Thrive Market, a new, supposedly all-natural online store being heavily pushed by the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group, is concerned with body odor. Sadly, the hypocrisy of both groups stinks to high heaven. After scaring the caca out of readers over a perfectly safe ingredient in competing deodorants, Thrive author Michelle Pellizzon turns around and sells a Thrive product that contains the same compound she’s just linked to cancer.
First, the setup (emphasis mine):1
“Aluminum, the active ingredient in deodorant that keeps you from getting stinky when it gets hot out there, has been linked to breast cancer and hormonal [im]balances (sic) when applied to underarms. The aluminum in antiperspirant is also the reason that your white t-shirts all have yellow pit stains—as if you needed another reason to switch to the organic stuff! All natural deodorants boast a formula that’s aluminum free, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.”–Michelle Pellizzon, writing for Thrive Market1
Never fear, Pellizzon and Thrive Market are ready to leap to the rescue by offering alternatives. Why, look here… even as we speak, there are three contenders in the very article that just promised us cancer and hormonal imbalances if we go to competing, aluminum-laden brands:
One of the author’s favorites is simply referred to as “the crystal”, and, lucky you, it’s currently on sale for the low, low price of $4.75 USD.
The ingredients are rather disingenuously listed as “Mineral salts and purified water”2 What exactly does that mean? Is Thrive hiding something from us? Let’s sashay over to the manufacturer’s web page and dig into the FAQ:3
The deodorant in question is manufactured by Deodorant Stones of America (DSA). A quick glance at the FAQ on the company’s web3 site reveals that their products are made from alum, a class of chemical compounds that contain aluminum. Yes, you read that correctly–the Thrive Market article that claims aluminum in deodorants is toxic is, incredibly, selling you a deodorant that contains aluminum.
It gets laughably worse. DSA claims that aluminum is a mineral. It’s not–it’s an element. One of the few things DSA gets right about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth is that it’s natural. They should have continued: There’s no reason to fear this metal, unless you have a medical condition such as kidney failure, in which case you’d be on dialysis, and want to avoid exposure in excess. But Deodorant Stones of America isn’t the guilty party here–it’s Thrive Market and their blatant fear mongering, designed to steer consumers away from safe products that contain the very same element found in the deodorant they’re hawking in their “sky is falling” tripe.
As we’ll see in upcoming articles, the link between Thrive Market and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is particularly worrisome. Although EWG claims to have no financial stake in Thrive, they’re aggressively marketing the online store through an email campaign that includes the astounding demand that consumers be allowed to use food stamps to buy the overpriced organic products found there. Organic products are no more safe than their commercial counterparts–they’re just designed to lighten the wallet. And Thrive heavily cites EWG as a scientific authority (even though they’re not) when disparaging competitor’s products and touting their own. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
One promise I’ll make, and deliver upon quite often in the future: Thrive Market is loaded with products that their and EWG’s “research” claims to be dangerous. See you soon!
(1) Thrive Tries It: We Test 3 Natural Deodorants
(2) ThriveMarket.com: Deodorant Stones of America Crystal Deodorant Stick
(3) Deodorant Stones of America FAQ
Thrive and Deodorant Stones of America product/screen snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
Thrive got it wrong in the first sentence. Aluminum is the active ingredient in antiperspirants (the stuff that reduces sweating), not deodorants (the stuff that keeps sweat from getting stinky). You’d think they’d at least be able to identify their product. Or maybe not.
Pingback: The Thrive Market/Environmental Working Group Connection | Bad Science Debunked
Pingback: Thrive’s Plethora of “Poisonous” Powders | Bad Science Debunked
One minor quibble, the most common metal in the Earth’s crust isn’t aluminum, it’s silicon.
Thanks for reading and commenting Tom. Respectfully, silicon isn’t a metal, it’s a metalloid. It has properties of both metals and non-metals. According to scientists, aluminum is the most common metal in the earth’s crust. I see and respect the point you’re trying to make, but I was striving for accuracy and, more importantly, pointing out you can’t avoid aluminum unless you want to live in a vacuum chamber 🙂