Do you know what chemicals are in the antiperspirant and deodorant that you apply to your sensitive underarm area every day?
Did you know that at least one of the most common deodorant and antiperspirant ingredients is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer? According to the current issue ofMother Earth Living, you should be aware that aluminum-containing hygiene products that help decrease sweating and slow odorous bacterial growth may be putting you at an unnecessary risk of developing breast cancer.
Mother Earth Living writer Gina DeBacker explains that aluminum is used in antiperspirant and deodorant products because of its ability to enter cells that line the sweat ducts of your skin, which then causes the cells to swell and effectively squeeze the sweat ducts shut so that they cannot release sweat.
This aluminum ingredient comes in several aluminum salt formulations with names like:
• Aluminum chloride
• Aluminum chlorohydrate
• Aluminum zirconium
• Aluminum hydroxybromide
The problem with aluminum is that it is a known neurotoxin and has been linked to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, because it is applied in the form of deodorants to the armpits where lymph nodes lies close to the skin in the breast region, scientists suspect that it and other components like parabens may be linked to breast cancer. In fact, some believe that what might be happening is that aluminum absorbed may cause changes to the estrogen receptors that play an important role in breast tissue health.
The concern that health authorities have concerning aluminum in hygiene products such as antiperspirants and deodorants is that although the risks described are not proven in short term studies, many people who could be susceptible are typically exposed to the suspect ingredients for many years.
Furthermore, it’s not just aluminum that consumers should be worried about, but other ingredients as well that include propylene glycol (a chemical that helps aluminum enter the skin); triclosan (an antibacterial that is also an endocrine disruptor); talc powder (a suspected carcinogen), fragrances (most of which are unidentified chemicals); and, BHT (a toxic component of plastics that has been linked to nervous system defects and hyperactivity in children).
The good news is that there are safer, natural deodorant products that can be safely applied to the skin and help keep you feeling and smelling fresh. The editors of Mother Earth Living recommend the following 6 natural deodorizers that use natural essential oils rather than toxic metals and chemicals:
- Almond Joy—available at nourishorganic.com for $10 or here
- Native — Available at Target or most retailsr or here $11
- A Sweet Dream—available at lavilin.com for $16
- Schmidths vailable at most retail stores for $ 7 or here
- Dream Cream—available at soapwallkitchen.com for $14
- EO Organic Deodorant Spray available here
- Baby Fresh—available at iwillaremedy.com for $10
- Crystal Clear—available at thecrystal.com for $4
But if find that the above are a little too pricy, here is an informative article on 4 natural underarm deodorants you can make in your home.
For more about health safety when it comes to hygiene and skincare products, check out this list of 17 beauty products you should avoid.
Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket
Reference: Mother Earth Living July/August 2014 issue