Reasons why antiperspirants and deodorant from the store are toxic products no one should be using near delicate breast and glandular tissue and the scientific studies on the dangers of these common ingredients.
If you are eating a wholesome, healthy diet and are still using underarm deodorant from the store, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses.
Store deodorant is loaded with chemicals and toxins that easily penetrate the skin, getting into the blood supply.
It’s even worse if these products are applied soon after shaving. Tiny nicks in the skin provide an even easier route for chemicals to penetrate the skin barrier directly into the bloodstream.
Drug companies are taking advantage of the ability of skin to absorb chemicals of all kinds with the smokers’ patch being one of the most well known. There are now skin patches for birth control and a patch for motion sickness when you take a cruise or fly in a plane.
Slathering on the chemicals and heavy metals contained in underarm products day in and day out is a dangerous practice and one that no doubt can contribute to a host of health woes in the long run.
Need some concrete reasons to ditch the store deodorant? Here is the top ten list to consider before your next shower and where to find nontoxic brands that actually work.
Most deodorants, even those labeled as “natural,” still contain harmful ingredients like parabens affixed to one of the following common prefixes: methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.
Parabens are dangerous substances, particularly when put on the delicate underarm skin which is so near the breasts.
The Breast Cancer Fund reports that measurable concentrations of six different types of parabens have been identified in breast cancer tumor biopsies. (1)
What’s even more telling is that the concentration of the parabens in the biopsies were in the same approximate concentration that would be found in paraben containing cosmetics like underarm deodorant.
Parabens are not just a risk for the breasts. Samples of a diverse sample of US adults found parabens in nearly all urine samples as well indicating that these chemicals get into the blood and move around the body before being excreted.
The heavy metal aluminum is contained in most deodorants and is even disguised in some natural deodorants under the word “alum”. Any compound containing the word “aluminum” would be a problem such as aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.
Scientific evidence has demonstrated that aluminum exposure is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. (2)
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Preliminary analysis indicates it may be carcinogenic due to potential contamination with dioxin. Triclosan easily crosses cell membranes and is stored in body fat.
A 2006 study has shown that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disruptor in the North American bullfrog. In 2008, a study of juvenile male rats showed that triclosan exposure significantly impacts thyroid hormone concentrations.
More recently, a 2016 study showed that this chemical disrupted the placental hormones of pregnant rats. (3)
Triclosan is in many deodorants labeled as natural so buying at the health food store is no protection from this chemical.
Love the smell of your deodorant? Even natural smelling fragrances like rose might be something else entirely. The fragrance industry takes great care to hide from the consumer exactly how chemical fragrances are concocted using any blend of the 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that are available. The Environmental Working Group reports that:
The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products. (4)
Bottom line? If your deodorant has “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, you really don’t know what’s in it!
#5: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Yet another chemical popular in deodorant, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) has been banned in Europe. A well-known skin irritant, SLS is also a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to kidney and liver damage; nervous system disruption; damage to eyes leading to cataracts; eczema, and dermatitis. (6)
#6: Sweat Blockage
Sweating is good! You want to sweat to release toxins and it is a normal cooling response the body needs. Blocking sweat with antiperspirant ingredients is an unhealthy practice and can cause blockage of toxins.
#7: Deceptive Marketing
Some deodorants, even natural and organic ones like salt crystals and salt sprays, state that they have no aluminum chloride.
However, if you examine the label in detail you notice that they contain potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate, which is still aluminum!
#8: Staining and Clumping
What in the world are those clumps left on your skin by conventional deodorants?
This stuff doesn’t completely lather off in the shower either and eventually ruins your shirts by leaving yellow stains that don’t wash out (that’s from the aluminum).
They are also embarrassing when they end up on your yoga mat while you’re trying to relax in child’s pose.
Many people report that natural versions of conventional deodorants found at the health food store are ineffective or only work for a short period of time. This funny video below satirizes this point very well!
#10: Store Deodorant is So Uncool!
Let’s face it. Everything about store deodorant is uncool from the chemicals in the supermarket versions to the hidden baddies and ineffectiveness of the so-called “natural” brands at the health food store.
What Deodorant is Nontoxic AND Actually Works?
Consumers deserve a deodorant that is safe AND effective, don’t we? Is that really so much to ask?
Fortunately, there are nontoxic deodorants out there that actually work and claim to be what they say they are.
I am pleased to say that my family and I use such quality products. They work even for friends of mine who are extreme athletes working out in extreme heat and humidity.
If made properly, natural products really can withstand all sports, endurance races, mud events, WOD (CrossFit for “work out of the day”), and athletic competitions.
Sourcing Quality Deodorant
If you find yourself throwing up your hands about the deodorants on the market that are either incredibly toxic or natural but completely ineffective as shown in this humorous video below, then click over to the Personal Care section of my Resources page to check out brands with vetted products that actually work and won’t harm your health!
In my home, we use activated charcoal/magnesium deodorant and ozonated deodorant. Both of these actually work AND are completely safe to put on your skin day after day.
1944’s deodorant really works! Its made of organic oils, butters, starches, and clays. It works all day long, even when you are sweating profusely! This is the only one I have ever found that works. I can’t believe I went so long using chemical deodorant.
I have never seen the reason to use these products when there are way to keep the smells away
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Good article. I’m going through some of these issues as well..
I’m a Lavilin guy myself. I play soccer all the time and found myself applying deodorant multiple times a day. These issues are real and it’s not worth it. I changed to the all-natural brand AND it only requires that I apply once (maybe twice) a week! I got used to it being a cream really quickly, that was really the only transition.
This statement is confusing: Sweating is good! Blocking sweat with anti-perspirant ingredients is an unhealthy practice and can cause blockage of toxins.
How is it confusing? The author is stating that store deodorants contain anti-perspirant ingredients that block sweat, which in turn does not let toxins leave the body. So in conclusion, you WANT to sweat, it IS good, so that you can sweat out toxins.
I understand using an alternative to store bought deodorant because of it’s link to breast cancer. But how in the world do people go without showers, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.? That’s only possible if you don’t work, go to school, or are in public for extended periods of time. I had an employee a couple of years ago that I was forced to have a few talks with because of our customers complaining about the body odor. I understand taking care of your body, but if chemicals in soap and shampoo are so alarming, there has to be hygiene products that are made with “real” natural ingredients. I’m sure you could also make your own soap with natural oils and such that are mentioned in previous comments. I just can’t see soap, shampoo, and toothpaste being so dangerous that uncleanliness would be chosen over good hygiene.