The Effects of Aluminum in Deodorants

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Natural deodorants are less toxic to the body.
Natural deodorants are less toxic to the body. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Sweating is a body function that regulates the body's temperature; however, most individuals dislike the odor that accompanies sweat. To diminish or eliminate this odor, most individuals use deodorant. Most deodorants contain aluminum, which is the chemical in deodorant that prevents sweating. In recent years, medical professionals have linked this chemical to many health problems. Some of these problems are so detrimental that many individuals chose to switch to deodorants that are “aluminum free.”

Decreased Perspiration

The aluminum in deodorants blocks sweat ducts, which prevents emerging sweat from reaching the surface of your skin. Because the underarm sweat is not releasing from the body, toxins build up underneath the skin. This buildup causes toxic deposits to develop in both men and women. According to the National Cancer Institute, aluminum-based substances also cause estrogen buildup, which is a leading cause of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Risks

Countless studies have been done to determine if the aluminum causes breast cancer in women and men. Results have determined that it is not the aluminum that causes cancer. Toxic buildup and increased estrogen are what lead to a cancer diagnosis, specifically in women and men who shave their underarms frequently. According to the National Cancer Institute, women who began shaving their underarms before the age of 16 received an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer than women who began shaving their underarms at a later age.

Neurological Damage

Aluminum in the body is also linked to the development of neurological disorders. According to Education.com, aluminum in the brain may cause Alzheimer’s disease. It is also linked to Lou Gehrig’s disease, osteomalacia, anemia, glucose intolerance and Parkinson’s disease. Although aluminum is linked to these ailments, it is not confirmed whether or not the aluminum that reaches the brain is absorbed through the use of antiperspirants.

Aluminum Alternatives

Due to the severity of the health concerns that aluminum poses, countless individuals seek alternatives to aluminum deodorants. Natural deodorants use herbs to minimize odors, but most alternatives do not include antiperspirants, so the body’s natural sweating ability is not blocked. Popular odor removing ingredients include lavender, sage, mineral salt, ammonium and arrowroot powder.

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