Most of the conventional options contain ingredients such as aluminum, parabens, triclosan and phthalates, which some studies suggest can cause hormone disruption. They can mimic estrogen in the body, causing something called estrogen dominance, a known factor in the development of breast cancer. According to the journal of Breast Cancer Research, deodorants and antiperspirants are not rinsed off but left on the skin, allowing them to continue to absorb into underlying tissues. Abrasions from shaving also add to absorption and toxicity.
Here are the 5 main ingredients found in deodorants and antiperspirants that we should all avoid:
Used to enhance skin absorption.
- Breast Cancer
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Bone Formation Disorders
- Kidney Problems
Used as preservatives.
They mimic estrogen and can throw off your body’s hormonal balance.
- Propylene Glycol
Used to increase absorption and helps keep substances from drying out.
It’s a is a neurotoxin and skin irritant. It could cause damage to your central nervous system, heart, and liver.
Phthalates help consistency of personal care products.
They increase the likelihood of cell mutation and disrupt hormone receptors which in turn increases the risk of birth defects.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent.
It’s classified as a pesticide by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Linked to:
- disruption of the endocrine system (particularly thyroid function)
- increased risk of cancer
- increased hay fever and allergy symptoms.
I keep asking myself: why should we even be in contact with compounds related to cancer, hormonal toxicity, bioaccumulation and neurotoxicity?
Another thing I find a bit absurd is the fact that antiperspirants, which stop us from sweating, are even on the market. Perspiring is important for many reasons. It helps regulate temperature in order to avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke or overheating that causes dizziness and weakness. In addition, environmental toxins, such as lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium, can build up in the body and cause health and developmental problems, especially in children. A review published in 2012 in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that high mercury levels in the body normalized with regular sauna use and sweating. Authors of this review suggest that sweating should be considered as a method to detoxify the body and excrete built-up toxins. In fact, some toxins can only be eliminated from the body through the skin.
Many people are self-conscious about sweating. Don’t be. The key is in understanding the benefits of sweating a little bit each day and embracing the very nature of your body! Avoid the use of antiperspirants, instead, let your body breathe by sweating. You can use natural deodorant to mask the smell of body odors. Perperation does not actually have an odor–rather, your hair and skin follicles can provide a bad odor if your skin and hair are not clean. Sweat is made up of about 95 percent water, so you will not smell simply because you are sweating. Unfortunately even many products in this category have ‘all natural’ claims that are not supported by their ingredients. Make sure they are truly natural and organic by reading the label closely. Try effective alternatives by Aubrey Organics and EO Products. You might also find success making your own deodorant! Check out these recipes: Here, here and here!
This post was written by a guest-blogger! Ana Zabala
Zabala is a Junior at Colegio Rochester in Bogota Colombia and now sits as Communications Committee Chair on the TTG Student Advisory Board. She became involved with TTG after being named winner of the fourth annual Project Green Challenge in 2014. She always tries to think globally before acting so that her everyday choices are healing to heal the planet, rather than destroy precious resources. Zabala is striving to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle and is also extremely passionate about the fight against GMO’s. She hopes to work towards banning GMO’s in Colombia. Ana believes that with determinations and initiative, we can all work together to help save the planet!