So I’m participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge, which is both scary and exciting in equal measures. (I mean, I’ll be posting six days out of the week! Eek!) I’ve decided I’ll be blogging about natural health and beauty because it’s something I’m really interested in and something I haven’t written about before on this blog. Please remember that I’m not a qualified doctor or natural health practitioner. What I blog about is entirely my own opinion.
ALUMINIUM IN DEODORANT: PROBLEM OR OVERREACTION?
For years I’d heard wives tales about the dangers of wearing antiperspirant deodorant. Things like, “It gives you cancer” and “It changes your cells.” As a teenager, I had the mentality of whatevs, thinking that cancer and cells changing was just for old people and there was NO WAY supermarkets would be selling the public something that was bad for us. However, a lot has changed since the magical 90s-00s.
I guess the first thing to understand is why we need antiperspirants or deodorants. And it's not because we have over two million sweat glands on our bodies. Sweat, itself, is odorless. Rather, it’s the bacteria that lives on our skin when mixed with the sweat that causes the unpleasant smell.
So what do antiperspirant deodorants do?
For starters, deodorants and antiperspirants used to be two different products. Deodorants killed the bacteria (and, thus, the body odor) and antiperspirants tried to block the sweat from forming in the first place. Nowadays, most products are called “antiperspirant deodorants” because they kill bacteria and try to stop the sweat. A kind of two-in-one punch.
So what’s so bad about it?
Researchers have a problem with a few different chemicals in deodorants (petrochemicals like parabens, synthetic fragrances etc), but I’m going to focus on aluminium. Aluminium in the body has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. (LINK) It is believed that it moves into the lymphatic system through the delicate skin under our arms. And, as many people shave their armpits before applying deodorant, it is easier for the product to absorb into the skin. Now, it's important to note that the FDA approves products containing these chemicals. From what I can discern, the reason is because they do not believe there is sufficient evidence of harm to remove them from shelves. But, like with all medicines and beauty products, it is best to keep yourself informed in order to make your own decision.
I think one of the biggest issues for me when I learned about this was: Um, people still have to wear deodorant. Like most, I have had the experience of sharing a lift/cab/place in a queue etc with someone who is *not* wearing deodorant, when they really should have been.
But it’s not all bad news.
If you’re concerned about your antiperspirant or deodorant, you can always opt for a natural alternative. I was of the mind that natural deodorants would smell terrible, but these days there are some pretty great ones. I use Sanctum for Women. Really nice citrus smell and it lasts all day. If in doubt, just check the ingredients on the label of your antiperspirant deodorant to make your decision. Things to steer clear of would be: aluminium, zirconium, tetrachlorohydrex gly and parabens to name a few. And, most of all, do what you are comfortable with.
Until tomorrow! xx