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Your Axe Makes Me Sick

Your Axe Makes Me Sick

Dear Annie,
My boyfriend uses a lot of Axe products, including the Axe Shower Gel body wash and cleanser, and Axe Deodorant Stick. I can’t stand the smell and have gotten so sensitive to it I now can pick it up on guys at work. How do I get them to stop using it without causing them to be offended? –Sherry, VA

Dear Sherry,
I had been alerted to the strong smell of Axe when my daughter Lily wrote about it in one of her Green Girl blogs. She talks of having to walk through clouds of Axe on the guys end of the hall as she went to and from her dorm room last year. I also know Axe products are incredibly popular.

So I started investigating. First, I had to get over my impression that I had mistakenly landed on a pornography site when I first went to the Axe site. All the sexual innuendo surrounding the product line caused me to expect that they contain hormone disrupting chemicals because the advertising notes about their deodorant stick that it has “hook-up friendly scents,” and their body spray is “available in nine powerful scents.” That language doesn’t sound good at all to someone like me who has an eagle eye for toxics, because it appears as if the products contain synthetic scents designed to affect your hormones (I can’t find evidence that they contain pheromones although many suspect this is the case). Who needs that in the cubicle next to you at work? Somebody should look into whether or not such products can be considered sexual harassment!

I put Axe into the cosmetics chemical safety database Skin Deep. Low and behold, 66 products showed up and they fell into a range of moderately hazardous to the most highly hazardous categories. Axe Shower Gel Recovery, the bodywash/cleanser, had a highly hazardous score because the ingredients in the product are linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity , violations, restrictions and warnings, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, and more. Need I go on? Your body is telling you the truth. This stuff isn’t good for you.

I came across this quote on the Internet from a woman who wrote about nestling up to her husband who was wearing an Axe equivalent. She wrote, “My husband wore this several times. If I was around when he first put it on I got a headache and became nauseous. But after it wore off so I couldn’t smell it anymore, I definitely felt some loving feelings stir.” Someone should tell the guy that if he had a shower with plain, real soap his wife would find him more attractive.

Sherry, you might be doing your boyfriend a favor to let him know that his Axe is hurting, not helping, his cause. You might even make him this DIY formula for Bay Rum Aftershave and give it to him for the holidays. It smells divine. Or try learning about natural perfumes.

As for the office, while searching around the internet I came across a few stories of male managers asking guys wearing Axe to cut back because the entire office was affected. Maybe find a male manager and ask them to take the issue into their hands.

I’d like to open this up to our readers. What is the best thing for Sherry to do about this situation at work?

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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10:16PM PST on Jan 31, 2014

Thank you.

1:26PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Thank you! Just sent this link to my boyfriend. I HATE Axe. It actually woke me up this morning when he put some on. It makes me nauseous!!!

9:13AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011


9:12AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011


3:59PM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

Thanks for the info ... good to know.

6:39AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011


7:18PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

I hate Axe sprays! I just get headaches and nausea, I think I'd rather smell BO than Axe! Glad to hear I'm not the only one...

11:52PM PST on Nov 24, 2010

My Stepson used to spray this on before school and the smell from across the house would wake me (gagging) from a sound sleep. Yuck!
MEN: PLEASE just use soap and unscented deodorant!

10:05PM PDT on Sep 30, 2010

Chanel No. 5 is like Kryptonite to me! It bothers me worse than cigarette smoke! I am not fond of the Axe products either!

11:20PM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

I have found myself becoming more and more sensitive to chemical smells and have even had to walk away from someone standing in line because of their perfume or colognes. I also have to avoid the laundry isle now also, as the smell is so overpowering. I actually get headaches because of these chemical smells and yet essential oils dont bother me at all. So thats what I use in my home as well as vineger and baking soda. No chemicals in this house thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you

Cook and eat at home. Who knows what is in our food anymore when you go out to eat.

Thanks for sharing

The worst part of being sick is not knowing the cause. Once you know, you can deal with it.


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