Many people are becoming aware that most commercial underarm antiperspirant deodorants contain potentially toxic ingredients like aluminium chlorohydrate. Here is what you should know about aluminium and health risks like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s linked to antiperspirants, aluminium free deodorant options and finding one that actually works well.
The Problem with Antiperspirant Deodorants
The chemical aluminium chlorohydrate is created by reacting hydrochloric acid with aluminium. It is used in high concentrations in antiperspirant deodorants (permitted up to 25%) to block sweat ducts, alter the pH of the skin and reduce sweat production.
It’s interesting to note that for aluminium chlorohydrate to have a chance to block sweat ducts it needs to be absorbed into the skin well before sweating begins. Spraying or rolling on any more deodorant containing aluminium after you’re already sweating will be unlikely to have any effect from a dryness perspective.
Part of what makes it effective is the fact that aluminium chlorohydrate is easily absorbed into the human body. Manufacturers are allowed to use it because it is believed that a healthy unburden body should be able to eliminate it.
Unfortunately, this is the same reasoning behind the approval of literally thousands of other potentially toxic chemicals we’re exposed to in our food, environment, toiletries, etc each day. And they all add up.
Health Concerns with Aluminium Exposure
People with kidney disease are specifically warned to avoid antiperspirants with aluminium and use aluminium free deodorant. This is because without quick and effective elimination, aluminium can accumulate in the kidneys and other important organs like the liver, lungs, thyroid and even brain.
Particularly in women, aluminium is known to become concentrated in breast tissues with regular use of antiperspirant deodorants. It is also a recognized neurotoxin that affects the normal functioning of the blood brain barrier and this is believed to be behind a possible link to Alzheimer’s.
Scientific studies into the toxic effects of aluminium in deodorants are becoming more common and concerning.
This study found “disproportionately high incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast together with reports of genomic instability in outer quadrants of the breast provide supporting evidence for a role for locally applied cosmetic chemicals in the development of breast cancer.”
The same study also noted “Aluminium is known to have a genotoxic profile, capable of causing both DNA alterations and epigenetic effects, and this would be consistent with a potential role in breast cancer if such effects occurred in breast cells.”
Another research paper reviewed all of the scientific evidence related to aluminium exposure and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease on Medline and Lilacs databases over a 15 year period.
The study concluded that “Results showed that aluminium is associated to several neurophysiologic processes that are responsible for the characteristic degeneration of Alzheimer’s” and that “scientific evidence has demonstrated that aluminium is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.”
This last study concerns aluminium exposure in general and aluminium cookware, soda cans and other cosmetics and toiletries may all be responsible for increased aluminium exposure. That said, if you use a deodorant with aluminium chlorohydrate as a main ingredient, it’s likely to be one of the biggest sources of any aluminium in your body.
Choosing Aluminium Free Deodorant
I personally doubt there will be any absolute proof that the aluminium in deodorants is damaging while it remains a profitable ingredient to use in antiperspirants and other toiletries. There’s little doubt though that it is absorbed into your body.
Research into breast biopsies following mastectomies showed “the aluminium content of breast tissue in the outer regions was significantly higher”, closest to where aluminium is applied with deodorant.
Given this, a very least it is an extra burden on your body that needs to be eliminated. In the case of the women involved in the breast cancer studies, or the Alzheimer’s sufferers over the 15 years of combined research, it appears to have not been eliminated very well.
Many of us use deodorants with high concentrations of aluminium every day but there are alternatives. If you’d like to try the benefits of aluminium free deodorants then two of the best are up ahead.
Generally, any product labelled antiperspirant will contain high levels of aluminium unless otherwise stated. Many deodorants, even so-called natural ones, also contain aluminium and you really have to check the labels.
Keep in mind, a little perspiration is natural. An aluminium free deodorant that works should prevent underarm odour without clogging up your sweat ducts, which are naturally there to keep you cool in the first place.
Many people concerned about their health also look for a natural deodorant that is free of parabens as well as aluminium. Parabens are chemical preservatives that have an estrogenic effect in your body and are also linked to a possible increase in breast cancer and other cancers.
Aluminium Free Deodorant for Women and Men
One of the best all-natural deodorants for women available is by Green Tidings. It is made from moisturizing ingredients that are also antibacterial and antimicrobial. Interestingly, it also contains magnesium oil which is a much better mineral to be getting into your body than aluminium.
Green tidings aluminium and paraben free deodorant comes in both lavender and unscented and there are overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Jungle mint is an aluminium free deodorant that works with just a few natural ingredients and has a light mint scent. Realistically, it could be used by both men and women as mint is quite a unisex fragrance. It’s free of not only aluminium, but also parabens, alcohol, propylene glycol, artificial fragrances and colors and won’t clog your pores.
It’s well worth considering aluminium free deodorant if you’d like to lessen the amount of potentially toxic compounds that your body has to deal with each day. This may be particularly valuable for people with a family history of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s.
Have you used in aluminium free deodorant that worked well before? Do you have any other natural tips for dealing with underarm body odour? A good start is eating a healthy diet as natural foods tend to create a lot less of the strong smelling compounds that need to be eliminated in your sweat, unlike their processed counterparts.
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