The Dangers of Aluminum in Deodorant and Antiperspirants…How to Choose a Safe Underarm Protection
We all sweat, even if you are one of those lucky few that don’t…all of us release a natural body odor based on genetic and environmental factors. Often times what you eat can affect how you smell.
I bet every morning, as part of your usual getting ready to run out the door routine you use either an antiperspirant or deodorant to keep yourself smelling fresh. After all no one wants to be that guy (or girl). We all do it!
You may not know the majority of these innocent personal care products contain aluminum in deodorant. What does that mean for your health and should you sweat it?
Aluminum in its basic form is a neurotoxin not normally found in your body.
If you are using commercial antiperspirants or even (some) deodorants, then you are absorbing this toxin through your skin. Evidence to date shows that aluminum serves no beneficial role to your body and should be avoided.
Researchers have found high concentrations of aluminum the brains in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Aluminum in Deodorant vs Aluminum in Anti-Perspirants
Aluminum in deodorant is not as common as aluminum found in antiperspirants. You may ask – what’s the difference between the two?
Antiperspirants contain chemical compounds (the active ingredient is usually aluminum) that block or clog pores to stop perspiration (sweat) with no odor.
Deodorant allows the release of perspiration (still allowing you to sweat) but prevents odor by combating it with antiseptic agents which kills odor causing bacteria.
It’s worth mentioning again, that deodorants are not the same as antiperspirants.
Typically, antiperspirants are combined with a deodorant. Make sure to check the label of the brand you use. With deodorants you still sweat, you just don’t smell.
Also, watch out for “aluminum’s” other names: potassium alum or potash alum, as the full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate.
Health Risks of Aluminum in Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Some deodorants still contain aluminum and parabens – both are toxic ingredients that can increase your risk of breast cancer.
Research studies indicate potential health risks associated with aluminum compounds found in these products. The leading cause of breast cancer is the use of antiperspirants.
According to the National Cancer Institute:
Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface.
Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects.1.
Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. 1
It makes sense that most of the breast cancers developed are in the upper outer part of the breast – the area closest to the armpit.
Studies indicate that the chemicals are absorbed into the skin particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving. The chemicals may then interact with the DNA and lead to cancerous changes in the cells.
Over the years, however research has shown conflicting results. And according to the National Cancer Institute, there is no conclusive research linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.
Despite these assurances – healthcare professionals still recommend deodorant over antiperspirant, as preventing perspiration may not be the healthiest choice.
At the end of the day, we are left to make our own choices. You’re clearly better of avoiding both of these commercial products. We would rather be safe than sorry…
Daily Superfood Love’s Safe Non-Toxic Underarm Protection
As you know Daily Superfood Love is a huge lover of coconut oil…why not use this powerful superfood to keep you smelling fresh and safely destroy bacteria all without the potential risks?
Coconut Oil DIY Deodorant
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of baking soda
2 tablespoons of shea butter
2 tablespoons of arrowroot
Optional: essential oils (recommended: lavender or lemon)
1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted.
2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot
3. Mix well
4. Add optional essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage (we recommend using a mason jar). No need to refrigerate it.
5. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use.
Give it a try…it really works and you may even start to sweat less!