naturally.
- It doesn’t stain clothes because it’s a natural mineral salt.
- Alum can also be applied to the feet for foot odour.
– Where Can You Buy Alum stones?
Alum stones have grown in popularity and most health food and supplement shops will have them. You can also order them online for about $23.00 per 1kg. Modern natural brands such as Crystal, PitROK and Salt Of The Earth are all known to use Alum stone. Here is a pure natural selection available on amazon: