Say Goodbye to that Cancer Stick
I have been suspicious that deodorant can’t be good for you for a long time. Perhaps, it is because I along with 3% of the population have a little thing doctors call excessive perspiration. Lovely. It’s genetic in my family. I grew up going to school in 5th grade stuffing my armpits with toilet paper, only to be humiliated when they fell out as I walked. I have used every kind of prescription deodorant on the market. Some with great results. However, I couldn’t get past the feeling that something was unnatural about clogging up those pores.
My intuition was right. Our body’s natural waste system helps us to eliminate toxins we desperately want to get rid through our pores. As we sweat, we release those toxins. And one of the main locations we do that is through our armpits. Using over the counter and prescription deodorants have lots of scary ingredients in them – many of which are linked to cancers. So let’s break it down and look at those.
Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on. - Dr. Mercola
Deodorant’s Scary Ingredients:
ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM and OTHER ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS
Function: Used to control sweat and odor in the underarms by slowing down the production of sweat. It causes the skin cells to swell, which pinches the sweat glands closed and keeps them from releasing perspiration.
Health concerns: Aluminum is absorbed through the skin and accumulates in the body. Increases the risk for any disease including breast cancer, and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. Probable neurotoxin; possible nervous system, respiratory, and developmental toxin. *Banned by EU
PARABENS (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl)
Function: It is a preservative and anti-bacterial agent. All are derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical.
Health Concern: Repeated exposure to toluene may cause reproductive harm. Various types of parabens act like estrogen in animals and in tissue culture. Estrogen is known to drive the growth of cancerous cells, increasing risk for certain types of cancer and has been detected in the breast tumors of women with breast cancer.
TALC (hydrous magnesium silicate)
Function: Talc has anti-caking properties and also improves the feel of products.
Heath Concern: It is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibers. Since it is not regulated, there is no way to know if it has those fibers or not. Talc particles are similar to asbestos particles and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs; probable respiratory toxin.
Function: Solvent, penetration enhancer, conditions skin, controls viscosity and keeps products from melting in high or freezing when it is cold.
Health Concern: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin and increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream. It may cause delayed allergic reactions. NIOSH says propylene glycol is a neurotoxin and may cause kidney or liver damage. It has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.
Function: Anti-bacterial agent, deodorant, preservative, biocide.
Health Concern: Probable endocrine disrupter and carcinogen; easily bio-accumulates to dangerous levels; irritant; animal studies show reproductive and other broad systematic effects; potentially contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other significant health problems.
PETROLATUM (petroleum jelly)
Function: Used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin.
Health Concern: A petroleum product, petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics. It has been found as a byproduct in breast tumor, and therefore is under suspicion as a carcinogen in breast cancer. *Banned by EU.
Function: To make something smell nice, parfum.
Health Concern: Immune system toxicant; possible neurotoxin; can contain between 10 and 300 different chemicals, many of which have never been tested for safety. Can cause headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; nausea; forgetfulness; loss of coordination, and other respiratory and/or neurotoxic symptoms. Can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate sinus conditions.
So basically, deodorant is cancer on a stick – along with numerous other health risks. However, I must have something for my sweating and smelling. I use Tom’s of Maine Natural Unscented Deodorant and add a little essential oil for the fragrance bit. There are multiple natural options out there including Deodorant Fresh Roll from Dr. Hauschka, Weleda Wildrose Deodorant, Jason Organic Tea Tree Oil Deodorant or Desert Essence, Dry By Nature Deodorant. If nothing else, you want to make sure your deodorant in aluminum free.
What deodorant do you use? Were you aware of the ingredients?