At last a deodorant that does no evil. Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant ($18)  might even do some good. Heck you could probably eat it. While that might seem unduly extreme, keep in mind that the founder of Intelligent Nutrients recently drank his line's hairspray to demonstrate how benign it is. I haven't yet tried Lavanila (although I do like their body lotion, The Healthy Body Butter), but there seems to be many reasons to check it out.

When seeking out a deodorant, knowing what to avoid is most important. You do not want aluminum. If aluminum is absorbed by the body, it gets to the lungs, liver and kidneys. The Risk Assessment Information System, sponsored by the US Dept of Energy, says that it "may be involved" in Alzheimer's and Parkinsons. You don't want parabens, which mimic estrogen and could be linked to cancer. You don't want phthalates - suspected to do damage to the liver and kidneys, to interfere with the development of the reproductive organs, and to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. You do not want sulfates. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology says that it has "a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties". The Journal adds that "high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant doesn't have any of these.

Every single ingredient is plant derived. Even things like the emulsifier comes from artichoke. For shavers, there is soothing and anti-inflammatory aloe. I am very intrigued by lichen. Because it is a very potent antifungal, I suspect that this is one of the ingredients, along with tea tree, that is providing the deodorizing job. Another useful plant extract is goldenseal, used to treat skin conditions such as eczema. I like the inclusion antioxidant, vitamin C-packed goji berry.

A bonus feature of this deodorant is that it will make you irresistible to feline species as it contains valerian, which apparently works like catnip. For humans the effect is more of a sedative. Either way, I've no idea why Lavanila decided to include it

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Juice, Water), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Stearate (Coconut Derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed Derived), Stearyl Behenate (Coconut Derived), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Peel Oil), Inulin (Artichoke Derived), Saccharomyces Ferment, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide (Sugar Derived), Yeast Beta Glucan, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Valeriana Officinalis Root Extract (Valerian), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Botanical Fragrance Blend.