Dangerous Chemicals in
Deodorant & Antiperspirant:
A Detailed Review of the Chemicals, Research & Avoidance Tips
Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants.
They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface.
*It is our natural defense against over heating and releasing chemicals within the body when we sweat, blocking this natural defense may not be the best thing for our bodies!
Some research has suggested that these aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.
Parabens in their many forms (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben) are a class of artificial preservatives widely used in cosmetics and personal care products that are being investigated for their possible role in breast cancer. Parabens mimic the activity of estrogen in the body. Since estrogen promotes the growth of breast cancer cells and a woman is eight times more likely to develop breast cancer in the part of the breast closest to the underarm, scientists are studying the connection.
Propylene glycol—a humectant which means it keeps substances from drying out, and it was originally developed as an anti-freeze, but is now included in some deodorants and antiperspirants. It is a neurotoxin known to cause contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. In propylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), published by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, workers are urged to avoid skin contact with the toxic chemical as it may cause eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal irritation and discomfort, nausea, headache, vomiting, and central nervous depression.
TEA & DEA
TEA and DEA (triethanolamine and diethanolamine) adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. They both could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time where DEA can cause liver and kidney damage and TEA can cause allergic reactions.
*These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects.
Triclosan is an artificial antimicrobial chemical used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces. Triclosan is a skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis.
Recent studies suggest this chemical may disrupt thyroid function and other critical hormone systems.
*The American Medical Association recommends that triclosan and other “antibacterial” products not be used in the home, as they may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics that can allow resistant strains to flourish.
FD&C colors are artificial/synthetic colors approved by the FDA for food, drug and cosmetics. Some are made from coal tar derivatives and have known to be carcinogenic; they also often cause allergic skin reactions.
Talc, hydrous magnesium silicate, is a soft mineral used in personal care products as an absorbent and color additive. It is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibers.
*The quantity of asbestiform fibers in cosmetic grade talc is unregulated.
*If talc is listed on the label, there is no way of knowing whether or not it contains asbestiform fibers.
What studies show:
Published in 2003 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, interviewed 437 women with breast cancer about their past and present use of deodorants. The study reported that women who applied deodorant at least twice a week and shaved their armpits at least three times a week developed breast cancer almost 15 years younger than women who did neither. Neither shaving nor applying a deodorant alone was linked with a younger age of diagnosis of the disease. The study’s methodology has been criticized by industry researchers as it did not interview non-breast cancer deodorant users or account for the age of the women being interviewed.
The World Health Organization has linked exposure to aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease, with higher frequencies of deodorant use corresponding to higher risks of developing Alzheimer’s. Abnormal accumulation of aluminum has been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and when aluminum is injected into the brains of laboratory animals, the animals develop a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer’s.
Another study published in 2004 in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, looked at the synthetic chemicals, parabens. The researchers looked at 20 human breast tumor samples and found that parabens were present in 18 of them. They concluded that these results suggested that parabens in deodorants could be absorbed through the skin and increase the risk of breast cancer. Again, many experts have raised concerns about the conclusions of this study. For example, the study was very small, it did not look at the level of parabens in breast tissue of women without breast cancer, nor did it establish that the parabens actually came from deodorants or that they were absorbed through the armpits.
At the moment, all the study has shown is that the body can absorb parabens and that these chemicals are found in some breast cancer tissue. It does not show that parabens can increase the risk of or cause breast cancer.
The main conflicting research results from a epidemiologic study published in 2002 that compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.
Tips to Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Go Green
If your goal is to avoid all suspicion of harmful chemicals, than using traditional deodorant or antiperspirant will make that very difficult. The easiest way to keep your body safe and healthy is to avoid entirely all chemical laden deodorants and antiperspirants, and begin using natural deodorants.
With so many “organic” or “green” products on the market it can be a difficult task to choose wisely.
We chose to partner with Shaklee mainly because they have a 100 year record of honesty & integrity.
Shaklee was GREEN before being GREEN was COOL
Shaklee was GREEN before being GREEN was COOL
Shaklee has been producing quality products for so long, that many independent studies seek out Shaklee to be a part of the studies, including UC Berkley & Harvard school of medicine.
Here are a few other facts about who really believes in our products and mission:
NASA has so much confidence in the products that Shaklee was asked to design a hydration drink upon reentry into the atmosphere, ASTROAIDE, today we know it as PERFORMANCE.
Trusted by many Olympian athletes to fuel their bodies for optimal performance without enhancing drugs or traces of drugs.
Oprah & Dr. Oz & Rachel Ray to name a few have gone on national TV to support the products and the mission behind the company......