benzene in deodorants

Benzene Detected in Popular Deodorants: Non-Toxic Alternatives Easily Available

In a test of 108 antiperspirant and deodorant samples from 30 different brands, Valisure found benzene in 54% of samples of the popular deodorant brands. Benzene, a known carcinogen linked to lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia, is prohibited in personal hygiene products.

Benzene is a highly toxic industrial chemical that poses a significant health risk at concentrations higher than 0.1 ppm. Of the 59 contaminated batches of deodorants and antiperspirants:

24 products registered high concentrations between 2.24 ppm – 17.7 ppm

14 products registered median concentrations between 0.20 ppm – 1.89 ppm

21 products registered detectable traces of Benzene

It is critical to note that benzene is not included in deodorant and antiperspirant products, as it is not an ingredient. Benzene is most likely unintentionally added when using propellants like propane, alcohol, isobutane, and butane in the creation of antiperspirant and deodorant body sprays. Most body sprays on the market contain these propellants, thus increasing benzene contamination and exposure. In 2021, Valisure lab also uncovered benzene contamination in hand sanitizers and sunscreens.

Safer Replacements Are the Solution

Consumers use deodorants to stay fresh by preventing or covering up body odor, which is sometimes achieved by applying them several times daily. Many other chemicals, including aluminum, propylene glycol, artificial fragrances, parabens, triclosan, and phthalates, are frequently used in regular deodorants to enhance their effectiveness. They have also been linked to harmful health effects and acute illnesses like cancer, organ damage, neurotoxicity, hormonal imbalances, and congenital abnormalities. With the increasing number of health-conscious consumers, choosing non-toxic alternatives that meet their needs is easier than it once was.

  1. Stay Informed and Read the Labels
    To avoid harmful chemicals, reading labels is the simplest method of knowing if a product contains them. Even though it is prudent and universally recommended, manufacturers sometimes don't always refer to ingredients using conventional terminology. Remember that not all components will be listed directly on the label, including phthalates, which can be hidden under the disguise of “fragrance” or unintentional ingredients like Benzene.
  2. Use Replacements Without Propellants
    Like in the case of Benzene and other contaminants that weren't intended to be added to decrease the risk of exposure, opt for options made without propellants in the first place.
  3. Avoid Problematic Ingredients
    To help avoid exposure to problematic ingredients, look for options that contain alternatives without a history of the possibility of harmful health effects. In the case of “fragrances,” which are often a trade secret to protect the makers, opt for brands that offer further explanations of their sourcing. Look for terminology such as “free of synthetics,” “plant-based,” “made with essential oils,” or “made with natural isolates.”

Rustic MAKA Joins the Benzene Deodorant Replacement Initiative

Since unsafe chemicals represent a high health risk, using products that contain natural ingredients will undoubtedly help avoid exposure. Rustic MAKA’s award-winning natural deodorants formulated with each person's unique body chemistry in mind are available in various formulas and scents. Rustic MAKA utilizes exceptional plant- and mineral-based ingredients like their unique prebiotic blend, Zinc Ricinoleate, Charcoal, and Bamboo powder to battle body odor. To avoid phthalates and other toxins, essential oils and plant-based isolates are used for scenting. Rustic MAKA deodorants are cruelty-free, made without GMOs, and conveniently packaged in twist-up containers.

Those who want to join the Benzene Deodorant Replacement Initiative program can request free Rustic MAKA deodorants as we’ve partnered with Environmental Litigation Group, PC, to provide samples. The program is designed to provide non-toxic deodorants for health-conscious consumers, concentrating on those who suffer from life-threatening conditions like leukemia. Please click the link above for more information and to request samples.


These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any medical concern you should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Full Medical Disclaimer.