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 metalloestrogen, 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 gastro-intestinal 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:
Finally, here is our halal deodorant lists:
Best halal deodorants for Women
Best halal deodorants for Men
Best halal deodorants for Teens
Best halal deodorants for Kids & Pre-teens
Best halal deodorants for Sensitive Skin
The best thing about all the above halal deodorants is that because they are all herbal or natural ingredient based & free from harmful chemicals, they are all suitable for sensitive skin 😉
Best natural deodorants for active women, workouts & gym
IS THERE ALCOHOL-FREE DEODORANT?
Yes, there are alcohol-free deodorants available. Ralph Lauren’s Polo Black & Polo Red for men are alcohol-free and there are various other top brands that also offer a few alcohol-free options. However, you have to bear in mind that they may include several of the above mentioned harmful ingredients, so be sure to check for them when buying. Most of the aluminium-free deodorants we have featured on this post are herbal or natural ingredient based and do not always contain alcohol. There seems to be a difference of opinion between scholars in regards to the permissibility of using products containing alcohol. The majority of scholars have declared it permissible to use. Here is a short video in reference to this:
Sometimes it is more comforting to stay away from anything you are not sure of or that is not clear. Here are some safe alcohol-free deodorant options available on amazon:
IS DEODORANT HARAM?
Firstly, I’m not a qualified Sheikh to be able to answer that question. However, many scholars have advised it is halal & permissible to wear deodorant alhamdulillah. I can give you my opinion though Insha Allah and ask you to research it yourself and make your own decision. I would say, ‘No, deodorant is not haram‘. But self-harm is haram and setting a good example and taking care of our children is certainly fard (compulsory) upon us. Our children and our bodies are but an Amanah left to us by Allah (SWT). They do not belong to us but they have rights upon us, so, we shouldn’t have to choose harmful cosmetic products when there are other much kinder and natural options.
Secondly, there are some alcohols that are natural and halal and actually, there are even some that are not natural but still acceptable to use in some opinions because the content of it in the product is not of consequence, therefore will not impact your purity during prayer etc. (If you are under the opinion that alcohol is impure to wear in cosmetics) there are some cosmetic products that contain nearly 70% alcohol which will affect your state of purity during prayer. This is worth looking into and exploring more as our skin absorbs everything we put on it. If you are in the opinion that such products affect our prayers from being accepted, and you continue to use them knowing this, then at this point it will become haram. Not all Muslims believe this opinion. Please refer to the above video on alcohol for a further explanation.
Thirdly, If the deodorant has such a high fragrance content that is recognized and apparent, a Muslim lady will not be able to wear this deodorant with such a strong attractive scent/perfume outside of her home. This is regarded to be the same as wearing perfume or perfumed body sprays & mists outside of her home and around non-mahrams, which is haram. Light & natural scents such as very soft notes of lavender, rose or citrus shouldn’t give this effect and so, they should be ok to use in moderation Insha Allah. Please refer to the video below for more details about this.
IS DEODORANT HALAL FOR MUSLIM WOMEN?
IS REXONA DEODORANT HALAL?
Rexona Pierre D’Alun Anti-Perspirant Deo Roll-on is said to be a paraben and alcohol-free option. However, I found it difficult to find the full list of ingredients to identify if it contains aluminium or propylene glycol. In addition to this, there were no Amazon reviews on it. I will try to check next time I go to a supermarket but until then, if you have more knowledge about this brand please share it in the comments section below, thank you.
IS NIVEA DEODORANT HALAL?
Nivea Men Fresh Ocean is an Aluminium Free roll-on deodorant option available for men, offering long-lasting freshness with an aqua fresh scent. However, it does still contain propylene glycol, the anti-freeze that stops the perspiration process and alcohol denat for those of you avoiding alcohol. There’s also a German Nivea deodorant called Fresh Natural that is aluminium free with great reviews. However, this also contains propylene glycol and Benzyl Alcohol. Nivea also does a Fresh Natural for women with 0% Aluminium however this has the same drawbacks as the above mentioned male versions, only with added bad reviews.
IS SURE DEODORANT HALAL?
When we say halal here, we mean safe. We can not say deodorant is haram because it is halal. However, harming one’s self knowingly is not permitted in Islam and that is why we chose to do this post. As with all the above brands, they are not certified halal. We are just referring to safe ingredients & alcohol content. I struggled to find any safe & natural based ingredient options without the chemicals we mentioned above in the SURE brand. I found one called Natural minerals but there were no ingredients available for it, which makes you think. If you happen to find one or know of any, please let us know in the comments, so we can update and amend this post. Thank you.
IS FA DEODORANT HALAL?
Fa does a Fresh & Dry Green Tea 48h Roll-On Deodorant that is quite popular in the reviews. It doesn’t contain alcohol, however, it does contain aluminium. Again, this doesn’t make it haram for you to use it. But it does make it harmful to you in the long run.
IS SOFT & GENTLE HALAL?
Soft & Gentle do have an aerosol 0% Aluminium option called Active Dry that contains natural plant extracts. This option is alcohol-free, free from allergens and doesn’t seem to contain propylene glycol or any parabens either. It is also certified vegan friendly. The only concern is that there’s a prominent warning on the bottle that says the product is extremely flammable and the mixed reviews are a bit confusing. Everyone is different though so what may work for some may not work for others.
IS DOVE DEODORANT HALAL?
Dove has a few alcohol-free options that are worth mentioning one of which is the ladies roll-on antiperspirant deodorant called Revive Advanced Care that appears to be an amazon choice with good reviews. Unfortunately though, one of its main active ingredients is Aluminum Zirconium. Which isn’t haram as such, but it is harmful in the long run. Again, as with all the above brands, they are not certified halal, however, there’s nothing to say deodorant is haram. We are just referring to safe ingredients & alcohol content. If a deodorant does not label its ingredients, my advice is DO NOT TOUCH IT! Why would they feel the need to hide them in the first place?
In the following video, Sheikh Gabriel talks a little about dealing with bad body odour in marriage and recommends the Dove cream deodorant: I’m not completely certain if I found the right one that he was talking about, as product design, ingredients and packaging tend to change. But it was the only one I could find that was a cream base.
I’m also not sure if the Sheikh is aware of the Aluminium Zirconium in the ingredient list. Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is the INCI name for a preparation used as an antiperspirant in many deodorant products. It is selected for its ability to obstruct pores in the skin and prevent sweat from leaving the body. Its anhydrous form gives it the added ability to absorb moisture. Besides this, I found his advice very entertaining and informative.
Make your own Safe & Halal Deodorant
Have you considered making your own safe & halal deodorant? Here is a simple video recipe & method by Ashley’s Conscious Life that might help you do just that:
If you try the above recipe and enjoy the idea of making your own deodorant, these books are a great buy to increase confidence and recipe variation inspiration:
Anything good and beneficial in this post is from Allah (SWT). May Allah accept this as a form of sadaqa & good deed insha Allah amin. Anything bad, any errors or mistakes are from my negligence and shortcomings, please forgive me and feel free to correct me fisabillah.
It was my intention to make the choice of safe and halal deodorants easy and less confusing for my Muslim brothers and sisters. There was very little information about it online, so I pray this post was of good use and benefit. If it was, please please like it, share it with your loved ones and those you think will benefit.
Please also comment with your views, suggestions, experiences and recommendations. May Allah (SWT) keep us safe and among HIS guided and most beloved servants amin.