How safe is your deodorant?
Even if you don’t have bad body odor, chances are that you’re applying an underarm deodorant in an attempt to leave you fresh and approachable. It is interesting how many of us actually take the time to review the ingredients in our deodorant, or even know if it is safe?
Take a moment to search the internet and you will find a variety of organizations that are claiming that deodorants are the cause behind breast cancer. Now let’s take a closer look at some of the concerns surrounding the use of deodorants.
Some research groups are suggesting that deodorants containing harmful substances such as aluminum compounds and parabens can be absorbed through the skin. Aluminum compounds or aluminum salts which are found in some deodorants are powerful astringents used as a coating and to close pores, which ultimately blocks any sweat or odor from leaving the body. Parabens are preservatives that are used in a wide variety of cosmetic products with the purpose of eliminating bacteria. According to the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog organization that monitors the use of chemicals in everyday life “People are being exposed to hundreds of chemicals. Every person is full of complex mixtures and the health consequences are completely unknown.” A 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology detected parabens in breast cancer tissue. In this study, parabens were found in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumors. However, this study did not prove that parabens cause breast tumors.
In opposition to the above research, the National Cancer Institute states that there is a lack of conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm deodorants with breast cancer. Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetics also does not have any evidence or research data that proves the ingredients in underarm deodorants cause cancer.
So, who’s right? It appears that no one knows for certain the effects of chronic, long-term exposure to deodorants with ingredients such as aluminum compounds and parabens. Furthermore, all relevant studies on deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results. It is clear that additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved.
One way that may help alleviate your discomfort with this issue is by looking up your deodorant brand on Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s online database, which analyzes all the various risk factors associated with specific products.
Finally, if you’re still concerned that your underarm deodorant may increase your risk of cancer, why not choose a product that does not contain these chemicals. Make sure to read our Top 5 Natural Deodorants article and find out which are the best organic deodorants available, and if they really can absorb wetness and leave you smelling fresh?