Deodorant - Safe or Not Safe?

If you're concerned about sweating, you likely have an antiperspirant deodorant in your medicine cabinet.   The antiperspirant is what prevents you from sweating and the deodorant is what masks any lingering odor. But is it safe?

The typical antiperspirant contains both aluminum and parabens.  Aluminum provides the antiperspirant feature in deodorants and both have the potential of being quite concerning since both are compounds that have estrogen-like properties.  Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer tissue, there's concern aluminum and parabens may both have the same effect when absorbed through the skin. 

Concern #1
Aluminum is used to temporarily plug your sweat ducts, therefore, preventing your armpit from sweating.  This is thought to prevent the escape of toxins the body needs to sweat out, which, when trapped, may find their way into the lymph nodes where they concentrate and may lead to the cellular changes that cause cancer.

Concern #2
Aluminum {aluminum cans, aluminum cookware, antacids and antiperspirant} has been linked by many studies as a possible factor in Alzheimer's Disease.  The concern with antiperspirants is that since it plugs the sweat ducts the aluminum may be making it's way in.  And of particular concern is the possibility of it entering your body through nicks you've received while shaving.  With the antiperspirant being used on your armpit, which is close to the breast, studies have pointed to the possibility of a relationship between the the aluminum and breast cancer.

Concern #3
Antiperspirants most often contain parabens.  Parabens are typically found in chemical preservatives and/or fragrance.  Again, like aluminum, since the sweat ducts are blocked, the concern is that the parabens are in the pores and your body is unable to sweat those, and any other toxins, out.

What to do?
So, to answer the question as to whether or not it's safe - it depends.  It depends on the study including who funded it and what they were looking for.  With the ongoing debate of studies that show the potential problems and, conversely, studies that show no concerns, it's hard to know what to do.  If you want to stop using aluminum on your body, you have to use a deodorant without an antiperspirant.  Yup, you'll sweat.  But you won't stink.  :)

There are some "natural" deodorants out there that work very well - it takes time, but with so many different types you'll likely find the one that's right for you.  And if you want to also avoid parabens, it's not enough to buy an All-Natural Deodorant - you have to read the label.  Parabens can be used in an All-Natural product.

If you are interested in trying our All-Natural, Aluminum- and Paraben-Free, Deodorant, you can find it here.


Unknown said...

Yay! I've been waiting to purchase more of this! I really loved it, and thought it worked perfect for me. :)


I love this post! I made the switch from antiperspirant to all natural deodorant last year and I'm so happy I did.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks Megan. I'm happy you found a deodorant that works for you!

Thanks Mary! And I'm so happy you like our natural deodorant!!

Mary said...

So glad to see this. I have been struggling for the past year or so. If I shave and then use deodorant, my underarms swell and itch. Last fall, I had surgery to remove an enlarged lymph node in my underarm, which I am pretty sure was related to my allergies, as it turned out to be nothing scary. I will be ordering soon. Thank you!!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Oh boy. So happy to hear it turned out to be nothing Mary but I'm sure it was quite stressful waiting to hear.