Monday, March 5, 2012

Is Antiperspirant Really Dangerous?

Well, I'm going to pretend that I'm not disappointed in finding only one comment on the Natural Deodorant Stick Recipe (despite the 226 pageviews it has received in one week), and I'm going to continue on with that topic.  In my last post, as I've mentioned, I gave a recipe for a homemade deodorant stick which my husband and I have both used to replace our mainstream antiperspirants.  Here is why people would even want to.  Clarification:  Antiperspirant is used to prevent sweating, while deodorant just masks the body odor.  When considering mainstream options, the deodorant is probably still not good to be putting on your skin daily.

While the American National Institutes of Health have not found any "conclusive evidence"  linking antiperspirant usage to breast cancer, there certainly appears to be a connection.  The American National Cancer Institute reports:
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. 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.
 The aluminum compound found in many antiperspirants and deodorants is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, which is a known to cause cancer and has other health concerns as well.

As I've mentioned previously, we absorb everything through our skin.  There are all sorts of other chemicals and potentially toxic ingredients in mainstream antiperspirants and deodorants just the same as any other beauty or cosmetic product.  Check out EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to see how your antiperspirant or deodorant rates.

According to the Live Strong website the aluminum in antiperspirants may also be linked to kidney problems.  A warning label is required by the FDA to be carried by any antiperspirants containing aluminum.  They say it is just a precaution for those with kidney disease, though I find it somewhat suspicious.

Though there are rumors saying otherwise, from what I have researched, a toxin build ups is not a concern.  I do wonder however if there is something wrong with prevent our body from doing what it is natural designed to do, which is sweat.

On another note, mainstream antiperspirants and deodorants are not cheap, and it only gets more expensive if you seek out store bought natural alternatives.  Making your own can save you $4-6 on each stick.

What do you think of antiperspirant?


  1. My husband hasn't used antiperspirant for years because it makes him break out. I stopped about a year or so ago because of the same concerns you mention here. I would much rather be safe than sorry! I haven't used your recipe yet, but I plan to try it out!

  2. I haven't used comercial deoderants or antiperspirant for years. My recipe is simple 1 part cornstarch (If you use the baby powder kind it's already lightly scented) and 2 parts baking soda. Cornstarch is good as a skin protectant againts moisture, and the baking soda neutralizes oder by preventing bacterial growth. I pour mine into a jar,shake until well mixed then apply with a powder brush. It's not just good as an underarm deodarant but anywhere where you need extra skin protection from moisture and odor.

  3. I have children with autism and so I am always reading and researching anything I can about it. Some scientists and ASD (autism spectrum disorder) researchers feel aluminum can be just as poisonous as mercury. We are inundated with aluminum, it is in deodorants, soda cans, foil we cook with, it is used to wrap gum, and line many pre packaged foods like crackers and cookies. Your blog is amazing I love all the alternatives to the very toxic chemicals no one really knows the scope of or true side effects for.

    1. I am so glad to hear that you keep yourself educated. That is very interesting to hear. I did not realize the extent to which some scientists believe it to be poisonous. I absolutely agree with your point that no one really knows. I am sure no one thought lead paint and those types of things were poisonous in their time either.

  4. Be safe and go with an all-natural deodorant. There are many out there (Lavilin, Lavanila, Tom's of Maine, Jason's, etc.). See what works best for you and try to stick with it through the adjustment period (can be anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks). Lavilin is definitely my favorite brand, since it lasts 4-5 days for me, and I love the consistency of their underarm cream -

    Experimented with some homemade recipes, but ultimately Lavilin was the best for me! Lasts a whole week per application, and smells great. I use the cream, but some people prefer the roll-on! Highly recommended :)

    They were reviewed very nicely here: