If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to your deodorant. It’s estimated that 90 percent of Americans use deodorant on a daily basis, however this seemingly safe hygiene product can pose some serious health risks. In this blog, we’ll discuss the harmful ingredients that can be found in most deodorants and the hazardous effects of smearing them on your underarms.
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The Dangers Of Using Conventional Deodorant
Most conventional deodorants contain several harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients. If you wouldn’t swallow a spoonful of toxic ingredients, why would you want to smear them under your arms in the form of deodorant or antiperspirant? According to Heather Patisaul, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University, “When you eat something, it’s broken down by your liver and digestive system. However, when you put something on your skin, there are times when it can enter your bloodstream without being metabolized.” Recent studies have also shown that some of the compounds used in deodorant are absorbed in fat cells, which are normally very prevalent in the underarm area. Let’s look at some of the harmful ingredients found in most conventional deodorants below.
If you use a variety of cosmetic products, you’ve probably heard of parabens before, or have seen ‘paraben free’ labels on beauty products in the drugstore. Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products, and they can stop things like fungus and bacteria from growing in your favorite facial creams and makeup. The most commonly known parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben. You’ll likely find these ingredients listed on personal care items like shampoos, mascara, and body lotions. Over the past few years, however, scientists have debated whether these ubiquitous chemicals are actually causing more harm than good. Some common questions being asked around parabens are:
- Are parabens linked to the rising increase of breast cancer in women? Studies have found that parabens have a weak ability to mimic estrogen in the body, and they have been found in breast cancer tumors.
- Are declining sperm counts and the increasing number of male breast cancer patients linked to these chemicals once they are absorbed into the skin?
While aluminum is a chemical element that can be found virtually anywhere, it can be especially harmful when included in antiperspirants. The two main health issues linked to aluminum are the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. The initial concerns about Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease, initially surfaced from a study conducted more than 50 years ago. According to Keith Fargo, the director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, “The suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids, and antiperspirants.”
The concerns regarding aluminum were further amplified in 1985 with the release of another study that examined the close link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. During this study, researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients had high levels of aluminum in their brains. The breast cancer concerns, on the other hand, are largely due to the fact that deodorants are applied under the arms, close to the breasts. Some studies have claimed that most breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant of the breasts because that is the section that is closest to the underarms, where deodorant is applied. Aside from the risk of cancer, many people are concerned that aluminum and antiperspirants in general actually keep the body from sweating out toxins that need to be released.
Triclosan is a chemical that is added to a variety of consumer products. From toothpaste to soaps and deodorants, triclosan is often used to kill microbes and bacteria. This “super chemical” is meant to fight the spread of germs, however the dangers of this chemical have been studied rigorously over the past few years. Numerous studies have shown that triclosan can alter testosterone and thyroid serum levels in the body. It can also have a negative effect on estrogen adaptors and synthesis in women.
As you can see, there are several hazardous chemicals in conventional deodorant that can be harmful to our bodies and health. If you’re shopping for all natural deodorants online, be sure to browse Green Tidings array of all natural deodorants. All of our cosmetic products are paraben-free, aluminum-free, and certified organic. Browse our deodorants, body oils, and lip balms online today or contact us if you have any questions!