Aluminum and Deodorants
Deodorant: it’s not always the most talked-about topics, but it’s a product that we all use every day. Therefore, it’s something we should pay just as much attention to as any other personal care product. Unfortunately, just like any other conventionally made product, there are plenty of ingredients that you can find in your deodorant that aren’t all that good for you. One of the most controversial of these ingredients is aluminum. You might have heard rumors about the impact aluminum can have on your health. We’re writing this article to help you determine what’s fact and what’s fiction.
Is There Aluminum in My Deodorant?
Before we can answer this question, there’s an important distinction to make – are we talking about deodorant, or are we talking about antiperspirant?
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
Deodorants and antiperspirants are products used to help control armpit odor. However, they address the problem in two different ways. Deodorants eliminate or mask the unwanted smells. Antiperspirants keep you from sweating by stopping sweat from reaching the skin.
So is There Aluminum in My Deodorant?
It’s unlikely that you’ll find aluminum in your deodorant. You are, however, very likely to find it in your antiperspirant. Aluminum is a common active ingredient in antiperspirants. It’s what blocks your pores and keeps sweat from passing through.
The Dangers of Aluminum in Antiperspirants
The use of aluminum in antiperspirants has caused a large amount of scrutiny. There are suspicions that it’s linked to several troubling health problems, but does the research back these suspicions up?
Does Aluminum Cause Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer commonly develops in the upper outer part of the breast. This happens to be the area closest to the armpit. Because of this, several studies have theorized that the aluminum in antiperspirants could be absorbed into the skin and lead to cancer. While email chain-letters and social media posts continue to spread the idea that antiperspirants cause breast cancer, there is no evidence that connects the two. Studies that compared healthy women with those with breast cancer found no evidence that antiperspirants lead to a higher risk, and no studies have found evidence to back up this claim.
Does Aluminum Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
Another claim about aluminum in antiperspirants is that it increases your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Like the claims about breast cancer, there is no evidence that backs up this concern.
Are there Any Other Dangers of Aluminum in Antiperspirants?
Antiperspirants with aluminum can be very dangerous if you have kidney disease. In fact, the FDA requires antiperspirants that have aluminum to carry a warning that people who have kidney disease should check with a doctor before use.
Are there any other dangerous ingredients in deodorant or antiperspirant?
Yes. Even though there’s no evidence that aluminum causes breast cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease doesn’t mean that aluminum-based antiperspirants are safe to use. Conventionally made antiperspirants and deodorants can contain parabens, triclosan, synthetic fragrances, imidazolidinyl urea, and propylene glycol, all of which are ingredients worth avoiding. It’s also important to keep in mind that research into aluminum in antiperspirants is still ongoing. Until there’s proof that aluminum doesn’t lead to health issues, there’s no harm in avoiding exposure.
Are All Aluminum-Free Antiperspirants Safe?
Not if they contain other nasty chemicals! If you choose to purchase a conventional antiperspirant, read the ingredients list closely to determine if there are any other harmful ingredients. Or, even better, consider switching to deodorant. It’s not always pleasant to think about, but sweating serves an important function in helping your body get rid of toxins. Switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant can help to control unwanted odors without preventing your body from engaging in this necessary process.
Picking a Natural Deodorant
Finding a natural deodorant that keeps up with your needs depends a lot on your physiology and activity levels. Natural deodorants tend to be weaker than their conventional cousins, so you might need to experiment to find one that works for you. Reading reviews online might alert you to brands that are suited to your needs, or you might simply need to try a few different brands out to find the right formulation. As always, pay close attention to the ingredients list and avoid any items you know can be harmful.
Making Your Own Deodorant
Of course, the option we like best is to make your own deodorant. With our shea butter (plus a few more common ingredients) you can create a product that is both safe and effective. Making homemade deodorant gives you a chance to know exactly what’s coming in contact with your body. It’s also a great way to play with your formulation and find exactly what you need. There are lots of recipes for homemade deodorants online, but we especially like this one:
Deodorant can be a touchy subject, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Take advantage of your options and you can enjoy odor protection that’s free from ingredients that can cause you harm.