Finding the right deodorant is just as necessary as wearing it automatically. You need to find one that will not only provide lasting protection, but will also be free of toxins.
The Difference Between Antiperspirants and Deodorants
Deodorants and antiperspirants, while often dumped into the same category, are not the same thing. Deodorants allow perspiration but used to kill odor-producing bacteria, while antiperspirants block sweat glands to keep you from sweating. Many products today contain both. From a purely natural perspective, it makes more sense for us to use deodorants, as it is a more natural process.
None of us wants to exude a miserable, disgusting odor, and some of us don’t particularly enjoy sweating. Many people are becoming aware that most commercial underarm antiperspirant deodorants contain potentially toxic ingredients like aluminum, also known as neurotoxin. Aluminum-free deodorants are perhaps the perfect replacement, and these products are growing considerably in both availability and number.
The Dangers of Using Products Containing Aluminum
We really should give the attention to what we put on our skin as we do with what we eat because much of what goes on us will end up going in us. Deodorants contain aluminum and synthetic fragrances, undesirable components many people are sensitive to. If you see that your underarms are swollen, it may be an allergic reaction to the aluminum which is toxic to the body. Aluminum has been associated with a variety of health issues, including:
Is Breast Cancer Caused by Aluminum In Deodorants and Anti-Antiperspirants? We Don’t know for sure, but this is what we do know:
Most breast cancers develop in the upper part of the breast – the area closest to the armpit, which is where antiperspirants are applied. The studies suggest that chemicals in antiperspirants, including aluminum, are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving. These studies claim that those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells.
Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Caused by Aluminum In Deodorants and Anti-Antiperspirants? This is what we do know:
Aluminum is definitely a neurotoxin. “Aluminum in brain tissue in familial Alzheimer’s disease” recorded some of the highest brain-aluminum levels ever measured, and suggested that the metal could be a factor in amyloid-beta aggregation. The report was published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
Abnormally high aluminum levels have been found in the brains of patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s, but no studies had examined levels in patients with familial versions of the neurodegenerative condition.
There is still much to learn and more research to do before a definitive link can be proven.
Aluminum In Antiperspirant With Kidney Problems
Concerns about antiperspirants and kidney disease were first raised many years ago when dialysis patients were given a drug called aluminum hydroxide. This drug was meant to help control high phosphorous levels in their blood. Because their kidneys weren’t functioning properly, their bodies couldn’t remove the aluminum and stayed at high levels causing an increase in the incidence of dementia.
As a result, the FDA requires antiperspirant labels to carry a warning that reads, “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Yet this warning is only meant for people whose kidney’s are functioning at 30% or less.
What to Look for in an Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Even though you may be led to try deodorants and antiperspirants labeled organic, thinking it’s a safer option, think again. Just because a product claims to be “natural” or “organic” does not necessarily mean it actually contains all-natural or organic ingredients. Aluminum-free deodorants should consist of essential oils and all natural ingredients. Aluminum free alone may not be enough as some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk, according to the Environmental Working Group, and can contain chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan is perhaps a more fierce endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it. You might want to consider homemade solutions instead. A paste of baking soda and water can be a very effective deodorant for some people. Other options include dabbing a bit of apple cider vinegar under your arms.
The Take Home
Here’s the good news. Now that you know about the risks of traditional deodorants, you have an opportunity to explore the solutions. Because you care about your family, you want to provide them every opportunity to lead happy, healthy lives. You can switch to a cleaner, safer deodorant. With new evidence and reports of adverse reactions staring us in the face, it is difficult to ignore the potential danger of so many health and beauty items on the market. What it boils down to, however, is that each of us has to take the initiative and actively seek out the products that are healthier for us.
Do you use organic or natural personal care products? Tell us about them in the comments!